How to Do Acrylic Nails at Home: A Complete Tutorial for Beginners with Pictures
Acrylic Nails Tutorial for Beginners: How to Apply and Shape Acrylic Nails at Home
Do you want to have beautiful, long-lasting, and customizable nails? If so, you might want to try acrylic nails. Acrylic nails are artificial extensions that are glued onto your natural nails and then coated with a mixture of acrylic liquid and powder. They are durable, versatile, and easy to maintain. You can also shape them into any style you want, from square to almond to coffin.
In this article, we will show you how to apply and shape acrylic nails at home with a simple step-by-step tutorial. You don't need to spend a lot of money or time at a salon to get gorgeous acrylic nails. All you need are some basic supplies, a little patience, and some creativity. Let's get started!
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What are acrylic nails and why choose them?
Acrylic nails are one of the most popular types of artificial nails. They are made by applying a layer of acrylic, which is a plastic-like substance, over your natural nails. The acrylic hardens and forms a strong bond with your nails, creating a durable and long-lasting extension.
There are many reasons why people choose acrylic nails over other options, such as gel or dip powder nails. Some of the benefits of acrylic nails are:
They are cheaper than gel or dip powder nails.
They last longer than gel or dip powder nails, usually up to three weeks before they need a fill.
They are more flexible than gel or dip powder nails, which means they are less likely to crack or break.
They can be shaped into any style you want, from classic to trendy.
They can be customized with any color or design you want, from simple to elaborate.
What do you need to get started?
If you want to do acrylic nails at home, you will need some supplies that you can buy from a beauty supply store or online. Here is a list of what you will need:
Acrylic nail tips and nail tip glue. The tips are usually quite long, which allows you to trim and file them down to the shape and size you want.
Acrylic nail clippers and files. Regular clippers and files aren't as effective on acrylic nails. You will need different grits of files, such as 180, 240, 1000, and 4000 grit.
Acrylic liquid and acrylic powder. These substances are mixed together to create the acrylic layer that goes over your natural nails. Make sure you read the ingredients and avoid products that contain MMA (methyl methacrylate), which is a harmful chemical that can damage your nails. Look for products that contain EMA (ethyl methacrylate), which is safer and gentler on your nails.
Acrylic bowl and acrylic brush. You need these tools to mix and apply the acrylic mixture. The size of the brush depends on your preference, but somewhere between size #8 to cut and file the tips to your desired length and shape. You can use a pair of acrylic nail clippers or scissors to cut the tips to the length you want. You can also use a nail file to shape the tips into the style you want, such as square, round, oval, almond, coffin, stiletto, etc.
Make sure you file the tips in one direction, not back and forth, as this could cause them to split or crack. You can also use a fine-grit file to smooth out the edges and corners of the tips. Be careful not to file too much, as this could weaken the tips or expose your natural nails.
Step 3: Apply the acrylic mixture
Mix the acrylic liquid and powder in a small bowl
The next step is to mix the acrylic liquid and powder in a small bowl. You will need to work quickly, as the mixture will start to harden in a few minutes. You will also need to work in a well-ventilated area, as the mixture will produce strong fumes that could irritate your eyes or lungs.
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To make the mixture, pour some acrylic liquid into the bowl, enough to cover the bottom. Then, dip your acrylic brush into the liquid and wipe off any excess on the side of the bowl. Next, dip your brush into the acrylic powder and pick up a small bead of powder on the tip of your brush. The bead should be moist but not dripping.
Dip your brush into the mixture and apply it to your nails
The next step is to dip your brush into the mixture and apply it to your nails. You want to start from the cuticle area and work your way towards the tip of your nail. You want to cover the entire surface of your natural nail and the tip with a thin and even layer of acrylic.
To apply the mixture, place the bead of acrylic near your cuticle and gently press it down with your brush. Then, use smooth and sweeping strokes to spread the acrylic over your nail. Make sure you avoid getting any acrylic on your skin or cuticles, as this could cause lifting or infections.
You can use more than one bead of acrylic if you need to cover a larger area or create a thicker layer. However, you don't want to use too much acrylic, as this could make your nails look bulky or unnatural. You also don't want to use too little acrylic, as this could make your nails look thin or weak.
Smooth out the acrylic and create a C-curve at the tip
The final step is to smooth out the acrylic and create a C-curve at the tip of your nail. The C-curve is the slight curve that goes from one side of your nail tip to the other. It gives your nails a more natural and elegant look.
To smooth out the acrylic, use your brush to gently pat and stroke the surface of your nail until it is smooth and even. You can also use a fine-grit file to remove any bumps or ridges from the acrylic layer.
To create a C-curve, use your thumb and index finger to gently pinch the sides of your nail tip while the acrylic is still wet. This will create a slight bend in your nail tip that forms a C-shape. Be careful not to pinch too hard or too long, as this could damage your nail or cause pain.
Step 4: Finish and decorate your acrylic nails
File and buff your nails to smooth out any bumps or ridges
The next step is to file and buff your nails to smooth out any bumps or ridges that might have formed during the acrylic application. You can use different grits of files, such as 180, 240, 1000, and 4000 grit, to gradually smooth out your nails.
You want to file your nails in one direction, not back and forth, as this could cause them to split or crack. You also want to file them into the shape and style you want, such as square, round, oval, almond, coffin, stiletto, etc.
Then, use a nail buffer or a 4000-grit file to buff your nails until they are smooth and shiny. This will remove any scratches or dullness from your nails and give them a polished look.
Apply a top coat to seal and protect your acrylic nails
The next step is to apply a thin layer of top coat over your acrylic nails using a brush. The top coat will seal and protect your acrylic nails from chipping, cracking, or staining. It will also add some extra shine and gloss to your nails.
Make sure you cover the entire surface of your nails and the edges of your tips with the top coat. You can also wrap the top coat around the underside of your tips to prevent them from lifting or breaking. Wait for the top coat to dry completely before moving on to the next step.
Add some color or design to your nails if you wish
The final step is to add some color or design to your nails if you wish. You can use any nail polish or nail art supplies you like, such as stickers, gems, or glitter. You can also follow some online tutorials or get some inspiration from magazines or social media.
To apply nail polish, use a base coat first to prevent your nails from yellowing or staining. Then, apply two coats of your chosen color, letting each coat dry before applying the next one. Finally, apply another layer of top coat to seal and protect your polish.
To apply nail art, use a thin brush or a dotting tool to create patterns or designs on your nails. You can also use stickers, gems, or glitter to add some sparkle or dimension to your nails. Make sure you press them firmly onto your nails and apply another layer of top coat to secure them.
Congratulations! You have successfully applied and shaped acrylic nails at home. You can now enjoy your beautiful and long-lasting nails for up to three weeks before you need a fill. To maintain your acrylic nails, you should:
Avoid biting, picking, or pulling on your nails, as this could damage them or cause infections.
Wear gloves when doing household chores or gardening, as this could protect your nails from chemicals or dirt.
Moisturize your hands and cuticles regularly, as this could prevent them from drying out or cracking.
Fill in the gaps between your natural nails and the acrylic layer every two to three weeks, as this could prevent lifting or breaking.
Remove your acrylic nails safely when you want to change them, using acetone-based nail polish remover and a wooden stick. Do not force or rip them off, as this could damage your natural nails.
We hope you enjoyed this acrylic nails tutorial for beginners. If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading!
Are acrylic nails bad for your natural nails?
Acrylic nails are not bad for your natural nails if they are applied and removed properly by a professional or yourself. However, if they are applied incorrectly or removed forcefully, they could cause damage to your natural nails, such as thinning, splitting, peeling, or infection. Therefore, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and take good care of your acrylic nails.
How long do acrylic nails last?
Acrylic nails can last up to three weeks before they need a fill. A fill is when you fill in the gap that forms between your natural nail and the acrylic layer as your natural nail grows out. If you don't fill in the gap, your acrylic nails could lift or break off. You can do a fill at home using the same supplies and steps as applying acrylic nails.
How do you remove acrylic nails?
The best way to remove acrylic nails is to soak them in acetone-based nail polish remover for about 15 minutes. Then, use a wooden stick to gently push off the softened acrylic from your natural nail. Do not force or rip off the acrylic, as this could damage your natural nail. After removing the acrylic, wash and moisturize your hands and cuticles.
Can you paint over acrylic nails?
Yes, you can paint over acrylic nails with any nail polish you like. However, make sure you use a base coat first to prevent staining or yellowing of your acrylic layer. You can also use a top coat to seal and protect your polish.
Can you do gel polish on acrylic nails?
Yes, you can do gel polish on acrylic nails. Gel polish is a type of nail polish that cures under a UV or LED lamp and lasts longer than regular polish. You can apply gel polish over your acrylic nails using the same steps as applying regular polish. However, you will need to use a gel base coat and a gel top coat, and cure each layer under the lamp for about 30 seconds. You can also remove gel polish from your acrylic nails using the same method as removing regular polish.