Gel And Acrylic: Are They Worth The Nail Splurge Or Nah? - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka
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Gel And Acrylic: Are They Worth The Nail Splurge Or Nah?

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The other day my colleague came to me with a bunch of questions about acrylic and gel nails. And, her extensive list of Qs had me sweating buckets because I realized I didn’t actually have the low down on these glamorous nail extensions. It made me realize there was so much more to the whole thing. So, I hit up C-Town’s go-to nail spot, Nail Anatomy, to figure out all the deets about gel and acrylic nails.

Q/ What’s the difference between gel and acrylic nails?

A/ Acrylic is a combination of liquid and powder, applied with a brush that will harden (cure) in 2 minutes or less without the use of UV or LED lamps. Gel, on the other hand, comes in a little bottle, ready to be applied on your natural nail, and you’ll be done in under 20 minutes. This serves as a replacement for nail polish during a regular manicure and will harden (cure) under a lamp.

Q/ Are there any benefits from acrylic and gel nails, rather than getting a regular mani?

A/ Acrylic and gel nails are more long-lasting compared to your typical nail polish which tends to chip within a few days. So, if you’re looking for durability, an aesthetically pleasing look, and the appearance of strong nails, acrylic or gel nails are the way to go!

Q/ Will either of these procedures cause any harm to the nails?

A/ As with any other products or services, if properly applied, maintained and removed by trained technicians, there should be no damage.

But, misinformation about the removal process does cause considerable damage. For instance, picking at the product on your nails is a complete no-no! The product is fused to your natural nail fibres, so the moment you start tugging at it, the protective layer of your natural nails begins to peel, thus weakening your pointers.

Further, it’s important you allow your nails a chance to “rest.” Constant application of any artificial products on your nails (and improper removal) is not ideal. [So ladies, remember to give your nails a chance to breathe in between!]

Q/ How long does a set of either acrylic or gel nails last?

A/ It usually depends on the condition of your natural nails, lifestyle, and what you choose to do with your nails. However, with healthy nails that are properly maintained, gel manis can last chip-free up to 14 days, while acrylic extensions last longer. It’s important to note that your nails grow, so expect a gap at the top of your nail bed. This also makes a great indication when it’s time to visit the salon to remove or refill!

Q/ Is there anything to look out for before getting acrylic or gel nails?

A/ Look for a reputable nail salon with trained technicians. They’ll be able to assess if your nails will be up for either procedure before the actual application, as not all pointers can handle the stress of the whole treatment.

Q/ What’s the removal process like?

A/ Both acrylic and gel polish first requires the top layer to be filed off. After this, they’re soaked and removed with acetone. Compared to gel nail polish, acrylic usually takes a lot longer.

Armed with the deets, I decided to pick the brains of a few Lankan ladies for some hands-on info!

“I love getting acrylic extensions! They did make life a teensy bit hard the first time around but you get used to it super-fast. I’m a bit like Khloé Kardashian, long fingernails make me feel absolutely fabulous and I’d have it no other way!”— Kaveesha, 23

“As a Lankan gal, I just couldn’t deal with the ‘no eating with your fingers’ aspect of acrylics. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but the food staining my nail polish ruined my mani. Plus, the whole cleaning process was a bit too much for a low maintenance girl like me.” —Raya, 21

“Nail polish on the daily isn’t my cup of tea as chipped nails are a huge pet peeve. Because I don’t have the time and energy to invest in actually maintaining my polish, I always opt for a gel polish. It lasts longer, doesn’t chip as fast and is overall fuss-free. I would choose a gel mani over a regular polish, any day!” —Shavera, 25

What do you think about gel and acrylic nails? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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