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Which Manicure is Right For You?

Which Manicure is Right For You?



If you're new here, welcome! We are glad you stopped by and hope you will make Beyond Polish your #1 destination for all things nails. If you're new to doing your nails but not sure where to start, you are in the right place! We're here to break down some of the different types of manicures so you can find which one is best for your lifestyle and needs! If you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out to us or drop a comment below.

Nail Lacquer

CND Vinylux

Great for those who are:

  • Beginners
  • DIY nail lovers
  • Like to change their manicure on a frequent basis
  • Want a cost-efficient solution (cheaper salon visits)
  • Prefer a quick & easy removal process

How Long It Lasts:

  • On average, about 1-2 weeks

How it's removed:

  • To remove lacquer, soak a cotton ball in some acetone and simply wipe away to clean the nail.

Otherwise known as "regular nail polish", these are the products you see in your local drugstore. It's great for beginners. It's also great for those who prefer to do their nails at home and want something quick & time-saving. Nail lacquer is also extremely easy to remove, which also makes it a great option for those who like to change up their manicures on a frequent basis. 

One of our best-selling nail lacquer brands is CND Vinylux (pictured above). CND Vinylux is a breakthrough polish that lasts for 7 days! There are adhesives in the color coat, which means you can skip the base coat. Check out some more bestselling lacquer brands we carry:

We recently started bringing on more indie brands too. We all have our favorite go-to brands and products, but it's nice to try something new every once in a while. We carry a wide range of indie brands, recently bringing on I Scream Nails, Mischo Beauty & more. Check out our complete list of indie brands that carry nail lacquer:

** These brands are also clean (meaning they are not formulated with certain toxins), clean and/or cruelty-free.


Soft Gel

 OPI GelColor

Great for those who are:

  • Looking for zero dry time
  • Want a long-lasting manicure that requires little touch up
  • Looking for extra strength

How long it lasts:

  • On average, at least 2 weeks

How it's removed:

  • Soft gel usually requires your nails to soak in acetone-filled cotton pads for a few minutes. 

Soft gel is your classic gel polish. You may have heard of CND Shellac or OPI GelColor (pictured above). But if you're new to gel polish, let's first break down some of the differences between gel and regular nail lacquer.

Unlike nail lacquer, gel polish requires zero dry time. Instead, the polish is cured under an LED or UV lamp. So, no more frantically waving your hands in the air hoping your nails will dry faster. Gel polish also lasts longer than a regular lacquer manicure. Because it's cured, the polish actually hardens, which makes it less prone to pre-mature chipping. This also helps add some strength to your nails.

Where nail lacquer is quite easy to remove, gel polish takes a little more time to remove. You first have to soak your nails in acetone (this is usually done by dipping a cotton ball into some acetone, placing it directly on the nail, then wrapping the entire tip of the finger in tin foil). Depending on the type of gel polish you use, the removal process can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes. 

We carry a wide range of bestselling gel polish. Some of our top brands include:

We also carry some indie gel polish brands as well. Be sure to check those out!

** These brands are also clean (meaning they are not formulated with certain toxins), clean and/or cruelty-free.



Shop All Polygel

Great for those who:

  • Want to add a little extra strength to their nails
  • Want something long-lasting
  • Want to fill ridges for a smoother look

How long it lasts:

  • On average, hard gel can last at least 3 weeks (sometimes a month). It lasts longer than soft gel.

How it's removed:

  • Unlike soft gel, hard gel is not porous, so it first needs to be removed with a file (which should be done by a professional). 

If you've never heard of Polygel, don't worry. We are here to break it down for you. Polygel is a hybrid formula that combines the durability of acrylic nails and the elasticity of gel nails. However, unlike traditional soft gel polish, polygel typically comes in a tube and the formula is very thick (you can squeeze it out of the bottle like toothpaste). Because of its putty-like consistency, it's easy to shape and sculpt onto the nail. To learn more about polygel, check out the article below:


Polygel is still fairly new to our line-up, but check out the polygel collections we currently offer:


Nail Wraps

Nail Wraps

Great for those who:

  • Are beginners
  • Want easy DIY nail art
  • Change their manicure often
  • Want an alternative to gel polish (less damage)

How long it lasts:

  • If applied correctly, nail wrap manicures can last on average between 5-7 days.

How it's removed:

  • Use a wooden cuticle stick and gently shimmy underneath the nail wrap to loosen. Wipe away any excess residue with some acetone.

Nail wraps are essentially "nail stickers" that can easily be applied onto the nail. Think of them like decals for your nails. One of the great things about nail wraps is that they won't damage your nails (if removed properly). This is also a great way to achieve top-notch nail art without necessarily having that "nail artist expertise." 

Nail wraps are available in both gel and lacquer and are treated the same way as if you were applying nail lacquer or gel polish. Gel nail wraps still need to be cured under a lamp and should not be exposed to any light when not in use. 

Removing nail wraps is just as easy as applying them. All you need is a wooden cuticle stick. Gently wedge it beneath the wrap and wiggle it until the nail wrap detaches from your nail. Any residue can be easily removed with some acetone. 

We offer a wide range of nail wrap designs for every occasion! Be sure to check them all out below:

** These brands are also clean (meaning they are not formulated with certain toxins), clean and/or cruelty-free.


Dip Powder

Shop All Dip Powder

Great for those who:

  • Ideal better for those with shorter nails
  • Want an alternative to gel or acrylic
  • Use their hands a lot / want durability & long-lasting results

How long it lasts:

  • If applied correctly, a dip powder manicure can last up to a month

How it's removed:

  • Similar to hard gel nails, a dip powder manicure is removed by first filing down the top layers, then the nails soak in acetone to remove the rest.

Dip powder manicures became increasingly popular at the start of the pandemic, as more people began doing their nails at home. Dip powder is a great alternative to a gel manicure. On top of that, it's odorless, does not require a lamp, and applies in half the time of acrylics. Although dip powder can be considered a type of acrylic, it's often classified in its own category. 

There has been some controversy with dip powder manicures in the past because of sanitary issues. Due to the nature of dipping the finger into the jar of powder, it's not ideal for salons due to the high volume of clientele. However, most salons will sprinkle the dip powder over the nail, rather than dipping. You can always opt to bring in your own jar if you're concerned about sanitation. However, if you're doing your nails at home, you don't need to worry about this!

We have some great posts that go into more about dip powder manicures. If you're interested, be sure to check them out.


We carry a wide range of dip powder brands and colors. Shop them all below:


Gel Extensions

Gel Nail Extensions

Gel extensions are fast, easy and a durable alternative to acrylics. They are applied with a clear gel and cured under an LED light. They are available in a wide variety of shapes (round, square, stiletto, almond, coffin) and lengths (short, medium, long). 

Now, for those of you who love acrylics, you may be wondering what the difference is between acrylics and gel extensions. The main difference is the flexibility. Gel extensions are more pliable and flexible than traditional acrylics. They are also thinner than acrylics, which help them feel more like a natural nail. 

Great for those who:

  • Want extra length or to enhance the shape of natural nails
  • Want added strength & durability
  • Love gel and / or acrylic, looking to try something a little different

How long it lasts:

  • Gel extensions typically last about 3 weeks on average.

How it's removed:

  • Like standard soft gel, removing gel extensions requires soaking the nails. If you're new to using gel extensions, we recommend having them removed professionally, as it requires a bit of filing to remove the top layers.

Check out the different gel extensions we offer:

Despite the filing, if you're careful enough or the professional is removing the gel extensions properly, there should be minimal to no nail damage. Because you're soaking the extensions, they should easily come off without having to be aggressive. 


As always, we'd love to see your photos. Share your #nailfies with us on Facebook and Instagram by tagging us @beyondpolish and use the hashtag #PolishWithBeyond. 

Have any questions? Leave them down below or email us at HELLO@BEYONDPOLISH.COM

Want to know what else is trending in the nail community? Read more! Want to shop the latest? SHOP HERE!

Are you starting your nail journey and aren't sure where to start? READ MORE 

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Hi Anne,

Thank you for stopping by our blog and reaching out. I just pulled up your order and noticed you purchase CND Shellac. Can you please email our customer service team all the steps you use to create your mani at HELLO@BEYONDPOLISH.COM to get a faster response time. They love to help you out to create the perfect mani at home.

BP Team

⭐ Christina - Beyond Polish Team ⭐

I just sent you a message about finding a polish that is easy to apply and quick drying. as we love to try new colors and change frequently. I ordered a great red color and base &top coat but they are too hard to apply b?c they take so long to dry. We love the color but maybe it is the gel polish we are not good at applying. Do you have a polish you would recommend for a grandmother, and two grand children ages 8 and 12 that is quick dry and in fun colors. Any ideas for a mini spa day that is easy to apply and fun. Thank you. Anne Aderhold


I recently ordered and received CND red polish and a base&top coat. It is not working for me. Its a great color but takes too long to dry. I have two grandchildren ages 8 and 12 who love polishing their nails and my nails. We are used to a quick dry polish and a quick dry top coat.

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