I have been working with acrylic nails now for almost 10 years and for me it is like riding a bike. But I can tell you at the beginning it can seem extremely intimidating and challenging to work with.
Now honestly, with a few simple tricks you can quickly start to work with acrylic and in no time you can master it.
That’s why in this article I am going to share with you some tips that I wish I knew when I had just started working with acrylic nails.
6 Beginner Tips to Apply Acrylic Nails Easier
- Practice as much as possible
- Use an oval-shaped size 8 acrylic nail brush
- Work with odorless slow-setting monomers
- Always prep your nails before application
- Get the liquid-to-powder ratio right
- Start with nail tips instead of nail forms
I also have a great article on the 3 Different methods How to Apply Acrylic Nails, click here to read.
1- Practice Makes Perfect
The best thing you can do to improve your skills with acrylic nails especially when you are new to working with it is to PRACTICE.
By constantly practicing making the beads and then sculpting the nails you will get better in no time.
To practice I recommend using a fake practice hand. These come with removable nails that allow you to apply the acrylic as if you were applying it on a real person.
Now if you can also use nail tips to practice on, since it creates a similar surface like your nails. I recommend gluing the nail tip down with double sided tape to keep it still and then practice the application.
2- Use the Right Acrylic Nail Brush
Acrylic Nail Brushes come in different sizes and shapes and each one of them has a slightly different purpose and advantage over each other.
Now for beginners I recommend using an Oval shaped brush either size 6 or 8. This will big enough to create a bead big enough to cover the nails but small enough so that you can control it.
You can click here to see the Pana Oval Shaped size 8 Kolinsky Acrylic Nail Brush on Amazon. Its a bit pricey but it will make applying acrylic nails easier which is important when you are now starting out.
Bigger brushes like 10 and above tend to work faster but requires more skill. Whilst smaller brushes below 6 are meant for detailed work like nail art and fill-ins.
You can click here to learn more about What Size & Shape Acrylic Nail Brush is Best and Easy to Use
3- Use Odorless Acrylic Liquid Monomer
The type of monomer will dictate the rate at which the acrylic bead dries, sets and hardens. For beginners its best to use a monomer that takes longer to dry.
This allows you more time to work and sculpt out your nails as you want without rushing.
Now I recommend using odorless monomers as a beginner because they have:
- Very low odor and scent profile – making it easier to breathe during the application process.
- Longer setting or drying time – which is perfect if you are new to acrylic nails since it gives you more time to work with them.
Or you can also click here to learn more about odorless monomer.
4- Always Prep the Nails
One of the things that a lot of beginners to acrylic nails fail to do is to correctly prep their nails before applying the acrylic.
If you fail to prep your nails the acrylic won’t bond to the nail plate and will lead to premature lifting.
To prep your nails you need to:
- Firstly use a cuticle pusher to gently push back your cuticles.
- Then use a medium grit nail file to buff away the sheen from your nails.
- And finally, you need to wash and dry your hands and nails and then clean your nails by wiping them with rubbing alcohol or acetone.
By preping your nails before application will allow your acrylic nails to last for a very long time without lifting.
Also you should read my article on How Long Acrylic Nails Last & 11 Tips to Make Last Longer
Video of How to Prep Nails for Acrylic Application
5- Get the Liquid to Powder Ratio Right
Making the beads with the right ratio of liquid to powder is essential. You see if you don’t get the right ratio it can cause the beads to come out poorly and lead to your acrylic nails not forming properly.
One simple method is to lightly wet the acrylic brush in the liquid monomer and then gently press it in the powder for 3-4 seconds.
It’s important that you practice making the beads a few times before trying it on yourself or a client. I have a great video below that will guide you on how to make acrylic beads
Video Showing How to Make Acrylic Beads
6- Use Nail Tips
Their are 2 main ways to make acrylic nail extensions either by using; nail tips or nail forms.
Nail tips are where you use nail glue to paste the tip onto the nails and then apply the acrylic ontop of it. Nail Forms is where you place a paper form under the nails and then you apply the acrylic ontop of it building it out.
Now for me when I was starting out I preferred using nail tips. This is because nail tips:
- Are glued on so they hold on better to your nails – which allows you to move around better without worrying it would come off during application
- Create a fixed surface, which you can build out the acrylic.
- Tend to be easier to apply- all you need to do is get the sizing right and then glue it on. Whilst with nail forms you have to practice putting it on your nails.
Now the advantage with nail forms is that they are more durable and long-lasting. To learn more I highly recommend you read my article on Nail Forms Vs Tips – Which One is Really Better & Stronger.