Post # 1
Hello Ladies, I am getting married next month and I would like to have pretty nails. Let me state first that I have been a nail/cuticle bitter my whole life and my nails and cuticles are horrible looking and it is embarrassing. So, I figured what better time than my wedding to get fake nails and have them look nice for the wedding and the future. So, having said that, I realize that fake nails are not “good” for your nails etc…, but since mine are so bad already I am willing to take on that risk. However, which ones to get is a mystery to me and reading stuff online has only made it more confusing. I am hard on my hands so I was thinking acrylic, but I want them to look good and I hear gels look better? Also, can you have polish applied to them like you woudl a normal manicure or do you buy a full set of a color and that is it? How often do you have to have them re-done or up kept? Any advice would be great, thanks!
Post # 3
I would get acrylic. I have read very horrible things about the chemicals in the gel nails. I had acrylics for 10 years and never had a problem. You can paint them with color or leave them french (with the white tips). If you want them a color they dont put the white tips on they just put the pinkish color on & then paint with polish.
Post # 4
I also really like acrylic. I’ve tried both and for me the gels weren’t at all worth the extra money. At my salon now they’ve gone to a new system called (supposedly) “healthy nails” which are an acrylic dip. I love them! No fumes and minimal damage to your natural nails. I’m like you, my natural nails weren’t all that great anyway and since I’ve been getting acrylic they look perfect every single day. They are expensive and require upkeep, though. Or you can just get them as a one-time-only thing for the wedding and take them off or let them grow out afterwards if you don’t want to keep up with them. The ones I get now look very natural, I keep them short and everyone thinks they’re my own nails anyway, unless I tell them. I think you’ll be very pleased if you go with acrylic. To answer your question, most of the time I can go two weeks between fill-ins.
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2012 - Glades Pike Winery, Somerset, PA
I’m going to confuse you hear haha, but GET GELS! I’ve been wearing gels for a few months now and I LOVE them. They make colored gel, so you can get it done in one color and that’s it, but my manicurist does them with clear gel and then paints over them with regular polish.
Gels don’t require the nail to be ground down like acrylics do; just buffed up slightly to remove the shine. My nail lady doesn’t even use a drill on them (she uses a drill to sculpt the gel once it’s on, but she NEVER touches my natural nail with the drill, just with a hand file/emery board, much less damaging).
They also are much more natural looking than acrylics, IMO.
Here’s a couple pictures of a French manicure I had done with gels. This is clear gel over my natural nails, sculpted to a square tip, and painted with regular OPI polish to get the French.
Post # 6
When I used to get my nails done, I used to get Bio Gel. I loved it! The only reason why I stopped getting them re-filled was 1) I spent way too much money on my nails and 2) I didn’t really need them because my nails were strong on their own.
I’m planning on doing it again for my wedding. ^_^ But no more re-filling after LOL!
Post # 7
I’ve had both gel polish and acrylic nails. I’d say that I liked the gel better because I did not like the “heavy” feeling from the acrylic nails. The gel polish also did not damage my nail, whereas the acrylic did, however I always just ripped them off myself – so that may have something to do with it. The damage is probably far less if you go in and pay to get them removed. My gel manicure lasted about 2 weeks. Acrylic will give you imperfection free nails. Gel has virtually no imperfections either, however after some time I did notice some cracks.
Perhaps you could ask the nail salon what they recommend. I’m thinking as a nail bitter, acrylic may be better for you.
Post # 8
Acrylic nails with gel over-lay is the best, IMO. I used to get only gel but they chipped horribly. The acrylic is stronger. On my nails, anyway.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2012 - Glades Pike Winery, Somerset, PA
OP, just to clarify, gel nails are different than the gel polish that @Jen402 is talking about. Gel polish is a layer of polish with gel elements in it that cures to be harder than nail polish. It’s great but it doesn’t add length or change the shape of your nail, and it doesn’t add much strength either. Gel polish manicures last about 2 weeks and can be soaked off with acetone.
Gel nails are a thick gel, scooped out of a pot with a brush, about the thickness of corn syrup. They can add length and shape, and they add a thick layer on top of your nails, like acrylics do. They stay on permanently, so unless you grow them out or go to the salon to get them filed down (note: they file down the gel until it’s just a very thin layer on your nail, and then you grow it out; they never file the whole way through to your natural nail, because that poses a risk for damage), or you have the misfortune of one breaking off, they’re on there for good.
Post # 10
I got acrylics for the first time for my wedding. I hated them!!! Maybe its just the place I went to, and myabe their service wasnt the greatest. But I hated every minute of having those nails on and when it came time to remove them, it was a huge nightmare… Never ever again.
Post # 11
Thanks so much for all the advice everyone! I think I will have to go and talk to a nail technician and show her my horrible nails and have her tell me which ones might work best, but the advice is so very helpful and thanks for the pics mswizard! 🙂 I am geting so close to my wedding and I am so excited! I hope you all are as well. 🙂
Post # 12
I have been getting pink and white acrylics for probably seven or eight years now. While my nail is thinner underneath this grows out and the new nail is just fine (and healthy) so I haven’t had any long standing damage.
My nails last about 3-4 weeks without needing a fill and that is despite constant abuse from my dogs and sports activities.
I absolutely love not having to worry about my nails. I do keep them pretty short to avoid any discomfort or potential damage/injury.
Here is a photo:
Post # 13
Acrylic and American Manicure. The white tip of the American manicure is more creamy-ish and looks more natural. I even get American on my real nails to enhance them while still keeping a understated and classic look.
Post # 14
(As a nail tech I just had to chime in)
Just to clarify… liquid and powder systems (acrylic) and UV gels are on a base level chemically the same. They are both acrylates and both work by forming polymer chains during the curing process. UV gels are cured using a UV lamp (some systems are now LED cureable) while liquid and powder systems (acrylic) cure by interaction with oxygen.
For both systems, the prep of the natural nail should only include removing the shine from the natural nail. There should be no excessive filing of the natural nail. Just using a fine grit buffer to remove the shine (oils).
If your natural nails are not in the best shape currently, my suggestion would be to begin getting consistent manicures now, being sure to use cuticle oil daily to keep your cuticles and nails moisturized and healthy. I wouldn’t recommend getting enhancements if your natural nails are in poor shape. Once you’ve been getting consistent (weekly) manicures for a couple weeks, I would suggest then trying a gel manicure using gel polish. There are different gel polish systems that are either a UV gel/nail polish hybrid, or straight UV gel. The difference between this gel and traditional gel is that “gel polish” gel is soft gel, while traditional gel is hard gel.
Soft gel is flexible, and therefore appropriate for use on the natural nail as a “polish”/protective coating, but not for extending the natural nail. Hard gel is what is used for extending the natural nail (“artificial nails”). Soft gel can be soaked off using acetone, hard gel must be buffed off.
All gels and acrylics can be done either in a color, or in “natural” and polished. Maintenance is usually recommended every 2-3 weeks for traditional gel and acrylic, while for gel manicures it’s every 2 weeks.
I hope this helps.
Post # 15
Ditto to what @Singingmua said above about gel polishes. I’m addicted to Shellac manicures (Google them). It’s a gel polish that they harden under UV lights. No grinding down of your own nails or adding glues to your nail bed. The color lasts at least two weeks, I’ve been to Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, etc. and the polish stayed shiny and beautiful. Only a professional could tell you if this would be an option for your nails, but I LOVE how Shellac looks. 🙂