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What are the differences between gel and acrylic nails?

Are you considering to get artificial nails extensions but you can’t decide whether to go for acrylic or gel nails? Well, before you rush into any decision, you should understand the difference between the two so you can choose the right product for your nails.

In this article, we will spread out the differences between gel nails and acrylic nails.

Gel vs acrylic nails

1. Pricing

Gel nails application is highly-priced compared to acrylic nails application. Therefore, if you are new to artificial nail extensions, acrylics nail may be quite an affordable option for you as it costs up to 2 to 3 times as much.

2. Formula

Gel has a light and fluid texture that does not dry out so quickly which allows the manicurist to play along freely with the shape and the design. On the contrary, acrylic is a thick mix between a liquid and a power. This mix dries out quickly which urges the manicurist to be prompt.

3. Application

Applying both gel and acrylic nails require preparing your nails first by cleaning, filing, and buffing them. The next step is to add artificial nail tips to your nails. In case you choose the acrylic nail application, the manicurist will glue nail tips using the liquid and powder we’ve talked about before.

The gap between your nails and the added tips will be filled with the same mix. Your nails are then going to be left to dry naturally, which will take some time.

However, if you choose the gel nail application, your nails will be coated with a base coat onto which the artificial nail tips will be glued. Afterward, three coats of gel are applied and cured with UV light, which implicates that gel nails will dry out a lot faster than acrylic nails.

4. Outward aspect

Gel nails are soft and well polished. They are also flexible while looking almost natural. Moreover, they have a subtle and gentle odor.

Acrylic nails, on the other hand, are hard and inflexible which makes them prone to breaking. They also have a strong smell that can be overwhelming to some people.

5. Durability

Acrylic nails tend to last a lot longer than gel nails if you know how to look after them. It’s because they have a thicker texture that holds on to the natural nails better.

6. Removal

Gel nails are much easier to remove since their texture is lighter than that of acrylic nails. However, it is best to seek the help of a professional for the best results.

7. Side effects

Both acrylic and gel nail applications can cause damage to your natural nails. Particularly, if you misuse or overuse either one of these two applications, bacteria and fungus are likely to develop.


Getting new nails can be a good boost for your self-esteem, and now you know the pros and cons of each artificial nail products and applications.

The truth is, whether you choose to go for an acrylic nail application or a gel nail application, the most important thing is that you choose a certified manicurist who will do the application in the correct way.

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