Ask Ella: What’s the difference between shellac, soft gel and dip manicures?

Q: What’s the difference between shellac, soft gel and dip manicures and how do I know which is best for my nails?

A: When it comes to long-lasting manicures, there are a lot of choices out there. Our three favorites are shellac, dip, and soft gel — and all are a great alternative to traditional acrylics.

SHELLAC: This option is type of nail polish that’s actually a mixture of nail polish and gel. It’s applied with two coats of color and a special topcoat that is cured by placing the nails under a UV light. Shellac manis are thinner than gels and dip, but still offer a longer-lasting color. This is a great choice for those who want to change their nail color more often. Think of Shellac as a regular mani plus a little extra protection from chipping.

DIP: This manicure gets its name from how it is applied — which is exactly as it sounds. After a base or primer coat is painted on, each nail is dipped into a small pot of colored acrylic powder. This process is repeated until you reach the desired amount of coverage, building up a protective layer over the nails. The powder cures in the air with no UV light required to create a strong, chip-proof bond. Looking for more length? Extensions can be added with Dip nails, too!

GEL EXTENSIONS: The newest option to hit the market, Gel Extensions are already shaped full soft gel nail tip that get secured on the natural nail with gel. They come in different shapes and lengths and are quicker to apply (and less damaging) than traditional acrylic tips. They last and are lightweight enough to feel like your natural nail!

Think you’re ready to schedule your next nail service? Click to book now!


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