Nail polish is not the only way to spice up your nails. Acrylic nails can be done at home, and are a great alternative for those who don’t want to go through the hassle of going to a salon.
A DIY at-home acrylic nail is not impossible. So, how to do acrylic nails at home? Here’s how!
Doing Acrylic Nails At Home
Do you like acrylic nails and want to learn how to do them yourself? While it may appear simple while you’re watching a skilled nail technician, learning how to apply acrylic nails yourself at home takes time and effort. However, with some practice, you can achieve it!
- Buy an Acrylic Nail Kit
- Prep Your Nails Thoroughly
- Measure & Apply Your Acrylic Nails With An Acrylic Nail Glue
- Shape Your Acrylic Nail Tips
- Use a Dehydrating Nail Primer
- Coat Your Nails Using Acrylic Mixture
- Final Shaping to Finish Off
1. Buy an Acrylic Nail Kit
If you are new to applying acrylic nails, the best way is to buy an acrylic nail kit. The kit itself will include all of the tools that you need for doing your own DIY acrylic nails at home.
2. Prep Your Nails Thoroughly
Before anything else, make sure that your fingernails are clean and dry. This process will be a lot easier if you have already removed your old nail polish. If not, use an acetone-based remover to take it all off.
- Gently push back the cuticle with your cuticle pusher, checking to see whether any cuticle is left on the nail bed since acrylic won’t stick to it.
- To remove all glimmer from the nail, use a buffing block to softly swipe left and right over the entire nail bed.
- Wipe dust off with a clean, lint-free cloth or your nail dush remover brush.
3. Measure & Apply Your Acrylic Nails With An Acrylic Nail Glue
Once your nails are clean and dry, measure the acrylic nails that you will need for each finger. Remember that you will have to cut each tip so it fits perfectly your nail bed.
With the help of a pair of tweezers, dip the acrylic nails in the container filled with acetone-based remover for two minutes or until they are fully covered. This way, all dirt and oil on them will be removed.
Afterwards, apply a thin layer of acrylic nail glue to the natural nail bed and wait for it to dry.
4. Shape Your Acrylic Nail Tips
Now, it’s time to start shaping your acrylic nail tips! Use a file to gently shape each tip into the desired form. Make sure that you don’t go too far down as this will weaken the overall structure of the acrylic nail.
5. Use a Dehydrating Nail Primer
Apply a thin layer of dehydrating nail primer to each nail and let it dry completely. This will help the nails adhere better to the acrylic mixture.
6. Coat Your Nails Using Acrylic Mixture
Once all of your preparations are done, it’s time to start applying the acrylic nails! Use a brush or a spatula to put an appropriate amount of acrylic mixture on each nail.
Wait for it to dry completely (usually takes around five minutes) and then apply another coat. Repeat this step until you are satisfied with the overall look of your nails.
7. Final Shaping to Finish Off
The last step is to give your nails a final shaping and trimming. Use a file to make them look neater and shorter if needed.
And voilà! You now know how to do acrylic nails at home like a pro! With some practice, you’ll be able to achieve the same level of perfection as professional nail technicians!
Whether you don’t have time to go to the salon or simply want to save money on your beauty expenditures, learning how to do your own acrylic nails at home is a talent worth obtaining. Fortunately, it is one that isn’t difficult to grasp.
What’s Included in an Acrylic Nail Kit?
Since you have decided to do your own acrylic nail at home, you must purchase your own kit. Here’s what a kit should typically include:
- Nail File & Buffing Block
- Dappen Dish
- Nail Prep/Dehydrator
- Acid-Free Nail Primer
- Lint Free Wipes
- Cuticle Pusher
- Acrylic Nail Brush
- Acrylic Powder
- Nail Clipper
- Cuticle Stick
Nail File & Buffing Block – You will need a nail file and buffing block to shape the acrylic nail and smooth out any rough edges. Also, you can use it to buff your nails before applying acrylic to them.
Dappen Dish – The purpose of this dappen dish is to mix your acrylic powder and liquid monomer/polymer solution.
Nail Prep/Dehydrator – This will be used to cleanse the nails and dehydrate them before applying acrylic on.
Acid Free Nail Primer – Acrylic is very hard which means it’s difficult for it to adhere to the natural nail plate. The primer solution helps fill in those gaps and makes it easier for the acyrlic to stick on.
Lint Free Wipes – You will use lint-free wipes or lint-free cotton pads to cleanse the nail before applying any product on it.
Cuticle Pusher – This is very useful in pushing back the cuticles and cleaning up dirt before prepping the nails.
Acrylic Nail Brush – You will need this to mix your acrylic powder and liquid monomer/polymer solution using this acrylic nail brush.
Acrylic Powder – Acrylic Powder is what gives the nail its shape once you brush it over the nail. It is made of a polymethyl methacrylate, which has a very high molecular weight. This means that it’s very hard and difficult to break.
Nail Clipper – the nail clipper will be used to shorten and shape your acrylic nails.
Cuticle Stick – the cuticle stick has a rubber edge and is used to push back the cuticles and clean up dirt around the nail before applying acrylic.
What is a Nail Dehydrating Nail Primer?
Acrylic and gel polishes are often applied over a base coat to ensure that your nails can endure longer and that they do not lift as readily.
- Alcohol works in the same way as a dehydrator and eliminates debris, moisture, and other substances on your nail. Clean your nails after applying rubbing alcohol. When your polish is completely dry, rehydrate with cuticle oil.
- When applying regular nail polish, gel polishes, or acrylic nails, you don’t need a nail primer or a nail dehydrator. However, they do have several advantages that in many situations make them worthwhile.
- Acrylic nails would not be possibly done well without the initial. It’s an understatement to note that acrylic primer enhances the connection between the natural nail plate and the fake one.
Acrylic would simply sit on top of the nail if it were not used.
How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last?
Acrylic nails are extremely durable and will survive 2-3 weeks with proper maintenance. They will then begin to recede on their own within two to three weeks.
- Acrylics will lift, chip, or peel sooner than 2-3 weeks if they’re not treated correctly and maintained.
- If you care for them properly, gel manicures can last 2-3 months without harming your nails. Gel nails and press-ones have their place, but nothing beats a good set of well-maintained acrylic nails.
- If you want to wear acrylic nails for longer than a few weeks, you’ll need to have them replaced at least once every two weeks to repair the spaces that appear as your nails grow.
Acrylic nails are popular since they have a long lifespan when with proper care. They are less likely to shatter than natural nails, and they last longer than gel nails.
What is the Importance of Nail Preparation Before Using Acrylic Nails
Before applying the acrylic nails on your own, you must take care of your fingernails.
The main reason for this is that the new nails will look too thick and unnatural if the natural nail has not been properly filed or buffed. You should always start by filing your fingernails so they are smooth and even without ridges or chips. Buff the nails so they have a shine and do not appear dry.
Even if you are going to apply acrylic nails, be sure to buff the nails before you even think of applying the tips or any color that you might want to put on them.
Here’s what you can do:
- To file your fingernails into smooth rid-free nails, you can use a glass nail file. Glass nail files are more gentle on the fingernails and do not cause as much splitting or cracking of the nails as a regular emery board does.
- Once your fingernails have been filed into smooth rid-free nails, you can then apply buffers to give them a shine. There is a difference between buffers and emery boards.
- A buffer feels like cloth and it will give your nails a high shine. Emery boards, if used too harshly, can cause splitting of the fingernails and they do not provide as much of a shine as does the buffers.
- Buffers come in different colors such as white, black, and brown. Commonly, people will use a white buffer first to create a base color, then the black or brown buffing cream on top of it to give them a shiny high gloss.
- The filing and buffing techniques should be repeated for each hand as well as both thumbs before you even pick up one acrylic nail tip.
- For the acrylic nails, you will need to do a little more work before putting on the tips. You can use a nail file or an emery board to lightly shape the tip of each nail so they have a rounded top but they are not too pointed at the edges – just enough so that there is no sharp point for your skin to snag.
- The next step after filing and buffing each nail is to lightly buff the entire upper surface area of the natural fingernail between where you will be applying the acrylic nails. This will give it a smooth surface to receive the tips.
After you have filed your fingernails, buffed them until they are rid-free, and lightly buffed the entire nail area between where you are going to place the acrylic nails, you can begin fitting on an acrylic nail tip.
How to Dry Your Acrylic Nails?
UV light does not cause acrylic nails to dry. When the monomer is combined with the polymer, a chemical reaction begins, resulting in cure and solidification. Artificial nail items will set more slowly at lower temperatures and won’t be as long-lasting.
If you want to learn how to do your nails at home, it’s ideal to choose a cooler location so that the acrylic may be perfected before it dries. It should take you around ten minutes. The easiest method to determine if your acrylics are dry is to gently tap them. You’re ready to go if they make a clicking noise.
Professional Acrylic films will dry in 20 to 30 minutes and thicker films might take an hour or two. This varies with the weather conditions. Most acrylic colors are usable for an extra hour or so than most other acrylic paints.
Tips When Using Acrylic Nails
When you decide to use acrylic nails at home, there are certain things that you should consider doing and there are some precautions that you need to take if you want to use them well.
You could hardly go wrong with this type of nail because it is so easy to apply and looks great on your hands. But if you want it to look good for an extended period, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Use a topcoat: one of the most important things for acrylic nails is to keep them covered with a layer of nail polish or gel topcoat. This will protect them and ensure that they remain shiny and attractive looking.
Gently file: after about two weeks, you need to start filing your acrylic nails to get rid of any stains and to make them appear smooth. This process can be a little bit annoying, but if you want the nails to look good for a longer time, this should be done gently.
Remove them: when you have decided that it is time to remove your acrylic nails, you need to do it slowly and carefully. If you try to remove them too quickly, they’ll come off in pieces and it will be difficult for you to fix the problem. Therefore, all you need is a nail file and patience when removing acrylic nails.
Press: if you want your natural nails to stay healthy and not get damaged by this type of artificial nail, it is important to press them with a hot towel. This will help the acrylic nails set and it won’t damage your natural nails in any way.
Moisturize: after you remove the artificial nails, you must moisturize your hands and cuticles because they need some rest too.
Avoid the sun: if you want to retain moisture and prevent dry skin, it is best to avoid spending time under direct sunlight – your nails need protection too.
Benefits of Using Acrylic Nails
Artificial nails, which can be manufactured from a variety of materials and aren’t likely to harm healthy natural nails if used properly. When using acrylic nails, you will get to enjoy the benefits, such as:
- The great variety of artificial nails that look like real ones
- They strengthen and extend your natural nails so they won’t break or peel, which is especially important for people with weak or damaged nails.
- Artificial nails will add a bit of length to your fingers making them appear slimmer, giving you the ability to shorten them if required.
- Smooth surface for nail art designs
As you can see, artificial nails are beneficial in many ways. That’s the reason why they’re still often used even today.
Acrylic Nails – What Are They Made Of?
Acrylic nails are manufactured using a polymerized monomer liquid with the use of specific chemical components that make it solidify. This manufacturing process determines if the final product is more or less of high quality and its strength.
The main components in acrylic nails are:
- Monomer liquid, the catalyst of nail hardening reactions, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and methyl methacrylate (MMA). Methyl methacrylate is toxic, which is why it’s often replaced with ethyl methacrylate instead.
- The plastic monomer that hardens nail plates (polymethylmethacrylate) or PMMA.
- A polymerizing agent like benzoyl peroxide (BPO). Benzoyl peroxide has significantly less toxicity than methyl methacrylate, but it’s still harmful to the human body. That’s why you are advised to use respiratory protection when working with it.
- A polymerizing agent activates monomer chemicals during the artificial nails hardening process. It’s also an oxidizer having bleaching properties that remove stains on the surface of the nail. It is also used in hair bleach.
- A colorant made of metal oxide pigments, which are poorly soluble in PMMA. They affect the final appearance of artificial nails.
- Other chemical agents are required for manufacturing certain types of nails, such as plasticizers or stabilizers.
Acrylic nails are quite beneficial for your natural nails. They are made of materials that don’t harm the human body, which is why you can easily use them without worrying about their negative impact on your health. Doing it at home with an acrylic nail kit is a breeze, and with a bit of practice, you will be able to do it like a pro!