The Pros and Cons of Every Type of Manicure

Nothing screams confidence like a fresh manicure, right?

There's something about having your nails on point that makes you feel like you're ready for whatever life throws your way. But nail maintenance can be a drag. Salon visits usually last about an hour, and depending on the type  of manicure you get, your nails can last anywhere from only a few days to just three weeks.

Trying to figure out which nail service best suits your needs, budget and free time? Keep reading as we break down the pros and cons of every type of manicure.

Regular Paint

A good ol' regular manicure is a classic, and also happens to be the most price-friendly option. You can opt for a professional regular plain manicure, or even do it yourself at home.

Pros: This is definitely the healthiest and least expensive option. You also aren't committing yourself to a color for weeks on end, so you can be more experimental with the hues you chose. And if you get over your color, it's not a big deal to switch it.

Cons: They tend to chip within five days. A fresh regular paint mani is so gratifying but it rarely lasts. They also can smudge really easily and you have to wait a long time for them to dry, which can be miserable.

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Gel manicures blew up about 10 years ago, and they're still a crowd fave for many reasons.

Pros: When you get a gel mani, you can rest assured your nails will look good for at least two weeks. The gel hardens the surface of your nail, too, so all around they feel more resilient. And the best part: You don't have to wait for them to dry.

Cons: Gel manis do weaken your nails over time and don't allow them to breathe, which can cause them to thin. You're also committed to wearing a color for an extended period of time, and they're a pain to take off because you can't do them at home. Many times, people resort to picking off gel manis which is really bad for your nails. It's also not great to put your hands under UV light—we always ask for SPF lotion when at the salon.



Even though dip nails have been around for years, they are only recently getting the spotlight they deserve. Dip manicures are similar to gels but instead they use powder that forms a resin to reinforce the nail.

Pros: Dips make your manicure remarkably resilient, even more so than gels because they're somewhere between a natural nail and a fake nail. They're also much less messy and don't require a UV light to harden.

Cons: Even though dips are being marketed as more natural or organic, the hard fact is that the bonding resin or coat is often full of the main ingredient used in Krazy Glue. Dip manicures can also be unsanitary. You'll want to make sure your salon isn't actually dipping your finger in (which can harbor lots of bacteria), but rather, pouring out the powder and applying with a brush. The removal process is also really long and can be damaging to your nail if not done correctly. Another thing to consider is that dip manicures can be on the pricier side. 

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Acrylics were all the rage in the '00s and their popularity has definitely lost steam over the years. Still, in case you're curious, keep reading.

Pros: Acrylics have been around forever, so most nail technicians are really good at them. They also tend to be less expensive than gels and dip, which is good if you're trying to not spend a ton. They're also a plus for people who have a nail-biting issue because they're really hard to bite off.

Cons: The biggest con is that acrylics are pretty damaging. Your nails have to be sanded down to make room for the formula. These also tend to look more fake, so that's something to consider depending on what look you're going for. Acrylics are probably the least "healthy" of the bunch because they do require strong chemicals during the application process and they need to be refilled monthly for maintenance.

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Every good mani starts with healthy nails. HERE are six ways to make them grow longer and healthier.