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Acrylic, gel or dip
GETTING A MANI?
Spread a mix of acrylic liquid and acrylic powder over natural nail (or longer, glued-on fake nail).
Very strong and long lasting.
Can repair at home.
Generally less expensive than gel nails.
If you’re allergic to acrylic monomers, you may get a red, itchy rash anywhere your nail scratches, rubs or otherwise contacts your skin — often first on your eyelids.
Methyl methacrylate (banned in many states) can aggravate asthma and irritate airways.
Ethyl methacrylate and toluene are potentially harmful to unborn children.
Brush natural or fake nail with gel nail polish. Cure under an ultraviolet (UV) or LED light. Takes two to three coats.
More bendable nail, which helps resist damage more like a natural nail.
Fast-drying with no UV light needed.
Dipping your fingertips into the same jar of powder as everyone else is unsanitary. Technicians at nail salons should sprinkle powder on your nails instead.
Dip products can include some of the same irritants as acrylic nail products.
Brush natural or fake nail with nail glue, then dip into (or sprinkle on) a colored acrylic powder. Tap off excess powder and brush on an activator to harden.
Quicker process than acrylic or dip nails.
Odorless and non-toxic, unlike acrylic nails.
UV lights are like little tanning beds. They raise your risk of skin cancer as well as other types of skin damage, like age spots. Use sunscreen on your hands or fingerless gloves when getting gel nails.
LED lights are less dangerous.