Ever had that stressful moment when your nail technician looks you in the eye and asks if you want a CND coffin manicure or a soft gel almond manicure, and you realize you have forgotten how to understand language itself?
Never fear, pampering friends, BloomMe is here to solve all your manicure questions and make you the resident expert on the lingo. Next time you are sitting in the salon, sound like a pro as you describe in perfect detail what nail you want to rock this September.
Shellac vs. Hard Gel vs. Soft Gel?
They say too much choice is a bad thing. Luckily for salon-patrons, shellac, soft gel, and hard gel all work magic in their different ways. Knowing what benefits, drawbacks, and abilities of these common treatments can make the choosing part easier on you, the salon-patron. Now you only have to choose what to have for lunch (have some pasta. Treat yo self).
Shellac (CND Nails)
Generally more affordable fake nails, Shellac is a brand name from Creative Nail Design. It’s basically a fusion of gel and nail polish, and comes in a mountain of different colours and finishes. Unfortunately shellac cannot be used to extend your nail, but it is much less damaging than traditional gels or acrylics. Also, added bonus, it lasts anywhere from a fortnight to a month. Heck yes nails!
The technician will apply the polish and then use a UV light to seal the nail. Remember to return to the salon to get the shellac soaked off in acetone rather than peeling them off (we know it’s super fun to pick at, but once you start picking at your nails it’s a slippery slope and you’ll be kicking yourself later).
Shellac is not suitable for those looking to avoid animal products. It is also not suitable for animals because they are very fussy about manicures.
Soft Gel (also known as soak-off)
Soft gel nails are quickly becoming a popular choice in Hong Kong for those looking for natural-looking, shiny, healthy fake nails. Soft gel nails, when done correctly and carefully, are gentle on your nails and also come in a variety of shades.
Unlike hard gel, soft gel nails do not need buffing to remove. Just dunking your hand in acetone for a few minutes can be enough to safely remove the gel from the nails with minimal damage. The downside is that they do not last as long as hard-gel, and can chip easily if you aren’t super careful (no mountain climbing that means). They are also suitable for those with an allergy to acrylic resin or those looking to avoid using animal tested products, hurray!
Hard Gel Nails
Dreamt of having nails long enough to scratch your own back with ease? Hard gel is your new friend. Completely suitable for extensions, hard gel has a thicker consistency than it’s soft gel counterparts and requires buffing rather than soaking for removal.
Hard gel nails are perfect if you’re looking to get nail art and want a large area for the technician to work with, or if you are looking to get some seriously heavy bling on your nails (hard gel is strong enough to hold all the bling your heart could desire.)
Depending on the length of your lovely talons, you have a choice in what shape you would like them to be. This option is usually given as the technician cleans up the nails and sets about filing (they will usually say “what shape do you want?” or they do do an interpretive dance depending on how they feel).
Ready to get your nails done? Sure you are!
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Ever had that stressful moment when your nail technician looks you in the eye and asks if you want a CND coffin manicure or a soft gel almond manicure, and you realize you have forgotten how to understand language itself? Never fear, pampering friends, BloomMe is here to solve all your manicure questions and make…