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THE DIFFERENCE between gel and acrylic

Gel nails are created by curing gel nail polish under an L.E.D. light, which hardens the gel. You can get a gel manicure at the salon, or you can buy your own gel manicure kit and do them at home!

Acrylic nails can come in two variations: tips and forms. Tips, which are made of plastic, are glued onto the end of your nail. Then an acrylic mixture is applied to the entire nail in order to secure the tip in place. Forms act like a template to help you create an acrylic tip directly on your nail. You place the form on your nail and then apply the acrylic mixture until you reach your desired length.


  • No smudging: The time it takes the L.E.D. light to harden your gel nails is shorter than the time it takes to air dry standard nail polish. So, you don’t have to worry about getting indentations in your new manicure. Once it’s set, it’s set! Acrylic nails are the same way. Once the acrylic hardens  after about twenty minutes, there’s no risk of smudging or indentations.
  • Tons of shine: Most artificial nails have a glossy finish that most standard nail polish can’t compete with. Plus, the gloss won’t wear away after a few days.
  • Long-lasting: One of the major reasons people favor acrylic and gel nails is because of their lasting power. Regular nail polish can start to chip, peel, or wear off in three or four days, depending on how active you are with your hands. Gel and acrylic nails can last two to three weeks!


  • Allergies: Pain is beauty, right? Wrong! Acrylic and gel nails can do major damage to anyone who is allergic to the chemicals that make up the product. Allergies to acrylic seem to be more common than allergies to gel, but either is possible!
  • Long-lasting: If you’re someone who quickly bores with a particular color or style, acrylic and gel nails may not be the best choice. They last for a few weeks and removing them can be a time-consuming task.
  • Nail damage: An unfortunate result of acrylic and gel nails is nail damage. Once the artificial gel nails are removed, some people experience nail splitting or an overall brittleness to their nails. These results don’t necessarily indicate an allergy, but they are something to be aware of. To keep nails healthy, don’t over do it!

What types of artificial nails have you experimented with? What’s your favorite manicure design?