Acrylic nails are an effective way of adding length to your fingernails or making a dramatic statement with bright colours and intricate designs. Acrylic nails are affixed over the whole or the tip of the natural nail. Nail salons can affix them for you, but if you prefer to do them at home, you will need several bits of kit to ensure a correct fit.
Nail polish remover
If you have any nail polish or other adornment on your nails already, remove this with nail polish remover. The acrylic nails will not adhere well to polish, and the colour may show through the false nail.
File and buff
For the best fit, you need to ensure that your natural nails are as smooth as possible. Use a file to even the edges of the nail, and the end of the file to push the cuticles back to create an even arc at the base of the nail. Buff the nails.
The glue is what sticks the acrylic nail to the natural fingernail. It is typically comprised of methacrylate. Use a brush to apply the glue to the nail. It should be applied in a thin layer. Do not flood the nail with glue.
Acrylic nails come in many different shapes and sizes. Some cover the whole fingernail while others extend from the tips. Gently affix the acrylic nail to your fingernail by sliding it into position over the primer.
Acrylic liquid and powder
These two items help to create the “smile” line -- the white arc of the nail the extends beyond the fingertip. Combine some powder and liquid in a dish according to the instructions of the packets. Mixing the two will create a small ball of acrylic. Manipulate this with a brush on the nail edge, pressing into place and tapering to the end of the nail.
Nail oil or hydrant
When your acrylic nails and “smile” lines have dried -- typically in a round 10 minutes -- you can coat them in nail oil or hydrant to moisturise them. Use a brush to to apply a thin layer. This protects the nails and gives them a smooth appearance. Use your buffer to further smooth the acrylic nails. You can also file them once they are dry.
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