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Test Drive Your Next Manicure

Since the COVID-19 lockdown last year shut down nail salons, there have been an uptick in DIY nails. One of the most recent trends has been polygel. As an avid fan of nail trends, I ordered my own polygel nail kit from Amazon as soon as I could. Here are my reviews of polygel, dip, acrylic and SNS.


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First, let's look at polygel. Polygel is a buildable gel that is applied to dual forms in order to shape the nail to its desired length. This gel is made out of acrylic powder and clear gel, making it significantly less smelly and potent. In my experience, it takes some practice to do all of the steps to apply polygel in the right order, use the right amount, as well as the right amount of slip solution. Polygel is cool because you can make your nails as long or short as you want them. Another bonus is that polygel comes in a variety of colors, so you don’t have to paint them! I would not recommend polygel to beginners, as it takes a lot of time to master the process, but if you’re willing to put the effort in, polygel is an awesome way to take your nails to the next level.

Dip (SNS)

Dip, or SNS is also a classic method for a manicure. Dip is acrylic powder mixed with a clear glue. Dip nails can be considered as a combination of acrylic and gel, but are more versatile than either. Dip can be applied on to acrylic nails, or just on the natural nail. I am personally a big fan of SNS because of how easy it is to get flawless nails. Also, these seem to hold up the longest for me. Dip, sort of like polygel, also comes in a wide variety of colors, so you can go from baby blue to neon yellow and not have to change your method of application.


Wraps or silk are killer for nails that have been beaten down by other types of manicures. Although silks are usually used to create shorter nails, they are a tried and true method for repairing and creating cute mani’s. According to some sources, this type of manicure is dated back to the ancient Egyptians. There are reports that Egyptian nail professionals used paper to reinforce their nails. I have not had many manicures involving silk, but they are a great way to give your nails a break while still sporting a cute design.


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Last, but not least, acrylics. We all know and love this tried-and-true method of turning dull nails into a work of art. Acrylics are a combination of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer that combine to create a paste that can be shaped into any nail look you desire. Unfortunately, acrylics can be harmful to your health because of the distinct smell they give off. Despite their downfalls, acrylics are more popular than ever, and for good reason. 

Overall, I am partial to dip and acrylics, but am always open to new nail trends and methods of application. All nail art is cool nail art and major kudos to the nail artists, I am regularly blown away by all of the amazing designs and ideas that are constantly popping up over social media. Make sure you are supporting local nail businesses once the world is open again!

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Morgan is a senior at Florida State University, majoring in International Affairs and Political Science. She is originally from the Atlanta area but loves to travel in America and internationally. She spends most of her time studying, spending time with her dog, and working at her part-time jobs. Morgan is motivated to end mass incarceration, inequality, and global issues, and hopes to run for an elected position one day.
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