Acrylic Nails

What Are Acrylic Nails? Acrylic Nails Explained in Layman’s Terms

What Are Acrylic Nails

Acrylic Nails are a common type of artificial nail, usually created using a liquid form and hardening within a few seconds.

The acrylic substance is then laid onto the natural nail with the use of a wooden stick; an ultraviolet light machine is then run over the nails to cure them into their final cosmetic state.

The finished product is an artificial nail that is sturdy and long-lasting, much like sculpted, permanent polish.

Acrylic nails have been in existence since the 1950s; however, they have changed immensely from their original inception – no longer do women face terrible problems with acrylic nails breaking or chipping away after only a few days of wear.

Types of Acrylic Nails

There are many different types of acrylic nails. The most common are round, square, oval and squoval nails. Other designs include almond, coffin and stiletto nails.

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Round – Round nails are perfectly rounded around the edges and flat on top. These can be worn as an accent nail or as the main nail shape.

Square – Square nails are similar to round acrylics but have more squared corners. They’re perfect for a more edgy look and can be worn with all types of nail art designs.

Oval – Oval acrylics have a rounded edge at one end, while the other end is straight or slightly curved inwards. This creates an oval shape when viewed from above.

Squoval – Squoval (square oval) nails are similar to ovals except they have squared off corners instead of being perfectly round. This makes them look less delicate than ovals but still offer a feminine touch if you’re looking for something softer than square acrylics.

Triangular – Triangular acrylics are one of the most popular nail shapes for women. They have a slightly curved edge at each corner, which creates a triangle shape when viewed from above. This is a great option if you want something more unique than the typical square or round nails but still want them to look natural on your hands.

Pyramid – Pyramid acrylics are a variation of the triangular shape. They have curved edges instead of straight ones, which gives them an extra point on each corner. The shape can be very dramatic and eye-catching if you want something that stands out but still looks natural on your hands.

How Are Acrylic Nails Made?

Acrylic nails are an artificial nail that is made from a combination of monomer and polymer. The monomer is the liquid form of acrylic, and the polymer is the gel-like substance that hardens when exposed to ultraviolet light.

How Are Acrylic Nails Applied?

Acrylic nails are applied by a professional nail technician. Acrylic nails are made from a gel that adheres to the natural nail and cannot be removed without using acetone.

The first step in applying acrylic nails is to shape the natural nail with an emery board or file. The technician will then push back the cuticle and shape the nail bed with a cuticle pusher.

After shaping, the technician will apply a liquid bonding agent over the entire nail surface. Once this has dried, she will apply a layer of powder and then wrap each finger with adhesive tape. This helps to prevent air bubbles from forming between the two layers of acrylic.

Next, she will apply a layer of gel on top of the natural nail and then cure it under a UV light for 30 seconds or so. She may repeat this step one or more times before moving onto the next step in creating your acrylic nails; sculpting and filing them into shape.

The final step is sealing your nails with another coat of gel polish followed by buffing them to a smooth finish with an electric buffer machine or hand polisher

Suggested Reading: How Long Do Acrylic Nails Last? 9 Ways You Can Extend Their Lifespan

How to Apply Acrylic Nails at Home?

1. Prep Your Nails

Clean your nails with a mild soap and water, then dry them thoroughly. If you are using a nail hardener, apply it now.

2. Apply a Base Coat

Apply a clear base coat to all 10 of your nails, letting each coat dry completely before applying the next coat. This will help prevent smudging when you apply the acrylic polish. Let it sit for five minutes before continuing.

3. Apply the Polish

Using an orange stick or other flat applicator tool, apply two coats of the acrylic polish to each nail, waiting until each layer is completely dry before applying the next coat. It’s important that you don’t allow any polish to get onto your skin because this will cause cracking when you’re trying to remove the polish later on.

Let it sit for five minutes between layers so that each layer can fully cure before adding more layers of color on top of it; this will help keep your manicure looking perfect longer since there will be less chipping or peeling off later on down the road!

What Type of Acrylic Nails Should You Get?

There are many different types of acrylic nails to choose from. Each one offers its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand what each type is made from before you choose one.

Here’s a guide to help you decide which type of nail is best for you:

Full-set acrylic nails: These are the most common type of acrylic nail, which involves applying a thick layer of acrylic on top of your natural nail. The full-set option allows you to get beautiful long nails without having to wait weeks or months while they grow out.

In addition, they’re easy to maintain and can last up to two weeks or longer before chipping or breaking off.

Fill-in acrylics: Fill-in acrylics provide an alternative to full-set acrylics if you want shorter nails that aren’t as thick as full-sets but still want the same strength and durability offered by acrylics.

Fill-ins also allow your natural nail bed to breathe better than with full-sets because there’s less pressure placed on it by the extra layers of acrylic. Fill-ins are a good option if you want to go back and forth between having long nails and short ones.

What Are the Difference Between Gel and Acrylic Nails?

The two most popular types of artificial nails used in salons are acrylic and gel. Both types offer a long-lasting manicure that can easily last a month or longer without chipping, peeling or cracking.

But there are some differences between the two that you should know about before making your next appointment.

Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are made of a clear plastic that is applied to the nail to strengthen and protect it from breakage. They’re more durable than natural nails and can be shaped into various styles.

The artificial nail is attached to your own nail with glue, then filed and shaped by your technician before the acrylic powder is applied to seal it in place. After it dries, the acrylic is buffed to blend with your natural nail and then polished for a glossy finish.

Gel Nails

Gel polish isn’t actually gel; it’s a hybrid product made up of gel and polish that gives you similar results as an acrylic manicure but lasts longer because you don’t have to wear off your old polish before applying another coat of color (something many women do when wearing regular nail polish).

Gel polishes also tend to be thinner than regular polishes so they’re less likely to chip or peel if you don’t wear them down

What Is a Regular Acrylic Full Set?

A regular acrylic full set is just that, a full set of acrylic nails.

It’s what most people think of when they think of acrylic nails. The technician will put a layer of gel on your natural nail and then your nail shape before applying the tips.

A regular acrylic full set can be done on its own or as part of a manicure. The technician will file down your natural nails to make them smooth, then cut the tips according to the shape you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do acrylic nails last?

Acrylic nails can last up to 2 weeks, depending on the condition of your natural nails and how well you maintain your acrylics. If you want to keep your manicure for longer than two weeks, you should use a base coat that prevents chipping and peeling.

Can I get acrylic nails for my kids?

Yes! Many parents choose to have their children’s nails done with acrylic because it’s easy to care for and lasts longer than traditional nail polish. It’s also a great way to keep their little fingers safe from injury while they’re playing outside or roughhousing with friends. If you’re interested in having your child’s nails done, simply ask our expert staff members about options that are safe for them when they’re getting their own manicures and pedicures.

What color acrylic do I need if my natural nail is yellow?

Yellowing is caused by dehydration of the nail bed tissue underneath the nail plate which results in discoloration of the entire nail surface including its surrounding skin area. It is a common problem among women who wear artificial nails for long periods of time without taking proper care of their own

Can I get acrylics done if I’m pregnant?

There’s no need to avoid manicures and pedicures during pregnancy. The good news is that these chemicals aren’t absorbed into your bloodstream and don’t enter your fetus’ bloodstream. But more research is needed to determine whether there might be a link between nail polish use and birth defects or other health conditions. If you’re concerned about being exposed to chemicals during a manicure or pedicure, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments that are safe for you and your baby-to-be.

Should I get fake nails if I have diabetes?

If you have diabetes and want acrylics, talk with your doctor first about what he or she thinks is best for you.


From what we’ve outlined above, it’s clear that acrylic nails have a lot to offer as a beauty tool. In fact, there are few things that can replace the versatility and durability of these nails in most settings.

They’re also relatively easy to apply, making them accessible to anyone who wants them.

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