Gel nails vs acrylic


If it weren’t for false nails, a whole lot of women would be left with weak, short, stubby fingers that exude anything but elegance and glamour. Thanks to both gel and acrylic nails, it is possible for any woman out there to have those long, enviable nails that make us feel beautiful and pampered.

There are several different types of artificial nails out there, though the two most popular choices are most certainly acrylic nails and gel nails. The question is, however, which is better?

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are created by mixing a liquid and a powder substance together, otherwise known as a monomer and a polymer. This creates a sort of “paste” which is then applied directly onto the natural nail as an “artificial nail”. Acrylic nails can either be applied by a professional in a salon or even by yourself at home (if you’re brave enough!).

What are Gel Nails?

Gel nails are also made of a polymer and a monomer, though it is formed in such a way that it creates a gel. The gel is then applied to your nail and is cured to your liking.

There are two types of gel nails that are available. The “light” cured type is applied by exposing the gel to a UV ray once the gel has been applied. This causes the nail to curve and bind to your natural nail. The other sort of gel nail is a non-UV ray type. The gel is “activated” by a spray or liquid that is brushed onto your nail. The non-UV ray type of gel nail will set faster than those that are set by a UV ray.

So which is better?

Acrylic nails are certainly the most traditional form of artificial nail. Because of this, they are also often the more popular choice and easier to find. Most nail professionals start off by applying acrylic nails, so it is easier to find a professional nail artist to apply them (and apply them well) than one who can apply a gel nail.


Acrylic nails can often look thick and obviously fake, however, which is why gel nails are often a preferred choice amongst women. Gel nails can look just as natural as real nails, and they are often a lot more soft and more flexible. Another benefit: gel nails don’t stink! Acrylic nails often reek of chemicals, at least upon application, as acrylics contain more chemicals than gel nails. This also means that gel nails are a lot more gentle on your natural nails and nail beds than acrylics.

Gel nails do require a whole lot less filling after being applied and take a shorter amount of time to be applied, but overall the gel nails do not last as long as acrylic nails. Nail polish comes off of gel nails a whole lot easier than acrylic nails, and gel nails are harder to fix if they do break. If you are planning on doing your own nails, acrylic nails are certainly the way to go as gel nails take a lot of expertise and may be rather expensive to do on your own.

So whether you are looking for a longer lasting nail or one that looks more natural may depend on whether you use an acrylic nail or a gel nail. Most importantly, seek out a salon that knows how to apply either nail properly and keep up with regular, routine maintenance to keep your nails looking their very best.

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