Powder Gel Nails or Gel Polish

Powder Gel Nails or Gel Polish

Nov 7, '21

Manicures are an easy way to get that polished look you crave. Gel polish, hard and soft gels, and gel powder are excellent choices for adding strength, length, and the perfect shape to your digits. Whether you choose to wear your natural nails or want longer nail extensions, gel will help you achieve the glossy manicure you desire. 

Powder gel adds strength to natural nails, while gel polish is a quick, long-lasting alternative to traditional nail polish. Both types of gel will leave you with a beautiful, glossy manicure you will obsess over.

What is Powder Gel?

Powder dip gel is durable and perfect for everyday wear. It is a popular gel nail option that many people choose. Powder gel nails are worn for up to five weeks. Dip powder is suitable for short to medium-length nails

How is Powder Gel Applied?

Powder gel is a gel product applied to natural nails to add durability and color to the nails. It is applied in layers using special glazes and powders. The layers create a durable protective coating over the natural nails.

What Materials Are Used in Powder Gel?

Powder gels are made of an acrylic base. Monomer, oligomers, and other ingredients create a hard, durable coating over the nails. The formula is virtually odorless.

How Durable is Powder Gel?

Powder gel is less permanent than hard gel but more permanent than gel polish. This type of manicure is recommended for people who want a glossy, long-lasting colored manicure. Remove powder gel easily with pure acetone. 

What is the Cost of Powder Gel Nails?

Powder gel nails are a mid-range cost manicure. Since powder gel nails last up to five weeks, they do not need to be retouched as often as other gel nail types.

Hard and Soft Gel

It is essential to know that there are several types of gel, including hard gel, soft gel, and powder gel. 

Both hard and soft gels are durable nail overlays that last three to four weeks. These gels are cured underneath a UV lamp or LED light. The light causes the gel to harden onto the nails, leaving a beautiful glossy overlay. 

While both soft and hard gel types are similar in some ways, they also differ in others. Knowing the differences between all gel types will allow you to make the best nail decision for your client.

What is Soft Gel?

Soft gel creates a durable overlay on natural nails. It is more delicate than hard gel and harder than gel polish. It is ideal for short to medium nail lengths.

How Is Soft Gel Applied?

Soft gel is applied by brushing the gel onto the nails. It is formed around the natural nail to create an overlay to add strength and minimal length to the nails. After the soft gel is laid onto the nails, it is cured under a UV or LED lamp. Several layers are sometimes used to create a more sturdy nail overlay.

What Materials Are Used in Soft Gel?

Soft gel is composed of oligomers and monomers. When this chemical mixture is placed underneath a UV or LED light, polymerization occurs. This polymerization is what causes the gel nails to harden. 

The soft gel has a similar molecular structure to hard gel; however, there is one significant difference. There is more space between the molecules in soft gel, allowing it to be easily penetrated by acetone. This loose structure allows acetone to break down soft gel for easy removal.

How Durable Is Soft Gel?

The client can wear soft gel nails for up to five weeks before chipping and wear becomes visible. While soft gel provides length and durability, it is not as durable as a hard gel. This more delicate finish is primarily due to its loose molecular structure.

Soft gel nails are not as durable or long-lasting as other nail overlays, such as hard gel and acrylic. It is best used on natural nails to create a hardened overlay for brittle, weak nails or to add a more even fingernail shape. 

What Is the Cost of Soft Gel Nails?

For those people who want a more inexpensive strong nail overlay option, soft gel nails may be a perfect choice. Soft gel nails cost less than hard gel nails and are used alone or with other nail products.

What Is Hard Gel?

Hard gel is suitable for all nail lengths and is used to create a customizable nail extension. It is much harder than soft gel nails. 

The hard gel provides durability and a longer-lasting gel nail set than soft gel. Hard gel nails are worn for three to four weeks before requiring a gel refill.

How Is Hard Gel Applied?

Hard gel is a thicker gel consistency placed onto the natural nails with a small nail brush and moved around to create the client’s desired nail shape and length. After the gel has been applied, the nails are cured underneath a UV or LED lamp. After the curing process, the remaining residue on each nail is wiped away with an acetone-soaked cotton ball.

What Materials Are Used in Hard Gel?

Hard gel nails have a similar molecular structure as a soft gel. The gel consists of monomers and oligomers. These compounds are more tightly woven to create the sturdy finish of the hard gel nails. When the gel is placed underneath the UV or LED light, it dries to a hardened finish.

How Durable Is Hard Gel?

Hard gel nails are much more durable than soft gel nails and gel polish, making them the perfect option for a strong, everyday use nail set. The hard gel structure resists chipping and visual wear better than soft gel and gel polish. 

What Is the Cost of Hard Gel Nails?

Hard gel nails are more expensive than soft gel nails and a gel polish manicure. Refills will be less often because you can wear hard gel nails for up to four weeks. The longer-lasting nail set will save money in the long run because they will not have to be maintained as often.

What Is Gel Polish?

Gel polish is a colored polish that is painted on top of natural nails or nail extensions. Gel polish is much thinner than soft and hard gels yet thicker than regular nail polish. It is a thin layer of gel that offers a protective barrier for the natural nails and adds strength. Gel polish is similar to, yet different than shellac.

Gel polish cannot change the shape or length of natural nails. Instead, it is used as a colored polish on natural nails or longer gel or acrylic nail extensions.

How Is Gel Polish Applied?

Gel polish is a popular option for those who want a quick, polished, and glossy manicure. The gel polish is applied just like traditional nail polish. It is painted onto the natural nails or nail extensions and dried underneath a UV or LED light. The convenience of this fast-drying, long-lasting polish makes it an appealing manicure for many clients who want a simple manicure.

What Materials Are Used in Gel Polish?

Gel polish is a weaker form of the same materials used in soft and hard gels. The weakened formula causes the gel polish to have a thin consistency similar to traditional nail polish.

How Durable Is Gel Polish?

Gel polish will last on a manicure for two to three weeks. Minimal chipping will occur during wear, which is why many people prefer gel polish to regular nail polish. 

What Is the Cost of a Gel Polish Manicure?

Gel polish manicures are less expensive than soft gel nail and hard gel nail applications. However, gel polish manicures cost more than manicures that use traditional nail polish. Gel polish manicures are the perfect option for those who desire a longer-lasting polished manicure without the commitment of a soft or hard gel nail application.

Which Type of Gel Manicure Should You Choose?

Hard and soft gel, gel powder, and gel polish are different; therefore, it depends on which type of nails the client desires to wear. If the client wants longer and stronger fingernails, soft or hard gel is the best option. Both types of gel will alter the length and shape of the nails.

For the client that desires nail art or a long-lasting painted manicure, choose gel polish or powder. Gel polish leaves a glossy, colored coating on top of natural nails and nail extensions. One of the perks of gel polish is its quick-drying abilities. Gel polish lasts two weeks and is easily removed with acetone.

Gel powder manicures last longer than gel polish, but removal is a more tedious salon-required task. 

Choose What Works for You

Powder gel and gel polish both create a beautiful manicure for your client. Hard and soft gel and powder gel is made for semi-permanent wear, while gel polish is more temporary. The type of gel nail you choose should depend on whether or not you are adding nail length and strength. 

Valentino Beauty Pure offers the gold standard in gel polish and gel nail products. Each gel collection is rich in highly pigmented colors so that you can provide your client with a beautiful manicure during every session. 

Shop all of our nail equipment, gels, acrylics, and collections for top-of-the-line salon-quality nail products.

Sources:

  1. The Chemistry of Gel and Shellac Nails | Chemistry is Life
  2. Gel Nail Extensions: Pros, Cons, and Gel vs. Acrylic Nails | Byrdie
  3. Gel Manicure Guide — Is Gel Nail Polish Bad for Your Nails? | Allure