Ideal Nails: The Shocking Truth About Gel and Acrylic Nails

gel and acrylic nails Artificial nails are an extremely popular beauty accessory because of their fashionability and functionality.

Not only are they a quick way to make your nails look fantastic, but they also help protect your own natural nails from breakage. Though acrylic nails have been around longer than gel, gel nails have gained popularity for their ease of removal. Both gel and acrylic nails are beautiful, safe, functional alternatives to a regular manicure.

Gel Nails

Gel nails can be applied right over the nail bed or applied to the nail tip to extend it. Gels used to have a thick, toothpaste-like consistency.

Today’s gels have a texture similar to nail polish so it feels light and comfortable to wear. Gel nails are wonderful because they are completely odorless and require little to no filing. This makes them great for people who get overwhelmed by the odor of acrylics. Others cannot bear the sensation of having their nails filed. A major benefit of gel nails is that they look incredibly natural with or without nail polish.

Acrylic Nails

Acrylic is a combination of liquid and powder that are mixed together right before use and applied to the nail just like polish. It can be used to apply an artificial nail tip or a sculptable form that can extend the length of the nail. Acrylic nails are typically less expensive than gels and can last a very long time.


Because both gel and acrylic nails grow outward with the nail, they must periodically be filled. When you come in for a filling, your technician will apply a small amount of gel or acrylic to the space between your cuticle and the old, grown-out gel or acrylic application. Schedule a filling appointment every two to three weeks.

Benefits of Gel and Acrylic Nails vs. A Regular Manicure

When you get a regular manicure, your nails are still susceptible to breakage because nothing is done to harden or protect them. Gel and acrylic nails, however, provide a hard coating that helps protect your nails while they grow long and strong. If you suffer from weak, brittle nails that refuse to grow, gel or acrylic nails with or without extensions may be the way to go.

Your nail polish looks great after a regular manicure. But the polish is already beginning to break down because of the moisture. Also, oils seeps up from your nail bed. This is why the polish begins chipping away within days. Gel and acrylic nails create a layer between the polish and your nail bed, helping the polish last for weeks at a time without chipping.

The success of a gel or acrylic manicure is entirely depended upon the skills of the nail technician. Improperly applied gel or acrylic could result in nail fungus, nails popping off or damage to the nail plate.

Begin your education on the latest manicure techniques and product technology by visiting Evergreen Beauty College online.

Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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4 years ago

Would any of the options listed protect my nails during daily swimming and normal daily dishwashing and hand washing?

Chris Pederson
Chris Pederson
3 years ago

I didn’t know that gel and acrylic nails need to be filled periodically. My daughter wants some because it is the new trend or something like that. I’ll see what I can do about getting her some for her birthday in two weeks.

3 months ago

can I just put acrylic on the tip of my own nail, not the whole nail?

2 months ago
Reply to  Tina

If you only put acrylic on the tip it will surely come off with just a bit of pressure. It needs leverage. The whole nail is covered to give it strength, so the tip doesn’t pop off and causes an injury.