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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

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