A war has been waging in the nail world ever since the Gel Nails began to invade the territory of the Acrylic Nail Kingdom. Once a person chooses a side they are reluctant to switch. Many are born into one world or another and left with limited knowledge of the other sides history and lifestyle. Below is a less Game of Thrones style comparison between the two, let Gel fire the first shot...
Gel (upper left)
-A liquid hard gel product that only hardens when cured under UV or LED light.
-Gel lacks the intense fumes associated with acrylic nails. Often considered the safer more eco-friendly option, but a well ventilated salon is always important.
-Easier removal causing less damage to the nail bed than acrylic.
-Art tends to be more hand painted, inlays are not common.
*Recommended for people looking to avoid the stinky chemicals, minimize removal damage, enjoy the art or find that Acrylic Nails lift on them.
Acrylic (upper right)
-A powder polymer combines with liquid monomer which then hardens when exposed to air.
-Involves strong chemicals and fumes (pregnant women are often advised against acrylic nails)
-Super Duper Strong! The acrylic product dries harder than hard gel.
-Extra strength also often means extra damage to the nail bed, a good Nail Tech can avoid this issue.
-Acrylic tends to stay down on the nail bed (less lifting) than gel, but this is not the case for everyone (including my nails)
-Perfect for inlayed nail art.
*Recommended for people working in health care, beauty & aesthetics or the food industry.
NOT A REAL THING! These may be just ACRYLIC nails with Gel Polish on top (which is common practice for acrylic anyways...) If you see this service being advertised as " Powdered Gel"... it is not real! Acrylic is a less expensive product, this method of misdirection advertising can save businesses overhead costs by charging more for the same thing.
Other links to comparative material:
A Video Comparison (96,000 views)
Skin Care Prospective
What's The Difference?
History Timeline of Nail Art: