Applying Acrylic Nails
By Anna Lynn C. Sibal
Artificial nails, or acrylic nails, are very pretty. You can have them at any length and at any color. You can indulge in the whimsical and have designs painted on them. You can even have artificial nails pierced and wear nail rings.
What are acrylic nails? Acrylic nails are also known as fake nails, artificial nails that are glued onto the real nails. A lot of women like wearing them for various reasons. Some women feel that wearing long nails make them feel pretty and feminine, but they find that letting their real nails grow longer instead of wearing acrylic nails can be too much of a hassle. Real nails, after all, can get very brittle if allowed to grow long, and they chip off.
Some women, on the other hand, wish to look their best for a certain special event or occasion, and that includes doing up their nails. Acrylic fingernails painted with an elaborate design are an instant standout.
There are also some women who deliberately go for artificial fingernails in order to put a stop to their nail-biting habits. Acrylic nails, after all, are not that easy to come by, and a nail-biter would definitely think twice before chewing on her exquisitely done nails.
Women who want to have the perfect set of acrylic nails get them done by a professional at a nail salon. However, a session at a nail salon for this purpose can get quite expensive, and acrylic nails need to be maintained at least every two weeks. Not all women can afford to spend that much just to get their nails done.
Fortunately, acrylic nails can be done at home. Doing your own artificial nails at home is not easy at first and it does take some work, but with practice, you can get the hang of it.
Below is a step-by-step process to getting artificial nails:
Clean your nails. Make sure that your cuticles are pushed back and that whatever old polish you have on your natural nails are removed. You should also trim your natural nails as close as possible, but not too close. In case you snag your acrylic nails, the fake nails can tear away a part of your natural nails as well. Such an injury is not only very painful but can also lead to infections. Besides, having natural nails visible underneath the acrylic nails do not look neat.
Some nail experts claim that you should rough up your nails by rubbing a grit filing block on them first before applying the acrylic tips to make sure the tips adhere closely. Some, however, do not think this is necessary at all. Whether you choose to rough up your nails or not, keep in mind that roughing up the nails can damage your natural nail bed.
Once your nails are clean and dry, put some nail glue on your nails and then drop the acrylic tips. Make sure that the tips fit your nail bed as closely as they can. If they do not fit the size of your nails, file them until they do. Adjust the nails quickly before the glue dries so they would not appear crooked. In case the nail glue dries before you could get the fake nail off, you would just have to soak the finger in a nail soak to get it off and repeat the process.
Trim the acrylic nails to your desired length. If this is your first time to put acrylic nails on, start with a moderate length just to get used to the feel and to avoid injuring yourself.
Mix the liquid acrylic with the powder acrylic in a dampen dish, and then carefully apply the mixture to your fake nails like you would a nail polish. Take care not to put any of the mixture on your natural nail bed, or else it could lead to the development of fungi on your nails.
When you are done with that, the last step would be to buff your nails and put on nail polish.
Artificial nails are very pretty, and they last longer than nail polish on natural nails, two to four weeks for the acrylic ones compared to two to five days on polished natural nails. If you need to remove your fake nails, what you need to do is to soak your nails in a nail soak, which often consists of acetone. Soaking can be done in half an hour. Never, ever snap your acrylic nails off because it might tear away some of your natural nails in the process.
If you have acrylic nails, you will need to apply nail oil on them once a day. Also, try not to apply too much pressure on your nails to avoid injuring yourself, and wear gloves whenever you are doing housework. The chemicals in most household cleaning products cause the acrylic to weaken and discolor.
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