By Riley Cable
From a young age, little girls may be drawn to pretty bottles of colored polish found at beauty salons and drug stores, but as time goes on, trends evolve. Rather than just coating your finger nails with a simple colored polish, there are new and advanced ways to get your nails done. Between regular or gel polish and SNS dip powder or acrylics, it can be confusing to determine which is the best option nail health wise while still trying to achieve the perfect nail look.
Regardless of the new trends that come and go in the beauty world, a simple manicure is a perfect go-to option. Although it may have taken centuries to get it just right, most polishes for sale today are safe to use but consist of chemicals to help with the nail application and appearance. Even with new, safer polishes, keeping your nails done 365 days of the year is still not healthy. Never giving your nails beds a chance to breathe can cause them to weaken, peel excessively, and be dry. Along with the damage that can be done from the polish, removing a color so frequently is also damaging. The acetone in most nail polish removers also causes serious peeling, so try and stick with acetone free removers. Despite the potential damage, there are perks to basic manicures, one being it’s the quickest and cheapest option. At your local nail salon, like Color Nails and Spa, the average price for this service is $15-$30, depending on the extent of treatments they give you. However, the downfall is the wear of the color. Regular polish tends to only last one to two weeks when done professionally. If you go to a more qualified salon, they take time to seal the color in with a high quality top coat, resulting in longer wear. Basic manicures are perfect for people who like to constantly switch up their color and don’t want to spend as much money on their nails.
Similar to a basic manicure, gel polish has risen in popularity because of its natural finish and extended last time. Gel manicures are perfect for more low maintenance customers because they don’t need to be redone as often since they last two to three weeks. Gel nails look fresh longer because of the gel polish and UV light that sets the manicure, so chipping is more avoidable. Also with gel polish, the wait time is less; for every coat, you place your hands under the UV light for about 30 seconds, so it instantly dries. However, there is a downside to the gel process. Constant exposure to a UV light is known to cause your hand to age prematurely since the tops of the hands are a very sensitive area. Along with the potential risks from the UV light, there is also the disturbance to the nails when gel is removed improperly. Customers often make the mistake of removing the gel once it begins to naturally rise, but by peeling the gel coat off at home, they are taking the top layer of their natural nail with it. If the gel is removed properly, being soaked with acetone, there is less damage than picking the whole nail off. A gel manicure also has a higher price costing between $30-$45 on average. For on-the-go people, gel manicures are great because the drying period is practically cut in half, and it lasts longer.
“Even though the price is higher than a regular manicure, gel nails are worth it to not have to constantly get them redone,” senior Makenna Irvine said. “They last so much longer which is great when I’m busy and can’t go to get them done.”
SNS dip powder
Although it is a lesser known process, SNS powder has recently grown in popularity due to its long lasting wear and lack of UV light. As disclosed by the name, SNS uses dip powder rather than gel, making it similar to acrylics. These manicures can last as long as a month, even longer than gel. The process starts the same way as any basic manicure: prepping the nails and applying a base coat before proceeding to dip each nail into the colored powder. SNS claim to have healthier base coats that include vitamins like E, D, B5, D3 and calcium. The brand promotes stronger nails with each visit to the salon. Like most manicures, SNS has to be sealed with some sort of top coat, and the manicure is done. SNS is also considered to be safer than gel and acrylics because you are avoiding the dust and harsh UV lights. The price of dip powder is not far off from gel; at most places, like Shimmer Nails and Hair, it is between $25-$50. Nail lovers who are more concerned with nail health opt for this method.
For those who desire extra length with their nails, acrylics are the perfect option. With many variations of acrylics, anyone who desires “claws” can be satisfied. The most basic form of acrylic nails are done by buffing the natural nail so an extension can stick on, and then, the acrylic, a thick paste, is strategically placed on top. Customers have many options with acrylics. After the base, they can choose a regular polish, gel polish, or SNS powder. A full set of acrylics normally start at $25, but the price can also jump up to $70 all depending on where you go and what you specifically ask for. Acrylics also are known for being harder to maintain, and cause great damage if not taken care of properly. Similar to gels, if acrylics aren’t removed correctly, the left over nail will be left brittle or partly pulled off. DIY removals can rip your nails, but salon removal uses a machine that dries out the nail bed even more than it already is. The long term effect of acrylics can be even worse than gels, and soft, bendable nails may be left. Taking into consideration the effects of acrylics, they are suitable for people who struggle to grow their nails out and want to express individual style.
“Acrylics are always my go to because of the look it gives,” sophomore Brianna Canales said. “Depending on the color, it’s a new look each time.”
Nail art is versatile, and regardless of all new trends, intimidated customers can always find comfort in their basic manicure routine or a bare set of nails. Anyone can find their perfect manicure option and flaunt a fresh set of nails along with some newfound confidence.