Fake Nails: Acrylic Vs Gel
For many years I’ve been a terrible nail biter, so getting false nails done professionally was a no brainer. I knew it would 100% work, and I was right. However after about a month of getting my false nails taken off, I started biting again. I decided to get my nails done once more. I didn’t particularly look for a good salon, I just went on price and convenience. Luckily this worked out fine for me, but not all cheap salons are good quality.
After having short nails for years, having long ones took several weeks to adjust to, but I absolutely loved my acrylic nails. I paid £23 for a full set, which is slightly cheaper than average, and £18 for infills every two weeks. Acrylics are extremely strong and sturdy (unlike my own nails which don’t flake but are thin and bendy). They are near impossible to peel off (which is not recommended as it will take several layers of your own nail off with it), however one nail did break really randomly after about three weeks when I was trying to find something in my bag, but I didn’t even feel it break. The process of getting the nails put on was fairly painless, and there was only a slight unpleasant smell from the glue.
Fake nails in general are easy to maintain and you can paint them as often as you like, which for people like myself that get bored of a colour quickly, is an upside. Acrylics do tend to look very bulky and fake which is usually classed as a negative, however I quite like that look so it didn’t bother me.
The main and only downside for me is the price. The upkeep costs are high. £18 for infills, which in itself is a simple process, seems like an unnecessarily high cost. Infills could be done at home if you own a pot of gel powder (they only cost about £5 to order online). Getting infills is an essential process as acrylics look ugly once they’ve grown out.
After a month of wearing fake nails, my nail bed was left undamaged and in great condition. If I had them for longer, they could have potentially been worse as the nails are starved of oxygen. In addition to this, some salons tend to file the nail down before attaching the acrylics, which causes extra damage.
All in all, I missed having acrylics as soon as I had them taken off and I would recommend them to anyone thinking about getting their nails done if they can afford the upkeep.
Gels tend to be more expensive than acrylics (although I only paid £25 for mine) making them near enough the same price as acrylics. Their appearance is more natural, less bulky and clear once the gel has hardened under the UV light. They are also supposed to be less harmful for the nails.
After the first layer of gel was applied to my nail and I’d placed it under the UV lamp, my nail felt a strong burning sensation for a few seconds. It was extremely painful and I had to take my nail out to let it cool down. This tends to happen with gel nails, with some people more than others and depends on a number of factors (nail too thin, gel too thick etc.).
A benefit I found with gels is that they can be constructed to suit your nail perfectly, and you don’t have to spend a long time waiting for them to be filed down to the desired shape and length. However, the tips can be slightly unequal and it is harder to correct once the gel has hardened. I had one nail that was visibly wonky, whereby on one side it was more rounded than the other and I didn’t notice until I got home.
After only two days of having the gel nails done, one nail broke (I was opening a drawer… of all things!), and after a further five days, another nail broke. Both on my thumbs, hence me thinking they’re much less durable than acrylic nails.
Gel polish is also becoming more and more popular and tends to last longer than gel nails (from my experience), however gel polish alone does not strengthen my nails. If I could afford it, I would love to have a thin layer of gel powder over my own nails to strengthen them.
I’m a huge fan of fake nails and I think they look great on females. However, not everyone can afford the luxury, which is understandable. Fake nails that are sold in shops with glue are an easy alternative if you want a quick fix, however companies such as Sun Garden sell everything you need from nail tips to UV lamps to nail polish; everything needed for the perfect manicure. Fake nails should never be a long term solution in the same way that dying your hair constantly and wearing make up 24/7 is in no way beneficial for your body, but there’s no harm in treating yourself!
What type of fake nails do you prefer?