There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nails. New innovations are constantly being introduced and provide us with the abundance of manicure options we have today. Your favourite salon now has an extensive list of services available, which can be quite hard to navigate through and make a decision if you don't know what you're deciding between.
What are your options and which one is for you? It all comes down to personal preference, what you want to achieve, and most importantly — what's best for your health and natural nails.
To help you make the best choice, we'll explore what each of the following services have to offer:
- Dip Powders
- Nail Lacquers
1. Dipping Powders
You might hear people use 'SNS' as a generic term for dipping powder - that’s because SNS invented the very first of its kind. Dipping powders are specifically designed to be a healthier alternative to gel and acrylic nail enhancements. They don't contain harsh chemicals or require a UV light to cure.
SNS dipping powders produce strong and durable nails, protecting your nails and allowing them to grow. If you have weak nails, are a biter, or need a mani tough enough to handle your lifestyle — dips are the way to go!
How it's applied:
Before nails are dipped, a dehydrating liquid is used to clean the nails of oil because powder adheres to dry nails better. In between base coats and sealant, nails are dipped into coloured powder of your choosing. Powder will only adhere to the base coat with the sealant acting as a drying agent. Excess powder is dusted off and the process is repeated, adding strength with every layer. Top coats are applied, creating a stunning, mirror-like finish.
Effects of nails:
SNS dipping powders and liquids nourish the nails with the added vitamins E, A, B3, D5, and calcium - natural nails are healthier and stronger than before. Nails should be professionally removed to avoid damaging nails.
- EA Bond
- Gel Base
- Gelous Base (for colour)
- Sealer Dry
- Gel Top
40 - 70
The shiny top coat is buffed off before soaking nails in acetone for 10-20 minutes. The powder becomes soft and can easily be wiped away.
- Pink & White System
- Gelous Colours
- Dipstar Colours
- Fabulous Colours
- Bases & Sealers
You're probably familiar with gels if you get your nails done at a salon. It's similar to regular nail polish but gel is twice as shiny and lasts three times as long.
Gels are a good choice if your nails are in good condition and you're trying to grow them out. They add a layer of protection that helps keep your nails from breaking.
Brush on gel polishes - base coat, colour, and top coat. After each layer of gel polish is added, place hands under a UV light for 30-60 seconds to cure the polish.
Effects on nails:
Avoid taking off gel polish at home. The removal process can expose your nail beds to damage.
If you get back-to-back gel manis, the UV light exposure can dry out your nails and you might notice some peeling in the days following removal. Make sure you keep them hydrated with some cuticle oil!
- Base coat
- Gel polish
- Top coat
- UV Light
45 minutes - 1 hour
2 - 3 weeks
Soak nails in 100% acetone for 15 minutes or more to soften the gel. Then, gently slide it off each nail using a cuticle pusher.
40 - 60
3. Nail Lacquers/Polish
You definitely know this one. The manicure we've all given ourselves at one point! It's easy to put on and easy to take off. Regular polish is great if you need to have a fresh colour every few days but when it comes to longevity — it just doesn't hold up against dips and gels.
Nail polish still shines on feet though! Dips aren't exactly appropriate for the toes so we'll stick to the traditional bottle and brush for pedicures.
Brush on natural nails. Allow to air-dry or dry under a fan.
Effects on nails:
No negative effects! Nail polish can provide a little bit of strength to nails, protecting them from splitting or chipping.
- Base coat
- Nail lacquer
- Top coat
Up to a week
Soak cotton pads with nail polish remover and easily wipe away polish