A Beginner’s Guide to Nail Polishes


For as long as I can remember, nail polish has been one of the oldest fashion accessories that a woman can use. My Mom, my aunts, even our grandmothers were nail polish users. Using a nail polish can significantly enhance your overall appearance. With the latest nail art technology, you can even have your nails painted with various prints and designs. Some nail salons even have a computerized option that creates hundreds of different designs.

But for those younger ones who are just starting to get familiar with nail polish, there are a lot of things that you need to know before you start applying polish. Here’s a summary of the basic type of nail polishes and other components to help you out:

  • The typical nail polish that we see comes in different finishes. The most popular are the classic shiny type, then the matter, but which often looks plain.

Another popular finish is the glitter polish that also comes in different textures and patterns.

There are basically three types of nail polish: acrylic polish, gel polish, and shellac polish. Each one has its pros and cons. Beginners Guide to Nail Polishes

Acrylic polish

This is your ‘standard’ nail polish and the cheapest but doesn’t last as long as other types before it scratches or peels off. But if you are looking for a budget option, this is the one to go for. Acrylic polishes also offer the widest range of colors and finishes, simply because there are so many different manufacturers and brands on the market throughout the world.

Gel polish

These polishes last much longer – up to two weeks – and dry much quicker because they are cured with a UV lamp. The range of colors and finishes available in gel nails is not as extensive as acrylic polishes but most suppliers of gel nails pick the most popular and trendy colors and will include options like glitter, pearl, and metallic finishes, as well as the plain colors, so there is something to choose for every occasion. You can check out a website like https://www.svensson.com.au/ to see the extent of finishes available in gel nails.

Shellac polish

This is a patent-pending brand of polish that is a mixture of gel and acrylic and also lasts for about two weeks. Shellac is regarded as the top of the range, but it is the most expensive option, so most women who want a long lasting polish will go for the gel polishes. But if cost is not an issue, then you may want to try shellac polish to see how it compares to the gels. Shellac polish uses LED lamps for the drying and kits are usually about twice the price of gel polish kits. You should get two weeks out of a shellac polish manicure, or even three if you are careful.

  • Base Coat. The base coat is an essential part of a nail polish. The base coat will help in preparing your fingernails for the overall coating. It will give protection to nails and help in avoiding discoloration. Some base coats contain nail strengthening ingredients to help you have stronger nails.

The three different types of nail polish require different base coats. The base coats for the acrylic polishes are readily available wherever nail polishes are sold, whereas the gel and shellac polish kits will always come with a bottle of base coat provided.

  • Top Coat. The top coat is for the protection of your nails from chipping and damage. It will help keep the finish shiny if it is a glossy option that you’ve chosen, and helps to enhance the color of the polish. Again, the gel and shellac kits will have a bottle of top coat included to suit the particular type of polish.
  • Drying is important if you want to achieve the perfect finish. Most nail experts recommend that you wait at least 15 minutes if you want to avoid damage after applying acrylic polish. If you don’t want to spend so much time painting your nails and waiting for them to dry between layers, a quick drying acrylic polish may be a better choice for you. Alternatively, if you are using a gel polish you will be using a UV lamp to make them dry faster, and a LED lamp for shellac polish, so you won’t have to wait as long for them to dry as you would with acrylic nails.
  • Growth Enhancers. If you have dry and brittle nails, a growth enhancer can help keep them strong. Growth enhancers contain proteins and fibers that help your nails grow faster resulting in more healthy looking fingernails.

Beginners Guide to Nail Polishes

These are the basic types of nail polishes and components that you need to know about if you want to achieve a professional looking finish.  As a beginner, you may make a few mistakes along the way, but you’ll soon pick up the right techniques and you’ll be on the path to making your nail polish adventure more exciting.