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Which nail system is for you?

Which nail system is for you?

Nails are an important part of any fashion look. You can enhance your nails in many ways, from using nail polish to artificial nails. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which type of nail enhancement system is for you. In this article, we will compare gel polish and acrylics, builder gels and acrylic nails, as well as nail polish and gel polish. We will also touch on the benefits of using artificial nails, how to apply them, and how to maintain them. As ever when it comes to anything to do with nail products, your local nail technician should always be your best port of call. Many of them will have trained for years and nails are what they do every single day. But let's now explore which Glitterbels nail product system could be best for you, so let's dive right in.

Let's first explore the history of artificial nails. Artificial nails are a form of ‘nail enhancement’, which describes any technique that adds length, strength and/or beauty to nails that have been naturally grown. Throughout the years, artificial nails have evolved from basic French manicures to intricate nail art designs – showcased on fingers and toes in salons worldwide. 'Shellac' will be the brand name that many people will associate with artificial nails, and this is because it was the first salon-quality product available for home use.

Now let’s look at the types of nail enhancement products that Glitterbels provide. Gel polish is a type of nail lacquer that uses a special formula to bond with your nails and hold their shape. It is applied in thin layers and cured with a UV or LED light, usually in two coats. It is then removed in the same way as regular nail polish – by soaking your nails in acetone for 10 to 20 minutes. Acrylics are slightly different; they use a liquid-and-powder mixture that hardens when exposed to air. These artificial nails can be moulded into any shape and provide an extra layer of strength and protection to your natural nails. Builder gel is a thicker version of acrylic that is applied in layers, cured, and sculpted until it forms the desired shape. It can be used for creating longer artificial nails or just to add length to your existing nails.

Now let’s look in depth at the pros and cons of each product and how you, or your nail technician, can use them for optimum effect. First up, let's look at Gel Polish Vs. Acrylic: Gel polish is great for a more natural look, as it gives you the same glossy finish and colour as regular nail polish. It also tends to wear better than regular nail polish, but won't last as long as acrylics. Acrylics are great if you want a longer-lasting finish and more protection against chipping or breakage. They also come in a wide range of colours. A word of warning, though they can be harder to remove than gel polish.

Here's the equipment you need for both a gel and acrylic manicure: 

Gel Vs. Acrylic Application items
Gel Manicure Acrylic Manicure
Gel nail polish Top coat
Gel base coat Cotton pads or balls
Gel top coat Nail file
Cotton pads or balls Nail buffer
Cuticle pusher (orange stick) Cuticle pusher
Nail file Primer
Nail buffer Acrylic brush
Lint-free wipes or a clean, dry cloth Acrylic powder
UV or LED lamp Liquid monomer


...and the equipment you will need to remove them:

Gel Vs. Acrylic Removal items
Gel Manicure Acrylic Manicure
100% Acetone 100% Acetone
Cotton pads or balls Cotton pads or balls
Aluminum foil Aluminum foil
Cuticle pusher Cuticle pusher
Nail file Nail file
Nail buffer Nail buffer
Lint-free wipes or a clean, dry cloth Lint-free wipes or a clean, dry cloth
Cuticle oil Nail clippers
Cuticle oil


Next is Builder Gel Vs. Acrylic: Builder gels are great if you want length and strength without losing the natural look of your nails. They won’t chip or break as acrylics can, but they will have to be regularly filled in to keep your nails looking neat. Acrylics are great for adding length and strength to your nails, but they will require regular filing and buffing to maintain their shape.

Finally, let’s look at Nail Polish Vs. Gel Polish: Nail polish is a classic that never goes out of style – it’s easy to apply, comes in a wide range of shades and is easily removable. It can chip or fade over time, however, so it needs to be reapplied often. Gel polish offers you the same classic gloss with added strength and durability – it will last longer than regular nail polish but also requires more effort when it comes to removal.

So which is best for you? Well, that really depends on what you want to achieve with your manicure. As a rule of thumb, for nail art, gel polish is the best option as it provides a glossy finish and lasts longer than regular nail polish. If you’re looking for extra protection or length then acrylics would be the way to go, but remember that they require more maintenance.

No matter which product you choose, always speak to your nail technician for advice and guidance. They are the experts, after all! With the help of your nail technician and Glitterbels products, you will be sure to get the perfect manicure. And, if you're keen on learning how to become a professional nail tech, head on over to our training section here.