What are artificial nails?
Artificial nails are made out of an acrylic mass and built on natural nails; you can use them to extend the length, thickness, shape and form of nails.
What are acrylic nails?
Acrylic nails are artificial nails made out of acrylic mass. The acrylic mass cures in air, which means that it does not need to be cured separately under a special lamp. During the construction phase, acrylic nails can be identified by the extremely sharp smell of the acrylic liquid. The finished acrylic nails do not have any scent.
What are gel nails?
Gel nails are artificial nails made out of gel mass. Gel masses are light-cured, and they need a separate UV or LED curing lamp that is sometimes also called an oven. Unlike acrylic nails, gel nails are completely scent-free even during the construction phase.
Gel nails are often confused with gel polish, which does not create artificial nails.
What is gel polish?
Gel polish is a mixture of gel mass and nail polish. However, as the name indicates, gel polish is simply a polish that is applied to the nail with a brush from a bottle like traditional nail polish, and it cannot be used to build length, thickness or shape on the nail like with artificial nails. Gel polish refers to a thin permanent polish cured with LED lights that lasts much better and longer than traditional nail polish; it is smear-free immediately after application. Gel polish can be applied on fingers or toes.
What is the difference between gel and acrylic nails? Or is there any difference?
- The chemical composition of artificial nails always consists of acrylates or methacrylates, which are types of plastic.
- Chemically, the substances in acrylic and gel nails are similar; the differences in their names are mainly due to the construction process.
- Acrylic nails are created by mixing two separate components together (powder and liquid), and the mixture cures in the air.
- Gel nails are made out of an already mixed gel-like mass that is cured with ultraviolet light.
Can gel and acrylic masses be mixed together?
Even though the different types of artificial nails contain substances with a similar chemical composition, the following is still possible:
- If alternating layers of gel mass and acrylic mass are applied to the same nail, the different substances may reject each other, and the new mass does not stick to the old mass as well as when same types of mass are used.
- If alternating layers of gel and acrylic mass are applied to the same nail, the gel polishes (coloured and colourless) applied to the surface of the nail may not adhere as well on the seams of the different substances, and the polish may not last nearly as well as when using same types of mass.
- If alternating layers of gel and acrylic mass are applied to the same nail, the gel polish (coloured or colourless) may come loose from the surface of the nail faster than usual or more unevenly e.g. in pieces, by chipping off, flaking, etc.
How to keep your artificial nails in tip-top shape
- Do not tear or pick at your nails, cuticles or the nail mass
- Never use your nails as tools
- Be careful with buttons and switches: use a finger joint or other tool, such as a pen
- Be careful at the gym when handling weights, carrying boxes or other things, opening the car door, and using a seat belt or zips
- Wear protective gloves when your nails or hands are exposed to dirt or chemicals (e.g. doing housework)
- Remember good hand hygiene: brush under your nails, use high-quality hand washing detergent, and disinfect the hands and nails as needed
- Avoid using nail polish and filing your nails unnecessarily
Important things to note about taking care of artificial nails
Visit a professional nail technician every 3–5 weeks to maintain your artificial nails. Even if your nails are still in good shape, they still need maintenance due to nail growth and to prevent problems. With regular maintenance, your artificial nails will always remain strong and elegant.
We only do gel nails for customers over 16 years old.