Which Manicure is Best For Your Nails?
Once upon a time, manicure meant just one thing: basic polish slathered across filed nails. Now however, the beauty industry has broadened to offer treatments tailored specifically to every nail goal imaginable.
So which manicure is right for your nails? Salon owners, nail techs and a beauty writer who have experienced them all offer up their opinions about nine popular options.
Basic manicures are one of the simplest services offered at most salons. A nail technician will file and shape your nails, push back cuticles, apply base coat protection before polish application, and provide hand massage as part of this service.
Manicures typically last about one week before beginning to chip and can be removed easily using acetone and cotton pads. This form of manicure is less damaging to nails than others, making it an excellent option for those wanting a polished appearance without spending much time at the salon. Nail polish with no harmful chemicals that promote healthy nails may extend its longevity further still.
Shellac is a 14-day wear gel polish created and patented by CND (the brand that creates gel nails), that’s half nail polish and half long-wear gel. Apply it the same way you would regular nail polish. Curing can take place with LED lighting just like gel manicures but typically has less drying time and easier removal.
Shellac manicures include three components – base coat, color and topcoat – that are all cured under an LED lamp for optimal results. This type of service is perfect for clients seeking durable yet long-wearing polish that looks natural with no added length or enhancements.
Shellac services, in contrast to many salon services, are less harmful on your nails and won’t cause chips or damage if removed according to Huber-Millet’s recommended removal process. She recommends applying an acetone soak prior to buffing away polish before finishing with moisturizing hand cream as an aftercare routine.
Gel manicures last up to two weeks and resist chipping longer than regular polish. Their high-shine and polished appearance can also make them highly desirable, available at most nail salons, beauty e-tailers and drugstores. But moderation is key – Gels require special curing lights which may cause irreparable damage if used too frequently or the manicure itself was incorrectly performed.
Gibson Tuttle, nail expert and celebrity manicurist for Miss Pop, notes that gels dry too quickly under lamps, heating up the nail plate as it hardens under pressure from drying lights, leading to shrinkage when they cool back down under ambient light. When this occurs, cracking or peeling occurs along with shrinkage of the gel itself. She advises limiting gel use too frequently while taking steps such as properly removing them (rather than picking at them) when removed and applying cuticle oil between appointments to keep nails strong and healthy – picking can actually remove layers of keratin from natural nail plates leaving it weak and fragile over time.
Acrylic nails tend to get a bad rep, but with professional nail care from an experienced nail technician they can actually be beneficial to your nails. The process involves trimming and filing your nails for shape before being buffed to remove natural oils before being placed under UV light to ‘cure’.
Clear acrylic mixture is then painted over your natural nails to form designs, such as french manicure or more intricate ones such as pop art French tips. As Lee advises, take regular breaks from acrylic nails and ensure you use hand moisturizers and cuticle oil for best results.
Gel, shellac and acrylic manicures each have their own set of advantages; ultimately it’s up to you what type of nail art you prefer for yourself. However, even basic manicures require plenty of care and attention in order to keep nails healthy; don’t take their health for granted!