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Acrylic nails versus gel nails

These days women have alot of options when it comes to false nails. But the most popular methods forcreating top talons are acrylic and gel applications. Here, nail experts fromthe London course centre of The Beauty Academy, explores the pros and cons ofboth.

Acrylic nails have been a staple in the fashion and beauty industry foryears now – and for good reason.

Not only do they create a long-lasting effect but they are acost-effective choice, easy to fix if broken and an excellent canvas forpolish.

Gel nails are more of a newcomer to the scene – but they have caused abig stir. They often look more natural and glossy than other types of cosmeticnails and they take less time to apply too.

How do they work?

On our nail courses in London we teach you all about the applicationprocess from both acrylics and gel nails.

Acrylics are applied using a liquid monomer and a powder polymer tocreate a hard protective layer over the natural nail. Acrylics only harden whenexposed to air.

Gel nail polishes are similar to ordinary nail polish – you have a basecoat, polish color and top coat. Each coat has to be cured in UV light for twoto three minutes. The application provides the strength of acrylic nails withthe appearance of natural nails.

Which is Better?

In truth, gel and acrylic nails have similar results. They both canlengthen and strengthen nails and add a touch of glamour.

The main pros of acrylic nails are that cracks and breaks can be easilyfixed, the removal process is simple and straightforward and the nails are verystrong and can last a long time.Acrylic nail application also tends to costless than gel nail application.

On the flip side they can damage your nail bed and may look less naturalthan gel nails, especially if applied incorrectly. On top of this, the application processinvolves strong chemicals and fumes.

The main pros of gel nails are that they often appear more natural thanacrylics, they are quicker to apply and lack the problem of fumes – making thema more eco-friendly option.

Having said that, they don’t last as long and are less durable thanacrylic, even though they tend to cost more.

On top of this, if a gel nail breaks, it can sometimes be more of ashatter effect than a clean break, so a manicurist usually needs to fix thewhole nail rather than just repair the damage.

Gel nails often need to be filed off, although there are some soak-offversions.

The finishing touches

At The Beauty Academy we offer a range of courses to teach you how toapply gels and acrylics and teach you techniques for applying the perfectfinishing touches.

You could consider looking at our range of nail courses or undertake amanicure course in London.

Both gels and acrylics form smooth surfaces ideal for paint, Frenchtips, nail art and airbrushing.

To give you a range of expertise, consider taking more than one course.We also carry out nail technician training in London as part of the extensivebeauty courses and diplomas on offer.


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  • Established 1990: the Original Private Beauty Training School

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  • Established 1990: the Original Private Beauty Training School

    I have done a few courses at the Cambridge and London venues and loved all of them. Staff is very friendly and professional at the same time which makes it easy to learn the theory and also the techniques. Teachers pay attention to each student and gives honest advises and support. I highly recommend The Beauty Academy for everyone.

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