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OT: Gels or Acrylics

I know this is totally off-topic, but I figured there are a lot of women here, so there are probably a lot of women who get their nails done. I want to have artificial nails put on at a nice salon, because I'm incapable of keeping my nails looking nice on my own, and I'm getting married in a few months and everyone is looking at my hands!

I know the reasons not to - your nails look terrible when they come off, they're expensive to upkeep, etc. And I'm sure there are health reasons not to do it either. I'm not really interested in that; I'm going to do it. But, I'm trying to educate myself. Do I want gels or acrylics? What's the difference? Any opinions between the two are appreciated!


Wed. Jun 21, 2:43pm

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I have had both......... I like both. Gels take longer to fill (1:15 minutes vs. 45 for acrylic) and they are more expensive.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 3:06 PM

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I do my own acrylic gel nails at home. They aren't too hard to do if you have a steady hand--it's pretty much like putting on nail polish. I can't afford to get a set put on at the salon, so this works for me!

However, I usually only use them when I break a nail and don't want to go back to stubs...I don't do it very often because of the toll it can take on your nails.

I noticed this time that my nails are brittle and cracking in layers after I took off the artificial ones. I'm assuming it has to do with the acrylic gel drying out my nails. (and I only had them on for a week! It will probably be a long time before I use the fake ones again.

I like the gels vs. the powders because it's easier to do yourself (my hubby won't help at all.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 3:47 PM

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I had gels for my wedding and I would NEVER do it again. My nails were nice before (although shorter than I would like) and now they look terrible. I only had them on for 3 days and they just killed my nails. Could you possibly just get a manicure on your real nails? (or are they short like mine were?)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 4:09 PM

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both acrylics and gels damage your nail. Acrylic are stronger. Gels however look a bit clearer, and have fewer fill lines- so if you're likely to always get a french manicure, there is some benefit to having gel nails. If however, youre likely to have color, go with acrylic. I have acrylic because I'm brutal on nails, and gels are too damn expensive.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 4:12 PM

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Thanks so much to the last poster, that's really useful!

I like what gels look like, but in downtown Chicago where I live, I can't find a salon that does the gels with the color actually in the gel, only the powder ones where they paint on polish afterwards. If anyone knows of any, please let me know!

To the 4:09 pm poster, I really appreciate the advice, but whenever I get a manicure, the polish ends up chipping in just a few days, and I never end up getting around to fixing it right away. I could be disciplined, but I'm just not good at it. I've been engaged for 10.5 months at this point, and trying so hard to be good as people look at my hands, but I give up! My nails are fine, it's the chipping nail polish that I can't keep up with!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 4:49 PM

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If you think the fake ones look cheap and gross (this is not an attack), you've just never noticed the nice ones, b/c they just look like real nails done well. I know b/c my mom has them. She has acrylics, and they're done as a very thin layer, and she always has the latest OPI color painted on top. She keeps them a normal length - just past the end of her fingers - and upkeeps them often, she's never late on a fill. No one would know her nails are fake, unless she told them. But, they're always flawless! I'd do that if I could, but frankly, I don't have the money to go to an expensive salon every-other-week.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 5:00 PM

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"fakeys" only look fake when they are badly done. A GOOD salon will sand down the top evenly, and sand underneath if the nails are long, to ensure that the gel or acrylic is even, and thin without being too weak. And admittedly, any time you have long french nails, people assume they are fake. If you go with french, most people will assume they're fake. I for one rarely care though- it's the look i like, I like having long nails, and natural nails cannot take what I put mine through.

That being said, the above poster is right- if you keep a colored polish on, less people realise your nails are fake.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 1:04 AM

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SALLY hansen nail polish seems to be the worst one I've found on the market--chipped within a day or 2.

I'm not one to be patient, so oftentimes I use the Loreal or Maybelline express polishes.

However, when I do have the time to sit still for a little while, I have found the following nail polishes to be pretty well-lasting:

OPI and Orly to be pretty good.
I usually use the non-chip basecoats, plus a topcoat sealer. However, you need to have a lot of patience and time so that you won't smudge the nails. (I also use the nail drying accelerant and the "smudgefix" when I do make a boo-boo...

Funny thing-- I do a lot of walking and I know that the non-chip basecoats work-- I walked so much that I popped off the ENTIRE layer of nail color-- i.e. the whole non-chip base lifted off with the rest of the color! (it didn't chip, it just popped off my toenail!) I think that was due to excessive pounding of the foot against the top of the shoe, but it happened more than once, so I can definitely vouch for the non-chip basecoat to do what it says... LOL

I later changed and made sure that my nails were nice and dry (and used some nail polish remover to remove any natural oils on my nails) and the problem didn't happen as often any more.

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 1:10 PM

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just for toe nails and polish... I swim and run, so my polished toe nails take a real beating. Never could keep them looking great... until I started brushing a small amount of nail glue over the polish :) Now, it doesn't come off! (but be advised, you will have to scrub it off with an acetone based remover when you want to change colors)

Thursday, June 22, 2006, 1:26 PM

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