Holiday Season is approaching and you may want to try out all the nail enhancement options available. Well, there are different types of nails enhancements you could get such as acrylic nails, gel nails, dip powder nails, or biab nails. However, if you are considering budget, you may be wondering which nails are the cheapest and most affordable?
Acrylic nails stand out as the most budget-friendly option among nail enhancements. This affordability is due to cost – effective liquid and solid monomers. Furthermore, acrylic nails do not necessitate the use of expensive UV or LED curing lights, contributing to their affordability. When compared to gel, dip, biab, acrylic nails are the most economical choice for you . They are also customizable without a hefty price tag.
In this blog, you will learn the average cost of all different types of nail enhancements. One thing though- Prices may vary depending on the place you live( city or rural) or season of the year . If you really want the most affordable nail option for that party, occasion or event, you will appreciate this post.
Recommended Article: Which Nails Are Better, Gel Nails or Acrylic Nails?
What Are Nail Enhancements?
A lot of people mistake nail enhancements for nail design. Truth is, a nail enhancement is not that extra glitter you apply on your nails. Nail enhancements are techniques or materials that can add an extra length, strength or longevity to your nails. The most famous nail enhancements are made from acrylic nails, gel nails , dip powder or even fiberglass. Look at nail enhancements as the structural foundation that enables nail creativity to shine. They also make natural nails grow faster, offering durability and resilience to your manicure for a longer-lasting and more polished look.
Acrylic Nails Vs Gel Nails Vs Dip Nails Vs BIAB
5 years ago, I walked into a nail salon and told the nail technician I wanted dip nails when I actually meant “acrylic nails”. I had to redo the nails again. This costed me a lot of bucks. Now, I know better. And, I want to help you understand the differences between Acrylic Nails, Gel Nails, Dip Nails, and Builder In A Bottle (BIAB) . This will help you make an informed decision for your next manicure adventure;
|Builder In A Bottle (BIAB)
|Liquid and Powder
|Gel and UV/LED
|Dip and Activator
|Strength and Durability
|Moderate to Strong
|Natural to Glossy
|Natural to Glossy
|Thinner to Moderate
|UV/LED Curing Required
|Soaking and filing
|Soaking or filing
|Soaking or filing
- Acrylic Nails: Acrylic nails are applied by blending liquid and powder to create a robust nail overlay. A nail technician will simply shape and apply the mixture onto your natural nails or nail tips, sculpting them into the desired length and shape. The material hardens as it dries, creating a sturdy, durable overlay.
- Gel Nails: Think UV or LED lights, gel nails are cured to perfection, giving you a glossy, elegant finish.
- Dip Nails: Dip nails are applied by first applying a bonding agent to the nails. Then, they are dipped into a colored powder, repeating the process to build thickness. An activator is used to harden the powder. Finally, the nails are shaped and smoothed for a finished look. No UV or LED curing is required.
- BIAB: Builder In A Bottle (BIAB) nails are applied using a gel-like substance. A base coat is applied, followed by multiple layers of BIAB gel. Each layer is cured using UV or LED light to harden it. This process creates a smooth, even surface, perfect for nail art or a natural look
2)Strength and Durability
- Acrylic Nails: More durable.
- Gel Nails: While not as robust as acrylics, gel nails offer a moderate level of strength to keep up with your daily grind.
- Dip Nails: Strong like acrylics, they can handle the hustle and bustle of city life without breaking a sweat.
- BIAB: It’s your trusty companion, offering moderate to strong support for your nail’s daily adventures.
- Acrylic Nails: Less Flexible.
- Gel Nails: More flexible than acrylic nails
- Dip Nails: Not the most flexible, they stand strong against the tests of time.
- BIAB: With a flexible approach, BIAB can adapt to different nail shapes and sizes, like a versatile artist.
4) Natural Look
- Acrylic Nails: Acrylics may appear less natural but grab attention effortlessly.
- Gel Nails: Gel nails range from a natural, subtle look to a vibrant, glossy finish, more diverse.
- Dip Nails: They offer a balance, natural like.
- BIAB: Perfectly blending into your natural nail, BIAB delivers a seamless, barely-there look or an eye-catching statement.
- Acrylic Nails: Thick and sturdy, these nails are the concrete jungles of the manicure world.
- Gel Nails: Less thicker than acrylics.
- Dip Nails: Not overly thick.
- BIAB: On the thinner side, BIAB offers a polished finish.
- Acrylic Nails: Has a strong odor during application.
- Gel Nails: A milder scent.
- Dip Nails: Virtually odorless.
- BIAB: A mild odor.
7) UV/LED Curing Required
- Acrylic Nails: No need for curing lights, just the skilful hands of your technician.
- Gel Nails: Yes, you’ll need UV or LED lights to set those layers in place.
- Dip Nails: No need for curing lights here; simplicity meets efficiency.
- BIAB: Like gel, BIAB requires UV or LED curing to achieve its full potential.
- Acrylic Nails: Can be removed using acetone( read full article here).
- Gel Nails: Similar to acrylics, it’s a soak-and-file process, giving your nails a fresh start.
- Dip Nails: Soaking is the way to go, allowing for an easy transition.
- BIAB: Soaking or gentle filing.
- Acrylic Nails: They’ll require regular fills.
- Gel Nails: Also necessitate fills to keep them looking sharp.
- Dip Nails: Filling in any gaps ensures their longevity.
- BIAB: BIAB may need occasional fills to keep it looking its best.
10) Allergies Sensitivity
- Acrylic Nails: Potential allergens could make them a tricky choice.
- Gel Nails: Less allergenic, offering a smoother ride for sensitive nails.
- Dip Nails: Watch out for potential allergens.
- BIAB: Known for being less allergenic.
There it is ladies. You should avoid making the same mistake that I did. When walking into your nail salon, be clear and specific on what you want. Only then will your nail artist understand your needs and fulfil them.
So, Which Nails Are the Cheapest?
Acrylic nails are the most budget-friendly options in the realm of nail enhancements. The cost-effectiveness of acrylic nails comes from the materials used and the application process. These nails are typically created using a combination of liquid monomer and powder polymer, which are relatively inexpensive compared to some other nail enhancement products. Moreover, acrylic nails don’t require the use of UV or LED curing lamps, eliminating additional equipment expenses. This affordability is why most ladies prefer acrylic nails to gel or dip nails. If you wan a detailed guide on how acrylic nails are done, this article has it.
What Lasts Longer Gel or Acrylic?
In terms of longevity, Acrylic nails generally last the longest, followed by Dip nails. Gel nails come next, while Builder In A Bottle (BIAB) typically has a moderate lifespan. To be honest, these durations can vary depending on application quality, maintenance, and your own individual habits. Acrylic nails typically last longer due to their robust and resilient nature. Acrylic nails can last about 3-6 weeks due to their liquid monomer and powder polymer composition, making them less prone to chipping or breaking. If you notice your acrylic nails popping up, here is why( a full article).
There you have it, ladies. When it comes to affordable nail enhancements, acrylic nails take the crown. So, go ahead and treat yourself to that nail spa day without worrying about breaking the bank. Your nails will not only look fabulous but also leave your wallet happy. Happy pampering session!