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Comparison: Genuine CND Shellac & Counterfeit CND Shellac

In the 5 years that CND Shellac has been launched, the product has become a preferred system with many salons and nail technicians. As with any other products, the more popular it becomes, the more counterfeit versions appear on the market.

As an official CND Ambassador who knows the CND Shellac product extremely well, I am not going to point out ways that we are able to differentiate genuine CND Shellac and counterfeit CND Shellac through packaging and any cosmetic appearance. Mainly because in the past 5 years, CND has changed the packaging, labeling and bottles a few times so therefore to eliminate any confusion, it is best not to rely purely on the appearance of the product. What is more important is the difference in the actual formula inside these bottles that ultimately will make or break our businesses.

I have managed to get hold of some counterfeit CND Shellac to conduct a mini experiment in order to compare the differences between the genuine formula and the counterfeit formula.


The top 3 bottles are genuine CND Shellac. The bottom three bottles are counterfeit CND Shellac. At first glance, it is almost impossible to see which is real and which is not. But if you look carefully, the biggest give away is the writing on the actual bottles.

After applying and curing the base coat, the first coat of colour was applied. You are able to see the genuine CND Shellac is thinner in consistency, therefore giving an almost see through appearance while the counterfeit CND Shellac is thicker and more opaque in colour.

The pointer and middle finger is genuine CND Shellac. The ring and little finger is counterfeit CND Shellac.

When both coats are painted on, it is almost impossible to differentiate between the 2 formulas.

After applying 2 coats of both formulas.

As you lift both brushes from the bottles, it is possible to see quite clearly that the counterfeit CND Shellac is definitely made from a much thicker consistency to the genuine CND Shellac.

Left: Counterfeit CND Shellac. Right: Genuine CND Shellac.



After wearing both formulas for 3 days, both formulas are wrapped and soak in the CND Nourishing remover for 8 minutes.

After 8 minutes, the foils are removed.

The CND Nourishing remover has travelled through the tiny tunnels in the genuine CND Shellac penetrating it for quick and safety removal as it should,

while the remover has not affected the counterfeit CND Shellac in any way and is still very intact with the nail.

With the use of an orange stick, the genuine CND Shellac is eased off the nail plate efficiently with no damage to the natural nail while the counterfeit CND Shellac is re-wrapped for another 20 minutes. 

After another 20 minutes, the counterfeit CND Shellac was pushed off the nail with a little force leaving a thin layer of residue still intact with the natural nail plate.  The genuine CND Shellac is removed clean off the nail plate. 

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