Is Shellac Or Gel Better?

Is Shellac Or Gel Better?

Odds are that you’ve heard of shellac nails and gel nails — but do you really know the difference? More importantly, do you know which one is better? This topic can get a little bit confusing and technical, but we are here to break it all down for you!

What Is Gel Nail Polish?

Gel nail polish is a gel made out of acrylic monomers and oligomers that need to be cured under a UV light. Gel nail polish is easily shaped around your nail shape — similar to the process for acrylic nails but acrylics use a liquid and a powder rather than gel. Gel nail polish is pretty thick and can be really shiny depending on the exact product that you’re using. Since it’s so thick and it’s actually cured with UV light, it can last for up to three weeks! At that point, you will probably need to head to the salon for removal. This is because you will need to file down the gel to break the bond between your nail and the cured gel material before soaking in acetone before you’re finally able to push the softened gel off your nail.

What Is Shellac Nail Polish?

Shellac nail polish is essentially a combination of gel nail polish and regular nail polish. This makes it a middle-ground between the two that’s a bit stronger than traditional nail polish and therefore lasts longer. Since shellac nail polish is thinner than gel nail polish, you will usually need to apply two coats of color with one clear top coat — while making sure to cure the polish under a UV light after each coat. Shellac nail polish can last for up to two weeks, at which point you’ll also want to head to the salon for removal. That being said, the removal process for shellac polish is easier than gel nail polish and it doesn’t require any filing — just a nice acetone soak will do the trick! This is easier to do at home and is also easier on your nails.

Which Is Better?

It’s really hard to say which one is better since each one has its own pros and cons. Gel nail polish is tougher, thicker, and lasts longer — but is also harder to remove and can be really rough on your nails. Meanwhile, shellac polish is thinner and lighter, and it doesn’t last as long as shellac does — but it also doesn’t damage your nails as much during a relatively easy removal process. So which one is better for you will really depend on how often you want to get your nails done, how much you care about damaging your nails, and if you would prefer to remove the polish yourself rather than pay to go back to the salon. When it comes to pricing, it really depends on the salon. You can find a really cheap gel manicure for about $25, but prices can also go up to $60. On the other hand, shellac nails start at the same price but don’t really go above $40.

Are There Any Other Alternatives?

If you still aren’t sold on either gel or shellac — there are other options out there! You’re probably aware of acrylic nails that are extremely long-lasting but can also do substantial damage to your nails. However, you might not know about press-on nails that look just like gel nails or even acrylics but don’t require any costly salon trips and also don’t damage your natural nails. The best press-on nails can last up to two weeks — making them a cost- and time-effective alternative to gel nails, shellac, and acrylics.

As you can see, no one nail type is unequivocally “better” than the other. It all depends on your own personal standards, budget, and concerns. Nonetheless, with all these options you’re guaranteed to achieve your dream French nails, glitter nails, or matte nails.

Ellen Hollington

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