Why You Should Switch To Gel Nail Polish vs. Acrylic Nail Polish

If you want fake nails, you may be deciding between gel and acrylic. Both types of artificial nails have their own unique pros and cons, but overall, gel nails are a preferable choice for most people. 

The main difference between gel and acrylic nails is how they're applied and the product used. Gel nails are made from a liquid resin that is cured under UV or LED light, while acrylic nails are made from a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer.

In this article, we'll compare the pros and cons of gel and acrylic nails and offer recommendations on choosing the appropriate one for you.

The good about gel nails

No. 16 Just Peachy gel polish by S&L

Gel nails tend to look more natural and aren't as likely to yellow as acrylic nails. 

They're also more flexible and less likely to chip or break than acrylic nails because they're made from a liquid resin that is cured under a UV or LED light. 

Plus, gel nails are easier to remove when you use gel polish removers that take 5 minutes to remove. Unlike acrylic nails which must be filed down and soaked in acetone, which is more time-consuming and damaging to your natural nails and skin. 

Since gel nails are easier to remove than acrylic nails, gel nails are preferable if you wish to switch manicure designs often.

The bad about gel nails

gel nail polish collection by S&L Beauty

Gel nails are more expensive than acrylics. That’s because gel nails require more equipment, such as a UV or LED light, a gel top and base coat, in order to be applied properly.

Gel nails also require more time and effort than acrylics. The curing process for gel nails is time-consuming and needs to be carefully tended to, whereas acrylic nails can be applied faster than gel nails, which is a benefit for people in a hurry or new to artificial nails.

Gel manicures cost more than acrylic manicures in a salon for these reasons.

However, the durability and natural-looking appearance of gel nails make them worth the extra time spent applying for some people.

Ultimately, the decision between gel and acrylic nails will depend on your personal preferences, time and budget.

S&L Fairy Tale Gel Nail Polish Collection

Comparing gel vs. acrylic nail applications items

 Gel Manicure Acrylic Manicure
Gel nail polish Acrylic nail polish
Gel base coat Top coat
Gel top coat Cotton pads or balls
Cotton pads or balls Nail file
Cuticle pusher (orange stick) Nail buffer
Nail file
Cuticle pusher (orange stick)
Nail buffer Primer
Lint-free wipes or a clean, dry cloth Acrylic brush
UV or LED lamp Acrylic powder
Liquid monomer

A gel nail kit with uv light contains all that you need to start doing your own gel manicures at home.

Comparing gel vs. acrylic nail removal items

 Gel Manicure Acrylic Manicure
100% Acetone 100% Acetone
Cotton pads or balls Cotton pads or balls
Aluminum foil Aluminum foil
Cuticle pusher (orange stick)
Cuticle pusher (orange stick)
Nail file
Nail file
Nail buffer
Nail buffer
Lint-free wipes or a clean, dry cloth
Lint-free wipes or a clean, dry cloth
Cuticle oil Nail clippers
Cuticle oil

 

These tools and materials are commonly used by nail technicians, and they can be purchased at a beauty supply store. 

With all the right equipment, you can follow steps on how to apply gel polish and do it yourself, instead of spending your money at a salon. You can also remove gel nails at home without having to make a trip to the salon.

What are acrylic nails?

acrylic nails

Acrylics are fake nails made from a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer. The mixture is applied to your natural nails, then molded into the shape and length you want. They're strong and durable, and a lot of people like them because they make your nails look long and strong.

But acrylics can be brittle and inflexible, which makes them more likely to chip or break. And they're harder to remove than some other artificial nails, like gels.

The good about acrylic nails

Acrylic nails are generally more affordable than gel nails. That's because they're made from a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer, which is cheaper than the liquid resin used in gel nails. 

Also, acrylic nails can be applied faster than gel nails, which can save time and labor costs for salons. That’s because gel nails require curing under a UV or LED light for several minutes per hand before and after being painted. 

It's important to remember that the longevity of acrylic nails depends on how they're applied and taken care of. If you give them the right care and maintenance, acrylic nails can last longer than gel nails.

    The bad about acrylic nails

    Chipped acrylic nails

    If you're thinking about getting acrylic nails, there are a few things to consider. For one, they can be more brittle and less flexible than gel nails, so they're more likely to chip or break. 

    Compared to gel nails, acrylic nails are more difficult to remove. This is because they must be filed down in order to be removed, which is more aggressive and damaging to your natural nails.

    With gel nails, you only have to file down the top coat. There are two additional (the gel polish and the base coat) layers underneath, which prevent filing down to your natural nail. 

    Plus, acrylics are more prone to yellowing over time. This is because the mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer used to create acrylic nails can cause yellowing of the natural nails over time. 

    In contrast, gel nails are less likely to yellow because they are made from a liquid resin that is cured under a UV or LED light.

    Overall, gel nails are a better alternative to acrylic nails when considering the health of your natural nail and longevity.

    Common questions about gel vs acrylic nails

    These are the common questions that people often have when comparing gel and acrylic nails.

    Which type of nail is more natural-looking: gel or acrylic?

    Gel nails are more natural-looking compared to acrylic. This is because gel nails are made from a liquid resin that is cured under a UV or LED light, creating a natural, translucent look, similar to the natural nail.

    Acrylics, on the other hand, are made from a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer, which creates a hard and opaque nail. Plus, gel nails are less likely to yellow over time, so they'll maintain their natural appearance for longer.

    Gel nails are a more natural looking choice between the two.

    Are gel nails more durable than acrylic nails?

    Gel nails are generally more durable because they're more flexible and less brittle than acrylics. This means they're less likely to chip or break.

    Gel nails are also more resistant to everyday wear and tear, like typing on a keyboard or opening cans. However, the durability of gel nails depends on how they're applied and maintained.

    With proper care, gel nails can stay strong and durable for as long as three weeks.

    Are gel nails easier to remove than acrylic nails?

    Yes, gel nails are generally easier to remove than acrylic nails.

    This is because gel nails are made from a liquid resin that is cured under a UV or LED light, which means that they can be easily dissolved using acetone.

    In contrast, acrylic nails are made from a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer, which creates a hard and durable nail. But this also means acrylic nails must be filed down to remove them, which can be time-consuming and damaging to your nail bed.

    If you want to be able to switch between different manicure designs frequently or if you want to avoid damaging your natural nails as much, gel nails are your choice.

    Which is more damaging: gel or acrylic nails?

    Acrylics tend to be more damaging because they're hard and inflexible, which makes them more likely to catch on surfaces and chip or break.

    Additionally, acrylic nails are more difficult to remove than gel nails, which means that they may be more likely to damage the natural nails.

    Gel nails are more flexible and less rigid, so they're less likely to chip.

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