Ask your mum about simpler times and she’ll tell you that back in the day most women had just lippie, blush (which they called rouge – so retro!) and nail polish in their beauty bag.
Now most of us have 45 concealers and 18 mascaras and umpteen choices when it comes to getting our nails done.
Hence a lot of confusion around the difference between Shellac nails, a SNS manicure, and gel and acrylic nails – are they all the same thing? We weren’t even sure ourselves, so we asked some pros.
What is SNS?
“SNS, short for Signature Nail System, is a powder dipping system,” Monika Carvalho, owner of The Nail Lab, told Mamamia.
“A base coat is applied, followed by the nail being ‘dipped’ into a coloured powder. This process is repeated one or to more times.”
“There is no ‘curing’ or ‘setting’ under a LED or UV light. Because the powder is coloured no painting is required and there is zero dry time. Professional removal is advised with a reapplication required every two to three weeks depending on the client’s nail growth and also wear and tear,” Carvalho said.
Though Carvalho advises that people fully understand SNS before getting it done.
“What is concerning for us in the nail industry at the moment is the misinformation surrounding SNS and it’s perceived benefits. It is being marketed as a product that is very different from acrylic and very healthy for your nails, In fact the main ‘adhesive’ ingredient is also the main ingredient in super glue and the coloured powder used is essentially acrylic powder (polymer).”
What is Shellac?
“Shellac is a product of CND rather than a type of service,” Cherie Pollard, CND Education Ambassador explained. “Shellac is a type gel polish offering. There is no natural nail filing for preparation or removal for a Shellac service.”
So if Shellac is a type of gel, let’s jump straight onto exactly what a gel manicure is.
What is gel?
“Gel nails are a system or process and Shellac is a brand of gel polish. Many consumers tend to confuse the names and think that Shellac and gel are two different things,” Carvalho said.