Two hotly contested nail treatments currently taking the market by storm are Bio Sculpture and Shellac. I have been asked many times which I think is better, and now that I have had both treatments and put both through the wringer, I am ready to tell you my findings.

What Is Bio Sculpture?

Bio Sculpture offers a permanent nail colour that lasts for weeks without wearing or chipping. The advantage of Bio Sculpture Colour Gel is that you can easily change your nail colour by simply applying Bio Sculpture Nail Polish. Later the polish can be removed with Bio Sculpture’s specially formulated Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover and the permanent nail colour will be restored to its original state. When wiped with Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover the permanent colour will not be removed in the same fashion as nail polish.

Visit your qualified Bio Sculpture Therapist to discover the difference of a healthier nail treatment that’s a pleasure to use and wear. Bio Sculpture® Gel makes nails beautiful, flexible and strong. A most superior product that will not damage the natural nails.

  • Available in over 130 beautiful fashion colours, French and clear, with matching Nail Polish for easy home after-care
  • Thin, strong, flexible, natural looking
  • Will not chip or smudge
  • Excellent for toenails – Dries instantly, will not wear away or smudge
  • Gel extensions – Add length naturally
  • A nail treatment to strengthen and condition natural nails
  • Removal is quick and easy – no damage to natural nails

Bio Sculpture® Gel is a one component nail treatment that strengthens and promotes the growth of natural nails. Applied onto a prepared nail our product cures under a UVA light, leaving the nail strong but flexible with a natural glossy finish

Information from the Bio Sculpture Australia website

What Is Shellac?

Creative Nail Design Shellac is a professional nail service that features hybrid nail colour that applies like polish and wears flawlessly for 14 days with high gloss shine and ten minute removal. Shellac paints on like polish and has a base coat, colour and top coat, Shellac is cured in a UV light s there is zero dry time. Removal is quick and easy with remover wraps that limit finger and skin exposure to acetone by keeping it pinpointed on just one nail. Colours are hypo-allergenic and 3-free. The formula is free from formaldehyde, toluene and DBP.

Information from Beauty Directory

Pros & Cons Of Both Treatments

  • Bio Sculpture comes in over 130 colours and Shellac comes in 24 colours. However, both types can have different layer colours to create a unique shade of its own.
  • These are recommend salon application only, and claim to only allow trained professionals to buy their products. Having said that, most nail addicts are able to buy the products through specialist nail retailers or international online stores.
  • The application is very speedy and a maximum curing time of about 10-20 minutes for all the layers (base coat, colour coats, top coat). Far quicker than a regular nail polish application
  • There is zero ‘drying’ time. Once cured under the UV light the nails are completely hardened and you don’t have to worry about scrapping or chipping.
  • If you are afraid you will get sick of your colour choice than not a problem, both can be covered with regular nail polish and removed with acetone-free polish remover.
  • Neither can be ‘filled in’ when regrowth starts to show. They must be completely removed and reapplied. I actually prefer this.
  • Staining is a non-occurrence with these treatments.

Some of the CND Shellac colours

The Differences

Here is what it all came down to, the fine differences. Overall both treatments had things they did better over the other, as detailed below.


Winner: Bio Sculpture Gel

Unfortunately just 10 minutes after having Shellac applied, I started to see little ‘bumps’ appearing underneath. They looked like a pin was pushing through from beneath my nail. I tried my best to photograph this flaw but I am just not that good of a photographer. However, this was something you could only see on close inspection so it wasn’t too visible from afar. Shellac also doesn’t have the ability to be sculpted so for someone with thin, ridgy nails like mine you could see the poorer quality of my nails.

Bio Sculpture was supremely smooth from day dot. My nails looked extremely healthy and because it can be sculpted there was no sight of ridges.

I do think application does come down to how good the person is doing it but in both cases I had professional company representatives doing the treatment so this ruled out the chance of having a dodgy manicurist.

Shellac Day 14: From afar they still look reasonable


Winner: Bio Sculpture Gel

CND advises that their Shellac manicure lasts 14 days, and this was true in my experience. Bio Sculpture lasts up to 6 weeks and again, this is true with my experience.

After about 5 days with the Shellac, I noticed the free edge (the tip of my nails) was losing some colour and at around Day 8 I started to notice some lifting. I probably would have removed them at Day 10 as by then I had some horizontal cracking that started to catch on things, but I decided to stay on to Day 14 just to see if they could last. They did but I wouldn’t have kept them that long for any other reason.

I experienced no flaws with the Bio Sculpture Gel and the only reason I did have them removed after 6 weeks was because the regrowth was extremely noticeable and my nails were super long (I like to keep them relatively short).


Winner: Bio Sculpture Gel

I found the Bio Sculpture dealt better with hard knocks. Officially, neither ‘chipped’ until after their respected lasting times but as we all know, there are other things that show signs of wear, as mentioned above.

Jamming my fingers in draws, doors and anything that closes is a common experience for me. Bio Sculpture put up with this extremely well and not once did it dent or show signs of ‘jamming’. On a few occasions the Shellac did show a dent or two. I don’t think this would be something worth noting unless you are a complete clutz like me.

Pretty Red nails with Bio Sculpture


Winner: Shellac

Removal of both treatments are a little fiddly but it is highly recommended you go back to the salon who applied them in order to remove them. However, I always remove my own as it is fairly simple but just a bit annoying. All you need to do is soak little pieces of cotton wool in acetone, place one piece over each nail and then wrap your finger in foil. After about 10 minutes you can simply scrap off with an orange stick.

The differences though, Bio Sculpture does need to have the top colour filed off so that the acetone can penetrate, where as Shellac does not. This isn’t a massive deal but when you are doing it yourself at home it can be a bit of a workout for your poor arms.

Shellac also have their own soak-off wrap system that should be used when having removal done at a salon. Some salons try to get away with doing the foil soak-off like I did at home but they should use the wraps.

The Aftermath

Winner: Bio Sculpture

Both treatments are a million times better than regular gels or acrylics, but there are some fine differences that made me lean towards Bio Sculpture.

After the Shellac came off my nails were quite thin and flaky, similar to my regular nails but a little thinner around the tips. It took about 1 week for my nails to get back to their regular quality.

Bio Sculpture on the other hand was a god send for my nails. When it came off, my nails were strong and thick. They didn’t get that horizontal cracking I usually had and I could wash my hair without pulling out 100 strands caught in my nails. It evened out my nails greatly and the ridging was less noticeable.

My Favourite

In my opinion, Bio Sculpture is the nail gel for me. It really helped my crappy nails get to a stage where I can wear normal nail polish and not be ashamed. If it wasn’t for my lack of funds I would have all 20 nails covered 365 days a year (366 in leap years).

I also love it for when I am about to go on a holiday. Not having to worry about ripping your nail off when moving luggage, shopping, carrying stupid souvenirs, etc is amazing!

Some of the Bio Sculpture colours

Who Should Wear What

Shellac: If you have strong, smooth nails already than I highly recommend Shellac for you. Also, if you have a special event and you want pretty nails but don’t want to keep a single colour for more than a couple of weeks than this will work for you as well.

Bio Sculpture: If you have weak, shoddy nails than definitely go for this. They are like heavy duty nail protectors without causing any damage to your real nail. Also great if you are trying to grow your nails or if you need perfectly manicured nails for an extended duration.


Bio Sculpture can cost on average AU $65 / US $50 for full set on your hands. To find your nearest salon head to the website

CND Shellac on average will set you back AU $40 / US $30 for a full manicure. To find your nearest salon head to the website

Both treatments are available in countries around the world, so find your nearest location using the links above.

Shellac at Day 14


All images are the property of The Plastic Diaries, excluding press release images. Use of these images without written consent is prohibited. If you wish to use them please contact me to request permission. Images are taken in natural light and remain unedited, unless otherwise stated.

These treatments were provided for consideration, in accordance with our Disclosure Policy. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own and remain 100% uninfluenced.

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