Gel Nail Polish vs Regular Nail Polish (Comparison)

Gel Nail Polish vs Regular Nail Polish (Comparison)

There is a long time argument about the difference between normal nail polish and gel nail polish. This article will explain the difference between the two and outline some of the pros and cons for each.

Regular Nail Polish

We all know regular nail polish, which is also known as normal nail polish, or nail varnish. It was the most common and accessible nail polish for having nails done at home up until the market changed in 2010.

To put it simply, normal nail polish is a lacquer where the ingredients been refined over the years to protect nails against drying out and cracking. The origins for nail polish comes from the old dynasties in China, where ingredients like beeswax, gum Arabic and vegetable dyes were used.

Today, when receiving a manicure with regular air dry polish, a professional will lay down a base coat, three polish coats and a top coat. It takes a lot of time to have a manicure with regular nail polish that will only last a week and chip quite easily.

Another issue people find with air dry polish is the drying time. How often have you received manicure and an important phone call comes through, then as you reach into your bag, you damage your brand new mani? This is one of the major problems with air dry polish.

Gel Polish

If you’re used to a varnish type manicure and don’t see the point in paying top dollar for something that will be destroyed in day, then you’re going to love gel based nail polish.

Gel nail polish is relatively new in the nail polish scene and is also known as soak-off gel polish. It started becoming mainstream in the beauty industry around 2012 when brands such as Opallac started releasing “do it at home” kits.

Ok, there are actually a few different types of gel polish, considering all nail polish use some kind of gel. Often brands out there will put the word “gel” in the product name in order to pull extra sales, all in a deceiving manner. The gel we’re specifically talking about here - which is the gel polish we sell - is known as hard gel, or UV / LED gel polish.

UV and LED curing is a chemical process where a chain reaction creates heat and the gel begins to set. When the gels sets, it leaves a residual sticky layer on top that’s removed with a lint free cloth.

Incorrect Use

Both styles of polish can be harmful when done incorrectly. Please remember to always dry your nails properly before applying polish to avoid any moisture sitting under the nail for more than a week. This is what causes damaged nails and infections.

Incorrect use of nail varnish is chipping away at the layers and constant use of nail polish remover.

Incorrect use of gel nail polish is trying to remove the strips yourself. If the proper procedure is not used then you to run the risk of damaging your nails.


Comparing the two

Nail Varnish

Gel Based Polish

Lifespan: 1 Week

Lifespan: 3 weeks

Location: Salon & Home

Location: Salon & Home

Quality: Medium if done by professional with appropriate coats and layers.

Quality: Salon quality nails from home.

Removal: Nail polish remover and cotton balls.

Removal: Soak and removal strips, recommended to use professional.

Drying Time: 20 minutes

Drying Time: 1 minute

Creative: Marble type art

Creative: Fine line nail art with tips.



1 comment

  • The Opallac is so good because it last 4 weeks and makes my toe nails strong and tough love it

    Bray Gilly

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published