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Difference between acrylic and gel nails

Difference between acrylic and gel nails

These two nail types are very different: different ingredients, various application techniques, and different pros and cons.

Below you’ll find a few tips to weigh the pros and cons of the different artificial nails to help you pick the best option.

Acrylic nails

Acrylic nails create a hard protective layer over your natural nails. The acrylic is a combination of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer.

The advantages of acrylic nails are:

  • Acrylic nails are hard and very robust
  • They last longer
  • Easy removal (soak off method)
  • When you break an acrylic nail, you can almost always fix it at home

The disadvantages of acrylic nails are:

  • They can damage your nail bed
  • Acrylics may look less natural than gel nails, mainly if misapplied.
  • The application process involves chemicals and fumes.


Gel nails

Gel nails are achieved in three steps: a base coat, polish colour and topcoat. Each stage has to harden under a UV lamp.

The advantages of gel nails are:

  • Natural, glossy, freshly-manicured look
  • Lasts up to 14 days
  • Curing time is faster
  • More flexible than the acrylic nails
  • Easier to remove
  • Gel nail mixtures lack the fumes associated with acrylic nails

The disadvantages of gel nails are:

  • Self-fixing a break at home is complicated
  • Removal can result in nails damage if the gel is used too frequently

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