Types of Nail Polish

Choosing the type of nail polish you want can be a little confusing. There are so many more options than there used to be. From quick and easy nail polish to much longer-lasting gel or acrylics, there’s a ton out there.

But what is the difference between nail polish and nail lacquer? Should you get dip powder or gel?

Here, we will explore all nail polish types. With this article, you’ll get a rundown of each one and find the one that works best for you.

Types of Nail Polish


It’s always a great idea to start with the basics. Your basic nail polish is the regular type that you will buy for a quick color splash without the need to spend hours in a nail salon. 

The drawback of using regular basic nail polish is that it doesn’t last as long as gel or acrylics.

Basic nail polish comes in an array of different colors. At Orly, we offer everything from nudes to bright pinks and blues.

Check out the difference between nail polish and nail paint.


Lacquer nail polish is slightly more durable than your basic nail polish. Slightly thicker by nature, lacquer nail polish is also more chip resistant. It is ideal for anyone looking for quick nail polish solutions for any occasion without having to spend hours in a salon to get the perfect look with some durability. 

different types of nail polish


Gel nail polish is one of the most durable types of nail polish on the market today. Gel nails are done with a hard gel. The process of applying gel nails includes drying under UV light.

The ingredients in gel nail polish strengthen the durability of the nail polish. 

The greatest advantage of gel nails versus regular is that it lasts longer without any chips forming. You can enjoy a chip-free set of durable gel nails for at least four weeks. It’s a great option for special occasions that last longer than a day or two.  

Even though there are more chemicals used in the application of gel nails, gel nail polish is vegan when you buy nail polish from OrlyBeauty

Gel nail polish pros and cons are important to understand if you want something more durable but aren’t sure if it’s for you.

Also, if you’re looking for the perfect long-lasting finish, try using Orly’s Shining Armor, it is the perfect finish for your at-home manicures. It allows for a quick-drying high shine finish that lasts long. 

different nail polish

You can refresh your gel manicure without a lamp by adding a coat of Shining Armor to boost brilliance and keep your nails shining much longer until your last appointment. 

Chrome or Metallic

This type of nail polish is exciting. It offers extra shine and extra style. It is also a modern choice for the modern person seeking expression. Chrome or metallic nails, like Touch of Magic, draw great attention to your nails and can be a bold fashion statement. 

type of nail polish

These nail polishes also come in many forms such as gel and acrylic. The Chrome and Metallic look draws inspiration from fashion trends that extend to jewelry items, handbags, and even shoes. 

Everyone loves this new striking look on their hands, so if you haven’t tried it yet, go for it. Orly has lovely shades in chrome and metallic for you to get creative with. Try it on and watch the magic unfold.


Acrylic nails are made from a combination of powder and liquid. They are also a very popular choice if you’re looking for durability and something longer-lasting. When acrylic nail polish is applied it hardens and can be filed into shape. Acrylic nails are a good option for nail extensions. 

They’re durable and also like gel nails last much longer than regular nail polish. Acrylic nails are strong and provide a protective layer for the natural nails underneath. The surface is smooth which makes nail polish application easy too.

If you’re wondering can you use acrylic paint as nail polish, the answer is yes. It is a great option if you are in a hurry and need your nails to dry fast. 


The breathable nail polish range offered today is growing in popularity. Simply put, this range allows your nails to breathe. This means oxygen and water can pass through your nails when painted with breathable nail polish. OrlyBeauty offers an unparalleled breathable range with great colors to opt for from its breathable treatment color range

different kinds of nail polish

Orly’s breathable range uses a rich blend of ingredients to further promote your nails’ hydration which assists with the growth of the nails. Breathable nail polish allows for hydrating oils to pass through easily. This is what makes this a popular choice. You can keep your nails healthy and strong without harmful chemicals in the way. 

Dip Powder 

For another long-lasting nail polish option, you can try dip power. You can enjoy durable nails that last for around a month when opting for Dip Powder nail polish. The color comes from dipping your nails into a finely pigmented powder. It is applied as a few coats on your nails and it’s bonded with a sealant.

Dip powder can be applied quickly. It also doesn’t require much skill. Instead of applying a lacquer nail polish, the color comes from the pigmented dip powder.  In between applying base coats and the sealant you will dip your nails into a jar of your chosen color. 

Dip powder is a healthy choice because It allows your nails to grow without damaging the root. You can think of dip powder nails as a fast manicure that is long-lasting and more lightweight than acrylic nails. 

Poly Gel 

This is an interesting hybrid or cross between gel nail polish and acrylic nails. The Poly Gel nail polish has been designed to give your nails a smooth, flawless appearance. This nail polish application is done using an acrylic nail brush that can be shaped according to your specific taste when dried. 

A UV light is used to dry the nails. Poly Gel is also durable and lasts for a few weeks. Poly Gel nails are stronger but also lighter than acrylic nails and are more flexible. It is a fairly preferred type of nail polish finish because it is lighter than gel nails, but offers the same amount of durability. 


types of gel nail polish

Shellac is another hybrid choice in the market. It is a half gel and a half-regular nail polish. You will enjoy the benefits of gel nails without the drying time required. Shellac nail polish has a long-lasting shine and durable color. Removal of the Shellac nail polish is also easier.

Shellac nail polish can be used to extend the length of your nails and it certainly does offer greater durability than regular nails. With the level of lacquer in Shellac nails, there is no damage in store for your natural nails. Shellac nails can be enjoyed for a few weeks without chipping occurring. 


Now that you know and understand the importance and difference between each type of nail polish in the market, you are ready to start exploring what will work best for you. There is no one size fit solution. It all depends on your preference that fits your lifestyle. 

The bottom line is that no matter which type you prefer, nail polish adds a finished look to it that brings art to your hands and glamor to your unique expression of style. So choose the type that best expresses your personality and style. You can enjoy hours of fun when you choose your vegan-friendly nail polishes from OrlyBeauty

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