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Not sure which type of nail enhancement is right for you?  Check out the terms below to discover your perfect manicure or pedicure service.​  (Not all types of nails are provided by Natural Nail Boutique.)


Acrylic nails are a type of artificial nails that are adhered on top of natural nails.  Sometimes referred to as "tips," they are technically called polymethyl methacrylate acrylics, a mixture of a polymer powder and a liquid monomer (e.g., ethyl methacrylate). The tips are adhered to the end of the nail and the rest of the nail is covered with powder and liquid acrylic to fill in.  The process involves roughening the natural nail and filling the edges with liquid polymer. Usually it takes 20 to 30 minutes to remove the nail while using a nail file to help take off each layer of the artificial nail.   Upkeep can include filling of areas with liquid polymer where the natural nail has grown out.

Sometimes referred to as "gel nails," these are not the same as gel polish.  Natural Nail Boutique does not offer acrylic tips.

Artificial Nails

Also known as fake nails, false nails, fashion nails, nail enhancements, tips, or nail extensions, these coverings are placed over fingernails as fashion accessories. Some artificial nails attempt to mimic the appearance of real fingernails as closely as possible, while other designs may deliberately stray in appearance from real fingernails. Artificial nails are made from a wide variety of materials.  They can vary from inexpensive stick-on nails to acrylic tips applied with liquid polymers.

French Manicure

French manicures are designed to resemble natural nails and are characterized by lack of base color, or natural pink base nails with white tips. The tips of the nails are painted white while the rest of the nails are polished in a pink or a suitable nude shade.  French manicures may have originated in 18th century Paris and were popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Gel Polish​

Gel polish is a long lasting finish applied in several layers and cured using ultraviolet (UV) light.  After the application is complete, the polish is completely dry with no smudging or smearing.  A gel manicure can last 2-3 weeks.  Gel is the name for the product made by OPI, similar to shellac by CND or Gelish.  Although exact ingredients and color selection may differ, the overall effect is ​similar.  See the entry for "shellac" below for details about application and removal.

Magnetic Nail Polish

Magnetic nail polish is often used to create patterns on the nails using a magnet. A few patterns that can be created are waves, layered effects, stars, chevrons, curves and many other patterns.  patterns.

Nail Polish​

Nail polish, or nail varnish, is a lacquer applied to human fingernails or toenails to decorate and/or protect the nail plate.  Nail polish originated in China. It started off as a combination of beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, vegetable dyes, and gum arabic. Today’s nail polish is simply a refined version of the paint on vehicles. Cutex produced the first modern nail polishes in 1917 with the introduction of colored nail glosses.

Its formula has been revised repeatedly in order to prevent the cracking or flaking that occurs with the natural movement of the nail.  Recent improvements in the formulation of nail polish have included the removal of solvents deemed unsafe.  Polishes that reduce or remove solvents may be called "natural" or "three-free."

Nail polish is often applied in layers and requires air drying in between layers.  It may be clear, tinted with various pigments, or contain glitter or other texturizing additives for special visual effects.  Proper application can create a very durable finish that requires weekly removal and replacement, depending on how much use and abuse the nails are subjected to.


Shellac (tm) is a professional-use product created by CND (Creative Nail Design). Shellac is a "power polish" that allows natural nail manicure seekers to enjoy some of the same benefits of their acrylic and gel nail counterparts, with no damage from over filing.

First a clear base coat of shellac is applied, cured under ultraviolet light for 10 seconds, then two color coats, cured for two minutes per coat and finally a clear top coat, cured for two minutes. The four coats of polish serve to strengthen the natural nail, provide durability, and lock in the selected color. After the final top coat has been applied and set under UV light, the nail technician uses a cloth with 99% isopropyl alcohol to expose a glossy, resilient shine. There is no dry time; after the last UV light session the nails are completely dry, avoiding the potential smudges and time commitment of a regular polish manicure.

Removal requires soaking the nail for several minutes in solvent, usually acetone, and physical removal using an orange stick.

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