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Artificial Nails 101, Featuring Our Favorite Youtubers

Fake nails (not news) have become a recurring trend in the beauty industry.

They can be created with plastic tips or press ons, and many methods are used to achieve the look. But the most popular way includes using acrylic powder, a polymerized monomer. Polymerization happens when single molecules link together into chains of molecules, according to Nails Magazine. The powder is used with a liquid activator, which is benzoyl peroxide. When the liquid touches the acrylic powder, it bonds all the little pieces of powder together to create the nail. There are also different shapes: choose from square, “squoval,” stiletto, oval or coffin.

But going to the salon can get expensive, so why not do it yourself? Here are videos to get you started!

Use a Kit

Starting with a kit is helpful since it gives you all the supplies. You get the acrylic powder, nail glue, nail tips and liquid activator. Professional Suzie Moskal from Nail Career Education demonstrates and reviews how to use the KISS French Acrylic Sculpture Kit. Directions come with the kit, but she gives a step-by-step overview.

Shapes Matter

Overwhelmed by the different nail shape choices? Beauty guru Alexandra Beth, also known as AlexandrasGirlyTalks, shows us how to file fake nails into four shapes. The ones she talks about are “squoval,” stiletto, oval and coffin. All you need are plastic tips, which can be half or full length, nail glue, nail scissors and a 100 grit file.

Paint in 1-2-3

Painting your nails can be a struggle, especially when doing it with your non-dominant hand. Nail guru Hannah Lee from YouTube channel Cutepolish shows viewers how to perfectly paint nails in three strokes. In the video, she uses liquid latex to prevent nail polish from getting on her skin and paints her real nails, but this still works for artificial ones.

Fill Me In

After two to three weeks, the acrylic begins to grow out with your real nails. Some people choose to get a fill-in to upkeep their nails. Camila Rojas, also known as The Nails Queen, shows us how to buff away the old acrylic with an electronic nail filer. You can choose to invest in one or use a regular file. After buffing the nails, you repeat the same process as before with the powder and activator.

Bye Felicia

Good things come to an end, right? Wrong. Just remove your current set of acrylic nails and do them again. YouTuber Urbanlush, whose name is Allyson Boubert, teaches us how to properly do this without damaging your real nails. You will need acetone nail polish remover, cotton balls, cuticle pusher, file, foil and nail clippers. Don’t forget to moisturize your hands after, too!

Kelly Zheng

Maryland '19

Kelly Zheng is a senior multiplatform journalism major with a minor in technology entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. She is currently The Terrapin yearbook’s editor in chief. Kelly’s journalism experience consists of managing the social media platforms for The Campus Trainer and Stories Beneath the Shell (SBS). Additionally, she edits and freelance reports for SBS and Her Campus. Kelly lays out The Diamondback’s sports section every week as well. This past summer, she was an editorial intern at Girls’ Life magazine. Kelly enjoys anything beauty, food, and lifestyle related. 
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