• Lucy

GEL vs. ACRYLIC - Which one is good for you?

In the early 1980s, gel nail polish was introduced to the market as an alternative to acrylic nail polish. Here is some collected information that will help you decide which is the better option for you.




Gel nails have two types. These are the hard gel that is used for nail extension, and the soft gel which is used for gel-overlay services and the popular gel polish manicures. Acrylic nails, on the other hand, are more common forms of artificial nails that are also available in liquid or powder form that has been in the market for decades. Gel nail products are created with some form of gels while acrylic nails are created using a liquid monomer and polymer powder. Both products are offered in a wide variety of colors.






Points of comparison

· Quality – Gel polish manicures are gentle to the natural nails and stays intact for weeks without peeling, cracking, or chipping but begins to contract after the first week. Acrylic nail polish could cause cracking and chipping on brittle nails and will start peeling after a few days. At some point, the quality also depends on the brand of the polish.

· Color – Gel polish remains vibrant and shiny for weeks while acrylic polish stays rich and shiny for a couple of days. Both gel and acrylic offer a wide variety of colors to choose from.

· Design – Various designs can be created and are available for both products. Ready-made extensions are also available in nail shops.

· Thickness – Gel is applied in 4-5 layers or coatings while acrylic is applied mostly in 2 layers before the topcoat or the final polish.

· Curing process – This is actually the drying procedure which is carried out differently. Gel polish goes under a UV (ultraviolet) light by a nail dryer machine or which could either be a conventional bulb or a led lamp. The process of application is done alternately with one hand under the dryer while the other hand is applied with the next coating. The curing process ends up with the application of cuticle oil on all fingers to bring back the nourishment after the strong alcohol application. On the other hand, acrylic polish requires air drying rather than using UV light as it does not contain polymer and would not dry any quicker when putting under a lamp.

· Costs – Gel polish manicures are offered from 6.50–15.00 $ and gel extensions are much higher at 40.00 - 50.00 $. Acrylic polish manicures can be acquired starting from 3.00 – 5.00 $ and acrylic ready-made extensions can be purchased from 3.50 – 30.00 $ depending on the quality and brand. The price also matters depending on the type of service and the popularity and brand of the nail salon.

· Removal process - When removing a gel nail polish, there are few options possible. It could either be removed by the aid of an electric steam off UV gel nail removal machine, an electric nail pile tool, or by soaking nails into the gel polish acetone. Nail shops charge the removal service at 3.00 $ or offered free for members or returning customers. For acrylic nail polish, the use of an ordinary acetone is the simple way to remove the nail color.

In this photo: A variety of gel nail polish in various colors and different brands.

Photo credits to Bellisima Academy. Visit their Facebook page @Bellisima Beauty Spa

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