What is the Difference Between Gel, Shellac and Acrylic Nails?

Nail enhancements – we all love them, and today, we have so many options available to choose from. In this comprehensive guide, our experts at Hair and Beauty Kingdom delve into the distinct characteristics of gel, shellac, and acrylic nails.

We’re going to help you understand the key differences beyond simply keeping up with beauty trends; you’ll have enough information to make the right choices for your nail health and sense of style. We will explore each type's unique benefits, how to choose the right option for your nails, the essential accessories for maintaining your manicure, and much more!

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails – a long-standing favourite in the beauty world – offer a canvas for artistic expression and a durable solution for those seeking longer, stronger nails. Professionals craft these nails by mixing a liquid monomer with an acrylic powder polymer to create a hard, protective layer over your natural nails. The mixture hardens when exposed to air, often placed under a nail dryer or LED nail lamp, providing a sturdy base for any nail polish colours.

Acrylic nails are known for their longevity and versatility. They can be shaped into various forms, from elegant almonds to daring stiletto, making them a top choice for nail enthusiasts.

Regular fill-ins will be necessary to maintain acrylic nails as your natural nails grow, and removal requires soaking the nails in pure acetone, ensuring a safe and efficient process.

When considering acrylic nails, we recommend consulting with a professional nail technician, as proper application and removal are critical to preventing damage to your natural nails.

What are Gel Nails?

Gel nails continue to gain immense popularity for their glossy finish and chip-resistant quality. Unlike traditional nail polish colours, gel nails involve applying layers of a gel-based formula, each cured under an LED nail lamp or a UV light. The curing process creates a long-lasting, durable finish to maintain its shine and integrity for weeks.

An advantage of gel nails is the minimal drying time, thanks to the nail dryer, making them a convenient option for those with a busy lifestyle. They are also less harsh on your natural nails than acrylic powder, making them a popular choice for those seeking a balance between durability and nail health.

Gel nail kits often include a builder gel, which adds strength and length to the natural nail, a range of nail polish colours to suit any mood or occasion, nail files to ensure the right shape, and pure acetone for easy removal.

What is Shellac Nail Polish?

Shellac nail polish – a hybrid between traditional nail polish and gel – offers the best of both worlds. You can apply the innovative formula similarly to regular nail polish, providing a long-lasting, chip-resistant finish akin to gel nail kits. After application, shellac nail polish will also need curing under an LED nail lamp to achieve that high-gloss finish, capable of lasting up to two weeks without chipping or fading. A shellac nail kit is an ideal choice for those who want a durable manicure but prefer a more natural look.

Shellac nail kits are widely available and come in an array of shellac nail colours, catering to every style and preference. The removal process of shellac nail polish is also straightforward and less damaging than that of acrylics, involving a brief soaking of your nails in pure acetone and gently removing the polish, preserving the integrity of the natural nail. Shellac nail polish strikes a perfect balance between durability and nail health, making it a favourite in the beauty community.

Shellac, Acrylic or Gel Nail Kits: How to Know Which Option is Right For Your Nails

Choosing between acrylic, gel, and shellac nails can be a delightful dilemma for beauty enthusiasts. The right choice largely depends on your lifestyle, nail health, and personal style preferences.

For those who engage in heavy handwork or prefer a longer nail length, acrylic nails might be the go-to option. Their durability and strength make them ideal for enduring daily wear and tear.

Gel nails are your best bet if you're seeking a natural look with a durable finish. They offer a balance between strength and flexibility, making them less prone to breaking, while also providing a glossier finish. They are less damaging to the natural nail compared to acrylics, too.

For those of us who desire a long-lasting manicure without the commitment of acrylic or gel nail kits, shellac nail polish is the answer. Shellac offers a chip-resistant finish while maintaining a more natural nail appearance – perfect for those who frequently change their nail polish colours or are new to the world of nail enhancements.

When deciding, consider the maintenance and care each type requires. Regular salon visits are essential for fill-ins and repairs, ensuring your nails always look their best.

Accessories to Help with Your Gel, Shellac and Acrylic Nails

Achieving the perfect manicure with gel, shellac, or acrylic nails requires more than just skill; the right accessories are non-negotiables.

For example, a high-quality LED nail lamp is a must-have for curing builder gel, and shellac polishes both quickly and neatly. Investing in a good nail dryer will also save time and ensure a smudge-free finish.

When working with acrylic nails, having a premium acrylic powder and a variety of nail files will help you better shape and build your desired nail style.

For at-home manicure enthusiasts, gel nail kits and shellac nail kits will be invaluable. These kits typically include everything needed for a professional-looking manicure, such as builder gel, a range of nail polish colours, and sometimes even a mini-LED nail lamp.

Don't forget about nail care: tools like cuticle pushers and oil are important for maintaining nail health. Lastly, having pure acetone on hand is a must for safely removing gel, shellac, or acrylic nails.

With these accessories, creating and maintaining beautiful nails becomes an achievable art form.

From a Shellac Nail Kit, to Pure Acetone, to Nail Polish Colours, Find All You Need at Hair and Beauty Kingdom

From shellac and gel nail kits to key supplies like builder gel, pure acetone, nail polish colours, acrylic powder, and so much more, explore our extensive beauty range available online with Hair and Beauty Kingdom today. Contact our friendly team for more information.