Have you ever sought a manicure that lasts longer than regular nail polish? Then you’ve probably faced a debate over gel nails versus acrylic nails. While both options are a great way to try out a variety of nail trends, figuring out the style that suits you is easier said than done. With the risk of chipped nail polish, broken nails, and more, choosing the right technique is the key to ensuring that your nails last longer. If you’re ready to figure out the difference between gel and acrylic nails once and for all, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we break the difference between gel and acrylic nails so you know what to ask for in your next salon visit.
ABOUT ACRYLIC NAILS
Acrylic nails are made of a combination of liquid and powder, laid on natural nails with a brush. Once the mixture is applied, your nails are filed and shaped to mimic the appearance of natural nails. After your acrylic nails are formed, each nail is coated with an undercoat, nail polish color and topcoat. Then put the nails under the fan to dry.
ABOUT GEL NAILS
Gel nails is made up of a three-step process, which includes brushing the undercoat, nail polish, and topcoat on your natural nails. With each coat, the nails are placed somewhere under UV rays between 30 seconds and two minutes to heal. Once cured, the gel polishing layer hardens and does not smudge like a normal nail polish. The end result is a glossy and fresh trimmed appearance of the nails.
Gel nails also come in handy if you want to extend the length of your natural nails. This popular technique consists of an extended tip, usually made of acrylic, attached to the ends of the nail. Next, your nails go through the normal process of applying gel nail polish system and being placed under the UV lamp settings.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ACRYLIC AND GEL NAILS
Having highlighted above what the acrylic and gel nail is about, each nail style have key differences even though they provide similar results. As mentioned above, Gel nails usually include brushing your natural nails on a Polish coat and curing them with an UV lamp. Once done, gel nails usually last for about 14 days without chipping. At the end of this time, the gel nail may begin to peel off or lift up in the corners.
When you are ready to remove the gel nails, all you need to do is soak them off and then you can. As a rule, cotton balls soaked in acetone are placed on the nails, and each nail is then wrapped in aluminum foil. After about 10 minutes, the gel polish is easily removed. Although gel nails are easy to peel, they are known to be more flexible than acrylic nails and do not damage natural nails.
Acrylic nails, on the other hand, provide a hard protective layer, as they are manufactured with a mixture of powder and liquid. Since acrylic nails are so durable, you don’t have to worry about your nails cracking, breaking, or lifting while you have acrylic. However, acrylic nails tend to look less natural than gel nails. These nails are also challenging to remove without damaging the nail bed. In order to keep your acrylic setting intact, you have to refill your nails every few weeks. Once you remove acrylic nails, you have to wait for the damaged nails to grow out to get your nails back in shape. Often, acrylic nails are removed in the salon by a nail technician, while gel nails can be removed more easily at home.
WHICH IS THE BEST NAIL STYLE TO USE BETWEEN GEL AND ACRYLIC
As with many things in life, the answer to this question really boils down to your personal preferences. If you like natural nails, gel nails are a good choice. They are also a great option to help prevent your nails from getting damaged. On the other hand, if you are trying to avoid cracking or peeling nail polish, acrylic nails will meet your needs. Keep in mind that if gel or acrylic nails are not applied correctly, you are at risk of damaging your nails. The key to getting the best gel or acrylic nails is to rely on a licensed nail technician to give you a manicure.
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