Types of Manicure Polish
There is a variety of manicure polish styles to suit every personality, lifestyle and nail health condition. From traditional to gel and French styles, we will highlight some of the most popular varieties for you to help find one that’s best suited to you!
A classic creme manicure is timeless and elegant, from soft sheen like Smith & Cult Sugarette, to more vibrant metallic options like Ella + Mila’s Moonshadow.
Basic Nail Polish
Basic polish manicures are a favorite among nail salons for good reason; they’re quick, inexpensive, and look good. Unfortunately, however, this makes them less suitable for people with active lifestyles who require longer-wearing nails; basic manicures tend to chip more quickly than their counterparts and lose their shine more rapidly than more durable alternatives.
All nail polishes are composed of polymeric coatings that sit atop natural nails. What distinguishes each type is how and when it hardens. Regular polish dries through evaporation of solvents (the liquids that allow lacquer to adhere easily), while specialty lacquers dry by chemical processes (evaporating solvents).
Additives such as stearalkonium hectorite and bentonite are used to ensure color pigments in polishes stick securely, while plasticizers (benzophenone, trimethyl pentanyl diisobutyrate, triphenyl phosphate and camphor) help keep resin flexible after it has set up.
Acrylic nail polish is composed of liquid monomers and powder polymers which combine to form a thin encapsulation layer over natural nails, then can be shaped according to individual preferences before being painted with custom designs or artwork on top.
Acrylic nails may last for 8 weeks with regular infills and provide a hard and durable surface that makes working with hands easier. Unfortunately, however, their extended longevity exposes your cuticles and nails to additional wear and tear and increases the risk of nail fungus development; for this reason it’s crucial that they only be applied by trained nail technicians.
Artificial nails produce harsh fumes during application and must be removed with acetone to reduce irritation to nails and cuticles, but their benefits outweigh these drawbacks by offering strength, durability and an easily customizable appearance that’s great for changing looks regularly.
Nothing says polished like having freshly manicured nails, and how you get them (gel or polish) makes an enormous difference to how your manicure turns out. Both options offer stunningly versatile color choices from neutrals to bold brights and glitters – you have plenty of options when choosing either method!
Gel and regular nail polish differ due to how their polymers are cured; regular polishes based on nitrocellulose harden by solvent evaporation while gels contain acrylic polymers which must be exposed to UV light before curing occurs.
As an added benefit, many gel nail polishes are 5-free (meaning they do not contain the five most harmful chemicals commonly found in nail polish) and cruelty-free. While LED curing lamps have made this process faster and safer, it is still vital that nail technicians take appropriate precautions when applying gels – monomers used in many gels such as di-HEMA trimethylhexyl carbamate have been linked with skin cancer and premature aging according to Google search.
Dip powder nails offer an extended-wear manicure lasting four weeks without UV light exposure. First, your nails are prepped just like for any other manicure service (old polish removed, cuticles pushed back and natural nail plate free from oils that could affect adhesion) before receiving a clear basecoat application and finally being dipped into colored powder to get its pigment and another clear topcoat applied over top.
Dip powder manicures offer an excellent alternative for people who struggle with nail biting or picking, as these hard-as-nails manicures help stop those habits. Like acrylics and gel, however, it’s recommended that they visit a professional nail salon for this service to protect both their nails and skin from potential damage.