A perfect manicure is one of life’s little luxuries. Whether you’re professionally polished for the office or glamming up for a night on the town, flawless fingernails are always the ideal accessory to take your look to the next level. However, if you’re not blessed with long, strong, natural nails, don’t despair: acrylic nails might just be the answer to your prayers.
Acrylic nails are one of the most consistently popular beauty treatments worldwide. It seems like you can’t scroll through your Instagram feed without celebrities showing off their latest luxurious mani-pedi, and TikTok and YouTube are full of talented ‘lacqueristas’ demonstrating innovative and often jaw-dropping nail designs. But if you’ve never ventured into a nail salon, the thought of getting your own acrylics might seem a bit daunting if you don’t know anything about the process. We are here to help!
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What are acrylic nails?
Acrylic nails are made using a methacrylate resin, which is formed by the chemical reaction between a monomer liquid and a polymer powder. This resin, which is created by the nail technician in the salon, is then applied as a soft paste to your natural nails with a brush, and the technician will sculpt it into your desired shape. Ready-made acrylic tips are also used to create extensions of all shapes and sizes. Once the acrylic resin has been set, the new nail is ready to be filed and polished.
How long do acrylic nails last?
The longevity of your acrylic nails will always depend on two things: how quickly your natural nails grow, and how much hard work you do with your hands on a regular basis. If you want to keep your acrylic nails for longer than a couple of weeks, then fill-ins will be necessary.
How long do acrylic nails last before a fill?
As with all types of nail extensions, the exact length of time that your acrylic nails last will vary between individuals. If you are wanting to maintain your acrylic nails for several weeks, then you’ll need to get them filled in at least once every two to three weeks. This will involve the nail technician reapplying the methacrylate resin to the base of the nail to ‘fill in’ any uneven areas created by wear and tear, or natural nail regrowth. By going for regular refills, you should be able to keep your acrylic nails for up to eight weeks without needing to have a new set applied.
How long do acrylic nails last without fill-ins?
If you’re just looking to get acrylic nails done as a one-off for a special occasion like a wedding or a holiday, then without fill-ins they should last about two to three weeks. If you’re not intending to get them refilled, then it’s still advisable to get them removed professionally at a salon to avoid any damage to your natural nail beds.
How long do gel nails last compared to acrylic?
Gel nail treatments are often offered as an alternative to acrylic nails in most salons. While the results are usually very similar, gel manicures differ from acrylics in a number of ways. Gel nails tend to offer a slightly more natural, glossy look in comparison to acrylics, but as they are a bit more flexible than acrylics they can be easier to maintain if you work with your hands a lot. However, the length of time it takes for your natural nails to regrow will be the main factor in deciding how long your extensions will last for both gel and acrylic nails. As with acrylics, most nail technicians recommend that gel nails be maintained every two to three weeks.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of acrylic nails?
Acrylic nails are undoubtedly popular, but what are the specific advantages of these stylish staples?
Acrylic nails are an ideal way for anyone with short, weak, or brittle natural nails to have a manicure makeover in no time at all. Acrylics are much faster to apply than gel or shellac, as they harden in natural light and don’t need to be cured with UV or heat lamps.
Nail biters take note: applying acrylics can be a great way to rid yourself of this unsightly habit. When you’ve spent good money on a stunning set of acrylic nails, the last thing you’ll want to do is stick them in your mouth and chew them off!
Acrylics are also the perfect canvas for some eye-catching nail art. Whether you’d like your nails to be clustered with crystals or glistening with gold leaf, the possibilities for customised acrylics are endless so let your imagination run free the next time you’re at the nail salon and see where your creativity can take you!
However, there are some disadvantages to acrylic nails.
As with everything in this world, beautiful nails come with a cost. While acrylics are often slightly cheaper than other forms of nail extensions, they are still going to require investment if you want to maintain them on a regular basis. The price of an acrylic manicure will vary depending on location, but with fill-ins recommended every two to three weeks and a full replacement every six to eight weeks, the cost of maintaining your acrylics can mount up.
One of the most common concerns around acrylic nails is whether or not they damage your natural nails. Again, this will vary depending on how frequently you are replacing your acrylics, the condition of your own nails, and the quality of the salon you attend. One key way to avoid damaging your natural nails is to ensure that you go back to the salon to have them removed professionally. A good nail technician will be able to spot any signs of damage or infection and will recommend when it’s a good time to take a short break from your acrylics to let your nails recover.
In summary, acrylic nails are a fabulous way to freshen up and fine-tune your style. They can be customised for any occasion and with the right care and maintenance regime, they will last for weeks at a time. So the next time you’re feeling in need of a little style refresh, head down to your local nail salon and let your fingers flourish!