20 Gel Acrylic Nails + Acrylic vs Gel Nails Main Differences

Updated on January 15, 2024
Tatiana Cooper By Tatiana Cooper
Tatiana Cooper

Expert writer, copywriter, and well-versed beauty and wellness enthusiast.

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    Gel Acrylic NailsPIN

    20 Gel Acrylic Nails + Acrylic vs Gel Nails Main Differences

    If you know anything about manicures, you know that gel manicures and acrylic nails are the two most popular. But, if you pair them together they are an unbeatable manicure that will feel like they lasted a lifetime. These two powerhouse manicures aren’t to be messed with – but don’t worry we have a full guide to get you up to date on everything you need to know.

    What Are Gel Acrylic Nails

    Let’s start with the basics. Gel acrylic nails are the perfect blend of two nail enhancement techniques: gel nails and acrylic nails. This fusion delivers the best of both worlds. Gel nails are renowned for their flexibility and natural appearance, while acrylic nails are known for their durability and strength. Combining these two approaches, gel acrylic nails offer a long-lasting, stunning alternative to traditional manicures.

    Simply put, gel nails are hardening and long-lasting nail polish. Acrylic nails are fake nails that are glued onto your original nail and shaped and styled to your liking. One isn’t replacing the other, but they pair perfectly together.

    Acrylic Vs Gel Nails – Main Differences

    If you are still confused, here are a few key differences we’d like to share to help clear the air.

    Acrylic Nail Characteristics Gel Nail Characteristics
    • Created using liquid monomer and powder polymer, which harden with air exposure.
    • Some color variations, but there are very few, and it doesn’t matter cause they often get painted over.
    • Add as much length as you want.
    • Takes a lot longer for the gel to apply.
    • Made by applying gel polish and then curing it using UV or LED light.
    • Comes in various colors.
    • Doesn’t add any length.
    • Is a lot quicker than acrylics to apply.

    Aside from their differences, there are a few similarities, such as:

    • Long lasting
    • Quick drying
    • Make nails appear thicker
    • Help nails to grow longer
    • Both can cause damage to nail health

    Pink Gel Acrylic Nails

    Go for something light and flirty with these pink gel acrylic nails. Pairing the flawless almond acrylic nail shape with a pretty pink gel nail color is a recipe for the manicure of perfection. You could even go one step further and add an accent nail design on your ring finger. You can hand paint the design, or for the less patient and paint oriented you could try and use nail stickers.

    Short Acrylic Gel Nails

    Short acrylic nails are as trendy as long acrylic nails. These short acrylic gel nails pair a perfectly short pair of square acrylics with a bright yellow gel polish to brighten your day. Who wouldn’t want to a) not have to worry about poking their eye out cause their nails are too long, and b) smile and feel happy every time they look down at their hands.

    Not only do these nails look fabulous, but they also provide an added bonus: their shorter length creates a more natural feel. If natural nails are more up your alley, check out our article on all things natural acrylic nails – you’ll love it there.

    Clear Gel Acrylic Nails

    The great thing about gel polish is that there are so many different color options – so much so that there are clear options. Plus, sometimes less is more when it comes to manicures. We love a good clear gel polish, but the acrylic underneath likely won’t be clear, so we suggest adding a gel French tip nail to help even out the color of the acrylic nail underneath the clear gel. Also, if you feel like being extra, a little rhinestone addition will give your clear acrylic nails that wow factor.

    White Gel Acrylic Nails

    Look, we get it, sometimes a crazy colorful manicure just won’t cut it. Some of us are all about the simplicity of life and our manicures. That’s why we suggest you try white gel acrylic nails. Simply pick your favorite shade of white, yes, gel polish has more, and then pair that with your favorite acrylic nail shape, we suggest a coffin.

    However, there are plenty of other acrylic nail shapes you could try, such as:

    • Oval
    • Square
    • Stiletto
    • Round
    • Almond

    Acrylic Gel Powder Nails

    Craving nails with more depth and texture? Acrylic gel powder nails combine the best of both powder and gel techniques, delivering a captivating result. This technique uses a mixture of acrylic powder and gel to create a mesmerizing manicure. The end result? A stunning set of nails that are sure to leave everyone in awe. Go for the colors of the rainbow in this unique layout – if you can do this at home, major props, but no shame in going to your local nail salon.

    Blue Acrylic Gel Nails

    Nothing says you are ready for the holidays like icy blue acrylic nails. These icy blue nails, paired with a square acrylic shape with an accent snowflake design, are perfect for those holiday parties and festivities. These nails are also great for anyone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas but wants to get into the winter spirit.

    Gel Acrylic Nails With Flowers

    Blossom like a garden with gel acrylic nails with a perfect little delicate flower accent on your ring fingernails. Floral designs bring a touch of feminine energy to your manicure. To accompany your flower design add some glitter, cause why not? For this gel acrylic nail manicure, we suggest a round nail shape to really ensure the designs are the center of the show as opposed to the acrylics themselves cause those cheeky buggers can often steal the show.

    Emerald Green Gel Acrylic Nails

    Green can be a tricky color to wear and to wear well. But these emerald green gel acrylic nails are a must and can be worn effortlessly any time of year. For some of us, one color is just simply not enough. That’s why we suggest you add some green chrome pigment to your claws to give them an extra little something something.

    Butterfly Acrylic Gel Nails

    Adding little butterfly stickers to any manicure is a brilliant way to elevate your claws from unoriginal to extra original. These delicate creatures can flutter across your fingertips, infusing your manicure with a whimsical look and feel. Combine different butterfly species, add glitter accents, or incorporate them into captivating nail art designs.

    Kawaii Gel Acrylic Nails

    Unleash your inner cuteness with Kawaii gel acrylic nails. Derived from Japanese culture, “kawaii” refers to anything adorable or lovable. These nails are characterized by an array of adorable designs, including cute animals, sweet treats, and playful patterns that are guaranteed to make you smile. We suggest pairing long square-shaped acrylics with bright, fun colors with hearts to give off the Kawaii vibes.

    Silver Acrylic Gel Nails

    Looking for a New Year’s Eve manicure or something that will make you stand out? Well, the wait is over cause we want to introduce you to silver acrylic gel nails. These nails are your new best friend, as you’ll help each other shine as brightly as you deserve. If you want to go even further with your manicure, add a layer of silver glitter.

    Gel Acrylic Nails With Leopard Print

    It’s true, the time has come, Leopard print is back in style and better than ever. Pair the soft feminine almond nail shape with a colorful and unique leopard print pattern. Just cause a real-life leopard’s fur is made up of a certain color palette, that doesn’t mean you need to stick to it in your manicure. Go for some color, and have some fun.

    Coffin Gel Acrylic Nails

    The coffin acrylic nail shape is one of the most popular in the acrylic nail family, and we’re sure you can see why. Despite getting its name from its resemblance to a coffin, there isn’t anything dark about this nail shape. Rather, this shape is one of your favorites and looks great at any length and with any design. For coffin gel acrylic nails, why not channel your inner Aquamarine and go for a turquoise color?

    Gold Acrylic Gel Nails

    Gold is one of those colors that always looks good, and we’re sure the image above is a great testament to that. When choosing gold for a manicure, we love making it as glittery and shiny as possible. We mean, come on, these gold acrylic nails are perfect. You could even go a step further and add a gold rhinestone on your ring fingers to really show off your bougie side.

    Glam Acrylic Gel Nails

    When we think of a glamorous woman, we think of someone with long and beautiful dark red nails. Do you want to be her? These glam acrylic gel nails encapsulate a glamorous lifestyle, whether you live it or not. The red is rich and sexy, and we love it paired with long square nails. This is a combination for the ages as no matter the century, they fit with the times.

    Marble Gel Acrylic Nails

    Marble acrylic nails are one of those time-consuming manicures that are worth the wait every time. We love a blue marble color because it reminds us of the ocean and all its beauty. Indulge in the mesmerizing beauty of marble gel acrylic nails. The swirling patterns and delicate veins that mimic natural marble make for a manicure that is captivating, to say the least.

    Acrylic Swirl Gel Nails

    Swirl nails are a quick and easy way to instantly add some spunk to your manicure. They may seem hard to achieve, but with a steady hand and the right tools, they are actually super easy to do. We love the combination of orange and gold swirls in this manicure, as the color pair really elevates each other. This manicure is perfect for the summer or those transition weeks from summer into fall.

    Gel Acrylic Galaxy Nails

    Embark on a celestial journey with gel acrylic galaxy nails. Inspired by the beauty of the cosmos, these nails bring the wonders of the universe to your fingertips. Captivating shades of deep blue, shimmering purple, and cosmic dust create an otherworldly manicure that is bound to leave everyone starstruck. Gel acrylic galaxy nails provide a magical canvas for exploring your creativity. Enhance your cosmic design with glittery stars, glowing planets, or a mesmerizing nebula effect.

    Smiley Face Gel Acrylic Nails

    You know how their smiles are contagious? Well, do you want to smile every time you look at your hands? These smiley face gel acrylic nails are the epitome of happiness. Pair the faces with a bright hot pink shade, and a sharp almond nail shape is ideal for creating this perfect manicure.

    Gel Acrylic Nails With Rhinestones

    Gel Acrylic Nails With RhinestonesInstagram@yntbresayPIN

    Adding rhinestones to any manicure is a great way to instantly add some glamour to your everyday life. The best part about gel acrylic nails with rhinestones is that you can experiment with different designs. Why not create a stunning ombre effect using rhinestones? Or wear a classic look with a single statement jewel on each nail. We suggest going for a spunky manicure and pairing a similar rhinestone coloring on the accent finger. It’s important to remember more is less sometimes, so one finger should be good.


    • How To Take Off Gel Acrylic Nails

      So you’ve had fun with your gel acrylic nails, but now it’s time to take them off. Don’t worry, removing gel acrylic nails is easier than you might think. Just follow these simple steps:

      1. Start by soaking your nails in acetone for about 10-15 minutes. This will help loosen the gel.
      2. Once the gel has softened, gently push it off using a cuticle pusher or a wooden stick. Be careful not to damage your natural nails.
      3. If there are any stubborn remnants of gel left, you can file them away using a nail file.
      4. Finally, moisturize your nails and cuticles with some nourishing oil to keep them healthy and hydrated.

      And there you have it! Your gel acrylic nails are now safely removed, and ready for your next nail adventure.

    • Do Gel Or Acrylic Nails Last Longer

      The eternal question: do gel or acrylic nails last longer? Well, it all depends on how you take care of them. Both gel and acrylic nails can last for several weeks if properly maintained. Gel manicures tend not to last as long as acrylics because they are a polish, whereas acrylic nails are fake nails glued and cured onto your fingers.

    We Fell For Gel

    We hope now that you have made it to the end, you have also fallen for the gel acrylic nails. They are long-lasting and stunning looking, and there is so much variety in the ways you can wear them that there really isn’t a reason to like them. These two manicure gods are the perfect pair, wouldn’t you agree?