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By Felix Akinnibi

What Are Acrylic Nail Extensions?

What Are Acrylic Nail Extensions?

Acrylic nails are nail extensions that are created with acrylic, a material that transforms into a nail-like hard texture.

They are made from powder polymer and liquid monomer mixture. This mixture is spread over your nail as an extension to shape into the perfect length and size desired.

Step-by-step process to get your acrylics done

1. Remove Nail Polish

Before anything, removing any old nail polish is the first step because you need clear clean nails. 

If you have old acrylic nails on, you can soak them in pure acetone to remove them. Never try to peel off or break them off, because this can cause damage to your nails. And even if you have clear nails already, it is still proper to use acetone-based, oil-free nail polish to clean your fingernails.

2. Give Your Nails A Trim

Cutting them to a minimum length of your nail's natural smile is okay before you apply the acrylic. You can use a nail file to file it out.

3. Buff Your Nails

This is the process of making the surface of your nails slightly rough and less shiny. This makes the surface easy for the acrylic to stick on.

4. Push Back Your Cuticles

Another way to keep your acrylic on for much longer is by pushing your nail cuticle back. You want them to stick to your natural nails, so you have to create as much space as possible. 

It is easier to push back your cuticles when they are wet and soft. To achieve that, soak your fingers in warm water for a few minutes so your cuticles can be soft, and it is more advisable to use a wooden cuticle than a metal one.

5. Apply A Dehydrator and A Nail Primer

A nail dehydrator and nail primer are not the same thing and do not perform the same job. A dehydrator is used for cleaning the natural nail and as such must go first, while a nail primer aids the cohesion between the product and the natural nail and comes after.

The nail primer removes every oil remaining on the nail bed and gets it ready for the acrylic, and if this is not applied, the acrylic or the nail tip may not stick to the natural nail bed. To do that:

  • Use a ball-shaped cotton wool to carefully clean the surface of the nail with acetone.
  • Nail primer is made of two types: acid-based primer and acid-free primer. So if you are using the acid-based primer, please be careful to not apply too much on your nail bed, to avoid being burnt.

6. Apply The Nail Tip

Now, find the right nail tip size for your nails, if you cannot get a perfect fit for the nail, shape it to your nail size. Then pour a little of the nail glue on your nail bed, and gently fix the nail tip on the nail bed, starting from the full edge and firmly pressing it down when you reach the fingernail tip.

Hold it down for it to dry for about five seconds, and repeat the steps on all ten fingers.

If in the process of applying the tip, it becomes crooked, place your finger in warm water, to remove the nail, then refile and buff, and repeat the step.

Also, apply a little glue, so it does not come in contact with your skin and also so it does not become excess. 

7. Prepare The Acrylic

Pour some of the acrylic liquid into a dish and also the acrylic powder into another dish. Acrylic produces strong chemical fumes that can be dangerous, so make sure to be in a ventilated area.

  • First, dip the brush into the acrylic liquid and push it in to avoid the bubbles, after which you brush to the side of the bowl to remove excess liquid.
  • Then dip the already wet brush into the acrylic powder, such that a small moist ball is collected at the tip of the brush. (It is advisable to have paper towels available in case you need to brush off the excess acrylic.)

8.  Apply The Acrylic To Your Nail

Start at the “smile line” on your nails. Evenly spread the acrylic over the line and brush it down to the tip, occasionally dipping the brush in the acrylic liquid. Spread it evenly such that the transition between your natural nail and the acrylic is too smooth and looks too natural. Let the acrylic dry, and this can take about ten minutes.

9. Finish The Nails

Now that the acrylic nails have been applied, file them to bring them to the shape and size you want. You can make use of the electric file which is faster. Now you can paint your nails and add any design of your choice. 

10. Maintain Your Nails

It lasts for about two weeks, after which your nails start to grow out. You can either choose to re-apply acrylic (fill it) or remove it. Ensure to avoid prolonged water exposure to keep your nails on for a longer period.





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