Manicure: Gel Polish or Regular One?

Whether gel polish or regular, Manicures have long been a cornerstone of personal grooming and fashion, transcending mere trends to become a staple in beauty routines worldwide.

The art of manicuring not only enhances the visual appeal of hands but also serves as a form of self-expression and personal style.

In the realm of nail beauty, the choice of polish plays a pivotal role in defining the overall look and longevity of a manicure. From classic looks to modern, avant-garde designs, the right type of nail polish can transform nails into a statement accessory, complementing an individual’s style and occasion.

Within the diverse spectrum of nail polishes, two types have emerged as the most popular choices: gel and regular polish. Each offers unique benefits and characteristics, catering to different preferences and lifestyles.

Gel polish is celebrated for its durability and glossy finish, providing a chip-resistant sheen that can last for weeks.

On the other hand, regular nail polish, known for its traditional formula, offers a straightforward application and removal process, making it a go-to option for those who prefer versatility and frequent color changes.

As we delve into the nuances of gel and regular polishes, we aim to explore their pros and cons, helping readers make an informed decision on which type best suits their nail beauty needs.

Overview of Gel Polish

Gel polish represents a revolutionary advancement in nail technology, offering a blend of durability and aesthetic appeal that has captivated the beauty world. Unlike traditional nail polishes that air dry, gel polish consists of a formula that requires curing under a UV or LED light to harden.

This process not only ensures a quick drying time but also contributes to the polish’s remarkable longevity. The composition of gel polish is a complex mixture of polymers and monomers that, when exposed to the curing light, form a hard, glossy layer resistant to chipping and peeling.

This unique formulation allows for a seamless application, providing a smooth, even coat that mimics the professional finish of a salon manicure.

One of the standout features of gel polish is its durability. Designed to last up to three weeks without fading or chipping, gel manicures are an ideal choice for those seeking a long-lasting beauty solution.

The curing process plays a crucial role in achieving this durability, as the exposure to UV or LED light instantly hardens the polish, creating a bond that is much stronger than what can be achieved with regular polish.

Additionally, gel polish boasts a lustrous shine that remains intact throughout its wear, maintaining a freshly manicured look.

Despite its strength, gel polish is flexible enough to move with the natural nail, reducing the likelihood of cracks and chips. This combination of durability, beauty, and practicality makes gel polish a favored option for both everyday wear and special occasions.

Manicure Gel Polish

Benefits of Gel Polish

The allure of gel polish lies not only in its innovative application process but also in its unparalleled longevity and resilience. One of the most significant advantages of opting for gel polish is its long-lasting wear.

Unlike regular nail polish that may start to chip or fade within a few days, gel polish maintains its impeccable appearance for up to three weeks.

This durability makes it a perfect choice for individuals with busy lifestyles or those who prefer a maintenance-free manicure.

The resistance to chipping is another noteworthy benefit. Thanks to the curing process under UV or LED light, gel polish adheres to the nail with superior strength, significantly reducing the likelihood of chips and scratches.

This resilience ensures that nails look salon-fresh for an extended period, making gel polish an ideal solution for vacations, special events, and everyday elegance.

Beyond its durability, gel polish offers aesthetic advantages that cater to a wide range of personal styles and preferences.

The glossy finish achieved with gel polish is nothing short of luxurious, providing a shine that lasts throughout the wear time without dulling. This high-gloss effect enhances the depth and vibrancy of the color, making each hue pop with a brilliance that is hard to achieve with regular polishes.

Moreover, the color range available in gel polish is extensive, offering everything from subtle nudes to bold, vibrant shades. This diversity allows for endless creativity in nail art and design, enabling wearers to express their unique style or coordinate with their wardrobe seamlessly.

The combination of aesthetic versatility and enduring beauty makes gel polish a favored choice for those who value both style and practicality in their nail care regimen.

Gel Polish

Drawbacks of Gel Polish

While gel polish offers a myriad of benefits, it’s important to consider its potential drawbacks to make an informed decision. One of the most notable concerns is the removal process, which is more complex and time-consuming than that of regular nail polish.

Gel polish requires soaking in acetone and often needs to be gently scraped off the nail, a process that can be damaging if not done correctly.

This method not only requires patience and care but also exposes the nails and surrounding skin to acetone for extended periods, which can lead to dryness and brittleness. Additionally, the need for UV light for curing raises concerns for some users.

Frequent exposure to UV light has been questioned for its potential to cause skin damage, prompting many to seek alternatives or limit their use of gel manicures to reduce the risk.

Another consideration is the impact of gel polish on nail health. The durability and strength of gel polish come at a price; the tight bond it forms with the nail can sometimes lead to nail thinning, brittleness, and peeling with repeated use.

This is especially true for those who wear gel polish back-to-back without giving their nails a break to recover.

Moreover, the cost of gel manicures can add up over time. Gel polish applications, especially when done at a salon, are typically more expensive than regular polish due to the specialized products and equipment required.

For individuals who prioritize nail health and are mindful of their beauty budget, these factors can weigh heavily in the decision-making process, leading some to reserve gel polish for special occasions rather than regular wear.

Gel Polish - Sonail

Overview of Regular Polish

Regular nail polish, also known as traditional nail lacquer, has been a staple in beauty routines for decades, offering a simple yet effective way to adorn the nails with color.

Its formula, a blend of nitrocellulose dissolved in a solvent, along with plasticizers, pigments, and other additives, is designed for easy application and air drying. Unlike gel polish, regular nail polish does not require UV light to cure, making it a convenient option for at-home manicures.

The application process is straightforward: a base coat is applied to protect the nail, followed by one or two coats of colored polish, and finished with a top coat to enhance durability and shine.

This traditional approach allows for quick changes in nail color and style, catering to those who enjoy experimenting with their look or matching their nails to different outfits and occasions.

The accessibility and ease of use of regular nail polish are among its most appealing attributes. Available widely in drugstores, beauty shops, and online, regular polish offers an extensive palette of colors and finishes at various price points, making it accessible to a broad audience.

The simplicity of removing regular polish—requiring only a swipe of nail polish remover—further adds to its appeal, especially for those who prefer to switch up their nail color frequently or are concerned about the potential damage from more durable polishes.

Additionally, the no-fuss application and drying process eliminates the need for professional equipment or skills, empowering individuals to achieve a polished look from the comfort of their homes.

This ease of use, combined with the vast selection of shades and finishes, ensures that regular nail polish remains a beloved choice for many, offering a practical and versatile option for enhancing nail beauty.

Manicure regular

Benefits of Regular Polish

The charm of regular nail polish lies in its simplicity and versatility, making it an enduring favorite among beauty enthusiasts. One of the most significant advantages of regular polish is its straightforward application and removal process.

Unlike gel polish, which requires UV curing and a meticulous removal process that can be harsh on the nails, regular polish allows for a quick and easy change of color with minimal effort.

This simplicity appeals to those who enjoy changing their nail color frequently or who prefer a less time-consuming beauty routine. The ability to effortlessly apply and remove polish not only saves time but also reduces the risk of nail damage, making it a safer option for the health of your nails in the long run.

Furthermore, regular nail polish stands out for its affordability and the minimal commitment it demands. Available at a fraction of the cost of gel polish, regular polish enables enthusiasts to build a diverse collection of colors and finishes without breaking the bank.

This accessibility encourages experimentation with new trends and colors, allowing individuals to express their style and mood without a significant financial investment.

Additionally, the non-permanent nature of regular polish means that wearers can enjoy freedom of expression without the long-term commitment required by gel manicures.

Whether it’s coordinating with an outfit for a special occasion or simply indulging in the pleasure of a new color, regular nail polish offers the flexibility and affordability to keep your nails looking fresh and fashionable with ease.


Drawbacks of Regular Polish

Despite the convenience and versatility that regular nail polish offers, it is not without its drawbacks, particularly when it comes to durability and maintenance. One of the main disadvantages of regular polish is its shorter wear time compared to more durable alternatives like gel polish.

Typically, regular nail polish can start to show signs of wear such as chipping and fading within a few days of application, especially without a top-quality top coat or if the nails are frequently exposed to water and harsh chemicals.

This susceptibility to chipping not only detracts from the aesthetic appeal of the manicure but also necessitates frequent touch-ups or complete reapplications, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient for those with busy schedules or those who prefer a low-maintenance beauty routine.

Furthermore, the drying time associated with regular nail polish can be a significant inconvenience. Unlike gel polish, which cures almost instantly under UV or LED light, regular polish requires air drying, which can take anywhere from several minutes to over an hour to fully harden.

During this drying period, the nails are vulnerable to smudges, dents, and scratches, making it challenging to go about daily activities without risking damage to the manicure.

This extended drying time, coupled with the frequent need for touch-ups due to chipping, means that regular polish may require a greater commitment to maintenance than initially apparent.

For those seeking a long-lasting, carefree manicure, these aspects of regular nail polish may prompt consideration of more durable alternatives.

yellow nail manicure

Comparison and Personal Preference

When it comes to choosing between gel and regular nail polish, several key factors come into play: durability, cost, maintenance, and aesthetics.

Gel polish is renowned for its exceptional durability, capable of lasting up to three weeks without chipping or fading, making it a favorite for those seeking a long-lasting manicure.

However, this durability comes at a higher cost, both financially and in terms of nail health, as the removal process can be harsh and may weaken nails over time.

In contrast, regular nail polish is more affordable and less demanding on the nails, offering a gentler option for those who prefer to change their nail color frequently or are concerned about nail health.

However, it lacks the longevity of gel polish, typically requiring touch-ups or a complete change within a few days to a week.

Aesthetically, gel polish provides a glossy, salon-quality finish that’s hard to match, while regular polish offers a wide range of finishes and is easier to apply and remove, making it ideal for DIY enthusiasts.

From a personal perspective, the choice between gel and regular polish often boils down to lifestyle, personal preference, and specific needs. For those with a busy lifestyle who cannot afford the time for frequent manicures, gel polish may be the preferred choice due to its durability and low maintenance.

On the other hand, individuals who enjoy experimenting with nail art or changing their nail color to match different outfits might find regular polish more appealing for its versatility and ease of use.

Personally, I lean towards regular polish for everyday wear due to its affordability and the minimal commitment it requires. However, for special occasions or when I need my manicure to last longer without the worry of chipping, gel polish is my go-to option.

Ultimately, the best choice varies from person to person, and experimenting with both types can help determine which polish best suits one’s needs and lifestyle.

Sonail Manicure

Tips for Choosing Between Gel and Regular Polish

Nail Health Concerns

  • Regular polish is less harsh on nails.
  • No UV light is required, minimizing damage over time.
  • Allows nails to breathe, reducing brittleness and breakage.

Budget Considerations

  • Regular polish is more cost-effective.
  • Easier application and removal at home.

Personal Style and Lifestyle

  • Gel polish offers a glossy, durable finish.
  • Ideal for those with busy lifestyles or who desire long-lasting wear.

Everyday Wear and Flexibility

  • Regular polish is ideal for frequent color changes.
  • Suitable for DIY nail art enthusiasts.

Special Events and Long-Term Durability

  • Gel polish is perfect for vacations, weddings, and events.
  • Favored by travelers and those requiring a chip-free appearance.

Final Thoughts on Nail Polish Selection

  • Align your choice with lifestyle, nail care priorities, and maintenance willingness.
  • Experimenting with both types can offer personal insights.


In summary, the choice between gel and regular nail polish hinges on several key factors, including the health of your nails, your budget, personal style, and lifestyle needs.

Regular polish offers a less harsh alternative for your nails, with the added benefits of cost-effectiveness and ease of application and removal. It’s ideal for those who enjoy the freedom to frequently change their nail color or indulge in DIY nail art.

On the other hand, gel polish stands out for its durability and glossy finish, making it a perfect choice for busy individuals or those attending special events who wish for their manicures to last without the need for frequent touch-ups.

Both options present distinct advantages, from the health and maintenance perspective to the aesthetic and practical considerations.

We encourage our readers to reflect on their personal preferences, nail care priorities, and lifestyle demands when choosing between gel and regular nail polish.

Experimenting with both types can be a valuable way to discover what best meets your needs, offering insights into the ideal balance between longevity, aesthetic appeal, and nail health.

Whether you lean towards the practicality and versatility of regular polish or the durability and shine of gel polish, the most important factor is finding a solution that makes you feel confident and beautiful.

Remember, the best choice is the one that aligns with your personal needs and preferences, ensuring your nails not only look great but also remain healthy.

Sonail Gel Polish

We at SONAIL, located at Burggasse 100, 1070 Wien, are always eager to hear from our community. Your experiences, preferences, and insights on nail care are invaluable to us and to fellow readers.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of gel polish for its durability and shine or swear by the versatility and gentleness of regular polish, we invite you to share your stories and tips in the comments below.

Your feedback not only enriches our community but also helps others navigate the beautiful world of nail care with confidence.

For those who crave more beauty tips and advice, following the SONAIL blog is your gateway to the latest trends, expert advice, and insider knowledge on all things beauty. Our mission is to empower you with the information and inspiration you need to express your unique style and beauty.

Stay tuned for more posts. Follow us for a regular dose of beauty enlightenment, and let’s continue to elevate our beauty routines together.


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