As someone who loves wearing lengthy, glamorous acrylic nails, I remember how tricky they were to master as a beginner. But several simple techniques made the application process so much easier for me.
That’s why in this article I’m going to share with you “8 Tips to Make Acrylic Nails Easier to Apply” that I wish I had known when I just started working with acrylic nails. Applying a smooth, flawless set does take practice. But following these techniques will help build your skills quickly with less frustration!
8 Beginner Tips to Make Acrylic Nails Easier to Apply
1. Pick Beginner-Friendly Acrylics: Quality Matters
First things first, don’t just grab any cheap acrylic system you find. Quality matters, especially when you’re starting out. Here’s what to look for as a beginner:
- Non-Yellowing Clear Powder: Opt for a clear, non-yellowing powder for forgiveness in your early attempts. Save colorful powders for when you’ve honed your technique.
- Medium-Speed Powder: Look for a polymer powder labeled as medium-speed. These are easier to shape before they harden, while super fast-set acrylics can be quite challenging for beginners.
- Low-Odor Monomer: Low-odor monomers produce less intense fumes and provide you with more working time. Standard monomers can be overpowering and may rush your application.
- Sample Kits: Consider buying a beginner acrylic kit that includes smaller sizes of powder, liquids, and tools. Brands like Makartt and Mia Secret offer excellent starter kits for practice.
2. Prep Your Workspace: Efficiency is Key
Setting up your workspace efficiently can make the acrylic application process less stressful. Here’s how to do it:
- Ensure all your tools and supplies are within easy reach before you start.
- Work in a well-ventilated area away from drafts to keep the air fresh.
- Position a bright lamp for maximum visibility, making it easier to see what you’re doing.
- Keep paper towels and disinfectant wipes accessible for quick cleanup.
- Have a cleanup brush soaked in acetone ready for fixing any mistakes.
Advanced nail artists make the process look effortless, but an efficient workspace setup is their secret weapon!
3. Follow Safety Precautions: Health First
Acrylics involve the use of harsh chemicals, so safety should always come first. Here are some safety steps you should never skip:
- Wear a protective mask and goggles to shield your eyes and respiratory system.
- Use gloves when applying monomer and powders to protect your skin.
- Avoid any contact between the chemicals and your skin or eyes.
- Dispose of soiled brushes and files safely to prevent contamination.
- Wash your hands thoroughly immediately after finishing the application.
Rushing through safety shortcuts can lead to health issues and contamination. Take your time and prioritize safety.
4. Start with Nail Forms: Perfect for Beginners
While it might be tempting to dive straight into sculpting on tips, I recommend starting with basic nail forms, especially if you’re a beginner. Here’s why:
- Forms allow you to perfect product ratios and shaping.
- You can reuse forms if you need to redo any mistakes or practice more.
- Starting on your own nails minimizes damage in case you accidentally file too much.
Once you’ve mastered monomer-powder ratios and shaping on forms, you can confidently move on to tips. Remember, it’s essential to walk before you run!
5. Apply Monomer Sparingly: Less is More
One common mistake for beginners is using too much liquid. However, with monomer, less is more:
- Only use 2-3 drops of monomer in your powder well.
- Add powder to absorb the monomer, avoiding wet clumps.
- Use a slipping brush to encourage self-leveling.
- Add the tiniest drop more if needed; never pour more out.
Excessive monomer weakens acrylic and can cause discoloration. Aim for a firm, dry bead that holds its shape.
6. Don’t Shape Too Early: Patience Pays Off
While it’s tempting to start shaping your acrylic immediately, patience is key:
- Allow beads to sit for about 30 seconds after applying and brushing them smooth.
- The surface should not be sticky or runny wet when you begin shaping.
- Use gentle, even pressure with your file; there’s no need for heavy force.
- Avoid overly thinning the extension edge; maintain some thickness.
Letting the acrylic set ever so slightly prevents over-filing and potential damage. Take your time; perfection requires patience.
7. Maintain Proper Nail Structure: Nail Anatomy Matters
As your extensions start to take shape, remember the importance of nail anatomy:
- Apex the stress point just past the natural nail tip for added strength.
- Angle side walls straight out from the nail, avoiding overly steep angles.
- Ensure that edges don’t overly overlap the sides of the nail plate.
- Your nail should feel balanced, not top-heavy or stressed downward.
Mimicking real nail anatomy helps your extensions feel comfortable and last longer.
8. Seal the Free Edge: Prevent Issues
Always finish your acrylic nail application by sealing the free edge:
- Brush a thin layer of acrylic over just the tip of the nail.
- Make sure it connects evenly around the entire edge.
- File gently to perfect the shape after curing.
- Never leave the natural nail exposed on the edge.
Sealing the edge keeps moisture out and prevents cracks, breaks, and lifting.
Bonus Tips for Nail Perfection
- Ventilation Matters: Acrylic nails can produce fumes that may not be the most pleasant. Ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated area or invest in a nail dust collector to keep the air clean and fresh.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are perfect acrylic nails. Don’t be discouraged by early mishaps; practice improves your skills.
- Learn from Mistakes: When things don’t go as planned, don’t fret. Learn from your mistakes and try different techniques until you find what works best for you.
- Nail Art and Creativity: Acrylic nails are your canvas; get creative with nail art, designs, and colors. Experiment, and don’t be afraid to express yourself.
- Seek Inspiration: Follow nail artists on social media, watch tutorials, and seek inspiration from the vast world of nail art. You’ll discover endless possibilities for your acrylic nails.