How to Do Your Own Sculptured Nails

Written by siobhan higgins
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How to Do Your Own Sculptured Nails
Sculptured nails encourage growth of natural nails and impart strength as a nail covering. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Sculptured nail enhancement popularity stems from the fact that this type of nails impart strength, durability, and flexibility. In addition to long nails in about an hour, sculptured nails may also act as a nail overlay allowing the natural nail to grow longer. As an added benefit nail lacquer wear increases significantly with the wearing of sculptured nails. While application of the sculpting product looks easy, proficiency comes with experience. With practice you you will be able to apply a full set of sculptured nails in under an hour.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • Soap
  • Water
  • Lint free towel
  • 100 and 180 grit nail files
  • Primer
  • Two dappen dishes
  • Nail form
  • Kolinsky brush
  • Acrylic monomer
  • Acrylic polymer
  • Cuticle oil
  • 4-sided quick shine block nail buffer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sanitise nails and hands with soap and water. Dry nails and hands with a lint free towel. Lightly etch the nail plate with a 180 grit nail file. To etch the nail place the file on the nail, lightly move it up and down covering the entire nail bed and the free edge of the nail. Etching of the nail roughens it for adhesion of the sculpting product.

  2. 2

    Pour acrylic monomer which is the nail liquid into a dappen dish. Place the acrylic polymer which is the acrylic powder into separate dappen dishes. Remove only enough product to do a full set of nails. Tightly close the product containers and store in a cool, dry place.

  3. 3

    Apply nail primer to all ten nails by lightly brushing it on the nail bed and nail free edge. The nail bed is the portion of nail that extends from the cuticle area to the tip of the finger. Do not allow the primer to touch skin. Primer dehydrates the natural nail and promotes product adhesion. Once the nail has been primed do not touch it with your other fingers. Oil from fingers will counteract the primer.

  4. 4

    Fit a nail form under the free edge of a fingernail. The free edge of the nail is the portion of fingernail that has grown beyond the tip of the finger. If there is no free edge attach the nail form at the end of the fingernail on the nail bed. Apply primer to the nail. Dip the entire nail brush into the nail liquid. Drag against the side of the dappen dish to release some of the nail liquid. Touch the end of the nail brush inside the nail powder. Allow the liquid to permeate the powder and form a bead.

  5. 5

    Place the bead on the free edge of the fingernail with the tip of the nail brush. Pat the bead from side to side on the tip of the nail while pulling the acrylic forward to the desired nail length. Using the belly of the brush, shape and smooth the acrylic. Work quickly as acrylic product dries fast.

  6. 6

    Form a second acrylic bead by placing the tip of the nail brush into the liquid. Drag the brush against the side of the dappen dish. Place the nail brush tip into the acrylic powder and allow the liquid to permeate the bead. Place the bead on the centre of the nail bed. Using the belly of the nail brush, pat and pull the acrylic product forward over the tip of the nail and to the side of the nail plate. Do not allow acrylic to touch the skin.

  7. 7

    Form a third acrylic bead and place it near the cuticle area. Using the belly of the brush, pat the product to the sides of the nail and pull it forward over the centre of the nail bed making sure to not touch the skin. Remove the nail form.

  8. 8

    Repeat steps five, six, and seven for the remainder of the fingernails. Use a 100 grit file to shape the tips of the nails. Use a 180 grit file to smooth and shape the tops of the nails. Wash hands and nails with soap and water to remove acrylic dust. Dry hands and nails.

  9. 9

    Apply cuticle oil to the sculpted nails and the cuticle area. Massage the finger tips and cuticle areas of your fingers. Buff the sculpted nails with the four-sided quick shine block nail buffer. Begin with the coarsest grit side working around to the finest grit side which will impart a glass-like finish to the sculpted nails.

Tips and warnings

  • Acrylic powder is available in many colours. Select white to use on fingernail tips for a french manicured set.
  • Do not share manicuring implements and supplies.
  • Do not mix products from different sculptured nail manufacturers.
  • Do not allow nail powder to contaminate nail liquid by using a separate dappen dish for the nail liquid and nail powder currently being applied.

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