Types of Nail Polish and Their Benefits

Nail Care

They say you’re never fully dressed without a smile, but some people may argue that it’s the perfect manicure that ties together an entire ensemble. But stepping foot into a nail salon can be an overwhelming experience when you aren’t sure which type of nail polish is right for the job. To help you determine nail polish is best, we’ve put together a quick guide outlining the different types you can choose from.

Nail polish available at Overstock Pipeline

Basic Polish

The most classic type of nail polish is basic nail polish that can easily be painted on at the nail salon or at home. Available in a variety of colors, there’s no shortage in selection. However, while basic nail polish tends to run at a lower price point, it has a few disadvantages to be aware of. Although application is easy, basic nail polish takes much longer to dry than other polishes — allowing for more opportunities for the manicure to get smudged. It also has a shorter lifespan, usually beginning to show signs of wear after about five days. While these cons may be a drawback for some, basic nail polish is much easier to remove which makes switching manicure colors a no-brainer.

Recommended Basic Polish: SpaRitual Nail Lacquer, Renewal


Shellac is one of the most popular types of nail polishes, but most people refer to this as a gel manicure. Shellac is a combination of gel and basic nail polish that is applied, cured, and hardened using a UV light. When applied correctly, shellac is able to maintain its pristine, chip-free appearance for up to three weeks due to its hard nature. However, if removed incorrectly, it can cause minor damage or breakage to the nail. Instead, shellac should be soaked off of the nail with acetone to leave the nails healthy and strong.

Recommended Shellac: CND Shellac Pink Leggings


Gel polish, also referred to as “hard gel,” is a coating that can be applied over both natural or artificial nails. Unlike shellac, which is a type of gel that can be soaked off with acetone, gel polish must be removed with an electric nail file due to its hard exterior. However, a major benefit of gel is that it can be used to add length to your nails, where other polish simply adds a coat over top of your existing nails. Due to its durability, you can expect hard gel polish to last up to three with no chips.

Recommended Gel: OPI GelColor Nail Polish Grease Collection

Dip Powder

One of the latest trends in the nail industry is dip powder. Because dip powder is applied by dipping the individual’s finger into the powder and coating the color with a sealant between dips, it’s a much more forgiving process than applying shellac or basic polish with a standard nail brush. When removing dip, you can do so using an electric file or acetone — keep in mind that it is thicker than shellac and will need to soak in acetone for a bit longer. Lasting for three to four weeks, dip powder is the longest lasting out of the various nail polish types that we covered today, making it a great choice for your next manicure.

Recommend Dip Powder: OPI Powder Perfection A Great Opera-tunity


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