Gel and acrylic nails are two hot manicure trends. Both offer chic style, high drama and the perfect canvas for today’s highly popular nail art. While acrylics have been around awhile, they remain popular because they’ve provided great results for years. Though somewhat newer to the beauty scene, gel nails are preferred by many for their more natural look and higher gloss. Which of the two would work better for you depends on factors like cost, convenience, the look you prefer and your degree of chemical sensitivity.
Acrylics – A Manicure Mainstay
Women have loved their acrylics for ages because they’re strong, long-lasting and fairly easy to remove by soaking in acetone. The downside of acrylic nails is that they don’t look quite as natural as gel nails, they can potentially make the nail bed more susceptible to bacteria or fungi and the potent chemical fumes released during application may bother more sensitive individuals.
Gels – A More Natural Look
Many women are embracing this relative newcomer to the beauty scene because gel nails look natural, have a high shine, dry faster and lack the powerful fumes associated with acrylics. While they do require a UV lamp to set, gel nails won’t last quite as long as acrylics and some types require filing for removal. Gels are generally considered the better choice since they do less damage to the nail bed. Many of the newest gels and Shellac gel polishes can be soaked off.
True Gel Nails: How Can You Be Sure?
Some salons will claim that the artificial nails they apply are gel when in fact they are not. So, how can you be sure? True gel nails demonstrate several specific characteristics that let you know they are authentic:
- True gel nails are always in liquid form when applied.
- All the layers applied to the nail are liquid.
- No powder is used and no mixing is required as would be the case with acrylics.
- True gels will not air-cure but must be placed under a UV lamp for hardening.
- Each layer is cured individually for 1-3 minutes under the UV lamp.
- True gel nails are odorless since they involve no evaporation and no release of chemicals into the air.
Watch Out for So-Called Acrylic-Gel Hybrids
In some cases, with unsuspecting clients, acrylics may first be applied and then topped off with a UV topcoat. Beware of this shortcut technique, used to lower costs while charging a higher price. These are not true gel nails — or even acrylic-gel hybrids. They are simply higher-priced acrylics. For a true gel nail manicure in Miami, book an appointment at Bella Vita Salon.