Acrylic Nails Tips and Tricks
It’s been about a month since I got acrylic nails for the first time. For years my nails have grown curled downward. I tried everything from various oils to nail strengtheners to training them to grow straight. Nothing worked. My nails were only straight when they got wet like in the shower or bath. Once they dried, they curled again and stayed like that. I hated the way they looked and one day I asked the nail tech at my salon what I could do about it. Pretty much nothing. That’s just the way my nails grew. That’s just in my DNA for them bend but I could fix it with acrylic nails. This would give them a more uniform look, This would allow them to grow and actually look the way I wanted them to. Now that I’ve done it, I love it and can’t imagine going back. But there are some cons, of course. So I’ll be going through some of the positives and negatives and tips and tricks from my month with acrylics.
For me, I like the uniform look of my nails. Like I said, my nails would bend and curve naturally. Acrylics allow my nails to grow straight and look, in a word, normal. This is how I’ve wanted to look for a long time. Even though they aren’t my own nails and my nails would still curl if not for the acrylics, it’s still the aesthetic I wanted.
They’re also very durable. My natural nails would grow and then break easily at a certain length doing mundane tasks. Acrylic nails are harder and thicker than natural nails which make them difficult to break. Don’t get me wrong, they can break—and I have broken a few. But my natural nails would bend and break so easily and I don’t miss that.
You can play so much with designs and colors. Over the month I’ve done so many colors and patterns that I’ve been wanting to try. I’ve been adding so many pins to my nails Pinterest board and putting in a queue to try the next time I go in for a manicure.
When they break or bend, they hurt. There have been times when I grab something or drop something and it hits my nails the wrong way and the pain was immense. I’ve had to put a bandaid to hold down my nail while the skin around it healed. You have to be so careful to not hit your nails the wrong way.
You definitely have to keep up maintenance. It’s not necessarily a negative, it’s just a time-consuming factor to consider. The acrylics grow out and you have to get that space filled in to cover the gap that your natural nail creates. I have to go in about every two weeks which is about the average time between appointments. But it depends on how quickly or slowly your nails grow. It might be one week, it might be three. Some people may even just let them grow for a month. It just depends on each person.
You’ve got to learn how to do some mundane things in a new way. Some things I’ve had to get used to all over again: texting, typing, picking small things up. Working on my phone and typing on my computer required me to learn to type more with the pads of my fingers as opposed to the tips. Picking small and flat things up, I still haven’t mastered! Things like bobby pins and coins are the hardest. Even putting on earrings with small backs can be difficult. It just requires learning how to do things and adapting.
The Tips and Tricks
I’ve heard that using the sides of your fingers to pick things up. I have tried that but haven’t mastered it. I have done pretty well using both hands but it just takes practice.
Play with the length but start shorter if you’re unsure. The first time I got acrylics, I thought they were long, but to me now, they’re so short. But I got them that short length and let them grow out over the month, testing to see which length I thought was best for me. I hit my max or “working length” and had my nail tech shorten them down a little. I think it’s best to test out the lengths because you might like them longer than you originally thought.
Research your nail tech! Make sure the place is hygienic because you don’t want any kind of infection from unsterilized tools. I get my nails done at the same place I get my hair (and eyebrows) done. I’ve (as well as my mom and grandma) been getting my (our) hair done at this salon for years. So I trust the people they hire and the tools they use. If that’s not your case, definitely do your research and trust your gut if the salon doesn’t feel right.
Come in with ideas but also know the art style of your nail tech. If they specialize in modern geometric designs, they may not be able to do a watercolor look. If they specialize in bright, glam designs, contemporary minimalism may not work. It doesn’t hurt to ask, but make sure you know what’s in their realm of capability.
Be vocal! Ask questions when you’re curious, tell your nail tech when you don’t like something. You’re paying and it’s your body so don’t be afraid to say what you’re thinking.
Cuticle oil should and will become your best friend. My nails especially get dry but any nail can be dry with acrylics. Using cuticle oil on your cuticle as well as under your nails will keep them moisturized and healthy. It’s a routine you should use with or without acrylics, really. You should also get a nail brush and lightly clean under your nails in the shower with light soap and water. Keep dirt, food, and grimy grossness from under your nails. Finish off with using lotion at night.