The Difference Between Shellac, Gel and Acrylic Nails

Shellac vs Gel vs Acrylic Nails: What’s the difference and which is best?

Shellac nails are a great way to add some sparkle to your look without having to spend too much time or money on nail art. They can be applied in just one coat for a quick manicure that lasts up to two weeks. But what if you want something more permanent? You may be wondering whether gel or acrylic nails would be better for you. Here’s everything you need to know about these three types of nail extensions.

What is shellac?

A shellac manicure is a simple polish with a glossy finish that will last anywhere from five days to two weeks, depending on how often you wash it off. It’s ideal for those who don’t have time to do anything else but go out and party all night. The only downside is that it doesn’t allow you to create any intricate designs or patterns.


How does shellac work?

When you apply a shellac manicure, you first clean your natural nails with acetone (a chemical solvent) and then soak them in an alcohol-based solution. This removes the top layer of dead skin cells and makes your nails easier to paint. Next, you dip your fingers into a mixture of shellac powder and water. Then, you use a brush to spread the mixture evenly over your nails. Finally, you let the polish dry for at least 15 minutes before applying another coat.

Why should I get shellac manicures?

If you like the idea of a quick manicure but aren’t ready to commit to a full set of acrylics, this is the perfect option for you. Shellac manicures are easy to remove and won’t leave any residue behind. Plus, they come in hundreds of different colors so you can find one that matches your outfit perfectly.

Gel nail extensions

If you’re looking for long-lasting nail enhancements, gel nail extensions might be right for you. These artificial nails are made using a special type of resin that hardens when exposed to UV light. Unlike acrylics, this material allows you to design intricate patterns and shapes. However, because they require UV light to cure, they take longer than other options.

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Acrylic nails

Acrylic nails are the most popular choice among women today. They offer a variety of benefits including durability, longevity and versatility. They also give you the opportunity to customize your nails however you wish. If you prefer a classic look, you can choose from a range of neutral shades such as nude, taupe and black. Or, if you’d rather stand out, there are plenty of bright colors available.


Which is best for me?

There are pros and cons to each type of nail extension. So, which is best for you? If you’re looking to achieve a polished look for a short period of time, a shellac manicure is probably the best option for you. On the other hand, if you want a long-lasting enhancement that looks professional, gel nails are the way to go. And finally, if you want to express yourself through your nails, acrylics are the way to go! 


Acrylic nails are hard to apply, require multiple steps, and are prone to chipping, whereas gel polishes are much easier to use and maintain — they dry quickly and don’t chip easily. They’re also less expensive than acrylics, too. Plus, you’ll save money on nail treatments since you won’t need to file down your nails every week.

Shellac nails may not very comfortable, especially if you wear them for more than a few hours. You may experience discomfort due to the fact that the polish dries on the surface of your nail, causing it to become stiffer. Also, the polish itself can irritate your cuticles and cause them to bleed.


Acrylic nails are hard and look thicker than gel nails, according to Dr. Michael S. Seibel, founder of New York City’s Nail Spa. He says no matter how you apply them, acrylic nails are harder to maintain than gel nails because they require constant maintenance. “They’re like real fingernails except they don’t grow out,” he explains. Because acrylic nails are hard and brittle, they can chip easily, especially if you use sharp tools while applying them. And unlike natural nails, acrylic nails usually cannot withstand much pressure without breaking, especially if they are exposed to water and chemicals.

Gel nails are flexible and not as hard to touch as acrylic nails. They’re also less prone to chipping due to their flexibility, and they do not dry out as quickly as acrylic nails. However, gel nails take longer to apply and cure compared to acrylic nails. This makes it difficult to create intricate designs. Plus, they tend to fade over time.

Shellac manicures tend to wear faster than gel or acrylic nails. But, if you keep your hands moisturized, you shouldn’t notice any chipping or peeling.


How are gel and acrylic nails cured?

Both gel and acrylic nails are cured by exposing them to ultraviolet light. While gel nails need to be done in a salon, acrylics can be applied at home.

How safe are gel/acrylic/shellac nails?

All three types of nail extensions are safe and non-hazardous. In fact, many people choose to wear them every day without experiencing any problems.

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How can I create my own incredible nail looks?

You don’t have to wait until you’ve got the money to buy all new nail products. You can easily create your own unique designs using nail art pens. Just make sure to avoid getting these items wet since it could damage the product.

How long do shellac nails last?

Shellac nails usually last about two weeks. After that, they start to chip and peel.

How long do gel nails last?

Gel nails typically last about four months. After that, they begin to chip and peel.

And how long do acrylic nails last?

Acrylic nails generally last anywhere from six months to a year. After that, they may become brittle and break off.

How do I remove shellac nails?

You can easily remove shellac nails with acetone. Simply soak your fingers in acetone for 10 minutes and then gently rub away the polish.

How do I remove gel nails?

To remove gel nails, simply use an emery board and file down the edges until it feels smooth. Then, apply some cuticle oil and let it dry completely before applying new gel nails.

And how do I remove acrylic nails?

To remove acrylic nails, use a cotton swab dipped in acetone. Rub the area around the nail slowly, making sure not to press too hard. Once the polish has been removed, apply a coat of clear topcoat to seal the surface.

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