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Rainbow Nails' Blog

An OPI Educator's Nail Blog @ Hong Kong

What is Gel Nails? Evolution of Acrylic Nails

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So, what are they?  If you remember we talked about acrylic nails last time.  You could say Gel nails are reformed product of Acrylic nails as its composition is very similar – Monomer Liquid and Polymer Powder.   The “Gel” is a pre-mixture of these 2 chemicals, after drying under UV lights for a certain time it will dry and harden.

Gel formula has been around 20+ years, but it wasn’t until around 2000 when it got really popular in Japan, then the trend was brought into Hong Kong because of Japanese celebrities.

If only making artificial nails for beauty reason, most of the people would choose Gel Nails as they don’t has a strong chemical smell like Acrylic Nails.  Also Gel will not solidify in room temperature like acrylic formula; so it is easier for the technician to control and apply, because the technician can use as much time as wished to shape before putting the nails under the UV light.  However to ponder the correct time for solidification is another challenge; under UV for too short a time, the surface may not be shiny;  dry for too long may lead to crack nails etc.  Once the gel dried, it would be a pain to make changes!

The “Gel” we’re talking about is the very traditional formula, which can be used  for nails extensions, nail art etc.  After years of development and invention, a few years ago the OPI Axxium Soak-Off Gel was launched; and last year OPI LED Soak-Off Gel was launched to the market.  A comparison between Traditional Gel and the new Gel system can be found in this blog post:  Acrylic Nails vs Gel Nails vs Soak-off Gel Nails – A Complete Comparison.

Hopefully now you have a better idea about different types of artificial nails.  When you go to the salon next time you will have new ideas of what to do!

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