Which Manicure Lasts the Longest?
When looking for a long-lasting manicure, the aim is for one that can withstand everyday activities like handwashing and applying hand sanitizer. But which type of mani will provide optimal performance?
Gel nails, acrylics and dip powder all offer durability; however, each comes with its own set of risks.
Gel manicures are long-wearing, chip-proof solutions. Their curing process uses either LED or UV lights and the formula dries on your nail plate instead of your skin; keeping your nails healthy for as long as possible.
However, to extend the longevity of your gel manicure it is important to follow certain guidelines. First of all, it’s advisable that you always visit a salon that cleans and disinfects its equipment between clients as using inexperienced technicians or those who fail to sterilize tools could result in dry brittle nails that break more often.
Additionally, it’s important to moisturize nails and cuticles with cuticle oil or hand cream several times each day in order to combat dryness which could otherwise lead to lifting and flaking of polish. Doing this will prevent lift-off issues.
Do not pick at your gel polish once it starts lifting or peeling away; doing so could cause microscopic damage that accelerates their thinning and speed up their loss. Furthermore, always wear gloves if engaging in work involving your hands (e.g. tearing open boxes or cans).
Acrylic nails are an incredibly popular nail enhancement technique used to strengthen and lengthen natural nails, while simultaneously increasing strength. But maintaining acrylics requires maintenance; “typically clients get acrylics every two to three weeks to have their fills done or less,” Zuniga states. They must also keep them moisturized while protecting them from too hot or too cold temperatures.
Cole provides clients with some key advice for keeping acrylic nails looking their best: “Ensure that the quality polish dries within five minutes or less,” and adds that applying a top coat between fills will lock in color and extend its wear. She advises clients “look for salons with clean working areas, sanitary tools and VET certificates displayed proudly,” along with stylists that understand your requests for your nails.
Note that acrylic nails take some getting used to. They can feel hard and bulky, potentially catching on doorknobs or lids that are too close for their comfort, and if the nails lift dirt and moisture can sneak in which can lead to infection or nail fungus if not properly removed; additionally acetone can damage natural nails during removal if done improperly.
Dip Powder Manicures
Dip powder manicures are a hybrid between gel and acrylic manicures, providing both durability and natural feel in one. According to nail tech and DIY nail xpert Juli Russell, they typically last up to one month with less damage incurred from traditional acrylic or gel nail systems.
An intensive dip powder mani involves prepping your nails by pushing back cuticles and cleaning your nails, followed by having your manicurist apply a base coat followed by powder dipped onto each nail several times until reaching desired opacity and color intensity. Finally, they brush on a top coat which seals everything together without UV curing being required – the process typically lasts three hours.
Chris Adigun, a board-certified dermatologist, recommends durable manicures such as dip powder for her patients as they are hard to bite into and pick at, helping prevent picking of hands in general. However, when opting for this manicure technique it’s important that the salon uses safe products on nails; top coat also extends the longevity of this type of mani.