Crystal Nails vs Acrylic Nails: Difference and Comparison

Artificial nails are considered as a work of art. It can also be an absolute necessity in the lives of various people. At the same time, some treat it as a special occasion.


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Artificial nails or fake nails have a massive demand in the market. The two most common artificial nail enhancements are crystal nails and acrylic nails.

Key Takeaways

  1. Crystal nails are made from a blend of liquid and powder, creating a transparent, glass-like appearance.
  2. Acrylic nails combine liquid monomer and polymer powder, resulting in a durable, opaque nail enhancement.
  3. Crystal nails provide a more natural look, while acrylic nails offer greater durability and customization options.

Crystal Nails vs Acrylic Nails

Crystal nails and acrylic nails are two popular types of artificial nails used to enhance the appearance of natural nails. Acrylic nails are made of a liquid and powder mixture applied to the nails and allowed to harden. Crystal nails also tend to be more flexible.

Crystal Nails vs Acrylic Nails

Crystal nails are thinner and are not burdensome. This provides flexibility to the crystal nails. The characteristics of crystal nails are that they are not porous.

So, crystal nails do not stain easily and look freshly manicured for more extended. The availability of crystal nails is limited,; not every salon or artificial nail centre provides it.

On the other hand, acrylic nails are more complex and thicker. Hence such nails are sturdy and not quite flexible. The characteristic of acrylic nails is that it is porous.

So it can easily stain from the daily tasks of eating, drinking, cleaning, and other activities. Acrylic nails have wide availability and are done in almost every salon or artificial nail centre.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCrystal NailsAcrylic Nails
Curing timeFasterSlower
Lifespan and durability ShorterLonger
Flexibility Offer high flexibility They are complex and robust and do not offer much flexibility
Availability Not available everywhere Widely available
Removal process EasierComparatively difficult

What is Crystal Nails?

Crystal nails fall under the category of gel nail enhancements. They have a glossy finish and look like natural nails. This technique of nail enhancements is slightly more expensive than other techniques.

A freshly manicured crystal nail can last up to 14 days with regular touch up and proper care.

The application of crystal nails can be made with or without a base and primer. The bonding of the gel to the pin is done by a CND Gel, which uses a primer that has a non-acid nature.

The application of the primer has to be appropriately done; otherwise, it can damage the nail bed. Hence it is always advised to get crystal nails done by a professional or expert.

The curing time of crystal nails is fast. The curing procedure of crystal nails is done under UV light. Some professionals even use gel activators to cure crystal nails.

Crystal nails offer flexibility to the users and pose the risk of breakage. However, they are not as flexible as a natural nail would be.

Crystal nails are available in a wide range. It is further divided into three primary colour types: Gelish, OPI, and Essie. The Gelish has 141 colours, OPI has 71 colours, and Essie has 36 colours.

Cleaning crystal nails is done by soaking them and then filing them off.

crystal nails

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are a common type of artificial nails enhancements. The constituent of acrylic nails is glass in the form of PMMA.

The manufacturing process of acrylic nails includes mixing the liquid monomer with an inhibitor. The liquid monomer is ethyl methacrylate. The mixture forms a bead which is in malleable form.

The mixture of liquid monomers cures immediately after application. It solidifies within minutes. The life span of acrylic nails is up to 21 days.

However, it can even last longer with proper maintenance and regular touch-ups. Acrylic nails are sturdy. They do not break off easily and last longer than most other types of artificial nail enhancements.

The colours of acrylic nails include gel polish, dip powders, nail polish, and other products.

The application procedure for acrylic nails includes attachment of the acrylic nails to the natural nail with the help of a primer or glue. The curing time of acrylic nails is slower and has to be applied in the correct quantity; else, it can damage the nail bed.

When applying acrylic nails, the experts should ensure no skin contact with the primers to avoid the risk of an allergic reaction.

Acrylic nails impart a sense of uneasiness to the users, which many people do not prefer. The thickness of acrylic nails is more than most other nail enhancements.

acrylics nails

Main Differences Between Crystal Nails and Acrylic Nails

  1. Crystal nails dry comparatively slower and take time for application, while acrylic nails dry faster, and the application process is faster.
  2. Crystal nails do not require a lot of skills for application, while acrylic nails require skills and knowledge for proper application.
  3. Crystal nails are less porous, while acrylic nails are more porous.
  4. Crystal nails do not stain easily, while acrylic nails stain easily and require regular maintenance.
  5. Crystal nails are ideal for customers who want to splurge some extra bucks on their nails, while acrylic nails are ideal for customers on a budget.
Difference Between Crystal Nails and Acrylic Nails
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