We're Testing 6 Different Types Of Fake Nails

We're putting the hottest nail kits to the test to see how they measure up in both looks and application.

The world of fake nails is vast and complicated. Whether you’re using acrylics, gels, dips, paraffin or wraps, there are so many options when it comes to glitzing up your hands.  With salons being shut down, many of us are looking for ways to stay in the game and are turning to home kits. We’re putting them to the test to see how they measure up in both looks and application.

Before trying any of these tips, ensure that your nails are trimmed, cleaned and primed to avoid any damage.

Acrylic/Gel Kits

To effectively use acrylic and gel kits, you first need to grind the acrylic into a powder. Once you have a dust-like consistency, add liquid acrylic to make a paste and apply the paste to the top of your nails with a small brush.

The Pros:

  • Very strong and not prone to cracking
  • No need to remove the acrylic for reapplication – just fill in the regrowth
  • Tips can be added while applying for immediate length
  • Nail polish can be applied overtop and removed without harming the acrylic with non-acetone polish remover

The Cons:

  • Temporarily ruins the natural nail. This isn’t permanent, but after you stop using the acrylic, you need to let new nails grow out.
  • Make take some practice to perfect the technique

Removal:

To remove acrylic nails, soak your hands in acetone.

Gel Manicure Kit 

Gel manicure kits are ludicrously easy to use, and come in the form of a special nail polish. This polish is applied like any other nail polish, and cures when exposed to UV light. 

The Pros: 

  • Very easy to apply
  • Available in a large variety of colours
  • Provides a strong, long lasting polish

The Cons:

  • The length of time it lasts can be variable depending on your nails
  • You need more tools to apply this method
  • Exposure to UV light may be considered a deal breaker for many
  • Like the acrylics, it temporarily ruins your nails
  • Th initial investment in the UV light system is costly

Removal:

Once again, just soak your nails in acetone.

Dip Kit

To apply this method, simply apply a base coat of polish to your nails and dip the nails in a pigmented powder. Brush off any excess powder and seal with an activator – a polish that provides a smooth finish.

The Pros:

  • No UV light is required
  • Very long lasting
  • Easy to apply
  • Very rich colours
  • You can get creative – for example there is a chrome powder

The Cons:

  • It will also damage the natural nail (though not as much as the other two methods
  • Colour can’t be changed without first removing the existing colour
  • Application can be a messy process

Removal:

Once again, acetone, acetone, acetone!

Glue Nails 

Glue nails are a form of plastic nails that you glue to your natural nail.

The Pros:

  • Gentle on nails
  • Lots of variety, from elaborate designs to conservative colours
  • Very easy to apply
  • Reasonably priced
  • Many different sizes in each box, so you’re guaranteed to find a perfect fit
  • No UV light or other tools needed
  • They can be filed like a real nail to get the right shape and length
  • Great for events or special days

The Cons:

  • Not as long lasting as acrylic or gel nails
  • Some brands don’t work for long nail beds – be sure to check before you buy

Removal:

Like the above, soak the nails in acetone. After this, pry off the fake nail.

Sticker Nails 

Sticker nails are applied in the same way as glue nails, just with a sticker!

The Pros:

  • Incredibly simple to use
  • Not harmful to the nail
  • No additional tools needed
  • Shape and length can be changed
  • Lots of variety
  • Reasonably priced

The Cons:

  • Only lasts around 5 days
  • Also sometimes doesn’t work for those with long nail beds

Removal:

These nails can be removed exactly like glue nails; soak in acetone, then pry off the fake nail.

Nail Polish Strips

You may not have heard of this type of fake nail, but we love it! Nail polish strip are exactly what they sound like – real nail polish that has been made into a strip. Simply apply the strip to your nail, smooth it out and file off any excess or overhang of the strip.

The Pros:

  • Absolute easiest to apply
  • No dry time
  • Lasts as long as painted nail polish
  • Plenty of variety in colours
  • Easy to take off with nail polish remover
  • Easy to swap colours

The Cons:

  • Not as long lasting as some of the other methods

Removal:

No tricks here! Simple nail polish remover will do just fine.

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