CND™ Layering - Create Hundreds of New Colours

17th May 2024

Layering with CND™ SHELLAC™ is a great technique that will allow you to create new colours for your clients without carrying hundreds of bottles of SHELLAC™. Layering is the preferred method for creating custom colours, as opposed to mixing shades. Each bottle of CND™ SHELLAC™ colour is individually formulated so mixing different formulas can disrupt the chemical composition and potentially hinder proper performance.

Layering different shades of CND™ SHELLAC™ shades can result in some wild and wonderful new colour combinations that will blow you and your clients away. Sometimes spending an extra 5 minutes custom layering a colour can result in that client remaining loyal to you for life! I’ve had a client for over 10 years purely because I layered colours to match a dress she was wearing to a wedding.

Back when CND™ SHELLAC™ launched in 2010 we only had 12 colours so we needed to be creative when it came to expanding our colour options and so we started to layer colours. We didn’t have a navy, so Blackpool and Negligee layered created one! As our colour options have grown exponentially over the last 14 years we haven’t needed to layer so much, however it is so much fun and you can still create loads of colours we don’t have and re-create some old favourites that have been discontinued over the years.


There are definitely some firm favorites for layering I would recommend. These shades go beautifully over most other colours. 

Ice Bar – A semi-sheer with a pink shimmer.

Moonlight & Roses – Semi-Sheer with a heavy pearlescent sheen.

Pink leggings – Semi-sheer hot pink.

Dark Diamonds – Stunning silver glitter in a semi-sheer black.

Beau – Semi-sheer pink with a shimmer.


There are several reasons why we layer colours. We can; 

Make colours brighter 

An opaque white base under a colour will brighten it. Apply 1-2 thin layers of white first, cure in the CND™ Lamp on button 2S followed by the brighter colour
A great example of this would be 2 x layers of Cream Puff followed by a layer of IG-Night-ED from the new Gleam & Glow collection or Pink leggings for a vibrant hot pink.

(Pink leggings over Cream Puff

Make colours muted

Layering semi-sheer shades like Negligee, Beau, Backyard Nuptials and Bouquet over colours will mute the colour and make them less bright or dark.
Try 2 layers of Wooded Bliss with a thin layer of Beau over the top to create a beautiful soft natural nude.

(Wooded Bliss on left and Wooded Bliss layered with Beau)

Make the colour darker and richer 

An opaque dark base like Asphalt, Fedora or Black Pool under another colour will deepen the end result.
To create a beautiful rouge noir colour, layer 2 layers of Asphalt with one layer of Decadence or, for those of you mourning the discontinuation of Dark Lava, then a close dupe would be 2 layers of Black Pool and a layer of Masquerade over the top.

(Black Pool with Masquerade on the left and Dark Lava on the right) 

Camouflage Imperfections on the natural nail

Choose an opaque neutral base shade that compliments the clients skin tone and apply a thin semi-sheer colour over the top. @hollydoesnails CND™ Brand Ambassador created the most beautiful shimmery pink using one layer of Satin Slippers, one layer of Beau and topped with a layer of Silver VIP to add a little sparkle to the combination.
This technique can also be used to create the perfect pink base for a French Manicure.

(Satin SlippersBeau and topped with a layer of Silver VIP. Credit @_hollydoesnails)

Make a Cream colour sparkly or shimmery

Using CND™ SHELLAC™ Shades like Ice Bar, Grapefruit Sparkle, Hypnotic Dreams, Silver VIP, Dark Diamonds, Moonlight & Roses and Keep and Opal Mind to illuminate your favorite cream shades.

Party Nails 

Go wild with your combinations using an opaque shade first and topped with sheer or shimmer shades, you can even add Glitter and Foil into the mix.
I used :Yours Element – Saturn over CND™ SHELLAC™ Shade She’s a Gem and then a thin layer of Ice Bar for a super sparkly nail, perfect for clients who love a bit of bling.

You can also create a foil sandwich by placing foil between to layers of CND™ SHELLAC™ to turn any shade into a luxurious metallic looking masterpiece.

Here I used the fabulous Devil Red:Yours Foil - Golden Hour under a thin layer of CND™ SHELLAC Kiss of Fire.

Don’t be afraid to try some weird and whacky combinations, sometimes the most beautiful combinations come from making a bold choice. Grab some colour pops and your favourite CND™ SHELLAC™ Shades and see what you can come up with. We’d love to see your layering creations so please tag us @sweetsquared.nails@mamadoesnails using #shellaclayering

Register For Fee Wallace's next Tune in Tuesday - CND Gleam & Glow Nail Art to discover nail design possibilities, including layering, with the newest CND collection.

fee wallace nail art with gleam and glow summer collection

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