You’re on the Way to Becoming a Nail Artist
Ever been scrolling on your favorite social media platform and paused on a photo of beautiful acrylic nails? What were you thinking at that moment? It might have been something like, “Man, I wish I could do that.” Creating acrylic nail is an art form, and there’s plenty of pictures and videos of gorgeous nail designs on the internet to prove it. This might make it sound like you need to be a master artist with years of experience to paint nails well, but luckily that isn’t the case. With a little practice and the right tools, you’ll be on your way to doing great nail art at home.
When you’re not sure where to start with a new skill like doing nail art, it helps to have a point of reference to go back to for tips, tricks, and instructions. This helpful article can serve as your one-stop tutorial for nail art and get you up to speed on everything you need to know to get started. Keep reading to learn all the gear you need, the steps to completing the process, and more.
When you want to do elaborate nail art designs like the ones you might have seen on the internet and social media, starting off can seem daunting. We’re here to help fill you in and answer any questions you might have. If you’ve never used acrylic nails before, learning what they are is the best place to start with at-home nail art.
Acrylic nails are a combination of artificial tips or nail forms , an acrylic polymer, and acrylic liquid monomer. The tips are affixed to your natural nails with glue, then covered with a mixture of the acrylic polymer and acrylic liquid monomer. This mixture then dries and solidifies, making your nails look longer, more symmetrical, and more defined.
The solidified acrylic mixture serves as the canvas for your nail art. On top of your acrylic nails, you can use brushes of different sizes with acrylic gel polish to make eye-catching combinations of colors, shapes, and patterns. Acrylic nail polish can either be clear for a more natural look or one of many gorgeous colors. There’s plenty of room for experimenting with different brush sizes, colors, and patterns, so let your creativity flow freely!
The Tools You’ll Need
To do acrylic nails at home, you’ll need a good set of tools. When you put on acrylic nails for the first time, the process can seem a little involved. However, it gets easier and more familiar the more you do it. Before you get started with putting on acrylic nails, make sure your nails are in good shape. You’ll need a trimmer, a file or an electric file (or both), a cuticle bit , and nail primer for these first steps.
Prepping Your Nails
Start the prep process by trimming your nails. One of the main factors that will affect the longevity of your acrylic nails is the length of your natural nails – your acrylics will need to be redone as your natural nails grow. The nail tips that go on your natural nails will make them look longer and more defined, so you don’t need to worry about the length of your natural nails being too short. It is easier to apply the artificial nail tip if you leave enough nail for the tips to stick to easily.
After your nails are trimmed, it’s time to buff your nails to remove any natural oil in the natural nail plate. You’ll be sticking the tips to your natural nails with glue, so you want to make sure there’s enough abrasiveness on the surface of your nails for the glue to work. If your nails are looking shiny, it likely means they need more buffing before the acrylic tips will stick to them well.
Next, make sure your cuticles are pushed back. This step will help the will allow the product to adhere better as the entire palette will be clean of oils and dead skin. not extending past them onto your fingers. For this reason, it’s important to leave your cuticles intact, not breaking them up or cutting them off. Instead, just gently push them back towards your knuckles.
After your cuticles are pushed back, the next step in the process is applying dehydrator and bonder or primer. Primer creates a sticky layer to help adhere the product to the surface of your natural nails. Any moisture and oil can hinder the glue on the tip or the acrylic product from working, so primer is an essential part of the prep process. After the primer is on each nail, you’re ready to put the acrylic product on. You’re one step closer to completing your nails!
Making the “Canvas”
At this point in the process, your nails are all ready to go – it’s time to put on the acrylic. Here’s where your brushes start to come in handy. The acrylic powder should go in one bowl with the liquid in a separate dish. Dip the brush in the liquid, mixing it gently with the powder to form a small bead of the mixture on the tip of the brush. You’ll apply small beads of the mixture to the acrylic tips using small strokes from the base of your nails to the tips. Keep this up until each nail is evenly covered with the mixture and then let it dry as you do the other hand. By the time you are completed with one hand the other should be dry and ready to be filed.
Picking Colors and Designs
Take your time when picking your colors. You can even start out your acrylic nail adventures by doing a solid color or alternating two colors between nails. If you’re ready to get more experimental, though, you can start out with a design or gradient.
These art designs can be done with pigmented acrylic polymer or with gel polish once the foundation of acrylic has been finished.
Nail art can be abstract, or you can use small brushes to make delicate drawings of flowers, butterflies, and more. To make designs, you’ll be switching between larger and smaller brushes, and the process can take some time – but it’s worth it! Doing nail art at home is a great way to take care of yourself and get some you-time.
When you’re not sure where to start with designs, the internet can help. There’s plenty of ideas online for eye-catching patterns, gradients, and designs to try. Once you’ve found one that you love, you can choose your brushes and colors accordingly.
Using Little Brushes Well
When you’re getting into acrylic nail designs, precision and patience are the keys to success. Smaller brushes need a slow, steady hand to do their best work. Once you’ve made a base out of a solid color or gradient, you can layer designs on top using a smaller brush with a different color.
Creative color blending is one of the best ways to express yourself with your acrylic nails. You can make gorgeous abstract designs out of swirls and splashes of different colors. A great way to get acquainted with using small brushes for acrylic nail art is to start out with an abstract design that blends a few colors.
Once you’ve picked out the colors that best fit your personality, it’s all about making gentle strokes, blending the colors together in swirls to create a kaleidoscopic masterpiece. If you want to get especially expressive, you can blend even more colors or alternate your design choices for each finger.
Remember these designs can be achieved with either the acrylic polymer or gel polsih.
Extra Ways to Be Extra Expressive
One of the most fun and expressive ways to customize your acrylic nails is with some nail glitter. Glittery acrylic powder looks great and makes a big impression. Glitter often blends well with a “naked” or clear acrylic powder or gel polish, layering under the clear acrylic to create a staggered look.
You can find glitter in an abundance of different colors, and it’s up to you to pick which one fits your look and personality best. Take your time in the choosing process for colors, accessories, and designs. Nail art is supposed to be fun, so just enjoy the ride! You’ll find that the more you perfect your nail-painting skills, the more you’ll enjoy the process. Try experimenting with different colors and designs each time you do your nails. There are infinite combinations of colors, gradients, and patterns to try, so you won’t be getting bored any time soon. There’s a whole world of creativity to explore when it comes to acrylic nails, so have fun, and don’t be afraid to experiment and express yourself!