(Closed) Gel vs. Acrylic vs. Silk Wraps

posted 10 years ago in Beauty
Post # 3
Member
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My mom has been doing nails for over 18 years now and I think I might be able to help you out:

Gel- This is basically like putting a think coat of laquer on your nails.  If it is applied with just the gel, it’s not very strong and can easily break.  But it can also be used by applying acrylic first and then the gel on top of the gel.  In order to set the gel on the nails, you would have to place your hands under a special light.  Once it dries, it is super shiny like a clear coat. But  if  you dont want just a clear coat and want color, beware, because your nails will look really think when you add color to it

Acrylic- Powder that is very durable.  It withstands a lot and looks very nice when left with just a clear coat or with color. It resists  paint chipping too and  you don’t have to come back until 2-3 weeks again for a fill.

Silk wraps- this is exactly what is means.  They wrap your nails in white silk fabric, put nail glue all over to hold it in place and then put a thin layer of acrylic  on your nails before they file & paint your nails.

Honestly, none of these will destroy your nails.  But once you remove the gel, acrylic or silk, it will leave your nails very thin and prone to breakage until it "heals" again. 

Are your nails long or short?  I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

Post # 4
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I should preface this with, I’m a licensed manicurist and I did nails through college.

 Silks, by far are the least damaging on your nails. However, they’re also most difficult to add length with. Ideally, you should use silk to strengthen your nails so that they are capable of growing out and simply continue using silks until your wedding. However, if that is not an option, have a reputable establishment apply tips and then silks. I say reputable because the application of the tip is crucial. They can either make it look natural or like a hunk of plastic. They also posess the least amount of strength out of the three. However, they’re applied with super glue so they are technically water soluble. Post wedding, you should have a manicurist soak your nails in a bowl of pure acetone covered with a towel. The towel will help the heat from your hands heat the acetone. Warmer acetone is more effective. However, don’t nuke it or boil it! If you want it warmer, put warm water into a bigger bowl and place the smaller bowl inside. 

Gels (the UV cured kind from Creative Brisa or OPI) is more damaging than silks, but less damaging than acrylics. The reason is, it is pre-mixed, you won’t get that, chemicals are soaking into my nail bed feeling. However, it has no solvent. The only way of removing them is by yanking them off with nippers which would make them more damaging than acrylics. However, gels are exceptionally clear and shiny, which makes it look like uber top coat. You can have them buff it down to a nice thin coat and then apply a thin coat of gels over it or clear polish and grow it out with your natural nails. Depending on your taste, Gels may not be the way to go, because like silks, they have little to no color. They have come out with colored gels, but they’re not like the vibrant pinks you see with acrylics.

 Acrylics are mixed and polymerized on your nail bed. They typically warm up as they cure. They’re probably the most caustic, but you can remove them by soaking a very long time in acetone. Also, they are by far the strongest, so you can get away with them being the thinnest of the three. They also come in vibrant colors if thats your cup of tea. In fact, they come in shimmers and primary colors (if you go to a salon that carries Creative). I guess that’s all…

Post # 5
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I should preface this with, I’m a licensed manicurist and I did nails through college.

 Silks, by far are the least damaging on your nails. However, they’re also most difficult to add length with. Ideally, you should use silk to strengthen your nails so that they are capable of growing out and simply continue using silks until your wedding. However, if that is not an option, have a reputable establishment apply tips and then silks. I say reputable because the application of the tip is crucial. They can either make it look natural or like a hunk of plastic. They also posess the least amount of strength out of the three. However, they’re applied with super glue so they are technically water soluble. Post wedding, you should have a manicurist soak your nails in a bowl of pure acetone covered with a towel. The towel will help the heat from your hands heat the acetone. Warmer acetone is more effective. However, don’t nuke it or boil it! If you want it warmer, put warm water into a bigger bowl and place the smaller bowl inside. 

Gels (the UV cured kind from Creative Brisa or OPI) is more damaging than silks, but less damaging than acrylics. The reason is, it is pre-mixed, you won’t get that, chemicals are soaking into my nail bed feeling. However, it has no solvent. The only way of removing them is by yanking them off with nippers which would make them more damaging than acrylics. However, gels are exceptionally clear and shiny, which makes it look like uber top coat. You can have them buff it down to a nice thin coat and then apply a thin coat of gels over it or clear polish and grow it out with your natural nails. Depending on your taste, Gels may not be the way to go, because like silks, they have little to no color. They have come out with colored gels, but they’re not like the vibrant pinks you see with acrylics.

 Acrylics are mixed and polymerized on your nail bed. They typically warm up as they cure. They’re probably the most caustic, but you can remove them by soaking a very long time in acetone. Also, they are by far the strongest, so you can get away with them being the thinnest of the three. They also come in vibrant colors if thats your cup of tea. In fact, they come in shimmers and primary colors (if you go to a salon that carries Creative). I guess that’s all…

Post # 6
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Argh, first it wouldn’t post any of it, now it has posted it twice!

Post # 7
Member
44 posts
Newbee

What a great question– I’ve been wondering about this but didn’t think to ask the hive!  Thanks for the really thorough, informative responses, you guys are great.  One question, though, if I were to go the silks route (my nails naturally grow pretty long, but may break/snag as I finish up the wedding DIY stuff) do I need to get them done a while before the wedding and then redone the day of? How durable are they/how long do they last?

Thanks for the expertise! 

Post # 8
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Hey jlsween,

 

You should have them done regularly every 1-2 weeks depending on how much you beat up your nails. Then, have them touched up the day before the wedding. They’ll be significantly stronger than your natural nails alone, but don’t beat them up the way you would beat up acrylics. 

Post # 10
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

Here’s another nail question – what is the difference between solar pink & whites and regular acrylics?

Post # 11
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

rosychicklet,

 you can just wear a clear coat of polish over silks if they are done well. like all skilled labor, it depends on who is doing it. I’ve seen atrocious cloudy messes to silks that would only show if you were looking at them closely from just the right angle with just the right lighting, you  might see a bit of the grain of the fabric. I have a friend who uses 100% pure silk (a lot of people now use microfiber, which is what they make casts for broken bones out of). The silk is so smooth and so transparent that the only difference is that the color of your nails is slightly lighter, but you don’t even know that its fabric underneath. The microfiber has much more of a moire or a grain to it.

 

prettykatie,

 I’m guessing you’re asking about pink and whites (forever frenchs, french acrylics, solar pinks, etc). The name varies by the salon. Pink and whites are different from regular acrylics in that they are done with two colors of powdered acrylic. Regulars are just done in pink or clear (depending on your preference). Its like putting a really thick topcoat on. Its shiny, and can be tinted, but you still see your nail underneath. Pink and whites, think Britney Spears. You see the white tip at the front and the pink towards the back. Its like a french manicure, but done with acrylics. 

Post # 13
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

rosychicklet 

No problem :-). I knew my time doing nails had to pay off at some ponit. I’m glad I can answer your questions. Now to your question, it depends on the manicurist. Most will take a soft buffer and take a layer or two off of the old silks. Then they’ll put down one or two layers of silk. The thing is, you don’t need the strength near your lunula. You need the strength at the area where the white meets the pink on your nail. they simply added the layers to blend in the new growth. By the time that part of the silk gets to the pink/white meeting area, it will be several layers thick.

Post # 14
Member
44 posts
Newbee

Wow, thanks so much for all the info, SoCalBride!

Post # 15
Member
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

So informative SoCalBride! I’ve never done gel or acrylics but I had silk done before. I use to go to a place right by my house but every time I ask for silk I feel like it’s such a bother for them to do it. Just like the other stuff you put on your nails it depends on who you go to to get a good job. I’ve tried silk from all the ladies that work there but there’s only one lady that makes it look really natural. Also when it comes time to pick those suckers out it wasn’t too bad. I don’t know what my co-worker gets but she’s always picking at the same nail for a day trying to take it off.

One of my clients had "pink and whites" done. They look so beautiful that I went to "The Nail Shop" and asked for it. They looked at my nails like I’m crazy and said "why would you get  them done for? It’ll make your nails weak." WTH?! A nail shop that’s talking me out of getting what I want and suggesting something cheaper??? (mani and pedi combo) It wasn’t busy nor was it close to closing so it’s not like they were trying to kick me out. I’m kind of confused on why they did that.  AnyWHO I guess I didn’t help much did I?

Post # 16
Member
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I get solar nails.  They are very similar to the acrylics in terms of how they look, but they last longer.  I can get fill after fill without having to get a new set.  They take longer to do during the first and follow-up visits (which is why the nail tech probably didn’t want to do them-especially if you didn’t make your appointment specifying them over acrylics) and they cost more, but I think they are much more durable.  When I had acrylics I broke them sometimes, but haven’t broken a single one with the solars. 

Also, when getting the solars they might ask you if you want the pinker powder or the more natural looking one-pick the more natural one if you tan, spend a lot of time in the sun, or if it is summer-they tend to turn yellow in UV light.

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