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Comparing Gel Nails and Acrylic Nails

Women who are particular about beauty will normally want good looking nails as well. Beautifying the nails can be done in different ways. One can apply nail polish or paint to enhance their look. However, salons offer another way, which is applying acrylic nails and gel nails. People who will see them on you will not be able to see the difference. They both look really natural and beautiful.


These artificial nails can easily be found in various beauty stores and shops. You may be thinking that they are expensive. The truth however is they are not. These stuffs are highly affordable. You can make use of them whenever you go to parties or attend special events.


When you go to nail salons, you might be asked to choose between acrylic and gel nails. Both of them will give your hands a superb look. In some ways, they have differences. Which among them is the best for you will depend on your preference. If you want a more natural look, gel nails are more suitable for you. They will also cause less damage to your natural fingernails. Furthermore, they will also bring forth a shiny and clear finish. They will also not cause any odor to emit, unlike when you’re wearing acrylic nails. However, gel nails are a bit more expensive than their acrylic counterpart. In addition to this, they require more maintenance.

Acrylic Nails:

  • Acrylic nails consists of 2 parts: liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer) 
  • Ultra violet lamp not needed to cure
  • Acrylic nails are stronger
  • They are easier to remove by soaking
  • Acrylic nails cost less than gel nails
  • You can fill your nails every 2-3 weeks on how your nails grow

Gel Nails:

  • Gel liquid has a thick viscosity
  • Ultra violet lamp is commonly needed to cure
  • Gel nails are ticker
  • Gel nails are usually filled off to remove them
  • Gel nails cost more than acrylic nails
  • Gel nails needs less filling and also depends on how fast your nails grow.


Applying artificial nails can be done at home; however, if you do not know yet how to place the artificial nails on your fingers, it will be best to go to a salon and let a gel nail or acrylic nail technician do it for you. You can also let these professionals remove them to avoid damage. Once you are sure you know how to do it yourself without damaging your natural nails; that will be the time that you can do the task at home.

9 Comments on Comparing Gel Nails and Acrylic Nails

  1. I have worn the gel nails for about three months. Although they are beautiful and natural looking, I’m going to stop because it is so very PAINFUL to remove them and the “primer” that is used as a base literally stings like fire on my nail bed. I don’t know if it due to my sensitivity or if perhaps the technician is not doing something right but the pain is not worth it. Also, the pain lasts for a full 24 hours. Is there anyone out there who can shed some light on my experience or is there some other alternative?

  2. Vija, I also experience the burning with gel nails so I have gone back to acrylic nails. They don’t last nearly as long or look as natural, but I couldn’t take the pain of the gel nails.

  3. Vija, it sounds like possibly your nail tech may have thinned down your own natural nail plate a little too much. The primer shouldn’t hurt or sting at all.

    With regards to removal, again it should never hurt to remove any products, this sounds like an incompetent nail tech who’s filing beyond the gel and buffing into your own natural nail plate or because your own natural nails have been overbuffed (filed) and thinned out too much which is causing your nails to be sensitive in the first place.

  4. I have lived and worked in Germany for the past two years. I went over with acrylic nails and needed to get them redone. I work on a US Military base there and so I went to the on-base nail salon, which was own and operated by local German lady. I explained that I am wearing acrylic because on my real nails are weak and brittle. The nail technican suggested that I try the gel nails. After one visit I was sold. Not once did I experience pain, except sometimes when first going under the UV light the gel would get hot during the curing process. Ohter than that never any other pain or problems. I could go for 4 to 5 weeks between visits. Like Lisa advises I suppect that the nail technican is not usingthe correct technique. The German girl would always have to remove the old gel with a rotory grinder much liek a Dremmel Tool, using bit for the purpose grind down the old gel. It does take time to get them correct, averaginh about 90 minutes per session. There were so many colors to choose from plus my nail tech would mix the gel colors and create custom colors not otherwise available. I have been back home in the States Washington DC area and I am having a hard time to find a salon that knows how to apply the gel the same as the girls in Germany. Since I know the correct procedure I am very choosy on how it’s done.

  5. I just got my nails done with gell, it was the 1st time and I experienced no pain. It only stung for a second while placing my hand under the uv dryer, but it did not hurt. Right now, they are light and I can’t even fell them. 🙂 beautiful nails!

  6. Can anyone please tell me if gel nails are considered artifical nails> I work in health care and I say they are artifical, others say they are not.. In Massachusetts it’s against the law to have artifical nails..This is an ongoing discussion ..

    Thank-you for any help you can give me..

  7. I recently started wearing gel nails I love them it only burn just a little when under the uv light but they last longer look better n feel lighter I.also watch the technique so I no it is done correctly.each time u can also google be.sure that they are completing the process the right.way

  8. I have been wearing acrylic nails for many years, but I am considering getting them taken off as I am so sick of seeing the dirt that accumulates between my real nail and the acrylic on top of them (when I look on the underside of my nails). Question – does this also happen with gel nails?

  9. Got the gel nails for the 1st time a couple of days ago. Beautiful!! No pain during the process, and no pain now either. My tech is fast, and does it all right the 1st time!! She does not use a tool to grind down anything either. She uses files and buffers. The electric tool might be grinding down something too much if one is experiencing pain.

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