💅Skip the salon with this easy DIY acrylic nail tutorial

Jul. 27, 2020
If you love the look of long nails, but don't love shelling out big bucks for a fill each month, have you thought about doing your acrylic nails at home? It's probably easier than you think, and you don't have to be a professional nail tech to do it - you may even find it relaxing! 
Keep in mind doing your acrylic nails at home is a process, but you know that. You see how long it takes your go-to nail lady in the salon. Don't worry, though; we're here to walk you through it. 
Pro tip: Take your time! Achieving a salon-worthy manicure at home will take some patience. One small nail mishap and your mani will go from salon quality to DIY disaster. 
Ahead, find your easy step-by-step guide for DIY acrylic nails at home. 
Step 1: Buy an all-inclusive acrylic kit
If you've never done your own acrylic nails before, make your life so much easier and go for an all-in-one kit. They'll contain everything you need to get the job done right, and most even have detailed instructions! 
Tip: Acrylics made with EMA (ethyl methacrylate), are considered a safer alternative to MMA (methyl methacrylate). 
Step 2: Prep your natural nails
  • Remove any old gel or regular nail polish. Like any great mani, you have to start with prepping your nails. You want a clean canvas for your acrylics. 
  • Do a little cuticle maintenance. Gently push back your cuticles, and if you're comfortable, cut them with a cuticle nipper. (If you've never cut your cuticles, skip this step). 
  • Give your nails a good trim. You want your natural nails to be quite short to avoid your natural nails snapping when you attach the acrylic tips. 
  • Buff your nails. Once your cuticles are looking neat & tidy, and your natural nails are short, buff each nail so that your acrylic tips will have something to hold on to.
Step 3: Size and apply acrylic nails using acrylic nail glue
You'll likely find a wide variety of different tip sizes, widths, and lengths in your kit because we all have different nail shapes! "Try on" each size by holding it up to your nail to find the best fit. If there's not a perfect match, you can gently file it down to the correct width. 
Next, apply each tip with a small dot of acrylic nail glue (it should come in your kit as well). 
Once you've selected your acrylic tips, apply them one at a time with a dot of acrylic nail glue. Center the bottom edge of the tip about one-third of the way down your nail and apply pressure to the nail for about 5-10 seconds to make sure it won't budge. 
Step 4: Shape your new nail tips
Once you've secured all your acrylic tips in place, use nail clippers and a file to shape them to your preference. This is the time to play around with fun nail shapes like coffin nails, stiletto, and tapered almond - if that's what you're into!
Step 5: Apply a dehydrating nail primer
Right now, your nail tips should be secure and shaped to your liking. Grab your nail primer from your kit along with the liquid acrylic, and the acrylic dish. Paint your nails from just beyond the cuticle all the way to the tip of your acrylics with the dehydrating nail primer. Once the primer is dry, use a lint-free towel to rub your nails' surface, just to remove any excess. 
Tip: Staying organized is vital. Set up all your supplies before you move on to the next step. 
Step 6: Coat your nails with the acrylic mixture
Pour your bowl of monomer, and dip in your acrylic brush without over saturating. Then, dip the brush into the clear powder. Begin above your cuticle, and stretch the mixture all the way to the end of your acrylic tip. Repeat this process on each nail to form a smooth base that emulates a natural nail. Replicate the same process using the acrylic powder color of your choice. 
Step 7: Dry & shape
Did you know the warmer your room is, the quicker your acrylics will set? Cool, right? On average, though, it should take 10 minutes for your acrylics to dry thoroughly. Once their dry, simply file along the edges and tip to make your DIY mani look like a flawless expensive salon mani!
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