- $21 for Manicure with Gel Polish ($35 value)
Silk or Gel? Finding the Right Chemistry for Your Nails
Fake nails have come a long way from their press-on past. Explore the varieties of artificial nail types before deciding which suits you best.
Gel: Similar to their acrylic cousins in chemical makeup and application technique, gel nails add an element of flexibility to fingernails via a compound called an oligomer. After nail techs brush the gel polish onto nails, clients put their paws under a special UV light to harden the gel polish and make fingers feel like they’re in a sci-fi movie. The resulting look is natural and durable. Gel polishes tend to chip less frequently than regular acrylics, although they’re usually more expensive.
Silk: Silk is the thinnest, most natural-looking artificial medium of the three—although when nail techs talk about silk wraps, they may also be referring to thin pieces of fiberglass or even special paper that function in the same way. Once adhered to the nail, the material acts as a supportive net to keep brittle or torn talons in one piece. Silk’s lightweight nature makes the material ideal for blending in with natural nails, and it can be topped with any kind of polish desired. However, silk is also fragile, making it less than ideal for people who play sports, perform manual labor, or scratch chalkboards for a living.