If you’re anything like us, you’ll know that getting your nails done is a great way to pamper yourself, whether it’s before a holiday or just as a special treat. However, if you’re not well versed in the world of manicures, you might find yourself a bit stumped when it comes to asking for treatments; there’s loads of choice and it can be tough to know what will suit you. We’ve designed a handy guide about the three most popular types of nail treatment and what they offer, so next time you walk in you can re-enact your Legally Blonde fantasies without hesitation.
What’re my options?
The three types of false nails we’re going to focus on are acrylics, SNS and gel nails.
- Acrylics: Acrylic nails act as an extension of your existing nail. Your nails are filed down, then a fake nail is glued on top, trimmed and reshaped, coated in a special acrylic gel, then painted or designed with polish.
- SNS: SNS, or Signature Nail Systems, involves using resin to coat your nail in special acrylic based powder that builds up on the nail and is filed to create the desired shape. It can be applied over the top of false extension nails or to the natural nail. The powder is available in a variety of colours.
- Gel: Gels are used as a regular polish style, but are known to be longer lasting and more hard wearing than everyday nail varnish. Applied either to your natural nail or your extensions, gel polish is painted on and then held under a UV light to allow it to harden, giving it more strength.
Which is better?
It’s not a simple comparison of these treatments because it depends upon what you’re looking for. Acrylic nails can last up to 4 weeks and make your nails look totally fierce, but they’re also harder on your nail when it comes to removal. Gel polish will look more natural and likely take less time, as it’s not an extension of your nail, but it won’t give you the length you might want. SNS is a newer but very popular method, which offers both length and strength, but can be tricky to remove unless you go back to your salon.
If you’re looking for an affordable manicure to accompany your cute beach outfits on holiday, acrylics will do the trick. If you’re more of a hands-on kind of gal, gel polish will give you a pop of colour without giving you cumbersome nails to worry about breaking or getting in the way. If you’re looking for something that’ll last you the entire month at your new job, SNS nails might be the best option, because they last a long time and are very hard to break or damage. Plus, they’re lighter on your fingers so you won’t feel too conscious of them.
Which costs more?
Naturally, pricing varies from salon to salon, but generally acrylics are the most affordable option at around £25-£35 per set. SNS comes in at a slightly more expensive £30-£70 per set. However, SNS is harder to find in salons because it’s a newer treatment offered in the UK, so expect that to contribute to pricing.
Gel nails are probably the type of nail treatment that varies the most in price, with some places charging as little as £15 and some as much as £35 per set, dependent on the treatment. You can buy gel polish from stores such as Boots or Superdrug too, so if you’re not sure on the salon environment or you’re on a budget for the month, you can grab a set of cute gel polish colours and a UV lamp and try it yourself.
Of course, these prices are averages and don’t reflect all salons across the UK. They also don’t take into account reshaping, manicure treatments or other services that salons might charge extra for.
So, what’s the verdict?
Basically, it’s up to you which nail treatment you’d prefer. All of these types offer hardwearing durability that should last you at least a couple of weeks, which is better than the lifespan of the falsies you can buy from beauty shops or supermarkets. Our advice? Check out which treatments your local salon offers, have a chat with them if you’re still unsure, then splash out on your fave colours to give yourself some sparkle on even the rainiest of British Summer days.