How long can acrylic nails last for?
With the media’s obsession for perfection bombarding us every time we open a magazine, or switch on the TV, it can be hard for the average person to feel anything like glamorous or sexy when rushing round the supermarket, or dropping the kids at school. Most of us just don’t have the time to squeeze anything else into our hectic days – applying a completely-necessary-to-face-the-world swipe of mascara is all I have time for on most mornings.
And when have we ever seen those gorgeously perfect people with chewed, ragged nails? Never! Nails that have been used to scrape that mark off your car, pry open a jar, or dig around in your purse for dimes? Go on, admit it, we never take proper care of our nails and then get annoyed and frustrated when they break or split.
Maybe, just maybe, though, we can join the hallowed ranks of the Gorgeous Nail Club?
Acrylic nails are the way in!
Acrylic nails are a magical mix of powder and liquid polymer that’s placed on your existing nail bed and sculpted into a nail that can improve the look of your natural fingernails or extend them to create your dream accessories. They can be molded from scratch, or a false tip can be applied, with a thin layer of acrylic over it, creating an extremely strong and durable bond.
They don’t require a lamp to harden them, and can be applied either in a salon, or at your kitchen table.
How long do acrylic nails last?
Acrylic nails are often an investment of time and, if you visit the salon, money, so you want them to last as long as possible.
Applied correctly, your nails can last upwards of three weeks, but this is dependent on how well you take care of them:
- Keep your nails clean, especially underneath and around the edges
- Regularly apply moisturizer and cuticle oil
- Wear gloves when doing housework or gardening (or delegate those tasks to someone else!)
- Keep your natural nails healthy by eating a well balanced diet, or taking multi vits.
How to apply Acrylic nails
If you choose to use the DIY tips option, and I would recommend this for newbies as it’s quicker and much less hassle, an Acrylic nail kit is a great starting point.
- Look through the selection of acrylic tips, finding the right size for each nail. The tips are applied from about halfway down your natural nail, so you may need to file them to fit. Put them aside, noting which nail fits each finger.
- Carefully trim and tidy your natural nails. However, don’t go too short as it helps to have a few millimeters to support the acrylic tip, and use a good quality pair of nail clippers and files to give a neat smooth finish.
- Use a buffer to gently take the natural shine off your nails; this provides a good base for the tips.
- Using nail polish remover, thoroughly clean your nails. This will remove any remaining polish, dust and grease. Acrylics need a clean, grease-free nail bed for secure adhesion.
- Apply a thin coat of nail primer, trying to avoid getting it on your skin. This prepares the nail bed for the acrylic.
- Put a few dabs of glue across your nail bed, making sure you use the whole top half of your nail.
- Apply your acrylic tip and hold it in place for 5-10 seconds.
- Mix up the acrylic according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have paper towels handy – better safe than sorry!
- Taking your brush, dip it into the acrylic mix.
- Push the brush against the side of the bowl to remove the excess liquid.
- Swirl the brush in the powder, collecting a small, damp glob at the tip of the brush (this sounds much harder than it is, honestly).
- Starting at the ‘smile line’ spread the acrylic quickly and smoothly from the base of your nail, over the ‘ridge’ where the tip starts, to the tip of your nail. Do this several times, using single strokes in the same direction. The goal is to create a seamless transition from natural nail to false tip, creating a smooth layer all the way from the base of your nail to the tip of the false one.
- Repeat the process on your other nails.
- You may need to use more than one glob of acrylic per nail, but remember, using too much acrylic just means you’ll be filing the excess away forever!
- Sit back and relax – you’ve done the hard bit. Wait for ten minutes or so for the acrylic to dry.
- Once it’s completely dry, you can start filing and buffing until you achieve a natural looking smooth nail.
- Wipe of the dust from the filing and ……..
- It’s polish time – have fun!