Monday, 13 May 2013

Katy's top five tips for: Acrylic nails

Beginning my week of "top fives", I present to you my top five tips for choosing, dealing with, and keeping your acrylic nails looking great and lasting longer.

Tip #1: Invest a little money into good files and buffers specifically designed for acrylic nails.
Most beauty supply stores will have coarse and fine grit files, and buffers that will make your nails super-smooth. Ask the sales staff to help if you're not sure, but you definitely need a coarse grit file, a fine grit file, a buffer, and a spare file with a coarse side and a fine side to use in tip #2. All up, these should cost no more than $10.

Tip #2: BYO file! No matter what kind of salon you go to, they will almost definitely be using files on different clients. It's just the way that it's done. If you're going to a mall-type salon (you guys know what I'm talking about), the number of clients that the file has been used on will be much higher. Now think about how many times you've received a file burn or a cut from a file in a salon like that. Everyone's got an experience like that in their storybook. Here's the scary part. There is no way to sterilize a card file, so the risk of getting an infection is massive. Don't become one of those horror stories on the news, suing the nail salon. Take a little personal responsibility for the fact that you only want to pay $20 for your manicure, and spring the extra couple of bucks to bring your own file. Insist that they use it, and ask for it to be returned to you when you're done. I generally don't get any complaints or even a funny look when I ask my nail tech to use my file.

Tip #3: Always use non-acetone nail polish remover. This reduces the amount of chemical damage that you do to your acrylic, and therefore prolonging the life of your acrylic nails. This one's a no-brainer. The non-acetone removers are the same price as ones with acetone in them, and they are more gentle on real nails too.

Tip #4: Learn how to shape and shorten your nails yourself. You'll avoid breakage if you're able to file your own nails to the length and shape that you like, instead of adding 2-3 weeks of growth to the length before you go back to the salon to have them refilled and shortened. I generally find that my nails will grow out around 1cm between each refill, and so I need to keep them at a reasonable length to ensure they don't break off and cause me to prematurely hit the salon.

Tip #5: Battle the fill line! As your nails grow, the acrylic "grows" up the nail, away from the cuticle. This can result in an ugly "bump" in your nails. Using your fine grit file, you can gently file down the fill line to give your nails a more even and natural-looking shape. Once they are painted, nobody will even know you need a refill!

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