Manicures and Pedicures

Regular, Shellac, Acrylic, and Gel Nail Polish

What do the various types of nail polish and how are they different?

Nail Polish

Nail Polish: Your everyday nail polish or lacquer is basically a coating, or paint if you prefer that goes on the nail or tips. Regular nail polish can take up to 3 hours for it to fully dry. If you get this type of polish be careful upon leaving the salon not to impact your nails on any solid object such as a car door. Doing so could ruin your just completed manicure.

Regular nail polish will only last a few days before it has to be redone. Usually not a good value for your money to have a nail salon do your nails with regular polish. Mostly this is a home-based, do-it-yourself, product. However, if you like to have stunning new designs each week, lacquer may be the way to go especially if you don’t mind the time and cost of going to the salon.


Shellac: a blend of gel and nail polish. Shellac can not be used to extend your nails because it’s more like paint or polish. Sometimes people think because it’s a blend of gel and polish that it can perform that function, but it can not. Shellac dries faster than normal nail polish.

Shellac nails should remain good-looking and chip-free for two to three weeks.


Acrylic: Acrylics are a combination of a liquid and a powder polymer that form a paste which is bonded to the natural nail. It’s then given the desired shape, where it hardens in place to add strength, length, and thickness to the nail. They look fantastic when done properly but not every nail technician has the skill to do them correctly. Acrylics are stronger than Gel and require UV light to cure. UV light can be damaging to your skin and if you have sensitive skin this may not be an option for you. ( pro tip: before you go to the salon apply some sunblock to your fingers )

Acrylics should last six to eight weeks with a fill needed about every two to three weeks. A fill is required when your nails grow and a gap forms.


Gels: Gel nail polish is painted on much like regular lacquer. It is cured with a UV or LED light to help lock it in place for long-lasting wear. Each coat of gel polish will need to be cured for up to 60 seconds at a time. And instead of waiting for your nails to dry, you’re ready to leave the salon as soon as your last topcoat cures. ( pro tip: before you go to the salon apply some sunblock to your fingers )

Gel polish will last up to three weeks.

Where can I get these types of polish in American Fork?

Many salons offer Regular, Shellac, Acrylic, and Gel Nail Polish. Not every salon has technicians that are skilled at all of them. It takes a bit of training and experience to do Gel nails for example. L.A. Nails 1 does have very experienced manicurists in all four types of polish.