What’s with all the nail salon confusion

There are so many different names that go along with products in the nail industry such as polish, shellac, gel polish, soft gel, hard gel so-on and so-on. The nail industry products and services go by many different names and that’s certainly the case for builder gel too.

Builder gel, structure gel, hard gel, sculpting gel, builder in a bottle, it’s all pretty confusing. Especially, if you don’t know all the terminology or the product names, different styles and shapes that are used when going in and getting a manicure, whether asking for one product versus another.

Everything mentioned above is basically the same thing, just a different name and different product branding. Do you want to know what the real confusion is? Depending on the region, the salon, the nail tech and the company that made the product when you have one thing in mind and the tech has another thing in their mind. So confusing, right? How do we know we are on the same page when explaining what we want? Bringing in a picture doesn’t always show us what the product is that was used in that picture’s manicure. Not to worry, we are techs that do this on the daily, right. 

Essentially each term refers to the same thing! They are all some form of builder gel. So what is it? 

Builder gel is a product that can be applied to your nails to add strength and structure. It comes in clear and in an array of colors. You can add it as an extra layer of protection during a gel manicure service, or you can wear it by itself. It is slightly thicker than gel polish and is applied in a similar way, it’s also cured in a UV or LED lamp. 

Different companies call similar products by different names and sometimes those stick. For example, there’s SNS, DND dip powder and shellac is just a brand of gels. Have you ever heard of the term builder in a bottle?

It is actually used by several companies including ORLY. They are all saying that they’re particular builder gel product comes in a bottle as opposed to saying a jar, pot or tube.

Hard gel versus soft gel helps to think of hard gel in relation to soft gel. Remember that the term hard gel can be used interchangeably with the term builder gel.

Builder gel versus dip powder 

Finally had a moment in recent years and many people still wear it. It’s important to remember that dip powder is actually acrylic powder. It’s just applied in a different way: one uses glue as a form of a bonding agent on the nail plate’s surface.

Both which are good products have a different lifespan between the two. Though, one is stronger and a little bit more durable than the other. For example, builder gel Is lighter, feels  soft to the touch and costs slightly more than dip powder. Let’s basically compare it to BMW versus Honda and that sums it up. 

Builder gel’s added protection to the nails and prevents bending and breaking unlike dip powder or acrylic. Gel powder stays on for two and a half weeks to three depending on your grow-out. 

Gel powder is flexible and moves with your nails unlike dip powder and acrylic. Builder gel won’t yellow or crack unlike dip powder or acrylic. Gel powder can lay on as thick as you want or as thin, depending on you and the tech’s style. Unlike gel powder, builder gel can extend the length of your nail, rather than gluing on a tip. Granted, acrylic you don’t have to glue on a tip you place a form and sculpt the nail. The difference between the acrylic and builder gel is that builder gel is very lightweight and feels so much better.

There’s a product for every type of person it all depends on your preferences and chemistry of your nails

At LaBelle Nails we’re here to help if you’ve never tried a builder gel book your appointment today and let us know what you think for your first time. 

“As a nail tech I like using builder gel  because it gives me the opportunity to sculpt the nail shape and it’s just fun to work with. ” 

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *