Gel Nails: What are Gel Nails?
Gel nails are a form of artificial nail application. Gel can be applied directly to the nail bed or used with a nail tip to extend the length of the nail. Once the gel is applied to the nail, it is then cured under a special UV light to harden the gel. When using tips to extend nail length, the tip is glued to the nail, then the gel is applied over the nail and cured. Without a tip, the gel is applied directly to the nail and cured. This method is great for strengthening your natural nail, while allowing your nails to grow.
Gel Nails vs Acrylic Nails: Which are better?
Both gel and acrylic nails have their advantages. Both gel and acrylic can be used with or without a nail tip for added length. Both need to be filled every 2 weeks or so. Opinions on which is stronger differ from person to person. One advantage of gel applications is that they are odorless whereas the acrylic smell can be overwhelming for some. Gel nails also look very, very natural, with or without an added tip. And can be worn without nail polish. Acrylic nails look best when polished. As with all artificial nails, gel especially should be applied by a mastered professional. If gel is not cured correctly and if the gel is not applied thin enough between coats, problems can arise. Always ask the nail salon if they are properly trained in gel applications.
Manicurists use a Mylar form to sculpt your nail, and then cure, or set, it under an UV light. Because of this process, gel nails may need to be filled in less often than acrylic nails, though fill-ins are still necessary, and a professional must remove the tips. Gel Acrylics are the quickest to apply and in my opinion, look the best. With Gel acrylic nails, you can choose to go without polish without the fear of your nails looking fake.