The Manicure Guide


There is a lot of choice when it comes to nails these days, be it false nails or natural. In salons, the most popular methods for creating top talons are acrylic and gel applications. Here, nail experts from The Beauty Academy explore the pros and cons of both acrylics and gels, and how to take care of your own natural nails.

Salon Manicure

If you’re tired of your nail varnish chipping, or you simply can’t grow your nails long enough, then a salon manicure with either acrylic or gel nails will give you a bit of added glamour. 


Acrylic nails have been a staple in the fashion and beauty industry for years now – and for good reason.

Not only do they create a long-lasting effect but they are a cost-effective choice, easy to fix if broken and an excellent canvas for polish.

Acrylics are applied using a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to create a hard protective layer over the natural nail. Acrylics only harden when exposed to air.

manicure one's nails.Gels:

Gel nails are more of a newcomer to the scene – but they have caused a big stir. Gel nail polish is now one of the most popular natural nail treatments currently being offered in salons throughout the country.

They often look more natural and glossy than other types of cosmetic nails and they take less time to apply. The application process is quick and the results can last from between two to three weeks.

Gel nail polishes are similar to ordinary nail polish – you have a base coat, polish color and top coat. Each coat has to be cured in UV light for two to three minutes. The application provides the strength of acrylic nails with the appearance of natural nails.

Which are best?

Both acrylics and gels have their pros and cons in equal measure. Both can add a touch of extra glamour to the nails, lengthen, strengthen and provide longer-lasting colour.

 Acrylic nails on the whole tend to be cheaper than gels, they are also longer-lasting, easier to remove yourself and any chips/cracks can be easily fixed. On the flip side, if they are applied incorrectly, they may look less natural than gel nails. The application process also involves chemical fumes.

 Gels nails achieve a more natural look than acrylics, the application process is quick and doesn’t involve any chemicals. That said, they don’t last as long and aren’t as easily fixed as acrylics. The nail also tends to grow under the gels, so you’ll need to re-visit the salon to have them re-filled.

22Natural Nails

Some of us are happy to keep our nails natural, or you may feel your nails are in need of a rest from gels/acrylics.

 Practice good nail hygiene by keeping your nails clean. It’s also important to cut them properly – trim them into a straight line, then you can file them into a very gentle curve at the edges. Keep them well moisturized too to avoid dryness.

It’s always a good idea to apply a clear base coat to your nails before coloured varnish, or use a nail hardener. This is because nail varnish can stain the nail, especially dark colours, so a base coat will help prevent any staining. If you suffer from weak nails, then a special nail hardener will help to strengthen them.


If you’re keen to learn more about manicures and nail treatments, or you want to turn your love for nail art and beauty into a business, the Beauty Academy can help you train professionally.

The Beauty Academy run courses at their purpose-built training centers around the UK. With a range of specialist courses such as Acrylic and Gel application, Manicure and Pedicure, Airbrush Nails and Nail Art – there is plenty of choice to get you started.

For more information contact



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