Have you every wondered what the difference is between gel polish and hard gel nails?

Both are excellent options depending on what look you're trying to achieve and the difference between the two is explained below...

Gel Polish

Gel polish or soft gel (often referred to as Shellac, as CND's Shellac is the most popular and widely recognised gel polish range at the moment) is a product similar to nail polish. It is cured under a UV or LED light to give you a long-wearing polish that lasts around 2 weeks without chipping on the hands or about 6 weeks on the feet. Regular nail polish remover will not remove gel polish, it needs to be filed off or soaked off with pure acetone.

Hard gel

Hard gel is like acrylic and is used to create beautiful nail extensions to add length, shape and structure to the nails and is a fantastic option if you have naturally short or weak nails. It comes in a thick gel consistency with different viscosities for different hard gel products and is also cured under a UV or LED light. Unlike acrylic, it is fume-free so is a great option for those who are sensitive to the smell of acrylic and if applied correctly will not cause damage to the natural nails.

Hard gel cannot be soaked off and will need to be filed off for removal. To maintain your hard gel nails, infills are needed about every 2-3 weeks, however the time between infills will vary from person to person depending on how quickly your nails grow.

If you're looking for a vegan alternative to acrylic nails, hard gel is a great way to go! There are many brands of hard gel that are vegan and cruelty free (of course not all of them are so it's best to confirm with your nail tech), whereas acrylic needs to be applied with a sable hair brush and is therefore not a vegan friendly option.

To book your appointment online at Newcastle's first 100% vegan and cruelty free beauty salon, visit


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