Acrylic Nails: Things You Need To Know

Acrylic Nails: Things You Need To Know

Acrylic Nails: To put it most simply, acrylic nails are are a mix of powder and a liquid monomer that’s combined into a blob of dough, shaped onto your nails with a brush, and then air-dried. “Acrylics do not require a lamp to cure, and they’re great for changing the shape or extending your nails,” says Ariela Zuniga, director of operations at Vanity Projects, a high-end nail salon with locations in New York and Miami.

According to Zuniga, acrylics are ideal for people looking to change the shape of their nails or want more length. Did you know there are a million different options for false nails? Ok maybe not a million, but there’s definitely a lot. Do you want powder dip, gel acrylics or sculptured nails? Salons usually offer one of these types of false nails, so if you’re set on a specific formula/application, be sure to check the salon menu prior to booking.


How To Remove Acrylic Nails

It is highly recommended to go back to the nail technician or salon where you got your acrylic nails done to have them removed. After all, the professionals are the ones that are most experienced in knowing exactly how to soak off acrylic nails and file them down in an efficient manner.

However, sometimes going to the salon right away isn’t possible and you absolutely need to know how to remove acrylic nails at home for one reason or another. (Hey, life happens!) If you must learn how to take off acrylic nails at home, you want to be sure you do it safely: Beauty experts at say your best move is to soak your nails into acetone until they’re totally soft and then file the acrylics off one by one.

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As you can imagine, these instructions about how to get acrylic nail off can take quite a bit of time to complete in real life. But it’s a much better method of removing acrylic nails than trying to pull them off manually. Overall, trying to learn how to remove acrylic nail without acetone or a file is a pretty bad idea. If you try to do that — especially while your acrylics are still hard — you can say hello to some seriously brittle and weak natural nails in the future. No one wants that!

Short Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails — nail enhancements made by combining a liquid acrylic product with a powdered acrylic product — have a staying power in the beauty industry that’s hard to beat. After all, women have been adding artificial length to their nails since the days of ancient Egypt.

That said, we’ve come a long way since the days of using ivory and bone to make our nails look stellar. We’ve also come a long way from the outdated notion that all beautiful nails need to be super long to make a statement.

How Much Do Acrylic Nails Cost, Anyway?

If you think the promise of long, perfectly-shaped nails is worth the maintenance, expect to pay more for acrylic nail than you would for a regular polish change. The exact cost of a set of the acrylic nail can vary based on where you live and the nail salon, but expect to pay over $50. At Vanity Projects a full set costs $75, while a fill-in is $55, in addition to the price of gel polish, if that’s your manicure of choice.


Now that you have all of the intel on acrylics, if you’re willing to put in the extra work to maintain them, Instagram is full of reference material for your own set.

What Are Acrylic Nails Made Of?

Powder and liquid monomer and polymers are mixed together to form putty-like “beads” that are then painted and shaped onto your nail with a brush and air-dried. There are two methods for acrylic nail: with a plastic tip (that is glued on and the edge is sanded down so that it looks naturally connected to your nail plate) and with a form (a sticker that’s wrapped around your nail and is used as a shaping guide for technicians; the acrylic goes on top and the sticker is removed at the very end).

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Even though acrylics have been around for decades, the ingredients have largely remained the same. “There are new formulas that have improved the speed at which it dries or has ensured a smoother texture, but other than that, it’s the same,” says Yukaco, senior nail artist at Akiko Nails who has 13 years of experience.

Acrylic Nails Coffin

Coffin acrylic nail might sound a bit dark and morbid the first time you hear about them. (After all, it has “coffin” in the name, for crying out loud.) But when you see how lively and cute coffin acrylic nail can be, you’ll remember that you can’t always judge a book by its cover — or beauty treatment by its name.

Contrary to what the name might have you believe, the coffin acrylic nail has very little to do with death. Instead, the term refers to the coffin-like shape of the acrylic nail in question — and it’s quite a bit different from the oval or round shapes that you’re probably used to seeing on most manicures. Coffin-shaped acrylic nail are tapered and squared off at the tip, according to Nails Magazine. Talk about being “edgy” — literally.

What is the difference between gel and acrylic nails?

Gel nails have a more natural look with a glossy finish. Unlike acrylics, if the nails are primed correctly, there is no damage to the nail bed. Gel nails cure faster than acrylic nail since they are cured under UV light. Gel nails are also more flexible than the acrylic nail.

Are acrylic nails bad for you?

To get acrylic nail (a type of artificial nail) to stick, the surface of your natural nails must be filed until they feel rough. This thins your natural nails, making them weaker. Frequent touchups can seriously damage your natural nails. In short, artificial nails can leave your nails thin, brittle, and parched.

How long do acrylic nails last for?

Acrylic nail isn’t designed to last more than two weeks.

Can you shower with acrylic nails?

Deep breath — you do not have to swear off hygiene. You can definitely shower, take a bath, or go swimming with your gel nails on. However, you should probably wait at least five hours after you had them applied to make sure they are able to fully dry. After that, you are good to go!

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