Manicure and nail art

Shellac, gel polish, gel nails - what is the difference?

June 6, 2015 - 2:40 pm

Lately, I keep getting questions about different types of manicure. A year ago, this might've been hard to believe since I never get my nails done. I don't even have any nail polish at home! But since owning Blink, I'm slowly becoming familiar with esthetician jargon.

If someone says they got a 'gel manicure,' they just got a regular manicure with a gel polish to finish. Gel polish is applied similar to traditional nail polish, but it is cured under a UV or LED lamp to prevent lifting or peeling. What makes it truly wonderful is that your nails are completely dry and hardened when you leave! Perfect for people like me with a very short attention span. What's more, the polish doesn’t wear off for 2 or more weeks. No smudge, no chips!

There are different brands of gel polishes, and Shellac is arguably the most popular one. Because Shellac is so well-known, customers tend to ask for Shellac whenever they want a gel polish. Blink carries the popular Shellac brand from CND as well as other gel nail polish brands like Akzentz, Gelish and Luxio. Each different brand of gel polish can vary from another. Think Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

If you want to add length and/or strength to your natural nails, you could get artificial nails (also known as nail extensions, nail enhancements and fake nails). Artificial nails are not a replacement, but an extension for your natural nails. There are two main techniques to creating artificial nails: acrylic (aka solar nails) and gel.

Acrylic nails are applied using a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to create a hard protective layer over your cover your entire nail or just on the tips. The acrylic mixture usually hardens in 20–30 seconds after application and continues to cure to final hardness typically within fifteen minutes.

Gel nails, on the other hand, are created by applying layers of a goopy thick builder gel to your natural nails with or without tips glued on for length. Each layer of gel is cured under a UV or LED lamp for at least 2 minutes. The more layers of gel, the stronger the nail. For color or finishing, you can apply gel polish over your gel nails.

Here at Blink, we don't do any nail enhancements not only because of the health risks they create for our clients, but also because of the occupational hazards they present to our team. Nail technicians are exposed to the chemical fumes from artificial nails and can cause contact dermatitis, asthma, and allergies in the eyes and nose.

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