Friday, November 5, 2010

Gel Nails vs Acrylic Nails – which are better?

Few of us are born with long, strong or elegant nails. Thanks to the artificial variety, it's possible for everyone to feel pampered with beautifully long nails. There are several different types of artificial nails out there, but the two most popular choices are acrylic and gel. The question is, which is best?

What are Acrylic Nails?
Acrylic nails are created by mixing a liquid and a powder substance together, otherwise known as a monomer and a polymer. This creates a sort of paste which is then applied directly onto the natural nail as an artificial nail. Acrylic nails can either be applied by a professional in a salon or by yourself at home (if you’re brave enough!).

What are Gel Nails?
Gel nails are also made of a polymer and a monomer, though it is formed in such a way that it creates a gel. The gel is then applied to your nail and is cured to your liking.

There are two types of gel nails available. The light-cured type is exposed to a UV ray after it has been applied. This causes the nail to curve and bind to your natural nail. The other type is a non-UV ray gel. The gel is “activated” by a spray or liquid that is brushed onto your nail. A non-UV ray gel will set faster than a Light-Cured gel.

So which is better?
Acrylic nails are more traditional than gel nails. Because of this, they're often the most popular choice and easiest to find. Many nail professionals start off applying acrylic nails, and learn how to apply gel nails later, so it's easier to find technicians who can apply acrylic nails (and apply them well).

Acrylic nails can sometimes look thick and obviously fake, however, which is why gel nails are often a preferred choice amongst women. Gel nails can look just as natural as real nails, and they are often a lot more soft and more flexible. Another benefit: gel nails don’t stink! Acrylic nails often reek of chemicals, at least upon application, as acrylics contain more chemicals than gel nails. This also means that gel nails are a lot more gentle on your natural nails and nail beds than acrylics.

Gel nails require a lot less filling after being applied and take less time to apply, but overall gel nails do not last as long as acrylic nails. Nail polish comes off gel nails a lot easier than with acrylic nails, and gel nails are harder to fix if they do break. If you are planning on doing your own nails, acrylic nails are certainly the way to go as gel nails take a lot of expertise and may be rather expensive to do on your own.

So whether you're looking for longer lasting nails or those that look more natural, most importantly, seek out a salon that knows how to apply either method properly, and keep up with regular maintenance to keep your nails looking their very best.

Original article by Courtney L. Copyright © Health and Beauty Tips

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