There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a fresh set of nails. The impact this seemingly minor detail can have on your overall look and confidence is why we love new nail looks so much! And when you’re able to get the job done at home on your own without spending a bunch of money and time at the salon, even better.
Two of the most popular approaches to DIY nails are nail wraps vs acrylic nails. While they both have their advantages, one of these stands out as the premier choice for the modern nail enthusiast. Which is it? You’ll have to read below to find out!
In this article, we’re going to compare and contrast acrylic nails with nail wraps. Spoiler alert, but the latter is much quicker and easier to apply and remove. It lasts longer and makes it easy to perform nail art on yourself - fooling your friends into thinking you’re a professional manicurist!
Before we explain what separates nail wraps from acrylics, let’s explain what exactly they are.
What are Nail Wraps?
We have a complete guide addressing the question - what are nail wraps? But really, these are your new secret weapon for picture-perfect nails at home.
They are thin, flexible sheets made from real nail polish (at least, the best nail wrap brands use real nail polish). Rather than actually “painting” your nails on, you simply apply the sticker to your nail, and voila - a stunning, professional-grade manicure without the expensive price tag or inconvenience of spending hours in a salon.
Never before has it been this easy to perform nail art yourself - adding intricate designs to your nails that would previously only be possible at a professional nail salon. That’s because you’re not really performing any nail art - but because of how impressive the final product looks, nobody will be the wiser!
Beyond the simple, stunning manicure these provide there are other benefits that come with them too. They last a long time and require minimal maintenance. And, they’re perfectly safe for your nails with a chemical-free removal and application process.
There is a lot to love about wraps - but now, let’s introduce the other half of this battle: acrylics.
What are Acrylics?
Acrylic nails are a type of artificial nails that are applied to natural nails to enhance their appearance. They are made of a mixture of liquid and powder acrylic, which is applied to the nails and then sculpted into the desired shape. Once the acrylic has hardened, it can be filed and shaped to mimic the look of natural nails. The nails can then be painted with regular nail polish or gel polish.
Acrylic nails are a popular choice for people who have trouble growing their nails or for those who want to add length and strength to their natural nails. They can also be used to cover up damaged nails or to change the shape of the nails. There are many different types of acrylic nails, including sculpted acrylic nails, overlay acrylic nails, and dip powder acrylic nails.
While these are typically applied at a professional salon because of their complex nature, these days, you can buy your own acrylic nail set and get the same treatment at home. There is definitely a bit of a learning curve, but with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to apply salon-quality acrylics all on your own.
Nail Wraps vs Acrylics: Key Differences Explained
Now that you know a bit more about what both nail wraps and acrylic nails are, how do they compare? Which is right for you? Below, we’ll highlight a few key considerations you need to make to ultimately choose the right nail approach for yourself.
We’ll talk about which is easier to apply and remove, which is more versatile in terms of design, which lasts longer, and which is more cost-effective. Then, when it’s all said and done, we’ll provide a verdict so you can go out and get your supplies and get started!
Which Has a Quicker and Easier Application/Removal Process?
When it comes to application and removal, nail wraps are the clear winner. There is no quicker and easier way to get a stunning, picture-worthy manicure at home.
Nail wraps are pre-cut and pre-designed, making them incredibly easy to apply. They come on a sheet and can literally be peeled and pressed onto the nail - that’s it! No experience is necessary. You’ll nail it on your first attempt (pun intended!). And, when it comes time to figure out how to remove nail wraps, you’ll have no trouble there either - the removal process is chemical-free, too.
On the other hand, acrylic nails require a professional to apply and remove them. The process can take up to an hour and requires the use of harsh chemicals to remove the acrylics. This means it doesn’t just take longer and require professional experience - it may be detrimental to your nail health. To us, that disqualifies acrylics from even being considered - but we’ll proceed to the next consideration anyway…
Which Has More Designs & Styles Available?
When it comes to designs and styles, nail wraps offer a wide variety of options. With Polish Pops, you can choose from a wide range of colors, patterns, and designs to suit any occasion or mood. And because nail wraps are so easy to apply, you can change your look in minutes.
Want to fly under the radar with something simple and subtle? Or, maybe you want to stand out and impress all your friends with something extravagant and lavish. Either way, there’s a nail wrap design just for you. You can even find designs based on the season or upcoming holidays! Keeping things fresh with a diverse range of styles is just another reason we love nail wraps.
There’s no denying that acrylic nails can look absolutely gorgeous in their own regard. But with acrylic nails, you're limited to the colors and styles offered by your nail technician and are stuck with that design for the life of the nails.
And even when you go with the best of the best in your area, there is always the risk of human error. No need to stress about nail wraps - they’re perfect every time.
Which Lasts Longer and is Lower Maintenance?
If you’re like us, you don’t have a ton of time to constantly be working on your nails. You’re looking for something you can put on and forget about for a few weeks. There are two sides to the coin here: how long the nails last and how much work is necessary to keep them looking fresh.
So, how long do nail polish strips last? This varies from brand to brand and depends on how well you apply the wrap. With that said, these can last over 2 weeks with absolutely no maintenance or upkeep necessary! And you can even learn how to get nail wraps to stay on longer if you’re looking to make the most of them.
In contrast, acrylic nails require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. They’re more work. However, you get what you put in - as these can take up to 6 weeks before they need to be removed and replaced.
You’ll have to determine what matters more to you - effortless nails or a bit more longevity. This one is a bit of a wash - because in our opinion, keeping the same look for 6 weeks is going to get boring and bland anyway. The fact that wraps only last 2 weeks or so is great because you get to try something new and exciting more often!
Which is More Affordable?
The final point we want to discuss in our nail wraps vs acrylics debate is cost. And, when it comes to affordability, nail wraps are the more cost-effective choice. It’s not even close, really. A set of nail wraps is significantly less expensive than a full set of acrylic nails at just $9 a set. And they can be removed and replaced as needed without the need for a professional - meaning you save on tips as well!
With acrylic nails, you'll need to pay for regular maintenance and removal, which can add up over time. In fact, you can expect to pay $30 to $50 for the initial application (plus tip). And that’s just the start. From there, you will need a refill or a touch-up, which is a maintenance service after 2-3 weeks. That can cost around $20 to $35. All in, you’ll end up spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the course of the year.
If budget matters to you and you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, stick with nail wraps.
Nail Wraps vs Acrylics: The Verdict
Now, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Which side wins in the nail wraps vs acrylics debate? It should be pretty obvious at this point - but in case you’re still not sure, nail wraps are the clear winner. Why are nail wraps worth it, though? Here’s a quick summary:
They’re easier, faster, and most importantly, safer to apply and remove. And with a diverse range of styles and designs available, you’ll never get bored with these. You can impress anyone who has the pleasure of laying eyes on your nails - and they won’t even know you did it at home in just a few minutes unless you want to let them in on the secret! With minimal maintenance and upkeep, they can last over 2 weeks. And at just $9 a set, what more could you ask for?
If you’re ready to experience the magic of nail wraps firsthand, keep reading - here’s how you can get started today…
Ready to See For Yourself Why Nail Wraps are So Amazing?
The question now is no longer whether nail wraps are better than acrylic nails. Instead, it’s where to buy nail wraps so you can experience the difference for yourself. And for that, you can look no further than Polish Pops!
Our story began when our founder - Monique - struggled with performing her own nail art, especially on her non-dominant hand. But, she didn’t want to keep spending her hard-earned money at the salon every few weeks. And traditional “peel and press manicures” were tacky, ugly, and didn’t cut it. So, she came up with her own solution - and Polish Pops was born.
Now, anyone can get a stunning work of nail art without getting up off the couch while watching their favorite show. It’s simple, long-lasting, and gorgeous. Our formulation is made from real nail polish, so it looks just as good - if not better - than the real deal. Of course, we’ve also made sure our ingredients are vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic - so you can enjoy peace of mind applying them. You can’t ask for much more than that!
So, head over to our site and explore all the beautiful nail polish wraps we have in store for you. Once you try them out, you’ll be hooked!
Wrapping Up Our Acrylics vs Nail Wraps Comparison Guide
We hope you can see clearly now why nail wraps are the preferred choice over acrylic nails. And now that you know where to get yours, there’s only one thing left to do - figure out which stunning style is going to be your first!
Oh - and while you’re at it, check out our gel nail strips too. These are a fun take on nail wraps that allow you to get a gel mani from the comfort of your own home. Try them both and see which you prefer - you can’t go wrong with either style.