Hard Gel Nails

Hard Gel Manicure

Over the years nail trends have come and gone, just like all beauty trends do. Now more than ever it seems as though we have a ton of different options when it comes to getting our nails done. Different types of manicures, different formulations, etc. Options, options, options! While it’s great having options, it can also be a bit overwhelming to know the difference between them all. Hard gel manicures have been one of the most popular types of manicures over the past couple of years. Even with the popularity, there’s a great deal of confusion as to what consists of a hard gel manicure.

1What is hard gel nails?

Ok, so what is a hard gel manicure? In short, it’s the process of applying a hard gel product to the nail in order for the gel to harden it’s cured under a UV or LED light (depending upon the exact gel type). Hard gel has grown in popularity because of its sturdiness. It is an incredibly durable product that allows for the manicures to last a much longer period of time than traditional nail polish. Hard gel can be applied directly to the natural nail, or used to create length in the form of a gel extension. It’s an incredibly versatile and durable nail product – no wonder it’s favored by nail artists and clients!

2Hard gel nails vs acrylic Nails

While hard gel manicures have become a go to for women all over the world, they’re often compared to acrylics. As you likely know acrylics have been around (and quite popular) for many, many years. The two have some similarities along with some differences. Both give a very similar look and feel when they’re applied and dried. Hard gel, as mentioned above, has to be ‘set’ or cured with a UV or LED light. Acrylics on the other hand, air dry. This is one of the biggest differences between the two. Another big difference between hard gel and acrylics is the removal process. Because hard gel is such a heavy duty, durable product it takes a bit more work (and the right products/tools) to remove from the nails where acrylics are easier to remove.

If you’ve been considering getting a hard gel manicure, just make sure you get them removed properly. While hard gel can be incredible for its long wear, it can cause damage to the natural nail if it’s not removed properly. Ask your nail technician or do some research to get the right products to remove a home.

Now that we’ve established what a hard gel manicure is, allow us to give you some great examples! Scroll through to take a peek at some gorgeous hard gel manicures to see what this type of manicure is really all about.

3Abstract Art

Hard gel is a great medium for nail artist to use to tap into their creativity. We absolutely love this abstract art design. Using simple shapes, in different colors and leaving some clear space gives this a modern vibe.

4Textured in Black

How chic and edgy are these nails?! Black manicures are always a win in our book. One really fun way to add style to an all black manicure is adding different textures like they’ve done here. Glitter, matte and shine.

5Shades of Blue

This year the rainbow and monochromatic nails are all the rage. And we have to say, we love these trends. Painting each nail in a different shade of blue (or any color you like) is an easy way to combine the two trends together seamlessly.

6Swirling in Blue

Another gorgeous way to work with blue for your next hard gel manicure. This swirled design, using different shades of blue, is absolutely mesmerizing. It really pops next to solid blue painted nails.

7Clearly Sky Blue

Turns out blue is having a moment in the nail world, too! These hard gel nails are stunning for the spring and summer months with this color palette. Leaving a touch of clear space like they’ve done really changes the dimension of the manicure.

8The Bold French Tips

How stunning are these hard gel nails?! Such a fun take on the French tip manicure. Opting for blue and yellow instead of pink and white = perfection. The rounded shape of the nail really gives these a modern aesthetic, too.

9Royal Purple

Simplicity is key when you want a chic manicure. If nail art isn’t really your thing, but you still want a little glam added to your hard gel nails – add glitter! The great thing about gel manicures is the options are pretty much endless.

10Chic in White

We love the look of crisp white nails, especially during the warm weather months. There’s just something about it. But we have to say, we’re even more in love with the shimmer and glitter they’ve added to white nails here.

11Gray Tones

Gray is a nail color that’s been gaining a lot of popularity. It’s softer than black, but still in the neutral color family. Isn’t it pretty? Paired with white and gray glitter it gets a glam upgrade with hard gel polish.

12Olive Dots

Polka dots are one of those things that we don’t think is ever going to get old. They always feel fresh, stylish and fun – especially when they’re painted onto nails. This color scheme of olive green and white is unexpectedly gorgeous.

13Hot Pink Glam

Talk about a POP of color, right?! Wow we love these hot pink nails. They get even more style thanks to the matte finish and pink glitter accent nail added to the manicure. They really speak for themselves.

14Neutral Glitz

Nude color hard gel manicures are everywhere. They’re classy, chic and look great all year long. If you’re tired of your typical solid nude gel look, this is a gorgeous way to spice it up while keeping it neutral. Matte finish + tiny touch of glitter = stunning.

15Nautically Inspired

It’s summertime (in the northern hemisphere that is!), and nothing says summer quite like nautical themed…anything really! Give your hard gel nails a nautical vibe with blue and white stripes and fun sea inspired embellishment.

16Neon Rainbow

We’re coming at you with another BOLD pop of color, we just couldn’t resist. These nails are fully encompassing the rainbow nail trend, but opted for a neon color palette. The neon hues really ramp up the color factor.

17Minimal Stripes

Adding very simple design elements to neutral nails is a great way to make them unique and have a little fun with your hard gel manicures. As you can see here – all they did was add thin black stripes in different areas of the nails. Simple but major style!

18Mixing Neutrals

Another gorgeous example of how you can elevate your nude colored hard gel manicure. As you’ve probably gathered by now, adding a matte finish to the top is a go-to way to do this. The touches of white, with the stripe and dots, adds even more style.

19Delicate Flowers

We couldn’t have a list of hard gel manicures without including at least one floral designed option. The delicate flowers, applied to nude color gel nails, feels so modern and feminine. Painting flowers to just a couple of nails like this keeps it a bit more subtle too.

20Subtle Animal Print

Generally, animal print is one of those prints that we think is really bold and fierce. While that’s certainly true, we thought the way leopard print was used on these nails was a great example of how you can make it feel a bit more dainty and neutral.

21Rainbow Ombre

The rainbow nails just keep on coming! Ombre meets rainbow with this hard gel manicure. This is a look you can adapt with just about any color palette you like. They went with bright, almost neon hues here that give it that summertime feel.

22Pastel Rainbows

Ok, ok this is the last rainbow manicure (for now, anyways). But how gorgeous are these nails? The pastel color palette feels so feminine and light. Hard gels are an ideal medium to use when you want to play around with different nail shapes, like this pointed style, because of its durability.

23Peach Chic

Same shape, different color/design! They kept it really simple with these hard gel nails but because the shape of them is so pretty you really don’t need a lot of design or color for a stand out manicure. The peachy/pink color is gorgeous as is.

24Baby Pink Glitter

Love pink nails? We have you covered here! Pink, white and rose gold glitter turn out to be a pretty stunning combination. The design is fairly minimal but because of the touches of glitter it gives it an elevated look.

25Pink Iridescence

Calling all our iridescent ladies out there! These hard gel nails were made for you. We’ve been in love with iridescent nails for a while now, so we love that this type of polish can be applied using the hard gel process.

26Marbled in Pink

Pink nails certainly aren’t anything new, but we have to say we don’t think we’ve seen pink nails like these before. Marbled nails have been trending for a while, but the pink and mauve color scheme is what makes these stand out from the rest.

27Rainbow Polka Dots

Even if your nails are pretty short, you can still rock a stylish hard gel manicure. These nails are proof of that. Applied with a clear hard gel as the base and completed with different color polka dots for a manicure that’s sure to make a statement.

28Mixing Colors

29Half Moon Red

30Tiffany Blue

31Minimalism Done Right

32Sunshine Style