Nail Art

7 Types Of Nail Polish You Should Know
Whether you’re headed to the salon or giving yourself an at-home manicure,
you may come to notice that there’s more than one type of nail polish to
choose from. Yup—aside from the traditional formula you’ve been using
since you were a child, there are actually six types of nail polish worth
knowing. Some, like gel polish, you may be familiar with while others, like
shellac, may be totally new territory. Whatever the case, you can consider
this your guide to the seven different types of nail polish you should know.

  • Basic
    Let’s start with the basics—no pun intended. Your basic nail polish is what
    you’ve been using since before you wore makeup. It’s offered in a variety of
    finishes—from natural to matte to holographic.
    This type of nail polish isn’t the most
    long-lasting—you can expect to make it through a week (sometimes less) without
    becoming victim to a chipped mani.
  • Gel
    Another popular type is gel polish. This is a hard gel that your nail technician will
    apply (or you if you’ve mastered an at-home gel mani) overtop your bare nail. Gel
    polish is used in conjunction with a UV light to cure (AKA set) it. You can expect it to
    last for around two weeks. It can be used to extend your nail shape and give you a
    longer length, like acrylics.
  • Acrylic
    Speaking of acrylic nails, this is another common polish type. Acrylic polish is made from a combination of liquid
    and powder. This mixture is applied onto your bare nail. As it dries, acrylic nail polish hardens and can be filed to
    your desired shape. It can also be used to extend the length of your natural nail. Acrylics also last around two
  • Breathable
    If you’re wondering what type of nail polish is best for your nails, allow us to point you in the direction of
    breathable polish. In short, breathable nail polish allows oxygen and water to pass through your polish and to
    your nails, rather than creating a barrier between your nails and the elements. This water-permeable polish will
    give your nails a chance to, well, breathe, which is of utmost importance if you find you can’t go without having a
    perfectly painted mani. Get more of the details in our article, What Is Breathable Nail Polish and Should You Be
    Using It?. Breathable nail polish tends to have the same wearability as the basic option we mentioned earlier,
    lasting around one week.
  • PolyGel
    Think of a hybrid between acrylic and gel nail polish and you have PolyGel.
    Essentially, this polish was designed for nail technicians to use to give a flawless
    manicure. It has a gel-like consistency that’s applied on top of your bare nails
    using an acrylic brush. Then, it can be shaped to your liking and cured with an
    LED or UV light. PolyGel nail polish is one of the longest-lasting polish options. It
    can last up to 21 days with proper maintenance.
  • Dip Powder
    Dip powder nail polish is another
    type that has a long lifespan. In fact,
    it can last around three weeks to a
    month, which explains why it’s
    become such a polish option. To use dip powder polish, your nail
    technician will first apply a base coat, then a layer of pigmented
    powder. This process will be repeated (with excess powder being
    removed each time) until you’re left with an opaque manicure. To
    finish it off, a layer of clear powder and a sealant is applied.
  • Shellac
    Last but not least, we have Shellac. Just like PoyGel polish is a hybrid between gel and acrylic, Shellac nail
    polish is a cross between gel and basic formulas. It’s applied to bare nails and cured with a UV light. Shellac nail
    polish can’t be used to extend the length of your nails. Typically, you can expect this type of polish to last around
    two weeks