11 steps - Make acrylic nails on yourself (Step by step)

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    Can you make acrylic nails yourself? Answer yes!

    I have received many requests for a more detailed blog post about how to make my acrylic nails on myself. Here it finally comes step by step :)

    It takes a pretty good while to do all 10 nails, so tip number one is to make it a cozy moment.

    When I took photos for this post, I was lying in bed with a cup of tea and Pretty Little Liars. Absolutely wonderful! Otherwise, I usually lie in the bath at the same time or listen to the podcast.

    Make acrylic nails on yourself at home

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    Here you see the end result. I have not made any extension but only reinforcement, so my nails below are exactly this length. However, it is possible to glue on tips first and then do exactly all the steps that I will show you now.

    Risks of making your own nails at home - is it dangerous?

    Before I start, I really want to emphasize that there is nothing to play with this! If you get acrylates on the skin, you can get strong reactions. So it is important to be responsible, as well as aware that you are actually taking a risk.

    Nail-savvy people probably kick back if they read this and if you test it yourself, you do it at your own risk quite simply;)

    With that said, here is a detailed step by step + links to the products I use!

    Make acrylic nails at home all you need

    You need this to build your own acrylic nails:

    Note I do not even know if these are exactly acrylic nails, but they are mixed with acrylic powder in any case.

    • Nail polish removal
    • Nail powder, I use EzFlow Extra White but it is available in more colors as well.
    • Nagellim, e.g. Essence fix it (adlink) A small bottle runs out pretty quickly so good to buy several at once if you are going to continue building your nails. However, you can use glue from other brands as well, there is not a huge difference between glue and glue.
    • Spray that hardens the glue, e.g. Depend Gel Activator Spray (adlink)
    • At least 2 brushes, absolutely none that you are afraid of.
    • Two nail files - a polishing file, e.g. this from Depend (adlink) with 4 steps. As well as a powerful that grinds properly, e.g. this from Lyko (adlink) which is for forming gel and acrylic nails.
    • Something small to mix in, I have a small glass bowl. Maybe a shot glass upside down can work well?
    • I use a spoon for the nail powder, but it works with a spatula or whatever!

    I have all the stuff in a drawer, and when I fix my nails I turn the drawer upside down and have it as a table in the bed :)

    Build nails yourself step by step - preparation

    1. Polish the nails with the polishing file. Not too much because you do not want to make the nail thin, but so that you even out the biggest irregularities.

    The smoother the nail, the more durable the result.

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    2. Clean the nail with nail polish remover so that it is completely clean.

    3. Pour nail glue into the bowl. It is a transparent liquid so it is not visible in the picture that I have poured in :)

    Mix in nail powder, I use the handle from a teaspoon to pour in.

    Update! An even easier way I came up with is to dip the brush in the glue, then straight down into the powder jar. You do not necessarily need to mix like this on the page. It is much smarter for the batter in the glass jar to dry otherwise. But if it is just poured glue in the bowl, it is liquid for a very long time and you can work without stress.

    Make acrylic nails on yourself (Step by step)

    5. The consistency should be "reasonably" thin, it must not be too runny because then you do not get on a thick layer on the nail. But it must also not be too thick because then it will be sticky and difficult to get even.

    Build nails yourself step by step - application

    glue nails

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    Spread over the entire nail. Lay a little thicker in the middle of the nail and be careful not to get it on the cuticles or out on the edges. It is easiest to try to get it as even as possible immediately, but if it gets a little uneven somewhere, it does nothing because you can file it off.

    When I was a beginner, I did one nail at a time. But the easiest is to:

    1. Apply thin layer on each nail on all 5 fingers
    2. When you put on the fifth finger, the first finger has already dried a bit. Then apply all 5 nails again.
    3. And so you build up a little at a time all the time.

    The first time I did this, the durability was like that, but the second time I put a thicker layer and then it held much, much better! So it's also a tip, do not put too thin :)

    Make acrylic nails on yourself (Step by step)

    7. Spray the glue activator spray and everything will harden immediately. It then smells quite strong.

    You only need to do this in the last step. Not between applications while building your nail.

    8. Since I have white powder, I like to put an extra layer on top of the nail, so it will be extra white there. A bit like a French manicure with a fade :) Then you spray again!

    Build nails yourself step by step - shape and finish

    nail file for built nails acrylic gel

    The result will not be completely even, not for me in any case. But it does not matter because you file it later! Then I do all these steps on the rest of the nails as well.

    file nails

    9. When I have finished all the nails, I quickly clean the bowl with glue before the glue has time to solidify.

    Then we come to what I think is the coziest - sit back and start filing! So I take the coarse file and file on the top of the nail so that it becomes a smooth surface. As well as molds for the edges.

    file nails at home

    10. Then I take the polishing file and polish the nails so they become smooth and shiny.

    nail glue

    11. I finish with transparent varnish to get that nice high-gloss effect. Nail polish fits much better on built nails so I usually never actually improve it but it stays on until I redo the nails next time.

    I also use it to protect the nails from discoloration, I usually do not smudge so much but it can happen that you happen to get e.g. lash color on the nails when working with a customer :)

    Durability acrylic nails

    The durability depends partly on how much stress there is on the nails, but it is also individual. Annika makes her nails with exactly the same material but on her it lasts much longer! Over a month. Mine lasts for about 3 weeks, even when Annika has done on me so it has nothing to do with the skill.

    They also last longer if I build with tips than if I only have on my natural nails.

    I usually "look good" on them after 2 weeks if I have been active. For example. when I lived in a house and did a lot of stuff with firewood and stuff. If I only work from home, of course they last longer.

    It can drop a little at the edges, but then it is very easy to file a little and apply more glue so it sinks under the material and they look freshly made again.

    Then I usually redo them completely after 3-4 weeks.

    Make acrylic nails on yourself (Step by step)

    It takes some time so there is nothing that anyone has the time or patience for. But for those of us who have patience, it is very calming, I must say!

    Shout out if you have any questions!

    Also read:  Fix long and healthy nails at home

    Hug ♥

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    Helena Amiley
    Helena Amileyhttps://www.imakeyousmile.se
    I write mostly about beauty but also offer glimpses from the entrepreneurial life and the construction of our own camper van. Vanlife here we come!


      • Yes, you can say that :) I guess this is the same type of acrylic powder that you use when making real acrylic nails. But do not know exactly, just bought exactly what my friend uses. 100% hobby level.

    1. Very good post with pictures and description, gets really eager to try 😊 but has a thought

      When you top up after a week or so, what do you do then,
      do you file away all the acrylic and then lay completely new?
      Or do you have to dissolve the nail with something so that it comes loose?

      • It is possible to fill in what has grown out only if the nails have kept their appearance, but I have been working with a lot of wood at home so mine have had some cracks in it, so I have redone them completely instead. Bacteria can get in the cracks and you don't want to build them in :)

        I have done a little different, I often take a long bath on the weekend and then I have removed the acrylic in pieces (hat bit off them haha) but then the nails underneath can be a bit damaged so I do not recommend it. I have also tested with acetone and it dissolves quite well as it has dissolved, felted, dissolved, etc. The nails felt much better from the solid acetone is quite dehydrating as well so you have to lubricate the cuticles properly later. Hug! :)

    2. Nice! Almost eager to try. But how do you top up after a few weeks? Or do you delete everything and add something new? Do even real nails get ugly and damaged under the glue when you remove it and how do you do it? When you apply, do you touch the entire nail and also the "top of the tip"?
      And, what about eyeshadow under the eye, did you use any eyeshadow primer there? Hug 😍

      • I have removed and re-laid, but it is possible to top up if they have stayed nice and without cracks. Mine have not been damaged or ugly than in any case, but they can probably definitely be if you have more sensitive nails. I take gel on the whole nail :)

        I usually also use primer for the eye shadows under the eye. Not always out of the corner of the eye, however, because there they usually hold up well anyway + usually do not want an equally intense, pigment-rich result there :)

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