A Guide to Doing Your Own Acrylic Nails at Home
Depending on the person you ask, fake nails are either works of art, a necessity, tacky nonsense, or a treat for special occasions. Regardless of what people think, these nails are miracles of chemistry. There are a lot of different types of fake nails, but among the most popular ones are the acrylic and the gel nails.
If you’re tired of spending large amounts of money in the salon only to have your nails potentially ruined by an inexperienced manicurist, why not take up a fun hobby and do them yourself at home? This way you will make sure you get exactly the kind of nails you want. You will also have a chance to play around with different designs and explore your creativity.
Get the Right Tools
To get started, you will need a range of tools for creating your acrylic nails. One thing to remember is to avoid tips that are made with MMA (methyl methacrylate), because it’s tough, inflexible and tends to cause adverse reactions. This means bad news for your nail beds. Instead, go for tips made with EMA (ethyl methacrylate), which is a safer alternative. As for the liquid monomer, both types work well for your nails.
Buying supplies individually, as opposed to buying kits has several benefits. It makes it easier to choose the quality products that you need, to find the acrylic tips that best complement your nail shape and let you stock up on full-size products to be fully prepared to touch up your acrylics any time you need. Look for the following tools when stocking your nailcare arsenal:
- Nail clippers,
- Coarse nail file,
- Nail tips,
- Glue for acrylic nail tips,
- Acrylic nail liquid,
- Acrylic powder,
- Brush and a mixing bowl.
No one likes to spend long hours on a manicure that will last just a few days before chipping off. For this reason, it’s of great importance to choose a high-quality acrylic powder liquid monomer. This liquid tends to dry fast when applied to your nails. A good monomer will be easier to shape, and it will give your nails a perfect look for an extended period of time. Certain monomers also block UV rays, preventing your nails from turning yellow after long exposure to the sun.
Prep Your Nails
Another thing as important as choosing the right acrylic powder liquid is thoroughly prepping your nails before you start the process. Follow these steps:
- Clean your nails and remove any old nail polish.
- Push your cuticles back and trim your nails. To make this step easier on your nails, try soaking them in water beforehand.
- Buff your nails. This step helps to make your nails even and gives the acrylic tips something to grip onto.
How to Apply Acrylic Nails?
Applying your acrylic tips is an easy process once you shape your nails well. When buffing your nails, you need to consider the type of acrylic tips you’re working with, so that their width perfectly matches the width of your nails. Even if this isn’t the case, you can simply grab a nail file to gently file them to the right width.
Once you’re certain that your nails are the right size and shape, apply the tips using only a dot of acrylic glue. Make sure that you centre the bottom edge of the acrylic tip approximately one-third of the way down your nail. This way it will remain sturdy as your nail starts to grow out. Apply pressure on it for ten seconds so that it’s securely in place and move on to the next one.
How to Coat Acrylic Nails?
After you apply all of your acrylic tips, move on to shaping them (if needed) and applying a dehydrating nail primer. This leads to the most fun part of your at-home manicure process, which is coating your nails with acrylic mixture.
While making gel nails often requires synthetic brushes, acrylic nails are best done with natural haired brushes. Start by dipping your brush in a bowl of acrylic monomer, then tap some on the side so that it doesn’t oversaturate the brush. After this, dip the brush in your acrylic powder and apply the mixture to your nail. Start applying just above your cuticle and extend the bead all the way to the end of the tip. Make sure to smooth the mixture out to the edges and gently wipe the brush on a paper towel between strokes to avoid clumps.
Drying & Shaping
Acrylic is temperature-sensitive, so the warmer your room is, the faster it will set. That being said, if you’re a beginner in making acrylic nails, you should opt for a cooler space. This will give you more time to shape your nails to perfection before they dry. The drying time of acrylic nails is around ten minutes. If you want to check whether they’re dry, you can gently tap them. If they make a clicking sound – you’re good to go; otherwise, you should let them set for a bit more.
When your acrylics are completely dry, it’s time to do the final touch-ups. Grab your nail file and perfect the edges and tip to get the ideal DIY acrylic nails you’re looking for. Remember to, under no circumstances, pull off your nail tips. If you want to redo them, use an e-file to remove the top layer instead.