How to Use Horseshoe Nail Forms

Written by ann vans
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How to Use Horseshoe Nail Forms
Horseshoe nail forms attach to real fingernails. (hand image by Earl Robbins from

Horseshoe nail forms are used to extend the free edge of real nail by applying acrylic or gel from the real nail onto the nail form. This type of nail form adheres to the sides of the fingers and rests under the free edge of the real nail. In order to use horseshoe nail forms, the real nails should have a free edge to work with. You should follow the proper procedure for applying horseshoe nail forms so that the application of acrylic or gel to the nails will be simple.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Horseshoe nail forms

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  1. 1

    Examine your client's nails and make sure that there is a free edge on their nail to work with. If there is no free edge on the nail, the acrylic or gel application may fail and you may have to remove the acrylic or gel.

  2. 2

    Prepare the nail form for application. Hold the nail form by the sides using both hands and squeeze the sides of the nail form to form a curve to fit the real nail. Doing so will allow the nail form to curve with the nail and fit properly under the free edge of the nail.

  3. 3

    Push the nail form under the free edge of the nail. The free edge of the nail should lie flat on the nail form. Double-check the nail form to ensure that it is placed correctly under the free edge of the nail.

  4. 4

    Press the sides of the nail form onto the sides of the finger. Do not adhere the nail form onto the tip of the finger, this will result in the nail form being crushed.

  5. 5

    Apply all of the horseshoe nail forms before beginning to apply acrylic or gel. Doing so will ensure that all of the nail forms are applied exactly the same.

  6. 6

    Check all of the nail forms. All nail forms should be applied correctly. Replace any nail forms that are damaged or that are applied incorrectly.

  7. 7

    Apply acrylic or gel to build an extension of the free edge of the real nail using the proper procedure. Be gentle when building the free-edge extension onto the nail forms so that the nail form will not bend.

  8. 8

    Remove the nail forms when the acrylic or gel has been applied and set properly. You may need to pinch the sides of the nail form in order for the acrylic or gel to break loose from the nail form.

  9. 9

    Discard the used horseshoe nail forms.

Tips and warnings

  • Nail forms should always be removed slowly to avoid putting pressure on the false nail or the real nail.
  • It is helpful to practice putting horseshoe nail forms on a friend or family member before using them on a nail client.

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