Gel vs. Acrylic Nails: What's the difference?

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.

-Super Strong!

-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.

Powdered Gel

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:

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Just The Tips - Nail Art by Kristine 

is a locally owned, operated, schemed and hatched at home nail salon in Victoria, B.C. Canada

1111 Dominion Rd. off Craigflower Rd in Vic West at the corner of Dominion and Pine... getting lost is half the fun!