It use to be, the hardest decision a woman ever had to make in a nail salon was which color polish she wanted for the week. Now we have to decide if we want regular, acrylic, gel, gelish or a shellac manicure. For the indecisive, this can be a total nightmare. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know the difference in most of these until a few months ago. Loxa Beauty gives you a breakdown of these products as well as a video demonstration of a shellac manicure to help you decide which polish is right for you!

ShellacShellac is a nail product created by Creative Nail Design(CND). The polish can last for at least two weeks without chipping, scratching or smudging. Lasting 14 days is an accomplishment all by itself but shellac does even more. Many women have noticed that their nails are stronger and healthier after using Shellac. Not only does it not damage your nail but it can improve your nail’s health over time.

So now that you have learned all about Shellac, it’s time to tell you about Gelish. Gelish is a hybrid gel-polish by Hand and Nail Harmony. This manicure is there for you when you need a flawless 2-3 week manicure. Yes, I said THREE WEEKS! Hand and Nail Harmony has provided 72 fabulous Gelish colors for women to choose from so you will never get bored with your manicure. The Gelish Removal process is extremely easy and non damaging, if taken off correctly.

MANICURE for black women
MANICURE for black women

Gelish PolishBoth Shellac and Gelish are applied like polish from polish bottles, but are cured in UV lamps and have the lasting results of gel nails. Neither necessitates filing of the nail’s surface before application, and both soak-off in acetone, which protects natural nails, making them less harmful than traditional gels. Although each brand’s base and top coat will work with the other’s polish and UV wattage lamps, each works best as a complete system. Nails result as super-shiny, durable and natural, which are making these hybrid-polish manicures all the rage in salons.

Artificial NailsA gel manicure is a type of manicure that uses gel to bind the synthetic fingernails to the natural nails. Unlike acrylic nails, the other option for manicures, gel nails are stronger and less likely to chip. Gel can also be applied over natural nails to keep them healthy and long. A gel manicure is often preferred over an acrylic one because gel nails are odorless. Gel nails do not consist of the same acid that acrylic nails do; they are healthier and more natural. Additionally, a gel manicure tends to look more realistic, as the gel nails are more flexible and bond naturally to the real nail. Gel nails do not need lift, polish or backfills. These fingernails stay shiny and last longer than acrylic nails.

During a gel manicure, the gel is applied to the nail and cured under an ultraviolet light. The gel is durable and adheres easily to fingernails. Gel nails are removed only by filing them off. When these nails come off, the real nails are not damaged like when acrylic nails are taken off. The downside of a gel manicure is that it costs more than an acrylic manicure.

Have you tried any of these and do you have a favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts.

  1. What are the primary differences between Shellac and Gelish manicures?
    • Answer: Both Shellac and Gelish are hybrid gel-polishes. Shellac is by Creative Nail Design(CND) and can last for at least two weeks, also improving nail health over time. Gelish is by Hand and Nail Harmony, lasting up to 3 weeks and coming in 72 color options. Both are applied like traditional polish but are cured under UV lamps for lasting results. They can be removed with acetone.
  2. How does a gel manicure differ from acrylic nails?
    • Answer: Gel manicures use gel to bind synthetic nails to natural ones. Gel nails are stronger, less likely to chip, odorless, and appear more realistic than acrylic nails. They also lack the acid that’s in acrylic nails, making them healthier. Gel nails are cured under ultraviolet light and are removed by filing, whereas acrylic nails can damage real nails upon removal. Gel manicures generally cost more than acrylic ones.
  3. Is the UV exposure from the curing lamps safe?
    • (Not directly answered in the text) Answer: UV lamps used for curing gel polish do emit UV radiation, but the exposure is quite brief. While some concerns have been raised about the safety of regular exposure, using sunscreen or protective gloves can help minimize the risk.
  4. How often should I change or refresh my Shellac or Gelish manicure?
    • Answer: Shellac manicures can last for at least two weeks, while Gelish manicures can last for 2-3 weeks without chipping.
  5. Can using Shellac or Gelish weaken my natural nails?
    • Answer: Many women have noticed that their nails are stronger and healthier after using Shellac. Gelish removal is non-damaging if done correctly. Both treatments protect natural nails and are less harmful than traditional gels.
  6. What is the removal process for these manicures?
    • Answer: Both Shellac and Gelish can be soaked off in acetone. Gel nails require filing for removal.
  7. How many color options are available for Gelish manicures?
    • Answer: Hand and Nail Harmony offers 72 fabulous Gelish colors.
  8. Is there a specific system or UV lamp I should use for each type of manicure?
    • Answer: While each brand’s base and top coat can technically work with the other’s polish and UV wattage lamps, it’s recommended to use each as a complete system for optimal results.

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