Successfully applying your own acrylic nails might put you over the moon with joy. Why shouldn’t it? You have managed to save plenty of money you would have spent in a salon, you have mastered the art of applying gorgeous nail extensions, and you have ended up with snazzy nails that people can’t stop talking about!
However, your happiness may begin to dissipate when you notice your acrylic nails moving beyond the prescribed point on your natural nails as they continue to grow. Just as a beautiful and carefully grown garden needs to be tended to regularly to keep it thriving, so do your acrylic nails require regular maintenance and filling-in.
The amount of time it takes for your acrylic nails to grow out will vary from person to person, depending upon how fast or slow your nails grow. However, as soon as you notice that your acrylic nails have extended beyond one-fourth to one-half of your natural nails, you should consider filling them in. Often, such overgrowth may also be accompanied by discoloration or a yellow coating at the base of the acrylic nails.
Maintaining your acrylic nails is important to keep them strong and retain their attractive appearance. However, visiting the salon every few weeks for this purpose can put a heavy strain on your pocketbook. You may even be forced to consider taking the nails off altogether because the salon maintenance is just not budget-friendly!
Before you sink into a pit of despair, here’s a solution: If you can apply acrylic nails at home without the help of an expert, you can easily learn how to maintain acrylic nails at home without any assistance and for far less money.
- Steps to Maintain Acrylic Nails at Home
- Step 1. Buff the surface of the acrylic nails
- Step 2. Buff the tips of the acrylic nails
- Step 3. Push back your cuticles
- Step 4. Prepare the acrylic mixture
- Step 5. Dip and swipe
- Step 6. Refill your acrylic nails
- Step 7. Remove any excess liquid
- Step 8. Buff the surface of the refilled nails
- Step 9. File the tips
- Step 10. Apply the top coat
- Additional Tips:
Steps to Maintain Acrylic Nails at Home
Things you’ll need:
- Nail file
- Cuticle pusher
- Monomer liquid
- Acrylic nail powder
- Small glass bowl
- Paper towel
- Top coat
- Dusting brush (optional)
Step 1. Buff the surface of the acrylic nails
A few weeks after applying your acrylic nails, you’ll see that they have extended beyond one-fourth to one-half of your natural nails’ surface. You may also see an unattractive yellow coating at the base of the acrylic nails. Time to get to work!
With a nail file, buff the entire surface of your acrylic nails before beginning the refilling process. You may use a dusting brush after each buffing session to brush off the acrylic dust.
This is what your nails should look like after you’re done buffing them.
Take special care to completely remove the yellow coating, as it indicates that your nails have been damaged. Not removing it can further weaken the acrylic and compromise the strength and look of your nails.
Step 2. Buff the tips of the acrylic nails
Next, carefully buff the tips of your acrylic nails.
Step 3. Push back your cuticles
Using a cuticle pusher, gently push back your cuticles.
Getting this protective layer of skin out of the way is an important step in prepping your nails for any kind of treatment. Moreover, pushed-back cuticles make your nail beds appear neater and more appealing.
Step 4. Prepare the acrylic mixture
Pour some monomer liquid in a small glass bowl. Always use a glass bowl and always change the solution when you switch hands.
Also, remove the lid from the acrylic nail powder and set it aside for later use.
Step 5. Dip and swipe
Dip a brush into the monomer liquid, wiping away any excess powder on a paper towel.
Next, dip the brush in the powder, quickly swiping it through in a single stroke.
Step 6. Refill your acrylic nails
After the “dip and swipe” steps, quickly apply the acrylic mixture onto your nails.
Begin at the middle of the nails using a dabbing motion, and slowly dab your way out to the sides and then onto the tips. Do not use a swiping motion.
Step 7. Remove any excess liquid
Using a toothpick, remove any excess liquid that may have collected on the sides of your nails.
Step 8. Buff the surface of the refilled nails
At this point, you may notice the mixture doesn’t sit evenly on your nails. It may be slightly thicker in some areas, while flat in other spots.
After the acrylic mixture has dried, buff the surface of the refilled acrylic nails with a file or a buffer block to even out any lumps and bring the acrylic nails to meet the surface of your natural nails.
Step 9. File the tips
File the tips of the nails to the length and shape you desire.
Step 10. Apply the top coat
Finally, apply a top coat onto your nails to give them a smooth and lustrous finish.
After the top coat has dried, you may coat it with another layer of nail polish if you like. Make sure to use non-acetone nail polish, as acetone could compromise the longevity and strength of your acrylic nails.
- Before beginning your acrylic nail maintenance, thoroughly wash and sanitize your nails and hands with an antibacterial hand sanitizer to prevent infections.
- After washing your hands, you can work on your cuticles before beginning the steps above for added ease and comfort. Apply some cuticle-removing liquid on the cuticle pusher and gently push the cuticles back from the base of your natural nails.
- After you have applied the top coat in the final step of the process, you may apply some cuticle oil to the base of your natural nails to moisturize them.
- Be cautious with your oversized nails, as they may get caught in clothing or other places and break off.