Your Go-To Guide for Acrylic Powder
When you first discover the wonderful world of acrylic nails, it can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. Acrylic nails are famous for the creative potential they carry with them and their ability to contribute to your look in a truly unique way. When you look at pictures of acrylic nails, full of vibrant colors and eye-catching designs, it’s easy to wonder where to start with doing them yourself. From this article, you’ll learn how to use acrylic polymer, one of the key ingredients you’ll need to do your own acrylic nails at home.
Acrylic polymer and monomer is a major part of the combination that makes acrylic nails special. This article will give you all the info you need on acrylic powder and how to use it, as well as some handy tips and tricks that are sure to make your at-home acrylic nail adventures even more fun.
What Are Acrylic Nails Made Of?
When you look at a set of beautifully created acrylic nails, you’re seeing a combination of multiple components mixing well together. Acrylic enhancements are widely sought after for its unique ability to create beautiful designs. With the use of polymer, monomer and brushes, acrylic nails become a canvas that can hold eye-catching combinations of colors, patterns, and shapes.
Underneath the enhancement the structure that makes acrylic nails what they are. On the bottom sits your natural fingernails. Attached to your fingernails are artificial tips that add length and definition to the look of your nails. These tips are glued on to your natural fingernails early on in the process. When you first start out with doing your own acrylic nails at home, there are just a few steps that come before gluing the tips to your nails – but we’ll go over those later.
On top of the artificial tips sits a mixture of acrylic powder and acrylic liquid. The acrylic liquid is a monomer that bonds with the acrylic powder, a polymer. This combination is used to coat your nails and the tips that rest on them. When the powder and the liquid are mixed, you should end up with an easily spreadable combination that can be laid on your nails in small amounts at a time.
Why Do Your Own Acrylic Nails?
There’s a slew of reasons to learn to do your own acrylic nails at home. Here a just a few:
- Acrylic nails last. Each time you do your own acrylic nails, you can expect them to keep looking good for weeks.
- You’ll save money. Getting acrylic nails done professionally can cost a lot. Why get something done by someone else that you can learn to do yourself?
- Acrylic nails can boost your confidence. When you express yourself with a bold look, you’ll end up feeling more confident. Willingness to get creative and experiment with acrylic nails opens the door to a unique way to level up your style.
- You’ll have fun. Learning to do your own acrylic nails at home is a process, but it’s a worthwhile one. When you do at-home acrylics, you’re making art that you get to proudly display everywhere you go. It’s fun, rewarding, and relaxing, a great project to get friends in on.
- Endless options. The acrylic nail enhancement lets you blend colors and use different sized brushes to create little masterpieces. There’s infinite potential for customization and personalization. You can choose from a wide variety of colors and even get extra creative with the use of texturizing elements like glitter.
- Longer, louder nails. Your nails can be a huge difference-maker in your personal style. Acrylic nails let you get more length, symmetry, definition, and expressiveness out of your nails, boosting the eye-catching factor of your outfits.
These are only a handful of the reasons to do your own acrylic nails at home. If you’re not convinced yet, keep reading. You’re about to learn how acrylic nails’ ingredients work, so prepare to be amazed (Hang in there: it gets scientific).
How Acrylic Powder Works: A Chemistry Lesson
Acrylic powder is made from polymerized monomers. This may sound confusing and science-y but understanding it will give you a much clearer sense of what makes acrylic powder work the way it does. Acrylic powder contains the monomer methyl methacrylate. When you mix the acrylic powder with liquid, a process called suspension polymerization occurs. This process allows the monomers in acrylic powder to solidify and harden into a molded shape. Suspension polymerization is why, when you paint your nails with acrylic mixture, the mixture hardens and molds to the shape of your nails.
The acrylic mixture needs to dry and set before it will stay rigid. For this reason, after you paint acrylic nails, they need to sit for a few minutes before you add polish. Acrylic powder mixes with acrylic liquid to become moldable and spreadable, but time and air drying will make the mixture harden and form the shapes of nails, ready to be painted with whatever creative combination of colors you choose.
Using Acrylic Powder: A Step-By-Step Guide
Now that you know what acrylic powder is and how it works, it’s time to learn how to use it. When you’re getting started with acrylic nails, it’s essential to make sure that you’ve prepped your natural nails. This part of the process of doing acrylic nails starts with trimming your nails. The artificial tips that you’ll later cover with the acrylic mixture are going to be glued directly onto your fingernails, so your nails need to be specially cared for to make the glue work as well as possible. When you trim your nails, leave a few millimeters of growth at the end of each nail – you don’t need to go too long or too short. Once you glue on the artificial tips and paint over them, your nails will be much longer.
After you’ve trimmed your nails, you need to buff the surface of each nail to get some roughness going. If your nails are too smooth and shiny, the glue will not work as well. You don’t have to work too hard on this part of the process; just aim to buff the shine out your nails.
Now, it’s time to take care of your cuticles. When you paint the acrylic mixture on your nails, it will line up with your cuticles, not covering them. If you paint over your cuticles, it can give the acrylic nails an unnatural, over-extended look. Instead of getting rid of your cuticles or covering them with acrylic mixture, simply gently push them back with a specialized tool. If you don’t have a cuticle tool, you can use a popsicle stick instead. This part of the process aims to clear the stage for the acrylic mixture to be spread in the most effective way possible.
For the last step before you glue on the tips, put some primer on your nails. A primer will finish the job that you started when you buffed your nails. When you use primer, it gets rid of excess oil and moisture that, like overly smooth nails, would interfere with the effectiveness of the glue. Once you have primer on, you’re ready to put the artificial tips on each finger. This means you’re about to make use of acrylic powder – finally!
Spread a little glue on the edges of each artificial tip and press them onto your nails one at a time. The artificial tips will extend past your fingertips, making your nails look longer and more defined. If your tips are looking too long, you can trim them later after you’ve finished painting them. For now, leave them as they are.
Now that the tips are on each finger, it’s time to mix the acrylic powder with the acrylic liquid. Remember, because of suspension polymerization, you can blend these two elements to make a spreadable mixture that will eventually solidify and make the canvas that you’ll paint with any colors you want. It’s important to note that this acrylic mixture is different from nail polish – nail polish goes on top of the acrylic mixture to give it color.
When you use the acrylic powder, mix little amounts of liquid into the powder to create blobs of dough that can be spread easily on your fingers. If you mix all the powder and liquid you have at once, it may end up setting before you have the chance to spread it. For this reason, just mix little blobs as you need them, spreading one before you make another one. The blobs of the acrylic mixture will stick to your brush and be easy to spread onto your nails.
The combination of acrylic powder and liquid solidifies to make a perfect base that you can cover with any color nail polish you like! Feel free to experiment with creative color combinations and designs – you’re officially an acrylic nail artist!