Gel Vs Acrylic Manicure – Know What You’re Getting

What’s the Difference Between A Gel and Acrylic Manicure?

Once you’ve decided to venture out beyond the standard manicure your options open up. A lot. Learning which applications are your favorite can be a little confusing at first and the variations are subtle. But they make a difference. Do you prefer a stronger more natural look? Or would you rather have something that’s easy to apply, care for, and remove? This entry will help you decide which method is right for you.

Acrylic Manicure

At this point acrylic manicures are a staple of the industry and aren’t going anywhere. But they do have some stiff competition with other application processes. What’s made them stick around so long, no doubt, is how strong they are. Acrylics can last a month if you care for them properly, and even longer if you get fills. They are applied using liquid and powder that harden when exposed to air to create a protective layer over the nail. This layer, however, could be dangerous to your nail bed if it needs to be filed off.

Acrylics generally last longer than gel nails mostly because they are much easier to maintain. If you get a chip or crack, gluing it back on will usually work just fine until your replacement/fill at your next manicure. Gels on the other hand tend to shatter when damaged, even though they are the tougher option. Overall, acrylic manicures are a more beginner friendly option offering easy maintenance, quick filling/replacement, and simple professional removal.

Gel Manicure

Gel nails have been around since the seventies but only really started gaining traction recently. This is mainly due to the acrylic manicure’s overwhelming popularity. Unfortunately, gel nails just aren’t as accessible. Most of them require UV light to dry, they are more expensive in the long run, and can’t be repaired very easily. However, there are several key benefits that keep regular spa goers coming back for more!

  • Gel nails provide a much more natural look when compared to acrylics with nearly the same durability.
  • They are strong, yet still lightweight. It’s like they aren’t even there!
  • Most options last 1-2 weeks but some can last upwards of a month. That’s really pushing it though.
  • They lack the smells associated with Acrylics. Gel’s are considered a safe and eco friendly alternative.

Many beauty connoisseurs have started switching to gel nails for their more natural look and lightweight feel, but they still have a few more steps to make before they can appeal to beginners.

Which Nails Are Right For You?

When deciding what kind of manicure you are looking for the options can be confusing to start. Beginners will definitely lean toward acrylics but if you know your way around a nail spa gels have a lot to bring to the table. After a little trial and error your priorities will be clear.


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