Infographic on the Different Types of Manicures and Nail Polishes


    Pampering yourself is one of the best ways to relax after stressful weeks of working on tasks at work or at home. For most women, going to the nail salon is among the best ways to pamper themselves. Getting a manicure is not just to make your nails look good, but it also helps in keeping them clean and healthy. 

    Visiting a nail salon is an oasis of endless possibilities for many women. However, for some, it can be quite challenging to choose what kind of manicure to treat themselves with. Some choose to stick to a regular or basic manicure, while some are open to trying out other types for a change. There are several types of manicures that you can choose from when you visit the salon. In addition to that, there are also various kinds of nail polish that you can pick, depending on your personal liking.

    Each type of manicure and nail polish is great for specific occasions and preferences. If you want to learn more about it, you’re in the right place. In this post, we are giving you infographics on the different types of manicures and nail polishes.

    The Different Types of Manicures

    Here are the different types of manicures that you may encounter in nail salons:


    1. Basic Manicure

    person getting a basic manicure

    This is the standard manicure that you can get from nail salons. In this type, the nail technician will begin by soaking your hands in warm soapy water to soothe and soften dead skin cells. After that, your nails will be filed and buffed, the cuticle will be cleaned, and your hands will be massaged with hand cream. After cleaning your nails, the nail technician will then paint the base coat, color, and top coat before applying some cuticle oil. 

    A basic manicure can take about 30 minutes to finish the application. It can last anywhere up to seven days and five days without chipping. It is also very easy to remove. All you have to do is use nail polish remover or acetone and cotton pads. A basic manicure also does not damage the nail. In fact, it can go a long way in helping to revive your nails, hydrating them, and keeping them healthy. 

    2. French Manicure

    getting a French manicure

    A French manicure is chic and stylish. It features crescent moon-like coats of white nail polish on the edges, giving your nails a crisp look. Many women are continuously experimenting with this classic type of manicure. That’s why today, you will see wide varieties regarding color choices and embellishments when it comes to the French manicure.

    This type of manicure is very simple. The nail technician will paint your nails with a clear, beige, or pale pink nail polish. When it dries, the tip of your nail will be painted with white nail polish in a crescent shape. You also have the option to choose different shades if you want to give the classic manicure a colorful twist. 

    A French manicure can take up to 45 minutes to an hour to apply. It can last two to three weeks if it is done using gel polish and up to seven days if done using regular nail polish. It can be removed using acetone if in gel or with a nail polish remover if in regular nail polish. A French manicure should not cause any damage to the nails if it is done properly and removed by a professional technician. 

    3. Reverse French Manicure

    This type of manicure is the reverse take on the classic French manicure. It highlights the lower part of your nails, which is known as the “half-moon.” It is done by servicing a basic manicure, applying your color of choice, and highlighting the half-moon of the nail. 

    A reverse French manicure can last up to three weeks if done in gel and up to seven days if done in polish. It can be removed using acetone if gel polish is used and with nail polish remover if basic nail polish is used. This type of manicure should not have any effect on nail health as long as it is applied and removed properly by a professional technician. 

    4. American Manicure

    getting an American manicure

    This type of manicure is quite similar to a French manicure but with a small difference. With an American manicure, your nails get a more blended and natural look. Even the nail shape you get is different. It is an elegant type of manicure and a go-to style for those who are looking for a neutral look to luxuriously manicured nails. 

    The initial steps in this type of manicure are the same as a basic manicure. But your nails are shaped and given a rounder form. After applying base coats, ivory shades of nail polish are applied to your nails. The nail color is either applied using a brush applicator or airbrushed on your nails. 

    An American manicure takes about 45 minutes to an hour to apply. It can last up to two weeks. The nails need to be soaked to remove the nail polish. As long as the manicure is done by a professional nail technician properly, it does not have any negative effect on nail health. 

    5. Gel Manicure

    getting drying a gel manicure using UV light

    This type of manicure includes the basic manicure process but with the addition of a gel polish cured under UV light twice. The top coat is then applied to cure the nail. It is a perfect type of manicure for those looking for a low-maintenance but stylish option for nails. It does not require frequent visits to salons for manicure sessions. 

    In gel manicure, each coat is dried completely before topping it with the other. The fingers are exposed to UV light during each step for drying the nail polish, which takes just a few minutes. It is more durable compared to other types of manicures. A gel manicure can last up to 3 weeks without chipping. It is removed by using an acetone soak-off. But it is better to go back to the nail salon to take it off. 

    This type of manicure should not cause any damage to your nails if it is applied and removed by a professional technician. There is a risk of damaging your nails if you peel, chip, or lift the gel polish. 

    6. Dip Powder Manicure

    applying powder manicure to nails

    This type of manicure falls between a regular manicure and a face acrylic nail. However, instead of using UV rays to seal the polish, the color comes from a pigmented powder. It is done by applying a base coat to the nail, then dipping the nail into a powder and sealing it with a top coat. 

    Dip powder manicure can take about 40 minutes to finish, and it can last for up to 3 weeks. Soaking it off is effective in removing the polish. It is also a safe type of manicure and does not cause any damage to the nails. 

    7. Acrylic Manicure

    nails extended via acrylic manicure

    This is also called an acrylic overlay. It is a combination of a liquid monomer and powder polymer that makes a hard, protective layer over your natural nail. It has similar steps to a gel manicure, but it uses a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to create over the natural nail. It is then coated with polish or cured with a UV light if you choose a gel manicure on top. 

    An acrylic manicure takes an hour and a half to finish. It can last for 2 to 3 weeks. To remove it, soaking the nails with acetone is needed. This type of manicure does not damage the nail if it is done and removed correctly by a professional technician. 

    8. Shellac Manicure

    done getting manicure

    The downside of regular nail polish is that it takes a long time to dry. Gel manicure, on the other hand, can lead to damage if removed incorrectly. If you do not like those, then a shellac manicure is perfect for you. Shellac is a brand name created by Creative Nail Design or CND. It is a hybrid of regular nail polish and gel. It is applied the same way as regular nail polish and cured through UV lighting. 

    A shellac manicure can take about 45 minutes to finish, and it can last up to 3 weeks. It is removed easily through the use of acetone. There is still a risk of damaging your nails if you peel or remove the polish incorrectly. But it is a safe type of manicure when done by a professional nail technician. 

    9. Vinylux Manicure

    If you are bored of having the same manicure style, then Vinylux manicure is a great choice. It has an incredible staying capacity and can be removed easily. After the basic manicure steps, the nail technician will paint your nails using Vinylux nail color, which is available in different shades. A base coat is not needed as the polish does not chip easily. Two coats are applied, and it is finished off with a special top coat. 

    A Vinylux manicure can take an hour or more to finish, and it can last for 5 days to 1 week without chipping. To remove it, a nail polish remover or acetone can be used. However, the chances of nail injury and infection are extremely high during the manicure procedure. Therefore, ensure that you visit a salon with experienced nail technicians for this type of manicure.

    10. Paraffin Manicure

    getting a paraffin manicure

    If you want a classier manicure, then you can add a paraffin manicure to your nail treatment, which also hydrates the skin. It is known for its treatment of extremely dry skin. It uses hot wax that opens the pores and increases circulation to the hands. It can also alleviate sore muscles and joints temporarily. 

    The process of paraffin manicure can take about 50 minutes. First, the wax is heated up. After that, your hands are dipped in the wax for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then, the wax will be peeled off, and a lotion or cream will be massaged onto the hands. This process helps in removing dead skin cells, dirt, and toxins from your hands. It will then be followed by a standard manicure. 

    The Different Types of Nail Polish

    Here are the different types of nail polish that you can choose from for your next manicure session:

    The Different Types of Nail Polishes

    1. Crème

    bottles of crème nail polishes

    Crème nail polish is those used mostly on basic manicures. It is a classic nail lacquer that is super long-lasting. It does not contain many additives, making it last longer. It is also among the most popular. Crème nail polish is low maintenance, and there are lots of colors to choose from. 

    2. Metallic

    nails painted with metallic nail polish

    If you want a bit of extra flash on your nails, a metallic or chrome nail polish is perfect. It is an ultra-high shine nail polish style that is perfect if you are aiming for a high-impact look. This type of nail polish also usually contains coconut oil, rosehip, and green tea to help improve the health of your nails.

    3. Matte

    nails painted with matte nail polish

    This type of nail polish is not shiny. But it is high-quality and offers lots of depth. You can either choose matte polish or matte topcoat. If you are aiming to have nail art, you can use to use a matte top coat over it. It will give your nails a smooth and modern look. However, keep in mind that it takes longer to dry. You also need to be careful with using oil and lotion on your hands if you are wearing matte nail polish, as these can reverse the effects of matte. If ever it turns glossy, you can wipe your nails with some rubbing alcohol. 

    4. Glitter

    bottles of glitter nail polish

    This is a perfect nail polish if you are looking for something fun and playful. This type of nail polish features flecks of glitter suspended in a clear gloss. However, you should not forget to apply a top coat when using glitter nail polish, as chipping is extra noticeable with this style. It is also more difficult to remove compared to regular nail polish. 

    5. Gel

    nails painted with gel nail polish

    This is a trendy type of nail polish with an assortment of variations for DIY and salon applications. Gel polish can last longer than other nail polish types, and it is less susceptible to scratching or chipping. Most brands also offer lots of wonderful colors to choose from. Gel polish is cured using UV light and can last for up to 3 weeks without chipping. It can also be used to extend the shape of the nails for a longer length, just like acrylics.

    6. Holographic

    holographic nail polish bottles

    This type of nail polish is light-reflective and shimmery. Its options offer an otherworldly quality that is perfect to wear during spring or summer, particularly during the festival season. Holographic nail polish tends to change color or shade depending on how the light hits it. For example, purple holographic nail polish can turn blue or gold when the light hits it at different angles.

    7. Neon

    bottles of neon nail polishes

    This is a perfect choice of nail polish for those looking for vibrant and retro aesthetics on their nails. You can choose from different fun colors, such as neon pink, green, orange, yellow, and more. It is an eye-catching nail polish that leans on the matte end of the spectrum when it comes to finishes. There are also some neon nail polishes that have glow-in-the-dark features.

    8. Foil

    nails with foil nail polish

    This type of nail polish belongs to the metallic family. It is also a shiny polish that has a specific look and texture. It is called foil due to the way it tends to catch and reflect light. Its shades are quite similar to aluminum. It can provide your nails the silver foil effect without streaking.

    9. Pearl

    nails with pearl nail polish

    This is a versatile type of nail polish that can add a soft sheen to a plain manicure. It can be enjoyed on its own or be used on top of a colorful matte or crème nail polish to give them a pearlescent finish. It is a great choice if you are looking for nail polish that will give your nails a nice pearly white finish.

    10. Magnetic

    This one is a very interesting type of nail polish. After the polish is applied to the nails, a small magnet that is included in the cap of the nail polish bottle is used to act on tiny metal particles in the polish. Doing this creates waves, stripes, and other designs on the nails. It is very exciting to use, and it feels like the nail technician is performing magic on your nails. 

    11. Acrylic

    woman with acrylic nail polish

    This is one of the most common types of nail polish. It is made using a combination of liquid and powder. It is applied to bare nails. As it dries, it hardens, allowing you to file it to the shape that you want. It is commonly used to extend the length of the natural nail. Acrylic nail polish can last up to two weeks. 

    12. PolyGel

    PolyGel nail polish is like a hybrid between acrylic and gel nail polish. It is designed for nail techs to use and give a flawless manicure. It features a gel-like consistency that is applied on top of bare nails using an acrylic brush. It can be shaped depending on your preferences and is cured using an LED or UV light. It is among the longest-lasting nail polish options out there. It can last up to 21 days when taken care of well. 

    13. Dip Powder

    applying powder nail polish

    This type of nail polish also has a long lifespan. It can last from three weeks up to one month, making it one of the popular options for many women. To use it, a nail technician will apply a base coat, then a layer of pigmented powder. The process will be repeated until you are left with an opaque manicure. A layer of clear powder and a sealant is applied to finish it off. 

    14. Shellac

    nails with shellac nail polish

    This one is a hybrid of gel and basic nail polish. It is applied to bare nails and cured using a UV light. However, unlike gel polish, it can’t be used to extend the length of the nails. This type of nail polish can last around two weeks when taken care of well.


    These are the different types of manicures and nail polish. The next time you feel bored or tired with the usual manicure and nail polish that you choose in the nail salon, why not try some of the other types and styles that we have shared in this post? Most of them are also great for special occasions and events. We hope this post helped you learn more about the different types of manicures and nail polish. 


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