Acrylic Nails & More: Exploring 3 Popular Types of Manicures

A high-quality spa manicure can undeniably improve the look of your nails, making them look clean, beautiful, and well-maintained. However, with so many recent developments in the world of nail design, it can be difficult to know which manicure style is right for your needs. From acrylic to gel to shellac nail polish, here are the key differences between our most popular spa manicure options and how to know which is right for you.

Acrylic Manicure

Acrylic nails are one of the most popular manicure styles available. They’re great for adding length and strength to your nails, creating a larger and more even canvas for intricate nail designs. 

Acrylic nails are created by first combining a powder polymer with a liquid monomer to create a paste. This paste is then bonded to the natural nail and formed into the desired shape using a brush. Once in the desired shape, acrylic nails harden into place, creating a durable canvas for nail polish that will last for up to six weeks. An acrylic manicure is unbeatable for longevity, making it one of the most popular options at nail bars.

Gel Manicure

Gel nails have rapidly increased in popularity in the past few years and have now become one of the most popular mani-pedi requests. Gel manicures offer greater durability and longevity than traditional manicures but without the potential nail bed damage and more dramatic look of an acrylic manicure.

During a gel manicure, you’ll receive the traditional spa manicure experience, but instead of traditional nail polish, your nails will be painted with a specialized gel polish. You’ll receive a base coat that primes your nails, and then the gel polish will be applied. Gel nail polish then needs to be cured under a UV light in order to harden and become durable. You’ll place your hand under the UV lamp for approximately 30 seconds after each coat of polish is painted on. Your technician will then apply a clear top coat, and you’ll finish curing your nails for one minute under the UV light before the process is complete.

Gel manicures, although more time-consuming than other forms of spa manicures, offer greater durability without any chemical odor, chips, smudges, or damage to the nail bed. Gel manicures generally last up to two weeks before chipping, making them a popular choice for those who need — or want — their nails to look pristine for longer.

Shellac Nail Polish Manicure

Shellac nail polish is a hybrid of gel and regular nail polish. Patented by the company CND (Creative Nail Design), shellac polish adds strength and durability to your manicure while retaining a more natural look.

Shellac polish is painted on your natural nails similarly to gel polish. After your base coat, your technician will apply one thin layer of shellac polish followed by one layer of regular nail polish. The polish will then be cured using a UV or LED light.

As the name suggests, shellac polish offers a high-shine finish that makes your nails look glossy and vibrant. Paired with its enhanced durability, this makes shellac polish ideal for special occasions. However, unlike gel polish, shellac polish can be easily removed with acetone at home just like traditional polish, despite its durable benefits.

How To Choose the Right Manicure Style for You

Deciding which spa manicure style is right for you depends on several factors, including longevity, durability, appearance, and cost. Acrylics generally require the most time and effort, and they can therefore be more expensive. However, they also last for the longest period of time (4-6 weeks) and are the best canvas for intricate nail designs.

Gel manicures and shellac manicures are comparable in durability, with both lasting approximately 2-4 weeks. However, due to the additional time required for prep work and curing, gel manicures are often the more expensive of the two spa manicure styles. However, a gel manicure can protect your nail bed better than shellac, making it a preferred option for many.

Whether you’re looking to try something new or stick to your tried and true manicure style, Newport Nails has several customizable manicure options that will suit anyone’s needs. We’ll help you sit back, relax, and achieve an Instagram-ready mani, so contact us online or visit us at Bayside or one of our other convenient locations today and let us know how we can service your manicure needs.