Artificial nails can be applied in different ways to increase the length and strength of natural nails, or change the shape altogether. In broad terms, they can be divided into full-cover artificial nails, acrylics, or gel polish. Each type of artificial nail looks a little different and has its own pros and cons.
Press-On Artificial Nails
Press-on and glue-on nails are one of the most popular options for applying artificial nails at home. They usually come in a kit that include different shapes and sizes of nails, application tools (and glue, for the glue-on variety). The different nail shapes include square, oval, squoval( a square shape with rounded corners) and many other, which add enough variety that any would be able to complement and style or natural nail bed. Dashing Diva has a complete line of full-cover nails that come in a number of colors, shapes, and designs.
Press-on nails are a great choice for women who are looking for a quick, affordable manicure. They are widely available, come in a variety of designs, generally last about five to seven days, depending on the specific type. While press-on nails typically do not last as long as permanent or semi-permanent nail enhancements, they are much easier to apply and remove, in some cases only taking a second or two for each nail, compared to acrylics or gel nails that can take minutes to apply and much longer to take off. Not only that, but the general process is much more forgiving to the natural nail bed and the skin around it, so is popular among women health conscious women looking for alternatives.
Acrylic nails are the go-to artificial nail for many salon professionals and most commonly seen on fashion websites like Pinterest and Instagram. Women turn to acrylics for their durability and nail art appeal (plus, we all love that thick tip click!).
Contrary to what most believe, though, acrylics are available at home by non-professionals, as well. Dashing Diva’s Virtual Nails, for example, are a great alternative to salons and don’t require any fancy equipment that can be prohibitive to the common user.
One of the strongest points when it comes to acrylics is that they are custom sculpted in various different lengths and shapes when serviced in salons. Although they are one of the most popular nail enhancements, there are a few things to consider before turning to acrylics.
First, they are a little more costly and time-consuming than some of the other options. Getting a full set runs anywhere from $30 to $60, depending on the salon, and requires maintenance as your nails grow out. Also, if not applied properly, acrylic nails can visibly damage your natural nails in a way that is almost irreparable until they completely grow out.
Not to be confused with nail polish, gel polish allows you to apply a long-lasting color and shine to your nails without having to deal with chipping or dry time. Getting a gel manicure generally involves a three step process: which starts with base coat, 2 coats of color, and then is finished of with the top coat. (In the case of certain new products, such as Dashing Diva's Magic Gel, this process is shortened into just a single coat that creates the same desired effect.) Each coat is cured under a UV/LED light and when applied properly, gel manicures can last up between two to three weeks.
Gel manicures are perfect for women looking for a low-maintenance manicure that are drawn to the high gloss shine and smooth finish. They look more natural without being as damaging to your natural nails as acrylics, which is a huge selling point for many these days.
One downside, however, is that gel nail polish is more difficult to remove than air dry polish. A “hard-gel” must be filed off, which takes a considerable amount of attention and effort, and a “polish-hybrid gel”, while it can be soaked off with solvent, still requires you to bound each finger in cotton and foil (or use a soak-off kit) for several minutes for them to come off properly without forcing them off.