Acrylic Nails: Everything You Need to Know
You're probably scrolling on Pinterest or Instagram looking for acrylic nail ideas to try practicing on. So, you figured, it's high time for you to dust off your feet (or nails) and start pulling your A-game on for your nail clients.
Acrylic nails can be fun and creative since you can do ombre acrylic nails, nude acrylic nails, French acrylic nails, and more! Whether you're a newbie nail tech or a professional, you can always learn something new, and this is an acrylic beginners guide that can refresh your memory.
Are acrylic nails bad for you?
You don’t have to worry about wearing acrylic nail designs often, since the key is having proper nail care, and nail salon sanitation to prevent dip flu or other allergies and nail damage from using dip powders.
Our iGel Beauty acrylic and dip powders are safe to use since they strengthen nails, long lasting to wear, and have vitamins and calcium for your nails. It would be best to get vitamins and minerals from foods to ensure your nail health even if you’re wearing acrylic nails on a daily basis.
How long do acrylic nails last?
With proper nail care, acrylic nails can last up to two weeks or more. If you don't take proper care of your acrylic nails, they'll begin to chip, peel, or lift sooner than the 2-3 week length of time.
Can you use the dip powder for acrylic nails?
Yes all of our dip & dap powders can be used as acrylic and as a dipping powder. You can use the dip powders just add monomer.
How to apply acrylic nails?
Materials you will need for acrylic application:
Dip Powder (pro-tip: you could add the DP01 Clear as a base coat to avoid staining the nails. Also, you wouldn't need to file all the way down your nails for the next acrylic application.
Top Coat (No Cleanse, Matte, Regular, Refill)
Kolinsky Brush- You can use this as an acrylic nail brush.
Other materials you can use for acrylic application:
STEP 1: Prep your nails first
Prepping your nails is always the first step. If you need a refresher on how to prep your nails, you can read our guide here. Once you prep your nails before an acrylic application it will make your acrylic nails last longer.
STEP 2: Place your nail tips
Others like to keep their nails short and sweet, and that's fine! However, if you want a larger canvas for your nail art, we highly recommend using the Stiletto Nail Tips or Pro Gel Tips if you don't want to wait a month for your nails to grow 2.5mm.
STEP 3: Mix the Dip powder & Monomer
It's time for you to mix your chosen powder with the monomer. For highly pigmented powders, kindly make sure that you shake well and pick a slow-setting monomer.
Once you get that down, neatly pour the monomer onto your acrylic dish. If you wish to mix powders or keep materials from cross-contaminating, use a second acrylic dish for your powder. Note: Monomer is a chemical, so make sure your workspace is well-ventilated or wear a face mask to avoid inhaling it.
STEP 4: Use your acrylic nail brush to form the bead
Dip your Kolinsky brush onto the acrylic dish with monomer. Generously fill its bristles with monomer and make sure that it is completely soaked without bubbles. Afterward, gently press or slide the brush against the side of the dish to remove excess liquid. Your brush should neither be dry nor dripping, but damp enough to make a cute little bead.
You may now place your brush in your powder for a lovely (not drippy nor dry) bead.
Note: The bead must not be so wet that the monomer displaces out of the powder, or so dry that it has a too-powdery consistency.
Absorbs acrylic on brush within four seconds
Looks bead-like (dome-shape, clear and bubbly)
It's basically going to look like a shiny soft melted morsel or round chewed soft bubblegum.
STEP 5: Implement the Bead Methods
One Bead Method
Taking your bead with a brush, place your bead near your cuticle while tilting the finger slightly pointing downward. As the bead slides down, gently guide it by patting it to get it to your desired shape and smoothness.
Focus on evenly gliding the brush near your cuticle. Make sure that your acrylic isn't getting on your skin, or the crevices between your fingers and cuticles - It should be tight and even).
(Recommended brush: Authentic Kolinsky Brush #14)
Two Bead Method.
First bead: Starting around a half or a third away from the cuticle, tilt your finger pointing slightly downward as well, and gently pat and shape the bead down your nail. Afterward, place the second bead on the remaining half of your nail, leaving a small space for the cuticle. Then, gently pat the bead to spread the upper portion of the bead toward the cuticle and down to cover the first layer to make a smooth, thin, even merged layer.
Three Bead Method: Buildup Method recommended for long nails.
First Zone: Free Edge (Smile Line)
Size: Small Bead
From the smile line (the white free nail), place the first bead. Afterward, gently pat down the bead onto the nail and brush it down to the very end of your tip. Quickly smoothen this first bead layer and spread it onto the third of your nail.
If you go over the edge because the bead was too big, that's fine. Swiftly swipe off the dropped area at the edge, but make sure it doesn't get under your nails.
Second Zone: Middle of the Nail
Size: Slightly Bigger Bead (covers more area, to overlap a thin second layer to embrace the first zone)
Keep it sleek and smooth like the first zone, brush down the second bead layer. Smoothen and merge this zone with the first (If not, your nails will look like tiny finger mountains).
Third Zone: Cuticle
Size: Smallest Bead (cute-sized for cuticle - just enough)
Repeat the process above, but start the third bead near the cuticle (near, not on). Afterward, gently brush the acrylic down to further smoothen the transition. However, don't pressure yourself into spreading this onto the whole nail. As long as it's merged, that's fine! The goal is to have an even, flat layer.
Note: To keep your brush from acrylic buildup, wipe your brush on a paper towel between every stroke. Furthermore, it's best to rinse your brush with the remaining monomer in your acrylic dish rather than damaging them with harsh acetone. It's like placing alcohol in your hair. Sure it'd be clean, but boy would it be parched and brittle. Don't strip away its smoothness.
STEP 6: Wait for the Acrylic to dry
Acrylic method is usually air dried but you can use a UV/LED lamp once you have applied the top coat on top of the dried acrylics.
After ten minutes, your acrylic should be dry. Try to Tap Test by tapping the hilt or handle part of your Kolinsky Brush over your nail, and you will notice a clicking sound.
STEP 7: Shape or buff your nail tips
Shape your nail tips how you want and flaunt them! Use a 180 coarse nail file or a drill mandrel. Afterward, sand it with a 240, 1000, and 4000 to rid it of scratches from the 180 file. Afterward, don't forget to dust it off with your favorite dust brush along with your worries and inhibitions.
Note: You could further cleanse your nails with a lint-free alcohol wipe before adding the top coat.
STEP 8: Finish it off with a Top Coat
There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your new acrylic nail design glossy like with a Top Coat.
You can watch our Acrylic tutorials and videos on swatches in our iGel Beauty Facebook page. Join our online community to learn more!
How to remove acrylic nails?
Materials you will need to remove acrylic nails:
- Nail Clippers
- 100% Acetone
- Bowl or Container (for the acetone)
- Wooden Cuticle Stick
- Hand Cream (Optional)
- Nourishing Oil (Optional)
STEP 1: Trim and shape your nails
Trim your acrylic nails, you may get as close to your real nails as possible without actually snipping them off.
STEP 2: Soak your nails
Pour 100% acetone remover into a large bowl. You may also pour it into a make-shift container like a resealable zipper storage bag. Afterward, submerge your nails for 15 to 20 minutes. While waiting, you could watch a movie or listen to some music.
STEP 3: Softly Scrape the acrylic off
Gently scrape off the softened acrylics with a wooden cuticle stick.
STEP 4: Repeat the process again
If the acrylic is not removing easily you can re-soak them for another five minutes, then try again. Please do not force-scrape your acrylics off.
STEP 5: Buff your nails
Gently buff off any remaining residue to finish. You may also use the Tornado Bit to remove the remaining acrylic and the Diamond Bit for the areas between the nail and cuticle (the creases).
STEP 6: Practice nail care
Don’t forget to practice nail care If all the acetones are seriously causing dry skin, nail discoloration or brittleness, we suggest waiting 2 to 3 weeks to apply acrylics again. In the meantime, treat yourself with Nourish Oil, Vitamin B7 (Biotin) supplements, or hand cream.
Wearing acrylic nails can be fun and challenging whether you’re sporting ombre acrylic nails or a nude acrylic nails, you can let your creativity and inspiration shine on your nails. If you’re looking for other acrylic nail inspiration, you can find them in our iGel Facebook Community, prepare to be amazed and in awe with other iGel Beauties nail masterpieces!