Skip Nav
Beauty Tips
6 Easy Ways to Instantly Declutter Your Vanity
Valentine's Day
15 Grooming Gifts to Spoil Your Man With This Valentine’s Day
Gigi Hadid
This Gigi Hadid Makeup Tutorial Is Equal Parts Impressive and Insane

All About Acrylic Nails

Fake 'Em Till You Make 'Em: Acrylic Nails 101

There are few people with long, perfect nails who aren't using at least a little — and usually a lot — of acrylic nail powder. Acrylic powder is a polymer that, combined with a setting agent, creates a resin with properties similar to your natural nails, except even stronger and more flexible. Which means it's a great way to cover up a myriad of nail issues, and a life-saver even for non-biters and people who've never had a chip. To learn about the best ways to use acrylic for yourself, keep reading.

 

  • Structural support. As your nails get longer, they almost always get thinner, too, and the length increases your risk of cracks and chips. A little dab of acrylic, though, can keep even the most fragile nails together, and protects from breakage.
  • To add a little length. You like your nail length for daily wear, but maybe you've got an event coming up where it would be nice to have a little more. Acrylic tips are a good choice because, unlike drugstore glue-on nails, which cover your entire nail, the tips just stick on the end of the nails you already have and look a lot more natural. They also stay on until you get them taken off, not 'til the nail glue wears out.
  • To change your nails' shape for fun or after a bad manicure. Ever had a mani where the technician both shortened your nails way too much and left them in a shape that made you want to cry? This is where acrylics can be a life-saver. You can get tips in any shape you like, from square to almond, and they'll stay on until your natural nails have had a chance to grow out.

Photo by Flickr user Joe Shlabotnik

Around The Web
Nail Polish Bottle Holder
Christian Louboutin Hawaii Nail Polish Collection
Valentine's Day Heart Nail Art by Jin Soon
Best Drugstore Beauty Products of 2016

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
Miss-Bree Miss-Bree 6 years
yuck. I've gotten them occasionally since high school, however I've now sworn off. Not only do they kill your nails underneath, I now think they look really trashy. Anyone can tell when you're wearing them. I just think that shorter and well maintained natural nails always look better.
nicky360 nicky360 6 years
I wore them on and off for about ten years until I had a horrible allergic reaction to the powder. My nail beds were swollen and I had red rashes covering my fingers. Definitely a DON'T!!
Frenched Frenched 6 years
OMG. I'm totally having issues with my acrylic nails right now. My natural nail has ridges and they have weakened so much. I just don't think that's healthy. Plus, my nails grow really fast so it's also costly to get 'em done every two weeks. They're pretty but, I think I'll just stick with short but chic nails for now.
oni1 oni1 6 years
i've also had a horrible experience. they left my natural nails so thin, soft and weak. and all that soaking in acetone trying to remove them can't possibly be good for me. i won't try them again for a long time, if ever.
Lori-Gragg Lori-Gragg 6 years
I had my nails done a couple of yrs. ago,and one day when I was getting into the car,I somehow hit it on the door handle,and popped one of my nails loose,and it took my natural nail with it not all the way,but I could lift it up and see the skin under my nail,and it bleed for about 15 min.and hurt sooooooooooo bad,and then I had to stick my finger in acetone and it burned,and took forever to get them all off,,and I've never had them done again.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
I just think shorter nails that are filed are so much nicer looking than longer nails - especially the obvious acrylic nails.
weffie weffie 6 years
i agree with sham & jaclyn, i got acrylics a few years ago and i was horrified by what it did to my real nails. a few of my friends love them, but they've been getting them for so long their natural nails are way too weak to even try to grow them out... so i guess they "love" acrylics like an alcoholic "loves" booze :P
beauty-and-brains beauty-and-brains 6 years
I had acrylic nails for about 3 months this past summer and my nails are still recovering from them. I had deep ridges in my nails and they were are really weak. They sure looked pretty, but it wasn't worth destroying my natural nails. And, I spent about $30 every two weeks to keep them in good shape. Not worth it!
sham28 sham28 6 years
DON'T DO IT! They cost a fortune and destroy your nails. Take pre-natal vitamins, they help a LOT with nail growth (and hair) and get a layer of gel with your next manicure for support and strength.
sham28 sham28 6 years
DON'T DO IT!They cost a fortune and destroy your nails. Take pre-natal vitamins, they help a LOT with nail growth (and hair) and get a layer of gel with your next manicure for support and strength.
Latest Beauty
X