Acrylic vs gel nails: Which is the winner?

Posted by Shanelle Best on

We won’t tell you which is best, why? Because there isn’t a clear answer, it really depends on what you want from your nails. That being said, there are pros and cons for each, we’ll go over them in this blog post. Let’s start with acrylic nails:

What are acrylic nails?

Acrylic nails are simply a mix of powder and liquid monomer that's combined into a dough and then shaped onto your natural nail with a brush and air dried. Your average set of acrylic nails will cost you between £25 - £30. Now for the interesting part, the pros and cons!


  • Great for those of you with brittle nails.
  • Acrylics have been around for a very long time, longer than it’s counterparts in fact. This means it won’t be difficult to find a nail technician to do your nails.
  • Amazing for people who chew their nails. Acrylics are hard to chew off plus making your nails as pretty as possible is bound to make you think twice about sinking your teeth into them!
  • Acrylic nails are more affordable than gel nails.
  • They are more durable and last longer than gel nails.


  • The application of acrylic nails requires the use of strong chemicals, some of which people may be allergic to.
  • Acrylic nails can look very “fake” (not necessarily a bad thing!) it takes a very talented nail technician to make them look similar to your natural nails.
  • They need to be refilled every month which can make have acrylic nails too pricey for some.
  • If not done properly, they can damage your natural nail and cause infections.

Now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of acrylic nails, it’s time to discuss gel nails.

What are gel nails?

Unlike acrylic nails, gel nails have to be cured under a UV light. Here are the pros and cons of gel nails:


  • No smudges, once the UV rays harden and cure the gel polish, smudges can’t have their way!
  • Gel manicures last on average 2 weeks longer than regular manicures.
  • Quick drying time. If you need to be in and out of the salon quickly a gel manicure is the right option for you. Usually, regular manicures take 30 minutes to dry but gel manicures only take 2 minutes per coat!


  • UV rays can age the skin on your hands, also continuous exposure to UV rays can cause cancer cells to develop.
  • Gel nails are typically more expensive than acrylic nails.
  • When compared to regular nail polish, the removal process for gel polish will be tough on your natural nails. 

Now that you have all of the facts, which would you choose? Alternatively you could opt for press on nails. Here’s why we think press on nails are the best: 

  1. They don’t chip or lose their shape or shine.
  2. If one pops off prematurely, you can simply clean the nail with alcohol, file down the edges and glue it right back on.
  3. Your nails are much safer under a set of press on nails than they are under acrylics or gel.
  4. They are much more affordable than gel or acrylic nails. With proper care, you’ll even be able to reuse your press on nails.
  5. They take less than 10 minutes to apply.
  6. Press on nails come in a variety of designs.
  7. No exposure to UV rays.

Check out our collection of hand painted press on nails.