sns vs gel n ail polish

In this article, we are going to have a detailed yet comprehensive insight into SNS vs gel nail polish. We will also discuss the pros and cons of both systems. And discuss which option is more suitable for you. Please read the article completely so that you may not miss any important parts.

Just like everything else, taking care of your nails is equally important. There are so many salons out there that are available for such services. But before heading straight towards beauty salons, you must take some time to think and make a comparison between SNS and gel nails yourself. 

However, it’s quite a long debate as people have their preferences and choices regarding their nails. 

Signature Nail System or SNS

If you’re unaware of SNS then you’ve come to the right spot. SNS stands for Signature Nail System. In this system your nails are being dipped repeatedly into a colored powder. Doing this makes your nails harden and gives them a matte look. This manicure is considered healthier than shellac as the procedure doesn’t include any primer or UV light.

As now you’ve got a general idea about SNS, let’s talk about its pros and cons. 


  • You may have heard that our nails need vitamin E along with calcium for growth and strength. In SNS, the powder that’s being used includes both vitamin E and calcium as well. As you get your nails done, your nails get an instant feeling of strength. 
  • Another plus point of SNS is that the powder doesn’t annoy you in any way as it is light weighted and thin. So that way, your nails get polished in a more natural way. 
  • As far as the variety of colors is concerned, you can have different options as they provide you with the choice of glitter or matte finishing. However many prefer a more natural color so that your original nail doesn’t get much noticed after the growth. 
  • SNS is also long-lasting than any other regular manicure as it can be prolonged till 3-4 weeks which is almost one month. 


  • It can be a bit pricy for people who are not very much into the beautification of the nails. SNS is also a bit costly than the other nail treatments in salons. 
  • It can be bad news for people who are living in a small town or rural areas because the availability of SNS is not much widely spread yet. So if you want to get your nails done with SNS then you might have to go into a city and look for a salon that provides the services for SNS.
  • By the time you reach its time limit, you will need to look for a professional as it can be removed more proficiently by the professional. It is said that if someone wants to remove it herself that then it will need cotton dipped in acetone to safely remove it without damaging the nail. However, you better go to the same salon where you got it done to avoid any trouble. Removing nail powder can be difficult but there are many different methods of removal you can try.

Gel Nails

Just like SNS, I think that a brief introduction to gel nails will also be a good start before digging into its further details. If you want to have a gel manicure then here’s what you need to know about it.

There are many gel nail polish brand out there. Some of the more popular ones are OPI, Essie, and Sally Hansen (these are the ones you will typically see in stores). All gel systems generally work in the same fashion--you apply the gel, then cure it under a UV lamp.

The main objective of a gel manicure is to cure in a faster way often more than the standard acrylic manicure. It also smells good and doesn’t give you any hazmat feeling through the process. It also doesn’t damage your nail bed and keeps it smooth and natural. A gel nail polish contains photo initiators which help it in getting hardened and makes it more durable and long-lasting than acrylic polish.  

Gel nails usually cost you between $25 to 50 at the salon. Its durability is around 2 to 3 weeks. It is highly suggested that one should not start peeling them off when the nails start chipping. The best method for its removal is to buff your nails and then remove them with the help of a cotton ball soaked in acetone for 10 to 15 minutes. 


  • Gel manicures usually last longer than regular polish so it can be more durable as it can stay on your nails for two weeks if you take good care of them.
  • The gel nails are made to keep human comfort in view. That is why it is quite easy to peel them. You can even do this at home all by yourself. 
  • Another advantage you get from gel nails is that they get dry easily. Even within the time, you’re in the salon. 
  • Gel nails have more and a big variation in styles and designs as compared to normal nail polishes. It is because they are quite easy to handle.
  • The gel nails look much cool and fresh all the time. Their freshness is maintained even by the time you take it off. 
  • If you want a more natural look for your nails then the gel can be the best option available for you. 


  • To get the gel nails, one has to get the nails buffed to remove the natural shine of the nails so that the gel may stick to them in a better way. And because of this, you might feel a slight irritation. Your nails also become thinner because of the procedure. 
  • By the time you try to remove the gel, it might be a little harmful to your fingers as they get dry a lot because of the pure acetone for the removal of the gel. 
  • Sometimes not going to the right salon or a professional, can also have infections. However, the cases are rare but possibilities and risks are still there so you must be picky and selective to avoid any risk.
  • If you’re very conscious about your nails then you must be alert because the chances of nail breakage are still there in the processAccording to specialists, if you want to jump back to classic nail polish, it will need 6 weeks to recover your nails completely.

cure gel nail polish

Comparison between SNS and Gel Nails

After going through the above-mentioned characteristics of both SNS and gel nails, I hope now we can head towards making a comprehensive comparison between them. As you know that everything has its pros and cons so keeping this in view we will do the analysis. 

  • As already been discussed that gel nails come with a vast variety in terms of color, design, and style. However, SNS doesn’t have that much variation. So if you’re a person who is more into colors and style then gel nails will be a better option for you.
  • When it comes to durability, then SNS wins the race. Because SNS can stay for 3 to 4 weeks which will be quite difficult for the gel nails to prolong for that much time. 
  • Another plus point for SNS is that it comes with the priority of strength as it has the formula of vitamin E and calcium. While gel nails can be a good choice just for temporary fun. 
  • The availability is another thing to count on because SNS is not easily available. On the contrary, you can find gel nails more easily in almost every salon out there. 
  • In the peeling-off matter, both SNS and gel nails stand in the same queue because the effects of the removal will be the same. So better consult and go to a professional especially if you’re a newbie to such things. 
  • If we talk about the pricing then SNS is a bit costly as compared to the gel nails but their durability and effects are also accordingly. 
  • Comfort is also the main thing when it comes to comparison. SNS gives you a more comforting and natural feeling by which the client doesn’t get bothered. However, gel nails can annoy you a bit because of the buffing process. Yet, it completely depends on the client which situation she feels more comfortable in. 

Which is better, SNS or Gel Nail Polish?

Simply put, if you’re looking for more color variety, you should go for gel nail polish. If you’re worried about UV damage but still want a long-lasting manicure, you should pick a dip or acrylic powder brand.

A Better Alternative to SNS Dip Powder.

If you’re looking for a nail powder brand that’s versatile, cost effective, with plenty of variety, try Fairy Glamor. Our dip and acrylic nail powder starts at only $13.95 for a 1 oz jar and we offer a wide variety of unique finishes like chrome, holographic, thermal, glitters, glow in the dark, and more.

Thanks for reading our post on SNS vs gel nail polish. Which method do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments!

April 15, 2021 — Fairy Glow
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Fairy Glamor designs unique 3-in-1 dip and acrylic nail powders in Galveston, Texas. We're a 100% family owned business that was founded in 2020 and went from making handmaking powders in our spare bedroom to shipping out of a big warehouse. We believe in both quality and affordability--that's why our powders are used by both professional nail technicians and in homes. Our unique colors are hand-designed to give you gorgeous manicures that'll make your nails feel magical.