Difference Between Powder, Shellac, Gel, and Acrylic Nails

Most of the current manicure products are the advancement of their predecessors. With a few changes, the beauty industry retains a constant flow of new types of nail polishes. Perhaps a detailed review of the similarities in the formulation of different nail manicures that you probably never knew about might open up your eyes. Have you ever wondered what makes Powder, Shellac, Gel, and Acrylic Nails different from each other? Well, when you visit the usual nail supplies store near you or nail supplies online store for a manicure shopping and probably get torn between the types of manicure that you should try, this article will come in handy by clearing all your doubts and giving an insight into the differences between different manicures. Eventually, making a choice will have been made easy, right? So, what is the difference between Powder, Shellac, Gel, and Acrylic Nails?

Powder Nails

The difference between acrylics and dip powder nails is not as huge as it may seem because the manicures use similar ingredients. An acrylic base is featured in both gel and dip powders. However, the slight difference that is noted emanates from a difference in the refinement degree of the particles used in the acrylic formulation. The grains are more refined when used in the manufacture of dip powders leading to bolder, brighter and finer dip powder nail colors. Different dip powder manufacturers then vary other factors in dip powder formulations to produce various dip powders such as DND dipping powder, LDS dip powder colors, and SNS dipping powder.

Powder nails use cyanoacrylate bonds, a special glue that helps bind powder nail coats, eliminating the need to use light as a cure. In contrast, a special liquid is applied between the subsequent acrylic or gel manicure layers to provide the required bond. Unfortunately, the nails must be cured using UV light to trigger a chemical process that strengthens the bond between the liquid and the manicure layers.

It has been discovered that, however long an SNS nail color lasts, it does not harm the nails or the cuticle. An SNS manicure has a lifespan of four to six weeks, while acrylic nails can only last for a maximum of three weeks. There is a flawless distinction between Powder, Shellac, Gel, and Acrylic Nails. Some people have mastered the art of applying each of the manicures while others succumb to common application flaws that have distinguished peculiarities.    

Gel Nails

Gel nails and paint overlays are a complete antithesis of each other. When a gel manicure is exposed to UV light for a short while, the hardened coat that is formed is known as the gel. A brush is used when applying layers of gel to the natural nails. A base coat, polish color, and topcoat must subsequently overlay each other when applying gels. Besides, gel manicures are flexible in that people with long nails can choose to get a gel overlay or a nail tip. The nail design is purely your choice. Long nails are not only big but also easy to handle, which makes it possible to reshape them effortlessly.      

It is easier and quicker to attain gel nails compared to acrylic nails. Additionally, gel nails have a longer lifespan compared to acrylics. Minimal filing is required to give the gel nails the necessary size and shape. Tests carried out not only on average and healthy people but also on pregnant women revealed that gels are safe and non-toxic. Gels make an excellent option for those who fancy exceptionally dazzling nail finishes with a natural touch.

Shellac Nails

A mixture of gel and nail polish forms a Shellac manicure available in over 100 colors. Shellac nails are illustrious for their unique strength and solidity. Their application is similar to that of the usual nail polishes, making them the perfect choice for those who despise nail tips. They can be promptly applied without lengthening the nails. Besides, they have gorgeous colors that result in a lavish final look. Nonetheless, unlike the other type of nails shaping or filing Shellacs without cracking during refills is almost impossible. Luckily you can get an almond, oval, coffin squire, or any other Shellac shape of your choice.


Powder polymers and liquid monomers are used in the formulation of acrylic nails. Acrylics involve covering the natural nails with artificial nails with the aid of powder and liquid acrylic. These nails are advantageous because they can be shaped and reshaped as the owner wishes. Additionally, prolonged exposure to natural light makes them more robust, and the additional layer protects the nails.


If you are not aware of the difference between Powder, Shellac, Gel and Acrylic Nails, choosing any one of them becomes a real hustle. However, this does not have to be the case anymore because this article quenches your third for knowledge by shedding more light on each of the manicures. Avoid unscrupulous traders from taking advantage of you or getting confused by the enormous varieties of colors and nails available in your favorite nail supplies online store or the nail supplies store near you.