Artificial Nail Types: A Beginner’s Guide
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There are so many options, but which of the artificial nail types is best? Many different varieties of artificial nails out there. A few examples are porcelain, acrylic, SNS and gel, so choosing the right ones for your lifestyle can get a bit complicated.
Look at your finger nails. Tell me, what do you see? I see dirty, ragged and sharp edged nails. Not the thing I want to show off. Nope! I’ve spent much of my time hiding my hands in my pant pockets or jacket pockets.
So what about you? Do you do the same? I find that the best solution is to use artificial nails to protect and enhance my natural nails. But the problem is that none of us really know what types of artificial nails to get. That’s why I’ve decided to write this guide to help show you the difference.
Artificial Nail Types…
There are so many options when it comes to the many artificial nail types. If you are thinking of heading to the salon you need to know whether you want gel or acrylic nails. There are so many differences!
- Porcelain Nails About Acrylic or Porcelain Nails Some people still call these porcelain nails but most of us know them as acrylic. Of all the artificial nail types, this one has been around for years, and this is because they are popular. Porcelain nails are applied using a liquid monomer mixed with a powder polymer and the purpose is to create a protective hard nail that fits over your natural nails. The acrylic is liquid when it is placed on your nail and hardens as it is exposed to air.
- Gel Nails The gel nail is relatively new to the market. Gel nails are just as strong as porcelain nails but they offer a more natural appearance. The gel hardens when it is exposed to UV light.
- New SNS Nails Guess what! There is a new type of nail on the block and it does not require UV light and it won’t damage your natural nail like porcelain nails, this new nail system is called SNS or Signature Nail Systems. This is a nail dipping method that uses a brush on gel base and then the nail is dipped in a pink and white powder for a natural french manicure look.
Which Artificial Nail Type is Best?
Gel and acrylic nails work similarly, except that acrylic or porcelain nails are harder on your natural nail. The gel nail can strengthen shorter nails and make finder look longer. Acrylic nails also look less natural, especially if they are applied incorrectly.
On the other hand, gel nails look more natural because it is a type of thick nail polish that makes your nails stronger. But of the three artificial nail types, the SNS system is the most popular for several reasons:
They look natural: These nails look totally natural and are thinner than the other two options.
Strong but light: SNS nails are durable and strong but feel lighter and more flexible.
Quick application: SNS is very easy to apply and the technician needs less time to file the nail down.
The Difference in Price?
Of the three options, the acrylic nail is probably the least expensive and can range from about $30 to $60. However, these are less comfortable and have less of a lifespan than the other two options. When it comes to gel or SNS, the price is competitive. Both options have a similar cost. It really is just a matter of preference as to color and type of nail that you want.
Good News! You don’t necessarily need to go to a nail salon to apply gel, SNS or acrylic nails. There are products you can buy to apply the nails at home. Just be aware of the fumes and apply in an area with good ventilation. Remember you can finish any of the types of artificial nails systems with any type of nail enamel you want. Create French tips, colored or natural nails. Some people like gel nails for color nails as the gel system offers more of a glossy finish.
Consider These Factors…
Durability is obviously something you want to consider. Cost may also influence your decision. But this is usually a matter of preference and lifestyle. Some women prefer gel, others SNS and still others like acrylics.
- Your Lifestyle One thing is for sure, your nails have to reflect your lifestyle. In that case, if you have a job where your hands are in the water a lot, gel may be better than porcelain. Gel adheres to your natural nail like a polish and water does not affect it as much as it does acrylic.
- Budget, Time, and Maintenance Your budget also influences your choice. With acrylics you pay for a full set of nails the first time, which is about an hour’s session. This costs about $60, then you get fills about every two to four weeks which costs between $15 to $30.
Gel and SNS nails are more expensive because they only last about 15 days. They cost the same every time you go, which is somewhere between $30 to $60. The average time it usually takes is only about 30 minutes.
But in the end, the choice of which of the artificial nail types is really up to you, your budget and your lifestyle.