Which Manicure is Best for You

Shellac, Polish, Acrylics, Gels

Which Manicure is Best for You?

While some like to stick with just a normal polish, some people take their manicure to the next level by adding Shellac, Gel, or Acrylic. There are pros and cons to every option, so you have to pick what is best for your lifestyle and personal style. Here are some differences between the different options for nail styles.


Regular polish is a great at-home treatment for nails that has a wide variety of color options. Using polish is the least expensive nail-maintenance, as you can touch it up yourself and you do not need to go to a salon or request an appointment. This is also the least time-consuming option to apply, because you can do it on your own schedule whenever you get some free time. Home removal of polish is also easy, with just a cotton ball and some nail polish remover.

If you are wondering how long does it last, the answer is quite varying. Depending on the quality of the polish, it may last over a week or it may only last a day or so.


Shellac creates a long-lasting manicure. It is cured with UV or LED light to make it last up to two weeks. While the polish itself may last longer than two weeks, as the nails grow, the shellac needs to be touched up at the nail beds.

Shellac may be damaging to the natural nail, as it is porous, meaning it contains chemicals that may lead to peeling or chipping. Also, the UV light that is used to cure the shellac may lead to age spots. Removing the polish incorrectly can dehydrate the nails as well as the skin around them, leaving cracks or scrapes on your natural nail.

Shellac and gel are very similar, however they are not quite the same. Shellac is a brand name for a nail product that is a hybrid of half nail polish and half gel.
Shellac can be applied like nail polish on natural nails, without sculpting or filing. Because it is cured through UV lighting, experts suggest wearing an SPF on your fingers before having this applied.

Shellac can not be removed at home and must be removed professionally in order to reduce the risk of harming the natural nails.


Gels are brushed onto the nail, similar to shellac. Gels use three steps, including a base coat, the color, and the top coat. Each coat must be cured in a UV light for up to three minutes before the next coat is applied.

People often worry about getting gel nails, due to the fear that their nails won’t breathe. However, nails are dead to begin with, so breathing is not necessary! The important part of nail health is the nail bed and the cuticle. These are made of living tissue and need to be treated well. For this reason, gels should be removed professionally at a salon, to make sure it is done carefully.

Gel manicures last about two weeks before they begin to chip or grow out. It is important to remember that their duration largely depends on how they were applied, so it is beneficial to get these done right.


Acrylic nails have been around in the beauty industry for a long time, proving themselves to be durable and popular. Acrylics use both a liquid monomer and a powder polymer, creating a hard and protective layer on top of the natural nail. Acrylic nails harden when they are exposed to air, which then provides a blank canvas for applying nail polish.

The removal process of acrylic nails is simple when done by a professional. They can be soaked off and then gently removed, which will save the health of your natural nail.

Acrylic nail are also very strong. They can last a very long time, especially when maintained every few weeks to fill in where the nail has grown.