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Whats the difference between acrylic, gel, silk, crystal nails and other nail services

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Please explain to me what is the different between acrylic, gel, silk, crystal nails and other nail services. I often hear manicurist say that crystal nails are better than the rest of the products. It seems like acrylic would damage my nails. Is it true?

asked in Enhancements - General by beautytech.INFO  
   

2 Answers

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None of these services should damage your nails. Acrylics (or any enhancement for that matter) do not damage nails, poorly trained technicians damage nails.

Gel Manicure - Gel applied to the natural nail, a very thin application that will soak off with acetone in usually under 10 minutes. This is meant to be a replacement for nail polish application during a regular manicure. Dries under a UV or LED lamp.

Acrylic is a liquid & powder mixed, applied with a brush and will harden (cure) with no lamps in 2 minutes or less. Color and glitter acrylic powders can be used for all kinds of dazzling effects and art.

Gel is, in basic terms, pre mixed acrylic that almost always needs to be cured under a UV or LED lamp, Acrylic usually has an odor while gels are odorless, but both have vapors and need to be ventilated. Color and glitter gels can be used for all kinds of dazzling effects and art. When color gel is used, it is sometimes called a Gel Manicure. See Tell me about Gel Manicures for more information.

Fiberglass or Silk (and sometimes linen) is applied with resin (glue) and sometimes glue & acrylic powder. 

Crystal nails is any enhancement done with CLEAR acrylic, gel or resin. 

Glue & Powder is just that.. nail glue is brushed onto the nails and acrylic powder should be sprinkled onto the glue - not dipped, but sprinkled. The application air dries or a accelerant can be sprayed or brushed on to make the glue dry faster.

answered by beautytech.INFO  
edited by beautytech.INFO
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Nail technicians across the country and around the world have been commenting that some salons are "duping" their clients by stating they are receiving a special service and charging more money when in reality they are getting a very common normal service with a fancy name at an inflated price.

You need to understand the basic types of fingernail enhancement services and their differences to know what you are paying for:

  • Acrylic is a liquid & powder mixed, applied with a brush that will harden (cure) with no lamps in 2 minutes or less.
  • Gel is, in basic terms, pre mixed acrylic in a gel like state, that almost always needs to be cured under a UV or LED lamp, Acrylic usually has an odor while gels are odorless. Gels often will cost slightly more than acrylic.
  • Silk (interchangeable with fiberglass and sometimes linen) is applied with resin (glue) and sometimes glue & acrylic powder (Dip System).
  • Acrylic Dips is the use of resin applied tot he nail, then dipped or sprinkled with acrylic powder
  • Crystal nails is any type of enhancement done with CLEAR acrylic, gel or resin either with clear tips or sculpted.

All of the above systems can be applied:

  • Directly on your nail (overlay)
  • On tips that have been applied with resin (glue) or acrylic
  • Sculpted using a paper, plastic or metal form.

 

  • All of the above types of services can be finished with a UV gel top coat to protect the enhancement. The UV coating is applied either with a brush or similar to polish and is "cured" under a UV or LED lamp for 2-3 minutes. UV top coats are very protective to the enhancement and will need to be filed off at your next appointment. There might be a slight additional charge for this extra.
  • A "French Manicure" can be done using several different techniques - #2,3,4 are also referred to as "Pink & Whites or "Permanent French" - #3,4 will usually cost more:
    1. Using polish over any type of enhancement or natural nails
    2. Applying white tips with a clear or sheer pink acrylic or gel, or resin with fiberglass or acrylic powder.
    3. Applying natural colored tips with white acrylic or gel, resin with fiberglass or acrylic powder in the tip and clear or a sheer pink on the nail bed.
    4. Using a "form" and sculpting the white tip using acrylic, or gel and clear or a sheer pink on the nail bed.
    5. Airbrushed over any enhancement or natural nail

 


Examples of typical scams include:

  • SOLAR NAILS - Solar Nails is a BRAND of acrylic manufactured by Creative Nail Design. It is one of the original brands. It is a true acrylic and nothing more.

  • GEL NAILS - which are actually acrylics with a UV gel top coat

  • CRYSTAL NAILS - simply a clear tip with clear acrylic overlaid on the entire enhancement

  • PORCELAIN NAILS nothing more than acrylic or gels possibly with a UV gel top coat

  • DIAMOND NAILS - the reason these are "more expensive" is because they are hard like diamonds

  • SHELLAC - Shellac is a brand of Gel Polish manufctaured by CND. If you do not see a bottle labled "Shellac" that is not what you are getting.

  • BAIT & SWITCH - salons will have three jars on the table, possibly hand labeled, one says acrylic, one says gel and one says fiberglass. They are all acrylic, but the consumer will be told fiberglass and gel are better for their nails and cost more
  • Special Top Coats - it is also common for some salons to apply a normal air dry top coat, put you in the UV or LED lamp to dry - this does NOTHING except keep you still for the time in the lamp. The salons that engage in this dupe will charge you extra for the spcial lamp top coat.

NONE of the above services are anything special, nor should they incur any additional cost.

answered by beautytech.INFO  
edited by beautytech.INFO

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