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Acrylic Nails

If you're new to the world of artificial nails, you may find it all a bit confusing. There are so many choices now, including acrylic nails, Shellac, gel nails, and SNS. What's the difference? Which one will last longer?

Acrylic nails are a good place to start. They are the most common artificial nail extension used, largely due to their durability. And, because they stick to natural nails, you can pass them off as your own!

Strange Beginnings

Artificial nails have been around for centuries in some form or other. Women have used shell, bone, even nut shells. But the first true artificial nail was actually invented by a dentist in 1954!

When Fred Slack broke a fingernail at work, he decided to make a realistic-looking temporary nail, using dental acrylic and aluminium foil. Nobody's quite sure why! But he did it and then, in partnership with his brother, patented the invention and started a company called Patti Nails.

The Slack family went on to develop the prototype of the acrylic nails we use today, and the company became known as NSI - Nail Systems International.

Fashion & Functionality

There are many different reasons for choosing acrylic nails. They can be a fashion statement or used to strengthen weak and brittle nails. For nail-biters, having acrylic nail extensions is a great way to break the habit.

Acrylic nails are also a great solution for those who want long nails but can't grow them. In fact, they're better than gel nail extensions for that.

Whatever the reason, the advice is the same: correct application is an art form and should really only be carried out by trained professionals. Besides, when you go to a professional nail technician, there are all those other great options, such as nail art, glitter, 3D nail art, and more.

It's All In The Preparation

For some people getting acrylic nails is an occasional indulgence, usually for a special occasion like a wedding, party or job interview. For others it's part of their regular beauty routine, and they wouldn't be seen dead without their sexy long nails.

Here's how it works. First the manicurist will prepare your nails by filing, cleaning, and pushing back the cuticles. The next step is to apply the artificial tip. If you are happy with the length of your natural nails, you may not need the tips.

Your manicurist will then start building up the nail using gel and powder. Getting the right consistency and amount is crucial to the final look of the nail. Once the mixture hardens, the nail will be filed and buffed to perfection.

Nail Maintenance

As with any artificial nail, acrylics will grow out. So if you wish to maintain the look, you will need refills every two to three weeks. This is a skilled job, as is acrylic removal, so it's best to visit a professional nail salon.

How long your acrylic nails last is down to how you care for them. Obviously things like housework and washing up without wearing gloves will shorten their life. And it pays to start with quality. Cheaper options may be tempting, but you tend to get what you pay for.

Acrylic nails will give you length and strength and provide an excellent base for nail colour or art. Acrylic hardens when exposed to air. If a UV light is used to harden it, you've been given gel nails, not acrylic.

Finding A Salon

Gel and acrylic nails are similar, although acrylic nail application is usually a little cheaper. Acrylics are also stronger and will last longer.

The best idea is to choose a professional nail salon from Bookwell. Tell your nail technician what you are trying to achieve and they will advise you on the best nail overly for your look.