Aug 1, 2007

How to Apply Acrylic Nails

By Virginia Reali

The first ten steps in preparing to apply acrylic nails are the most important as these steps will determine success or failure:

1. Clean your hands and spray with anti-bac.
2. Push the cuticles back with an orangewood sticks/cuticle sticks.
3. Lightly buff the shine off the nail with a 100/180 grit file.
4. Apply the tip. Ensure you have selected the correct size for each nail, do this first and lay them out from large to small for each nail. Cut the tip to the desired length.
5. Run line eliminator across the seamline of each tip and blend with a file.
6. Gently buff the shine off the tip (do not do this if you are using airbrushed or tips with a design, only do this for natural coloured tips).
7. Remove all the dust from your nails with a nail brush.
8. Spray the nail again with Anti-Bac spray.
9. Apply Nail Prep to the natural part of the nail - this removes the excess oils from the nail plate. Allow to thoroughly dry.
10. Apply a dab of Primer to the centre of each nail on the natural nail part. Be careful not to get this on the cuticles and only a sparingly small amount is required. Allow to dry thoroughly. The primer sets down the chemical base for the acrylic to adhere to.

You are now ready to apply the acrylic:

1. Put a small amount of monomer (acrylic liquid) into a Glass dappen dish.
2. Dip the brush in about 2/3rds of the way into the monomer in the dish. Wipe the brush on the sides of the dappen to remove the excess liquid.
3. Drag the brush across the surface of the powder forming a medium ball.
4. Allow the liquid to absorb into the ball until a medium-wet consistency is achieved.
5. You are going to divide the nail into 3 parts to apply the acrylic, the top part = area 1, the middle = area 2, the edge of the nail = part 3. Apply the ball to area 1 being careful not to get any acrylic on the cuticle area (if you do this will eventually lead to lifting). Gently press the ball down and smooth out using the brush.
6. Repeat this process with areas 2 and 3, blending each area with the previous area and stroking downwards.
7. Apply one more thin layer over the entire nail.
8. Using the 100/180 file, shape the nail and using the 180 grit side of the file blend the acrylic down into the cuticle area.
9. Remove the dust with a nail brush.
10. Apply cuticle oil and rub into the cuticles.
11. Wash hands.
12. Apply two coats of a good quality top coat to seal.

There is one warning, when you purchase acrylic liquid be sure to ask the supplier if it is free of MMA. MMA is a harmful chemical which is banned in the USA because of the health risks it can cause. MMA also sets the acrylic compound too hard and this will damage your nail.

Virginia Reali is the Director of BMNE Direct Pty Ltd, a major nail and beauty supply import company based in Australia.

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