What is gel polish?

Gel Polish is available in two types, hard and soft.

The hard gel is hard enough to create nail extensions which is achieved by using the gel to extend the natural nail.

The soft gels cannot be used to create such an extension. However, they are becoming more and more popular for salon manicures. This type of manicure can see the colours lasting for over two weeks without cracking, splitting or peeling.


It’s all too easy to confuse gel polishes with acrylic nails. These use either a liquid (monomer) or a powder (polymer). Gels are a liquid and come in either bottles or pots. After application gels need “curing” under a UV light. Depending on the power of the light this can be as little as 10 seconds (at the time of writing). The newer types of lamps utilise LED bulbs which leads to longevity especially when compared to normal bulb lamps.

Hard gels allow those that are allergic to acrylic nails to enjoy a nail extension that otherwise would be denied to them.

Acrylic nails have been available to the public for much longer than gel nails which are a relatively new option for the nail industry and salons.

People who use gel polishes have voiced that they feel more natural than acrylics which can be hard and unyielding.

As gel polishes are more difficult to apply than a normal polish then it is safe to assume that they are trickier to remove than a normal polish. They do infact require soaking in acetone for up to 15 minutes before they can be removed.

Once removed then this may be the first time the nails have been exposed to the open air in more than two weeks. In this case it is very important to nourish the nail and cuticle with a good cuticle oil. This can also be done to the cuticle and surrounding skin once the manicure has been applied.