Natural vs Artificial: The Guide to Manicures

Trendy spring crystal manicure by Nail Studio in Colonia, New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Bryan Gorczyca

Trendy spring crystal manicure by Nail Studio in Colonia, New Jersey.

By: Paige Nonnenmacher, Spring Reporter and Editor

As the spring season commences, girls and guys worldwide are looking for the hottest trends in nails. Here’s your guide to the population manicure options in which local nail salons specialize.

The first step in the manicure process is picking out a nail polish color and/or design. If you have a nail polish at home, fear not. Most nail salons welcome you to bring in your own polish. Local nail salon Nail Studio in Colonia, New Jersey stands out as being one of the town’s favorite spots to get their nails done. The have many competitors up and down Inman Avenue, but they are sure to offer expertise service, at the right price. Nail technician Anthony Nguyen, stated, “The new thing people are getting is matte. So basically we can take any color and turn it into a matte…It’s different, and definitely the new trend.” Be sure to check out this salon for up and coming nail art trends.

The classic manicure is the best option for people new to the realm of manicures. A nail technician will go through the basic nail maintenance steps:  moisturizing the hands, taming overgrown cuticles, and trimming the nails. Trimming is optional; however, it is integral in equalizing the nail length to radiate a clean and orderly appearance.

Next, the technician will shape the nails, which is standard in every style of manicure. Shaping options include: rounded, almond, ballerina, stiletto, oval, square, and squoval— a combination of square and oval. At last, the nail technician will apply the polish of your choosing. To finish the process, a top coat will be applied and the customer must place their hands under a dryer to allow the polish to set.

The French manicure is a play on the classic manicure. Essentially, clients receive a neutral colored base coat—such as beige or light pink— and a thin or thick line of white polish is painted across the tip. This manicure is renowned for its timelessness and elegance and will be sure to complement your look for any occasion.

The gel manicure is the next step on the ladder of nail art complexity. Gel manicures serve as a replacement for traditional nail polish that has increased strength. Thus, your nails will be more protected against wear and chipping. However, the gel is simply the polish, which can be applied straight to the nail and hardened under a UV light, but is usually placed on top of an acrylic set.

Acrylic is a mixture of a specialized powder and liquid that is applied to the nails by the technician to the nails with a brush. Usually, the mixture is applied to the entire nail, but it can be applied at the tip to lengthen the nail.

Samantha Czapik, frequent manicure customer, receives acrylic manicures with a gel top coat. She commented, “I prefer getting my acrylics rather than regular manicures because they last longer and tend not to chip.”

Splashing into spring with Samantha Czapik's gel manicure by Aqua Spa, Marlboro, New Jersey.
Photo Credit: Paige Nonnenmacher
Splashing into spring with Samantha Czapik’s gel manicure by Aqua Spa, Marlboro, New Jersey.

The crystal manicures are similar to gel and acrylic sets. Basically, the crystal is a mixture of a clear liquid and clear acrylic powder, gel or resin that enhances the nails strength and appearance. Crystal powder is commonly applied on top of tips, but they are unique in the fact that they can be applied straight to the nail without causing excessive damage. They are often referred to as one of the healthier options.

Ultimately, the style of manicure that works best depends entirely on your nails and your everyday lifestyle.