Acrylic Nails vs. Gel Nails

The difference between acrylic and gel nails is their look. Acrylic nails look unnatural, while gel nails provide a more natural look.

When you are not satisfied with your natural nails and you don’t want to show off your nails and you want to try some new nail trends, so you can go with acrylic nails or gel nails. Nowadays, gel nails are becoming the most popular artificial nails in different salons than acrylic nails.

Mostly, we prefer long term benefits of gel nails, but if nails are not more important to you, then you can go with acrylic nails, that is less cheap than gel nails

Comparison Chart

Basis Acrylic Nails Gel Nails
Appearance It looks unnatural, mostly when applied incorrectly. Gel nails have a more natural and glossy look.
Cost Cheaper than gel nails They are more expensive than acrylic nails.
Durability More durable Less durable and can be used up to 15 days.
Flexibility Acrylic nails are less flexible and more robust. Gel nails are more flexible than acrylic nails.
After effects Prolong wear of acrylic nails can cause damage to the nail bed and leave an impression on the nails. Usually, gel nails can be applied without a primer and leave no hard impressions. However, overuse of primer can cause damage to the nail bed and leave an impression on the nails.

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are very hard in texture and if applied carefully, will last longer than gel nails.

During a manicure, the first step involves the application of primer or glue-like substance to the nail bed. After some time, when the glue dries the artificial acrylic nail is attached to the existing nail.

The curing period of acrylic nails is mostly slow as compared to gel nails. During a manicure, when the primer is used incorrect quantity it may not cause any damage to the nail bed. Moreover, skin contact should be avoided to reduce the risk of allergy.

To stick artificial acrylic nails firmly, the surface of your nail should be filed so that the nails get fixed easily. But this makes your natural nails weaker and thin also the chemicals which are used in products used to apply acrylic nails can damage the skin around your nails.

However, the biggest advantage of acrylic nails is its durability. Acrylic nail is so strong that you can manage your nail whatever is going on around you, without any worry of cracks, breaks, and lifting because it is so resilient.

Acrylic Nails

What are Gel Nails?

Gel nails are one of the most popular artificial nails in salons!

Gel nails give you a more natural look with a glossy finish. Unlike acrylic nails, if the nails are primed properly, there will be no damage to the nail bed. Gel nails are cured under the UV light, so they cure faster into a tight bond than acrylic nails.

Gel nails are more flexible as compared to acrylic nails and require less maintenance.

Gel nails can be achieved in two ways:

Hard Gel

The hard gel also known as buff-off nails can become hardened enough to form a nail extension.

Soft Gel

Before the application of soft gel, use another polish as an overcoat, which will serve as a re-enforced layer. Soft gel can be cured faster under a UV light it does not need to mix with the powder.

Though soft gel nails can last for a couple of weeks, hard gel nails will last longer.

Gel Nails

Key Differences between Acrylic Nails and Gel Nails

  1. Acrylic nails are mostly used to extend the nail and made with powder and provide you a hard layer on the nail bed in manicure and mostly come in natural-toned colors. On the other hand, gel nails are hard as they cured under the UV light and come in different nail polish shades.
  2. Acrylic nails are very difficult to remove and if you want to remove them yourself without any professional help, you have to be very careful. First, apply petroleum jelly on your fingers it will protect your skin, then soak your fingers in acetone for some time and use the nail buffer for remaining acrylic residue. On the other hand, if you don’t want to go to the salon, you can safely remove the gel nail yourself at your home. You have to take a cotton ball dipped in gel remover, put it on the nail bed, then wrap up the nail in tin foil.
  3. Acrylic nails look unnatural in a manicure as they are hard. On the other hand, gel nails give you more natural and glossy look after a manicure.
  4. Acrylic artificial nails are less costly and more durable as they last longer than gel nails. However, gel nails are expensive as they mostly start from 30$ and more and these nails are less durable and can be used up to 14 to 15 days.

Comparison Video


Choosing between acrylic artificial nails and gel nails is simply depends on your daily lifestyle. If you are a busy bee who is engaged in many tasks and you have to use your hands a lot so the best choice is gel nails. But, if you want artificial nails for short term manicure with a cheap cost, then you can surely go with Acrylic nails.

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