What is the Difference between Acrylic and Gel nails

What is the difference between acrylic and gel nails

So what is the difference between acrylic and gel nails? Let us start with the characteristics of both, then dive deeper into more details such has how they are applied, maintained and removed. Sit back and enjoy the ride.


Acrylic nails VS Gel Nails


Characteristics of Acrylic nails

  • Acrylic nails consists of two parts liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer)
  • Ultra violet lamp not needed to cure
  • Acrylic nails are stronger
  • They are easier to remove by soaking
  • Acrylic nails cost less than gel nails
  • You can fill your nails every 2-3 weeks depending on how fast your nails grow

Characteristics of Gel Nails

  • Gel liquid has a thick viscosity
  • Ultra violet lamp is commonly needed to cure
  • Gel nails are thicker
  • Gel nails are usually filed off to remove them
  • Gel Nails cost more than acrylic nails
  • Gel nails needs less filling  and also depends on how fast your nails grow


 What is acrylic nails and how is acrylic nails applied

Acrylic nails is a combination of both liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer) acrylic applied to a nail tip. A nail tip is usually adhered to your real nail to create a false length then the acrylic combination is applied on top with an applicator (brush)

Pros of Acrylic nails

  • They are stronger than any other form of nail application
  • They are easier to fix when broken. You can fix it yourself at home
  • Less expensive than gel nails
  • You can easily remove them with acetone
  • They last longer

Cons of Acrylic nails

  • Nick named “fake nails” they do not look as natural as gel nails
  • Acrylic nails do have some chemical smell to it compared to gel nails
  • If not applied correctly they can lift which causes water to go under and possibly become a breeding ground for bacteria. So keep it tight.

How is acrylic nails applied

You have the liquid (monomer) and the powder (polymer). You deep the applicator (brush) into the acrylic liquid and then pick just a little powder up with the brush. Make sure to gently press the bottom of the brush down on a towel or fine paper to get rid of excess liquid. Gently apply the powder to the bottom of the nail tip and working it down towards the cuticles. Acrylic nails set faster than gel nails so work as efficient as you can.

What is Gel Nails and how is it applied

It is simply a gel with thick viscosity  that is applied on your nails and the end result is a glossy finish. A couple of coat is needed to create a beautiful glossy look.

Pros of Acrylic Nails

  • With the help of a UV lamp gel nails dry faster than acrylic nails. Usually 2-4 minutes per coat.
  • The gel itself takes longer to dry without a UV lamp so you can take your time applying it to your nails without it setting.
  • They do not produce the chemical smell acrylic nails are known for, hence more friendly
  • Gel nails look more glossy and natural

Cons of Acrylic Nails

  • Gel nails are more fragile compared to acrylic nails
  • Gel nails do not break, they shatter into pieces, hence harder to fix.
  • Gel nails are more expensive than acrylic nails
  • To remove, you need to file them out, though you can soak them, you still need to file them out.

How is Gel nails applied

You need to trim your nails and push back your cuticles. To make sure the gel adheres properly to your nails, make sure you clean and push back your cuticles properly. You then buff the surface of your nails, this creates a rougher surface that would allow the gel to stick properly. Add a primer 0n the surface of your nails before applying the gel. You need about three coat of gel to provided a good finish. After applying the first coat place your fingers under the UV lamp for about 2-4 minutes to cure and then repeat the process two more times. To prevent lifting clean any gel on your cuticles and the skin around  your nails.

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