Which Nail Product Is Your Best Fit?

Nail polish and fake nails can always make an outfit, but it is hard sometimes to decide which one to choose. I have compiled a list of each different type to help you weigh your options!

All across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more sites, there are always new pictures of nail color and designs being uploaded. Each picture uploaded is a new idea of what to do next for a color or style. Of course, there are different things to consider before getting your nails done. There is the cost side, as well as the amount of time you have on your hands to sit through getting your nails done. All of the four options listed below are good ones, but ultimately it is up to you, the reader, to decide which you like and why. 

1. Press on Nails/Fake Nails

Fake Nails
My dip powder nails last May

These nails are always stylish and look so classy and good in any circumstance. These nails always add extra length to what you already have, and they also protect the nail from anything you may encounter. On the other hand (no pun intended), there is a possible risk of injury. After about two weeks the nails also grow out and may start to fall off, which also hurts when small strings or hair gets in between them. 

There are three different fake nail options to choose from. There is the standard regular acrylic nail, gel nail polish, or dip powder nails. The application process to apply the nail tip is the same in all of these, but after that, it is the color and polish application that is different. With dip powder, it is exactly how it sounds. There is a special polish added onto the nail and then your nail is dipped into a little bottle of powder with the color of your choice. It is a simple application and takes less time than regular acrylics and gel nails. 

I have only ever had gel nails and dip powder nails, but I can confidently say that dip powder nails are truly worth it. I have had mine for about two weeks now and they have not begun to split near my cuticle and they still look as good as the day that I got them. I got so many compliments on my dip powder nails, and I will be getting them again in the near future. 

Pros of using fake nails:

  • There are so many styles to choose from.
  • They last a few weeks.
  • They add any extra length that is wanted.
  • Any design done looks so good.

Cons of using fake nails:

  • They can damage your nails in the long run.
  • Taking them off will cause damage and dry out the nails.
  • There is a risk of injury and infection. I injured my pinky nail back in 2015 because of an acrylic nail. 

2. Nail Polish Stickers

Nail Poish stickers
Nail polish stickers I used for my sorority formal in April

The innovation of these is unreal. It is a no-mess solution, and it is quick and easy. All you have to do is see which polish strip matches the size of your nail, peel it off the base it is on, then put it on the nail, stretch to fit, and file it down. The instructions are simple and there is no drying time, so you will not have to fear messing up your newly colored nails. Also, since this is just regular nail polish with an adhesive attached to it, your nails will not be damaged in the process and wearing of it. 

With proper nail care, the stickers should last about two and a half weeks. I last used the stickers in April for a sorority formal. I was short on money to get my nails done in a salon, and nail polish stickers also provide a classy look when needed. They look professionally done, but it is your little secret that you actually did them yourself with little time applied to it.

When you have become bored of the color or want to do something else to your nails, the removal process is also easy. You just soak the nails in warm water for a few minutes before either peeling them or pushing them off. There is also the option to dry peel them just like I did one night when I got anxious and bored. 

Personally, this nail polish method is one of my favorites. I have used them a few times, but each time I did, I got endless compliments from friends, teachers, or co-workers. 

Pros of nail poish stickers:

  • They are a no-mess type of solution. You also do not have to worry about the strong nail polish smell taking over your senses and entire room. 
  • Nail polish stickers are easy to apply. Each pack comes with instructions as well, so it is easy to follow what you need to do and how to do it. 
  • You will not damage the nail in any type of way. This is because there is just an adhesive being used and no glue or peeling polish. 

Cons of nail polish stickers:

  • Some of the strips might not be big enough to fit the entire nail, thus leaving gaps on the side where color should be. 
  • Nail polish stickers can peel within the first 24 hours if not applied correctly.
  • Most packs do not come with a supply for a second application. This means you would have to buy multiple packs of the color and design if you wanted to continue with the color. 

3. Regular Nail Polish

regular nail polish
Woman painting her nails

This is the classic nail polish route for a lot of people in the world. It is cheaper, and it can be done from home or anywhere for that matter (car, bathroom, dorm room, work, etc). There are several steps involved such as a base coat, two coats of the actual polish, and then a topcoat.

One downside to this style is that there is a long wait time between each coat. It will take between 10-15 minutes for each coat to dry, and during that process, you have to be very careful not to smudge the wet nails on anything (or else you will have to restart the whole process). The overall process could take around 45 minutes, and this is only because no one wants tacky nail polish and wet nail polish combining. 

Though this is a more traditional route when it comes to nail color, a lot of people often experience dissatisfaction when they see their two-day-old color start to chip away. 

Pros of applying regular nail polish:

  • Depending on the polish you get, it can be cheap compared to other nail color options in this article.
  • You will be able to apply a regular nail polish on your own, so you will not have to leave your house in order to get your nails done. 

Cons of applying regular nail polish:

  • This can get messy and certain colors could stain the skin. Just be sure to have a q-tip and some nail polish remover handy when it is time to do the clean-up.
  • If you are not careful, you can smudge the color easily. It is easy to get distracted and forget that you have wet nails, which will lead you to do certain tasks that smudge the color. Once this happens, you will have to redo the whole nail color which will take more time. 
  • The smell of the polish can be overwhelming. These polishes carry such a strong and unpleasant odor, that it can be irritating to our noses. 

4. Gel Nail Polish

Gel Nail Polish
Woman getting a gel polish manicure

This nail polish will last longer than the regular kind, but you also need to have a special UV/LED light and the right polish in order to do this from home. Comparing it to regular nail polish, there is around the same wait time when waiting for the nail to dry, but the difference is there is a device that will help speed up the process, and when it is finished, the nails will only be a tiny bit tacky (which is better than still being wet and smudging it). 

Think of gel polish like liquid acrylic nails. They have the same impact as acrylics, just without the fake nail tip glued onto your actual nail. This will also have the same damaging impact as fake nails. Because you have to dry out the nail, buff it, and make sure there is no oil on it, this can weaken the nail and make it brittle and more susceptible to breakage. 

It is very essential to be as careful as possible when applying gel nail polish to your nails. If you do not push back your cuticles, you need to make sure that you do not get any of the gel polish on them. Once the polish cures onto the nail, it is hard to get it off within the first two weeks, meaning that the polish will be stuck to your cuticle, and it will be difficult to get the polish off of it (without completely ripping your cuticle off). 

Pros of gel based nail polish:

  • Gel based nail polish color can last about two weeks if done properly. Of course, with a beginner's gel kit, they provide all the materials you would need in order to make sure the color lasts. 
  • You can get the professional look right in the comfort of your own home, and you do not have to spend money every two weeks to get them touched up.

Cons of gel based nail polish:

  • The removal process of a gel based nail polish can be damaging since you would have to use a polish that is acetone-based and soak the nail in it. This will dry out the nail (making it brittle) and skin around it.
  • The polish can peel and hurt your hair if caught in between the nail and polish. It is never fun when things pull on your hair, but this can happen whenever you wash your hair or run your fingers through your hair. 
  • You have to wait for the light to dry your nail (which can take up to a minute for each coat). You have to have patience with this method, but the end results are so worth it!

I hope this article has provided some insight into your next nail design and color adventures. I have personally used all of these options, and I found the press on nails easy and fun. I know that whatever decision you make will be a good one. I recommend you try each of these one by one and your nails will look good no matter what!

I am currently a college student interested in content writing and learning about online writing life.

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