Do you have non-existent nails?
If you do, then you should probably consider getting acrylic nails. There might have been occasions where you wanted to do some pretty nail or wanted to attend a wedding with attractive nails. Get acrylics! Everyone’s doing it!
Acrylic nails have been a staple in the beauty industry for years, and this staying power has contributed to their ongoing popularity. Acrylics are applied using a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to create a hard protective layer over your natural nails. Acrylics only harden when exposed to air. When the acrylic hardens, it provides a perfect canvas for applying nail color.
Gel Nails or Acrylic Nails…Which is Better?
Gel and acrylic nails have similar results. They can lengthen short nails, strengthen nails, and make your fingers look longer and more slender. There are some pros and cons that might help you decide which nail application to choose.
|Acrylic Nails||Gel Nails|
|How do they look and feel?||Acrylics may look less natural than gel nails, especially if applied incorrectly. Some women get sore nail beds as the acrylic cures, too.||Gel nails may look more natural and glossy than other types of cosmetic nails. Gel is a thick nail-polish type product. Gel nails are strong but not thick.|
|How much do they cost?||Acrylic nail application costs less than gel nail application.||Gel nails are generally priced between a regular manicure and acrylic nails. While this seems like the same cost as acrylics, keep in mind you will pay this every time you have the gel reapplied.|
|What is the damage to the natural nails?||They can damage your nail bed, and according to White, this damage can create a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. If removed incorrectly, they can take layers of your natural nail away.||With soak off gel, the nail beds can become overly dry due to the acetone. The remedy is using oils to moisturize the nails. With gel that has to be filed off, the damage can be the same as with acrylic in that you could lose layers of natural nail.|
|Acrylic Nails||Gel Nails|
|Are they flexible?||Acrylics are very strong and robust, but are not flexible.||Gel nails have some flexibility. They are stronger than natural nails but not rigid like acrylics.|
|How long will they last?||When done correctly and with proper nail care, they can last a long time. Fill-ins of the acrylic should be done at least once a month.||They don't last as long and are less durable than acrylic, even though they tend to cost more. Soak off gels will last between 10 - 14 days while some women may be able to go a month with gels that have to be filed off.|
|Is there a strong odor?||The application process involves strong chemicals and fumes - pregnant women are advised not to use acrylic nails during pregnancy.||Gel nail mixtures lack the fumes associated with acrylic nails - they're considered a safer, more eco-friendly option.|
|Acrylic Nails||Gel Nails|
|Are they easily repaired?||If you break an acrylic nail, you can almost always fix it yourself at home with glue. This will fix it until your next nail appointment.||If a gel nail breaks, you may be in for some trouble. It can sometimes be more of a shatter effect than a clean break, so self-fixing a break is not an option. You must make an appointment right away with your manicurist.|
|How are they removed?||The removal process is simple and straight forward when performed by a professional. The nails can be soaked rather than filed off.||Gel nails often need to be filed off, although there are some soak off versions.|
|How are they cured?||Acrylic nails are air cured. Most brands of acrylic take 24 hours to fully cure even though the nails and polish are dry.||Most gel nails require a UV light for curing, so they're harder to do at home.|
How To Apply Acrylic Nails?
Always start with clean nails. Providing a smooth base helps the acrylic material to go on better. Remove any nail polish and push back the cuticles.
The manicurist will probably trim and file your nails while leaving a few millimeters so that the nail extension can be stuck.
She will then buff your nails so that the surface of your nails are a little rough. This rough surface makes it easy for the acrylic to stick to.
A nail primer would be used to remove any remaining moisture and oil from the nails. Use a cotton swab with acetone to clean the nails and then apply the primer over the nails.
This is where the actual application begins. The tips would be filed according to your nails and will be applied with glue to your real nails. The glue should not touch your skin. The nail can be cut and sized according to your specifications.
The acrylic liquid would be poured into an acrylic dish and some of the powder into another dish. The fumes are strong while using acrylics so this should be done in a well ventilated area.
The manicurist will dip the brush all the way down into the liquid. Make sure there are no bubbles. She will brush any excess liquid against the side of the dish to prevent it from dripping. Then, she will run the brush against the powder so that you get a moist ball. This is the material which is to be spread on the nail.
Without touching the cuticles, she will apply the mixture over your nails and smoothen it out as it is being applied. The transition between the tip and your natural nails should be smooth. Apply another layer if required.
It should take about ten minutes to dry. Once this is done, buff and file the nails to make them smooth.
Your nails are ready to be painted!
Things You Must Remember When Getting Acrylic Nails
There are a few things you would want to consider before getting acrylic nails. Let’s check them out.
- Keep Your Nails Healthy: It is extremely important to keep cleaning your nails. Especially since there is an entire layer covering your real nails. Make it a point to regularly clean your acrylic nails. Use a soft bristle brush under and around the nails to clean hard dirt. Then use a cotton swab with some alcohol to clean around the cuticles and under the nails.
- Find Yourself A Regular Manicurist: Finding a manicurist that you can regularly go to makes life so much easier. She will understand your concerns, and since she knows your nails and your problems, you can save time trying to explain.
- Keep Your Nails Dry: Whenever you wash your hands, dry them completely! If you leave them wet, there are chances for your acrylic layers to lift and also a fungal growth! Wear gloves if you are doing the dishes.
- Oil Your Nails: Dry nails can break easily. Use a neutral oil such as rapeseed oil to keep them moisturized.
Although acrylic nails have their cons, they also have their pros too. If you want to be able to have long nails, but find it difficult to grow them naturally, then this is probably a very attractive option for you. Don’t shy away to try them out!
- Helen Leung
20 years of nail care practice with experience of competitions and further educations in nail servicing worldwide Led Helen to open Rainbow Nails in 2004. After a lot of different international and professional qualifications, she was honorably authorized by OPI to become an Official OPI Educator in 2005.