Which is better for your nails: gel nail polish or regular nail polish?

Nail polish rounded swatches on neutral beige background. Closeup of paint spills. Creative composition of various nail polish drops for manicure.

Your nails can be just as unique and eye-catching as the rest of your look if you know how to give them the attention they deserve. Whether you’re a fan of long press-on nails or prefer au naturel tips with a bright hue on top, having a good understanding of different types of nail polish is essential for taking care of those precious little digits.

So, which is better: gel nail polish or regular nail polish? On one hand, gel offers longer-lasting results that can make any DIY mani last up to three weeks. When it comes to regular polishes (also referred to as traditional formulas), they’re usually quick and easy to apply from home and come in an array of colors with speedy drying times. Read on for more insights into these two options so you can choose the perfect type for next time when it’s time for your mani sesh!

All About Regular nail polish

Female hands with glitter beige nail design. Female hands hold dry autumn flower. Woman hands on beige fabric background

Regular nail polish sometimes referred to as “traditional” or “conventional” nail polish, is a type of nail lacquer composed of nitrocellulose and other ingredients that dry quickly to a hard finish. It usually comes in a wide range of colors and finishes including matte, glossy, pearlized, glittery, and even holographic.

Ordinary nail polish generally lasts longer than gel polishes but can be prone to chipping over time. To ensure the longevity of regular polish it is important to apply two thin coats as opposed to one thick coat followed by a top coat sealer for added protection.

Additionally, during the removal process, it is important to use an acetone-free nail polish remover as acetone will strip the nail of its natural oils and cause it to dry out. Regular nail polish is a great option for those looking for an easy nail care routine. With the wide variety of colors available, regular nail polish provides plenty of options for personalizing your look!

Overall, regular nail polish is a great choice if you’re looking for an affordable and easy-to-use product that requires minimal effort but still provides plenty of color options.

Pros of regular nail polish

The following are the pros of traditional nail polish:

1. Easy availability:

Regular nail polish is widely available, so it’s easy to find the color and finish that you want.

2. Affordable:

A regular manicure is more affordable than gel or acrylic nails.

3. Quick drying time:

Regular nail polish takes about five minutes to dry. It’s a great choice for busy women who don’t have time for long drying times associated with some other types of polishes.

4. Customizable:

With regular polish, you can easily customize your look by mixing colors and adding special effects such as glitter and sequins.

5. Variety:

There is an almost endless variety of shades and finishes available in regular nail polish, so you can always find something to suit your mood or style.

6. Easy application:

Regular nail polish is easy to apply and doesn’t require any special tools or techniques. You can also remove it quickly and easily with a few simple steps.

7. No UV light needed:

Unlike gel polish, traditional manicures do not require exposure to UV light for curing or drying, so you don’t need to worry about the potential health risks associated with UV radiation.

8. Safe for nails:

Regular nail polishes contain fewer chemicals than other types of polishes, making them much safer for your nails in the long run.

9. Good for touch-ups:

Regular nail polish is great for quick touch-ups or minor repairs that may come up in between manicure appointments. It’s also a great way to extend the life of your gel or shellac manicures by touching up any chips or smudges. This is a much cheaper and simpler alternative to getting another full manicure. Also, if you don’t have time for a salon appointment, the regular polish can be a great way to maintain your nails in between salon visits.

So these are just some of the advantages of using regular nail polishes. Whether it’s an emergency touch-up or a long-lasting manicure look that you want, regular nail polishes are your best bet.

Cons of classic nail polish

  1. It is not very durable and tends to chip quickly, even with a top coat.

  2. Many brands of regular nail polish contain harsh chemicals that can be damaging to the nails over time.

  3. Regular nail polish can be difficult to remove without the use of an acetone-based remover, which itself can damage the nails if used too often.

  4. Most regular polishes have a strong smell that many people find unpleasant or unbearable.

  5. If regular nail polish isn’t applied correctly it can look uneven and sloppy on the nails, making them appear unprofessional or unattractive.

  6. While regular nail polishes offer a wide variety of colors and finishes, they tend to be less long-lasting than gel or shellac nails.

Maintaining healthy nails is important and regular nail polish can be damaging over time. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of using any type of nail product before deciding which one is best for you. Consider factors such as health, appearance, longevity, cost, and ease of use when evaluating your options.

All about Gel nail polish


Gel nail polish is a great way to get salon-quality nails at home. It’s easy to apply, long-lasting, and gives you a perfect shine that lasts for weeks. Gel nail polishes are also known for their wide range of colors and finishes, from chrome to glitter.

To get the best results with gel nail polish, it’s important to choose the right type of product and use the appropriate technique. Many brands have different formulas of gel polish, so make sure to read labels carefully if you’re unsure which one is best for you. Here’s what else you need to know about applying gel nails to natural nails:

  • First, prepare your nails properly by pushing back cuticles and buffing lightly before applying a base coat.

  • Before applying the gel polish, make sure your nails are completely clean and dry. Any oils or moisture will prevent the polish from adhering properly.

  • Use a high-quality LED lamp or UV light to cure the gel color layer after each application. This helps ensure that the color won’t smudge or peel off easily.

  • Gel polishes usually come with their top coats, so be sure to use them after curing your color layer to seal in the shine and protect against chipping.

  • to remove gel polish, use an acetone-free remover specifically designed for gels. Be gentle when removing, as you don’t want to damage the nail bed.

With proper application and care, gel polish can last up to two weeks on your nails

Pros of gel polish

The following are the pros of gel nail polish:

1. Durability:

Unlike regular nail polish, Gel polish can last up to 3 weeks or longer with proper care and maintenance. This is beneficial for those who don’t have enough time to go in for frequent touch-ups.

2. Low Maintenance:

Gel nail polishes are relatively low maintenance compared to other types of manicures and pedicures. They require very little upkeep such as re-applying the top coat every few days, which helps keep them looking great for a long period.

3. Shine:

One of the most attractive features of gel polishes is their glossy, glassy finish that looks more professional than regular nail polish and gives your nails an ultra-shiny look that lasts all day long!

4. Versatility:

Gel polish offers a wide range of colors and finishes, so you can choose the perfect shade for any occasion! From pastels to neons and matte to glittery, there’s something for everyone!

5. Strength:

Gel nails are stronger than regular polish so they don’t chip or break as easily, making them great for people who use their hands a lot or have weak nails. Additionally, gel manicures are also less likely to discolor or yellow over time.

6. Quick Application:

Applying gel polish is a much quicker process than other types of manicures, meaning you can get out the door faster and with beautiful nails! Additionally, you don’t have to worry about drying time as much either since it hardens under a UV lamp.

The pros of gel polish make it an attractive option for those seeking durable, long-lasting manicures without sacrificing color or style.

Cons of Gel manicure

  1. Gel nail polish can be costly compared to regular nail polishes, particularly if you go to the salon for a professional gel application.

  2. Applying gel polish yourself may be time-consuming as it requires multiple steps such as gel base coat, color coat, and top coat; plus curing each layer under an LED or UV lamp before applying the next one.

  3. The wrong removal technique can lead to damage to natural nails, such as thinning or peeling away layers of the nail bed due to too much soaking in acetone remover solution.

  4. People with sensitive skin might experience a reaction from the UV light used to cure the polish.

  5. . People with weak nails may experience breakage due to the weight of the gel polish and its thick layers.

  6. The fumes from the acetone remover can be very strong and overwhelming for some people.

  7. The curing lamps used for gel polishes emit light rays that some people may find uncomfortable or harmful to their eyes.

  8. Gel nail polish can cause staining of the nail beds if left on too long without removal.

  9. The products used for gel polishes may contain formaldehyde, toluene, and other chemicals which can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin

  10. Professional applications require extra time and money to maintain the desired look of the nails.

Gel nail polish vs regular nail polish

The main difference between gel polish and regular nail polish is their cost, with the former being more expensive but providing a longer-lasting finish. On the other hand, the traditional varnish is perfect if you are someone who likes to regularly change their nail color.

With this guide on gel versus regular polish, have you decided which type of polish best suits your needs? We hope now that you understand the differences between them, you can make an informed decision when choosing your next nail color.

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