Choosing a manicure you’ll still love to see on your fingertips two weeks post-appointment comes with a laundry list of choices: funky nail design or solid color? Round or squoval nail shape? And the most fraught manicure choice of them all: shellac nails vs. a gel manicure? Shellac nails and gel nails are crowd favorites for semi-permanent manicures. They’re both used by top nail artists and they’re both known for low-chip, long-lasting quality. But there’s a few minute differences that make shellac nails a better fit for some manicure lovers out there. Allow us to clear up the differences between shellac nails and gel nails—so you have one less thing to decide ahead of your next manicure. The shellac nails vs. gel nails debate first comes down to the formula used for their similarly shiny, durable looks. Shellac nails are a patented form of polish from Creative Nail Design, with over 100 shades available at CDG-verified salons. Shellac polishes mix two types of nail coating: gel (for durability and nail protection) and traditional nail polish (for color and shine). The finished look errs on the natural side. On the other hand, gel nails are made with—yo...