How to Choose Between Gel, Acrylic, or Dip Powder Nails Long, gorgeous nails, perfectly shaped with perfect color that lasts – we all want them, but what’s the best way to get the look we want: gel, acrylic, or dip powder? All three nail techniques can get you beautiful nails. Today, we’ll talk about the difference to help you make your decision.
Gel nails are made using – you guessed it – gel, which is applied to your nail bed, then hardened using a UV light. Gel nails are enhancements used to make nails stronger or longer. Gel nails are tough, but just flexible enough to take an accidental bump against your desk without breaking the nail. The finish is glossier than regular nail polish, so it shimmers and shines at work or as you dance the night away! Your gel manicure is dry right away, so it’s less likely to get messed up after you leave the salon. Finally, gel manicures can be the perfect nail enhancement option if you’re allergic to acrylic.
If you’re new to gel nails, know that gel nails and gel polish are different things – gel nails are an enhancement to strengthen or lengthen your nails, while gel polish is a type of colored polish that lasts longer than standard nail polish and must be cured under UV light.
You’ve probably heard of dip powder nails because they’re trending this year on social media. Dip powder nails are an amazing breakthrough in nail technology that gives you beautiful nails that last – as long as a month! Rather than polished on, your color comes from a powder “dip” applied by your nail technician between base and sealant coats, giving you gorgeous color that lasts. Dipped nails are durable like acrylics, but they’re also flexible like gel nails. The solutions used are odorless, and they dry in just a couple of minutes without UV light.
Acrylic nails are tough as – dare we say it, nails – made from a mix of liquids and powders that extend your nails and leave you with dramatic results. Because they’re so tough, acrylics are known to be stiffer and less flexible than some of the other options, but you get long-lasting nails that are less prone to breakage. Acrylic nails can be done as an extension or over the entire nail, depending on the look you want, so design options are flexible. Acrylic nails look very natural and can protect the nail underneath from damage.
All the options leave you with long-lasting beautiful nails, so the best way to decide is to talk to your nail technician about what you want. Whichever option you decide, never try to do your own nails at home – only experienced technicians can do the process correctly. This also applies to removing acrylic, gel, or dip powder nails if you change your mind or want to try something different. Always let a professional handle it for best results and for the health of your nails!
If you’d like to try one of these nail enhancement options for a pedicure, ask your nail technician to recommend the best option for you. Nail enhancements can be used to strengthen toenails, and the color lasts longer than standard nail polish.
Can I harm my natural nails by wearing artificial nails? Artificial nails, a nail enhancement that can be made from a variety of materials, aren't likely to harm healthy natural nails. However, artificial nails can sometimes cause problems, such as an infection. Popular types of artificial nails include acrylic and gel nails. Both are made with types of acrylic, but gel nails require "curing" with ultraviolet light. If an artificial nail is damaged or as your natural nails grow, a gap can develop between the artificial nail and your natural nail. This gap provides a moist, warm environment in which a nail infection can flourish. A nail infection might also occur if artificial nails are too long or rigid, or the nails are applied with unsanitary tools. It's also possible to have an allergic reaction to components of artificial nails or their adhesives. Signs of a nail infection include redness, swelling and pus. If you choose to have artificial nails applied in a salon, take steps to minimize the risks: Stick to salons that display a current state license, and work only with technicians also licensed by the state board. Make sure your nail technician properly sterilizes all tools used during your treatment and washes his or her hands between customers. Request a new nail file — or consider bringing your own — since nail files can't be sterilized. Return to the salon every two to three weeks for maintenance. If you apply artificial nails at home, follow the safety precautions on the package. Work in a well-ventilated area, and protect the skin around your nails from the chemicals used during the application process. Consider removing your artificial nails and letting your natural nails breathe every two to three months. If you suspect a nail infection, consult a dermatologist for an evaluation.
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