The Difference between Shellac & Gel

When setting up Honestly Ombré it was really important to ensure we could offer non-toxic, cruelty free and vegan products and services. A lot of research and many hours were put in testing products to ensure not only were the products we use and stock of the highest ethical standard, but also delivered an impeccable finish.

For you nail lovers out there, the chances are you’ve had a gel manicure before, and this has probably been referred to as either shellac or gel. Now you might not assume there is a difference and that the words are interchangeable, but actually they refer to quite different products, so this was an important distinction to make when choosing the products we use at Honestly Ombré. Identifying the difference between these products can be a bit of a minefield, so we’re going to break it down to help you guys out!

An important question we get asked a lot it is, why isn’t shellac vegan?

The name ‘shellac’ actually refers to where the ingredients come from, which if you didn’t know is actually the Lac bug, a type of beetle. And this means shellac is an animal derivative and doesn’t meet the vegan criteria. It is estimated that up to 300,000 Lac bugs are required to produce 1 kilogram of shellac, and so the bugs are intensively farmed and harvested on a mass scale and many are killed in order to meet the demand for shellac which has both ethical and environmental implications.

In addition to this, the vast majority of shellac products on the market are also tested on animals meaning they aren’t cruelty free, this means they are applied to broken skin, rubbed into the eyes and force fed to bunnies, dogs, cats, rats, mice and other creatures to ‘test’ the product. Yep, barbaric and completely unnecessary.

The good news is that Gel is a synthetic alternative and does not contain any animal derived products, and so meets the vegan criteria. However it’s still important to make sure the brand and company itself does not support animal testing of its products.

When I first decided I wanted to launch Honestly Ombré, I started doing lots of research  into the best quality products to stock whilst meeting the ethical requirements my business is built around. And after much testing I decided that The Gel Bottle was highest quality product on the market. The Gel Bottle is a vegan and cruelty free company and clearly advertises themselves as so, which is so refreshing that the information isn’t hidden and buried within terms and conditions or ingredient lists.

The application, durability and finish of the product are unrivaled by any other product I have used, and the colour options are unreal! In addition, the brand is non-toxic, and ’10 free’.




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