How to fill nails

How to fill nails

There are two ways to maintain the acrylic extensions / acrylic french nails.

How to fill nailsHow to fill nails

  1. Acrylic Fill In
  2. Acrylic Back Fill

Acrylic Fill In

Acrylic Fill In treats the acrylic regrowth at the base of the nails. The lifting can be removed and the exposed natural nail will be covered with fresh acrylics. This technique can also be called Infill.

What you need

How to fill nails

Please read through Safety Precautions for Acrylic Nails before you start.

Acrylic Fill In Procedure

  1. File to reduce the thickness of the acrylics at the base with a 180 grit file. When the acrylics are thin enough, switch to a 240 grit file to remove the lifting. Be careful not to file the natural nail.

How to fill nails

  1. If you have a Nail Machine, use a barrel shape bit to speed up the process. Stop drilling when there is a crack in the acrylic to avoid damaging the natural nail. Switch to a file to remove the lifting.

How to fill nails

  1. Buff with a 220 grit sponge buffer to remove bumps. Gently buff the natural nails as well. Remove dust.

How to fill nails

  1. Spray anti-bacterial spray onto the cuticle knife and push up cuticle.

How to fill nails

  1. Scrape off excess cuticle and acrylic dust.

How to fill nails

  1. Spray onto a piece of paper towel and wipe nails thoroughly to remove dust.

How to fill nails

  1. Apply pre-primer and primer on exposed natural nails.

How to fill nails

  1. Apply a ball of acrylic mixture onto the natural nail. Stroke to blend into the existing acrylics.

How to fill nails

  1. Follow Filing & Buffing to complete.

How to fill nails

Acrylic Back Fill

Acrylic Back Fill repositions the smile lines which have moved forward with the nail growth.
This method is also called Realign.

How to fill nails

What you need

Please read through Safety Precautions for Acrylic Nails before you start.

How to fill nails

acrylic nails are a very convenient way to beautify your natural nails. But when your acrylic nails begin chipping, splitting and lifting, it is a telltale sign that it is time to get them filled. But before you run to the nail salon, take a moment to consider doing your fills yourself. Not only will you save money, you can maintain your beautifully polished look without leaving the comfort of your home.

Remove the old nail polish by putting non-acetone polish remover onto a cotton ball. Rub the wet cotton ball over the nail until all the polish has been removed. Do this for all ten fingernails. Clip off excess lifted acrylic with a cuticle cutter. Buff all of your nails using the rougher side of the four sided buffer to remove excess polish or acrylic left after using the cuticle cutter. Do not buff the natural nail.

Dip the primer brush into the nail primer bottle. Use a tiny amount of nail primer to apply to the natural nail below the acrylic but above the cuticle. Refrain from getting nail primer on the cuticle. Apply a second coat of primer one minute after the first application has dried. Let the second application of primer dry for two minutes.

Pour a small amount of acrylic liquid into the small glass bowl that comes in the acrylic kit. Dip the acrylic brush into the acrylic liquid in order to dampen the brush. Wipe off excess acrylic liquid against the edge of the glass bowl. Dip the acrylic brush into the acrylic powder. Using a circular motion, rotate the brush to form a small ball. Gently apply that ball to the area of your nail where the primer was applied. Pat the ball gently so that it flattens against that area of your nail. Allow it to dry.

File your fingernails to the desired shape and length using the fingernail file. Gently file the top of the nail as well to level it out. Use the white side of the four-sided buffer on your nails to buff off any excess acrylic. Buff the tops and sides of the nails using the gray side of the four-sided buffer in order to shine and smooth them out. Wash your hands, allow them to dry and then apply two coats of the desired fingernail polish. Apply a top coat of clear polish to maintain shine and polish color longer.

The gap between cuticle and acrylic nail edge can be filled without replacing the whole set and this process is called acrylic refill or nail infill. This will also fix any lifting of acrylic caused due to natural nail growth. This is what “fill in” means as a service provided by nail salons.

Can you infill acrylic nails with gel?

Yes, you can put a set of gels over acrylic. I suggest you thin out the acrylic first so when you’re done the nails aren’t too thick.

What to do when your acrylics grow out?

Let your nails grow out; leaving the acrylics on. Give them a few weeks until you can’t stand to bare with the tackiness of your nail showing. Take nail file & start filing down where the nail & acrylic meet. Press firmly & file away! Next, just take your choice of polish & paint them babies up!.

How much is a fill in for acrylic nails?

An acrylic nail fill will usually cost you less than a full set, and if taken care of, you won’t need a new full set for at least two months. Acrylic nail fill will cost you around $25.

How many times can you fill acrylic nails?

You can get a fill on acrylic nails as often as you’d like. We recommend that you get a fill once there is a visible gap between your cuticle and your existing acrylic set, about every 2 to 3 weeks. Once you have filled your acrylics 3 or 4 times, it’s probably time to get a new set.

What is a substitute for acrylic powder?

A good substitute is polyester resin. A peroxide is added to a polymer to create the resin that can be cast as easily as acrylics. Polyester resins harden at room temperature and with a green color that is transparent, but not always preferred.

Can I refill my own nails?

If your nails are growing out but you don’t want to go to the salon for a while, fill your nails at home! Purchase a nail fill kit from the beauty supply store or pick up the tools you need to fill your own acrylic or gel nails. Once the surface of your nails is clean, fill the gap with acrylic mixture or gel primer.

What should I put on my nails after removing acrylics?

What should I put on my nails after removing acrylics? The best nail strengthening product is gel base coat and topcoat. This polish stays on the nails for more than two weeks and protects the damaged nails by giving them extra thickness.

How do I revive my nails after acrylics?

Aftercare Buff your nails once a week. File your nails in one direction only. Go for a manicure to a salon. Soak your nails in olive oil for a few minutes once a week. Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet. Take biotin supplements. Use a nail keratin treatment to expedite the healing process.

How do you fix an outgrown nail?

Another way to overcome outgrown nails is with a negative space manicure. This involves exposing part of your natural nail in the design. While designs differ, most negative space manicures tend to display the natural nail at the bottom – making it an easy way to incorporate your outgrown shellac into the look.

What happens during an acrylic nail fill?

During a refill we file off the existing colour and remove any lifting. Once hardened, we then file and shape the nails to perfection and apply a new coat of colour that you have chosen. They look and feel like a new set! We recommend a refill every 3 weeks to keep your nails healthy!Aug 30, 2017.

What does it mean to get a fill with acrylic nails?

Acrylic Fill In treats the acrylic regrowth at the base of the nails. The lifting can be removed and the exposed natural nail will be covered with fresh acrylics. This technique can also be called Infill.

How long does it take to fill in acrylic nails?

While most salons will allot about 45 minutes to an hour for acrylics, experts can do it in even less time. “For me, it only takes about 15-20 minutes,” Bui said.

How much is a fill?

The Cost of Dental Fillings Without Insurance The average cost of each type of filling, according to CostHelper, is: $50 to $150 for one to two metal (silver amalgam) fillings, and $120 to $300 for three or more. $90 to $250 for one to two tooth-colored resin fillings, and $150 to $450 for three or more.

Can you change nail color when getting a fill?

Luckily, you definitely can change the color of your nails when you get them filled. Whether you’re planning to fill your nails yourself or plan on heading back to the salon, changing the color on acrylic nails is no big deal!Aug 31, 2021.

How many times can you get nail Infills?

How often should you get a new set of acrylic nails? As long as you take care of your acrylics—and head to your manicurist every two to three weeks for fill-ins—your set should last between six and eight weeks.

Can I get a fill after a week?

SCHEDULE REGULAR FILLS “The time schedule varies. Some client’s nails don’t grow fast and some clients grow at a rapid rate. I always say to get your fills around two to three weeks,” stresses Cole. If you are hard on your nails or do a lot of work with your hands, Cole suggests going sooner to avoid any lifting.

Nailboo dip powder manicures last up to six weeks, but what do you do when that time has expired? Just like acrylic and gel nails, dip powder manicures also require refills. The refill process is not difficult as long as you follow the proper steps. We will walk you through the dip fill process in just a few simple steps.

What Is a Dip Powder Fill?

You can refill your dip powder mani without completely removing the entire manicure. A Nailboo dip powder refill replaces the colored powder in the area of your nails where the new nail has regrown. You may choose the exact shade you currently have on your nails or a different color.

The result is a fresh, professional-looking manicure that lasts up to six weeks. That is much longer-lasting than regular polish and gel polish manicures.

What You Need

Dip powder refills do not require much work, so the supplies you need are minimal also. Grab your Nailboo dip kit, or gather the following Nailboo supplies to complete your dip refill manicure:

  • Cuticle pusher
  • Four-way nail file
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Brush
  • Nailboo colored dip powder in any shade you desire
  • Nailboo base coat liquid
  • Nailboo activator liquid
  • Nailboo top coat

Safety First

Before you begin your manicure, remember your safety practices. If you have sensitive skin or eyes, you may be sensitive to the dip powder formula. Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a face mask and glasses. Be sure not to touch your face or eyes during the manicure process and always clean your workspace after your manicure is complete.

Clean-up will eliminate the spread of dust and debris, and prevent possible allergic reactions in the future.

These safety tips help prevent possible allergic reactions, making your manicure a more pleasant experience.

Nail Prep

Nail prep is crucial for obtaining a long-lasting manicure . First, grab your cuticle pusher and gently push back your cuticles. Trim your cuticles if necessary, and use cuticle oil in between manicure sessions to keep your cuticles hydrated and healthy. Cuticle care is essential for healthy nail growth.

Next, using your four-way nail file, file down the surface of the existing dip on your nails. If you are using a different color dip powder for the refill, be sure to buff all of the current dip powder away from your nails.

Blend your nails where the regrowth and the existing dip powder meet, making them smooth and ridge-free. Refills work best using the same color or a shade darker than the one currently on your nails.

Finally, clean your nails with a swipe of isopropyl alcohol. Nail prep is now complete, and you’re ready for the dip powder fill.

Step 1

Step one fills in the dip color powder in the areas where your nails have regrown. Make sure to choose the shade of Nailboo powder that matches the color currently on your nails. Remember to work with one nail at a time to ensure an even application.

Coat & Build

  1. Apply Nailboo base coat liquid to the entire nail.
  2. Dip the nail into the pigmented Nailboo powder of your choice.
  3. Tap and brush the nail to remove excess powder.
  4. Repeat on each nail.

Step 2

Step two hardens the powder and seals in color for a long-lasting manicure. Nailboo activator does not require UV or LED light for curing, which makes it much more convenient than other manicure types.

Step 3

Step three is the final step in the dip powder refill process. This step adds the glossy shine you love and protects the color from the sun’s harmful UV rays. UV rays will fade nail color if the nails are not protected. The top coat acts as a sunscreen for your dip powder color.

Top Coat

  1. Apply Nailboo top coat to each nail.
  2. Allow the nails to dry completely.
  3. Apply a second layer of top coat.
  4. Dry your nails one last time.

To Sum It Up

Nailboo dip powder and dip kits provide everything you need to create beautiful salon-quality dip powder manicures at home. Nailboo dip manicures last up to six weeks with no chipping or peeling. It’s a dream come true for manicure lovers!

Forget extended salon visits and costly manicures. Create your own salon-quality professional-looking dip powder manicure at home with Nailboo.

Shop The Look

Snag all of the Nailboo products you need to create your dip powder manicure!

As someone who can't grow out their nails without breaking at least two of them along the way, I get jealous whenever I notice someone's long, perfect, almond or square-shaped nails.

While some people are blessed with naturally strong nails, the ones I long for are often credited to the magic of acrylics. This faux nail method is ideal for anyone who wants long nails, but can't or maintain their ideal nail length or shape on their own. However, they're not exactly effortless: Acrylic nails come with a price tag — and they can damage your natural nails if they're done incorrectly.

All of this considered, it's important to have all the info before you visit the salon, and InStyle has you covered. Whether you're tired of having nails that are too short for fancy nail art or you want your nails to look as dramatic as Kylie Jenner's claws do on Instagram, see what a professional manicurist has to say about the process of getting acrylic nails.

So, What Are Acrylic Nails?

To put it simply, acrylic nails are are a mix of powder and 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 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.

How Are Acrylic Nails Applied?

When you're getting a full set of acrylics, the nail technician will usually put on tips, or use nail forms to achieve a more natural look. "Each acrylic is then shaped as desired and painted with polish," explains Zuniga.

It's safe to get acrylics as often as you wish, but research nail technicians in your area so that you're sure you go to someone who is properly trained and experienced in applying them.

Can You Use Gel Nail Polish on Acrylic Nails?

Whether you're a diehard gel manicure fan or you usually go with regular old polish, the good news is that you can use whichever formula you prefer. The same goes for dip powder, too.

Are Acrylic Nails High Maintenance?

The hard truth: acrylics require a lot of upkeep. Zuniga says that most clients with acrylics generally come in every two to three weeks to get them filled. However, as long as any lifting of the acrylic is filled in, a set can be worn for six to eight weeks before they need to be removed.

How Do You Remove Acrylic Nails?

Removing acrylic nails isn't all that different from taking off a gel manicure. "Acrylics should be removed by soaking each nail in acetone until the acrylic is soft enough to remove gently," says Zuniga. "It is best to have a professional remove them to avoid damage to your nail bed."

Do Acrylic Nails Damage Your Natural Nails?

Acrylics aren't any more damaging than other forms of fake nails — as long as they're properly taken care of. That includes getting them properly removed, regularly filled, and keeping them clean and dry. All of which prevents bacteria from getting into the acrylic and causing infections.

How Much Do Acrylic Nails Cost?

If you think the promise of long, perfectly-shaped nails is worth the maintenance, expect to pay more for acrylic nails than you would for a regular polish change. The exact cost of a set of acrylic nails can vary based on where you live and the 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.

How to fill nails

How Can I Fill My Acrylic Nails Without Acrylics?

How can I fill my acrylic nails without acrylics?, If you are a nail art fanatic, you might be familiar with acrylic nails. These are artificial enhancements that are placed on top of your natural nails that can last for a very long time and can withstand nail chipping or breakage. Removing them requires professional help because of their durability.

How can I fill my acrylic nails without acrylics?

Find out the best alternatives you can use to fill your acrylic nails below. I will also talk about how to use these alternatives and the reasons why people might not want acrylics anymore.

Alternatives To Acrylic Filling

Acrylic nails are a popular service people avail of at beauty salons. Many get acrylic nails for special occasions like weddings, proms, and galas because of their longevity. Some might even get acrylic nails even if they do not have an event to attend.

However, no matter how strong acrylic nails are, they require regular maintenance. These are some replacements you can use instead of acrylics:

Glitter Nail Polish

This type of polish is very rich and chunky, which will give your exposed nail bed enough coverage. All you have to do is lightly dab the exposed nail with a thick layer of glitter nail polish. Apply enough to cover the exposed part and blend it with the rest of the acrylic nail.

Cream Nail Polish

If you used cream nail polish for your acrylic nails, this could be another alternative. Take some cream nail polish that is the same color or close to the same color. Then, fill in your acrylic nails with the right amount of polish. Apply a clear topcoat once you have filled your nails in.

Gel Nail Polish

Some salons use gel nail polish on acrylics to make them sturdier. If this is the case for you, follow the same steps mentioned above but with gel nail polish. But keep in mind, that this needs a UV light kit to set the nail polish.

Why Do People Want Alternatives?

Acrylic nails are difficult and tedious to maintain. For this reason, it would make sense that people would not want to fill.

No time

A trip to the salon to get your acrylic nails filled can take a long time. You would need to spend at least one hour on this. It could take even longer, and your salon trip might take up to three hours, depending on the waiting time. We have full-time jobs, school, and other responsibilities to tend to.

Budget Constraints

Acrylic nails can be quite pricey. Alternatives like glitter nail polish are great for people who want to keep their acrylic nails without spending too much.

Unexpected Chipping

Accidents happen, and you might see your acrylic nails chip or break. No matter how careful we are, these things can still happen. It can be especially heartbreaking if they are a fresh set of acrylics that you just got done. If you experience any sudden chipping or breaks, you can use the alternatives mentioned above.


Remember that all you need to fill in acrylic nails is glitter polish or cream polish in the same color. You might not have time to make another trip to the salon, or your nails might suddenly chip or crack. When this happens, follow the instructions in this article, and you will be good to go.

Dip powder nails have been growing in popularity in recent times. Nail bars up and down the country have been using this method for the last few years to keep up with customer demand.

The nails look great the first few weeks, but as your nails grow, and some parts of your manicure wear out, they often don’t look their best. You do not need to remove the whole application, but could instead get a fill on your dip nails and enjoy more time with your glistering nails.

Why Should You Get Dip Powder Nails?

Compared to acrylics, dip powder makes use of a finely ground powder, which delivers a smoother application. On application, the dip powder lasts for up to one month, while regular gel lasts for approximately two to three weeks.

When it is time to get the dip powder off your nails, the removal process is easy. All you have to do is to dip your nails in acetone, or use acetone-filled cotton balls to remove the dip powder. This means that no scraping is required.

This technique preserves your nail bed, which then strengthens your nails. If you are concerned with the harsh odours from nail polish, dip powder nails are not as severe since they do make use of a monomer, so they don’t cause a smell!

How Do You Fill on Dip Nails?

Filling nails to lengthen the life of your manicure is a standard practice in the beauty industry. However, how well you prepare the nails determines how long the manicure will last, and if you will be happy with the end product or not. So, let’s get down to how you can get a fill on your dip nails at home.

1. Prepare your nails

Your nail preparation determines how well the end product will be. When applying a fill to dip nails, sanitize your nails to remove any bacteria. Push back your cuticle and trim the hanging parts. Then, proceed to buff your nails to make the polish rough, which subsequently increases adhesion. File the part you want to fill, removing all the previous manicure. Clean the nail to remove any dirt and fine particles before moving on to the next stage

Ok, so it’s true that nails have to breathe and there’s no real reason to soak off a perfectly good set of nails. To find out what circumstances do warrant a fresh full set, we asked two nail techs known for their high standards when they fill and when they remove.

Maisie Dunbar, owner of M&M Nails & Wellness Center in Silver Spring, Md., rarely soaks nails off unless there is discoloration of the product. “My clients usually wear their nails very short, therefore we are consistently cutting back and applying new product,” she explains. “But if the client is a tanner (which may lead to discoloration), we may have to remove product every four to five months.” As a general guideline, Dunbar recommends removing old acrylic if a client is experiencing serious lifting, product yellowing, or fill lines you can’t get rid of.

Rhonda Taylor of Nubiance Hair & Nails in Stone Mountain, Ga., soaks off nails if the client wants a fresh look—such as two-color acrylics—or if she encounters uncontrollable air pockets, fill lines, or excessive aging of product. “If a client wears her nails too long between fills, it may be necessary to remove and redo,” says Taylor, adding that if a client breaks or badly damages a single nail, she prefers to soak and start from scratch.

Taylor makes one exception to her minimal soaking policy: “All new clients must remove their old acrylic and start fresh with me—no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” she says. “If I work behind another tech, I either need to fix or improve what she has done, which just requires too much time and energy. Plus, I don’t like to mix product lines.” An additional benefit of removing new clients’ nails, says Taylor, is that she can evaluate the natural nails to see if fiberglass or gels might be a better option for that particular client.

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Covering up brittle, soft, or damaged nails can worsen existing nail problems.

How to fill nails

Artificial nails can lengthen short nails, making your fingers look long and slender. They can also be hard on your nails.

To get acrylic nails (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. Chemicals in the products used to apply artificial nails can irritate the skin around your nails and elsewhere.

The list of health risks doesn’t end here. To remove artificial nails, you often need to soak in acetone or file them off. If you want to wear artificial nails for more than a few weeks, you’ll need touch-ups every 2 to 3 weeks to fill in the gaps that appear as your nails grow. Frequent touch-ups can seriously damage your natural nails.

In short, artificial nails can leave your nails thin, brittle, and parched.

Still, some people love the look of artificial nails. If you’re one of them, these tips from dermatologists can help you reduce the damage:

Choose soak-off gel nails instead of acrylic nails. While gel nails can cause nail brittleness, peeling, and cracking, they’re more flexible than acrylic nails. This means your own nails are less likely to crack.

You’ll want to ask for gel nails that soak off rather than ones that must be filed off.

Go to a salon that uses an LED curing light rather than a UV curing light. Gel nails require ultraviolet (UV) light to harden. LED emits lower levels of UV radiation than a UV curing light. An LED light also cures more quickly, which reduces your UV exposure.

Ask your nail technician to skip the cuticle trimming. Cuticles are often trimmed when you get any type of manicure. That’s a problem. Cuticles protect your nails and the surrounding skin from infection. When you trim or cut your cuticles, it’s easier for bacteria and other germs to get inside your body and cause an infection. Nail infections can take a long time to clear.

Cut cuticles also tend to feel rough when they grow back, so a nail technician may continue to trim your cuticles to keep them smooth.

Reserve artificial nails for special occasions. If you love the look of artificial nails, getting them only for a special occasion can reduce nail problems. Time without artificial nails gives your nails a chance to repair themselves.

When you’re not wearing artificial nails, a regular or French manicure can leave your nails looking fabulous.

There are plenty of reasons to get artificial fingernails. Maybe you’re going to a wedding or reunion and you want to look sharp. Or perhaps you’ve had trouble growing your nails long and need assistance.

Gel, acrylic, and silk nails are widely used. Most people choose gels or acrylics when they’re committing for a longer time. Silks are most often used for a shorter time to strengthen nail tips or repair nail trauma, rather than making nails longer.

Acrylic Nails

Your nail technician will mix a liquid with a powder and brush the mixture onto your nails. They’ll usually cover your entire nail, though sometimes they’ll just add tips or a flexible form that they can sculpt to extend your nails.

The product hardens as it is exposed to the air. You may notice a strong odor during the application process, but it isn’t harmful, provided the room has good ventilation.

Upkeep: Over time, acrylics grow out with your nails. Every two to three weeks, you should return to the salon to have your nails filled in. Your technician will gently file down the acrylic edge closest to your nail bed, then fill in the empty area between your nail bed and the existing acrylic nail.

Removal: When you decide to have your acrylics removed, your nail technician will remove them quite easily, with no forcing or prying, after soaking your hands in nail polish remover for 15 minutes.

“If you accidentally catch on something, like the edge of a drawer, the whole nail can get lifted off of the nail bed,” says dermatologist D’Anne Kleinsmith, MD, of West Bloomfield, Mich. “When you break that seal, you’re able to get a yeast or fungus or bacteria brewing in that space.”

Gel Nails

Unlike toothpaste-thick gel products of the past, today’s gels have a similar consistency to nail polish.

They are brushed onto your nails, nail tips, or nail appliqués to extend length. After your nail technician applies each coat, you must put your nails under ultraviolet (UV) light for up to two minutes to “cure” or harden the product. There is no odor during the application process.

There have been reports of skin cancer risk from the UV exposure, which may be a consideration, though you’re not getting exposed to a lot of UV light per session.

Gels are more expensive than acrylics, but they may hold their color longer without chipping, so you may not mind the steeper price.

Maintenance: Like acrylics, gels grow out with your nails and need to be filled in every two to three weeks. Your technician will gently file down the gel edge closest to your nail bed, and then fill in the empty area between your nail bed and the existing gel nail.

Removal: You can remove most gel nails by soaking them in nail polish remover. Some nail-sized wraps are filled with nail polish remover, which can loosen the artificial nails enough for removal, without drying out your hands.

As with acrylics, you could get an infection in your nail bed if minor trauma (such as getting your finger caught in a door or accidentally banging your nails against a countertop or other hard surface) causes your gel nail to lift your entire nail off.

With either gels or acrylics, the nail doesn’t have to come completely off your finger to cause an infection. If it’s loose, but still attached, that could be enough for bacteria or other germs to cause problems.

Silk Nails

These fabric wraps are glued in place to strengthen weak nails or help a cracked nail grow out. Some wraps are made of silk, but others are made of linen, paper, or fiberglass.

Your nail technician will fit the material to your nail’s shape, hold it in place, then brush on glue.

Silks are intended to be temporary, and the adhesives will loosen within two or three weeks, or sooner if you wash dishes by hand without gloves. Your nail technician can remove or reapply them at your follow-up visit.

10 Tips for Artificial Nails

  1. Go to a pro to get your nails. At-home products “require a lot of skill, far more than do-it-yourself hair color,” says Doug Schoon, co-chair of the Professional Beauty Association’s Nail Manufacturer Council on Safety.
  2. Don’t peel off your artificial nails. “They’re designed to adhere to the nail, so if you peel them off, it yanks off the top layer of your nail,” Schoon says. After they’re off, your own natural nails should look healthy. Go to a pro to get it done right.
  3. Choose a nail technician based on recommendations from friends, rather than basing it only on location or price. “A lot of people walk into the salon down the street because they see a price in the window that looks attractive, but they’re not getting the same service as they would going to someone educated with the right skills,” Schoon says. “If your nail technician isn’t experienced, she can file your nail plate too thin when applying gels or acrylics, which can damage your nails.”
  4. Your nail salon should look clean and disinfect tools between clients.
  5. Your nail technician should wash their hands before working on your nails and ask you to do the same.
  6. Leave your cuticles alone. Don’t let anyone at the nail salon cut or push back your cuticles. Breaking the seal between your fingernail and nail bed can lead to infections.
  7. Don’t bandage or try to repair a damaged nail yourself. Go to a professional so you don’t get a nail infection.
  8. Ask your technician how to care for your nails between visits. “It’s important to get a good, knowledgeable nail technician, someone who can teach you how to properly maintain your nails,” Schoon says.
  9. Speak up if something seems off. Tell your technician if you’re in any pain after your artificial nails have been applied, because they aren’t supposed to hurt. If you develop rashes or itchiness around the fingertips or your eyes, face, or neck (which many women often touch with their hands), Kleinsmith says you could ask your doctor if you’re sensitive to one of the ingredients in your artificial nails.
  10. Go natural now and then. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends skipping artificial nails occasionally, to give your own nails a break.

Show Sources

D’Anne Kleinsmith, MD, spokeswoman, American Academy of Dermatology; dermatologist, West Bloomfield, Mich.

Doug Schoon, co-chair, Nail Manufacturer Council on Safety (part of the Professional Beauty Association); president, Schoon Scientific, Dana Point, Calif.

Professional Beauty Association: “What to Look Out For in a Nail Salon: INTA/NMC Consumer Guidelines.”