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Shellac, Gel, Acrylic or Dip Powder: Which manicure treatment to get?

Hankering for a well-deserved pamper session for the long hard week your crafty hands have been through? We’ve got you covered. Whether you want a glossy or matte finish or perhaps an extension to bedazzle your nippers, we bring you the low down on the different manicure treatments to get and where to go to get them. 


Shellac Nail
The latest trend to have landed that has all nail enthusiasts talking about it. It offers more shine and durability than gel and acrylic extensions and can last up to two weeks.

Cost: HK$900 Up

How long it takes: 1hr 15mins

How long does it lasts: 2 weeks

Try: The Nail Bar’s Shellac Manicure

Gel Nail
Gel nails are artificial nail extensions that provide more durability than regular nail polish. They are quicker to apply as it takes nail extensions that are secured onto the natural bed of nails with gel-based and then cured with LED light before being painted by nail polish which makes it stronger than regular nail polish. 

Cost: HK$600 up

How long it takes: 45mins

How long does it last: 1-2 weeks

Try: Canary’s hard nail extension treatment


Artificial nails on the other hand offer a more natural finish that lasts longer than gel nails. This process takes slightly longer than gel nail applications as the nail technicians have to combine a mix of liquid and powder substance to form a paste which when dried forms the acrylic nail that is perfectly shaped with a curved natural finish and painted on with nail polish.

Cost: HK$400 up

How long it takes: 1.5hrs

How long it lasts: 2-3 weeks

Try: The Nail Library’s acrylic extensions

Also Read: Five foot reflexology hotspots to try in Hong Kong Island

Dip Powder 
Dip powder is, as it sounds, a pigmented powder formula that nails are dipped into after being coated with adhesive formula to create thicker tinted nails and finished with a top coat. It is great for those who want to grow their natural nails without using UV light to cure the polish. The formula is typically treated with minerals and vitamins that promote nail growth and prevent breaking. It has a matte finish and lasts longer than the above two options. It also has the most flexible application that can easily be done at home by yourself. 

Cost: HK$500 Up

How long it takes: 45mins

How long it lasts: 3-4 weeks

Try: Eightyeight’s dip powder manicure


3D Nail Art
From rhinestone key chains to gem studded bling, Japanese 3D nail art is a way for fashion-forward and haute couture enthusiasts’ imaginations run wild. Technicians first apply plastic extensions to the natural nails before coating acrylic gel to form the shape of the nails before painting the nails and decorating them with glittered polish and ribbons, gems or even keychains. 

Cost: From $700 Up

How long it takes: 30mins – 1hr

How long it lasts: 1-2 weeks

Try: Hand and Foot Nail Spa’s nail art

Paraffin Manicure (beeswax and petroleum)
Paraffin is more of a spa treatment for the nails than it is a coating or nail art. It helps removes dead skin cells, heal dry cracked hands and result in silky, smooth skin. The treatment uses a moisturising silky hot mix of beeswax and petroleum for the hand to briskly dip in until they coated with layers of wax. Then the hands are covered in plastic gloves and wrapped in hot towles before the wax is peeled off and finished with a manicure. It is common to add essential oils to the hot wax for a relaxing and aromatic sensorial experience. 

Cost: From $300 Up

How long it takes: 30mins

Try: Mandarin Oriental’s Paraffin Touch

Also Read: Beyond Beauty: Five wellness benefits of Gua Sha

2021-09-26T22:41:16+00:00 September 26, 2021|Beauty|