Fancy acrylic nails

Fancy acrylic nails DEFAULT

Acrylic manicures, dip powder nails, and gel manicures are just a few of the artificial nails designs that women love. Acrylic nails are a form of fake nails that are beloved for their elegance and for how they transform a woman’s hands from boring to brilliant. For women who prefer longer lengths, long acrylic nails allow a woman to have nails that are not only gorgeous and something of envy, but that is also durable.

50 Reasons To Love The New Acrylic Nails

50 Stunning Acrylic Nail Ideas to Express Your Personality

Acrylic nails are different from dip powder nails and nails created with gel. With dip powder, you place your nail in a powder and then seal the powder with a clear protective polish. A gel manicure is created from a gel substance that is cured under a UV light. However, acrylic nails are achieved through the use of mixing a monomer, which is a liquid, with a polymer, which is a powder. The mixture forms a sort of dough. The dough is then shaped on the nail through the use of a special brush. After the dough is transferred to the nail, it air dries into a form of plastic. Nail polish and designs associated with nail polish are then applied if desired.

Acrylic nails are popular not only for the way they look but also for how hard the nail becomes the chemical reaction process. They are strong and resilient nails that allow you take care of your everyday activities without fear of chipping or breakage. However, despite how strong acrylic nails are, they are easier to remove than gel nails.

Also, if you get acrylic nails done at a salon, which is the most popular way to get the manicure, generally they are cheaper than gel nails for either a full set or a refill. Women in the market for acrylic nails should find a salon that specializes in this form of artificial nails and that, therefore, knows how to apply acrylic nails and knows the difference between acrylic nails, gel nails and dip powder nails.

1. Evil Eye Varying Style Nails

Evil Eye Varying Style Nails

Source: nailsbynurse –

The evil eye helps to ward off negative energy. So, what better design to have on the top of your nails? Tiny gemstones make up the evil eye, while blue and white dotting accent the other surrounding nails. The uniqueness of these nails does not stop there, as this look contains two different styles. While most of the nails feature a squared shaped design, one nail is given a stiletto style.

2. Black Rose Crackle Shimmer Nails

Black Rose Crackle Shimmer Nails

Source: erikamarienails –

If you want a dark and moody nail that is still classy, this look is just for you. This nail look features a beautiful red and black crackle, illuminated by two black matte rose nails that each have a gemstone in the center. The finishing touch is a beautiful black glitter nail. This look is sure to be a showstopper and would be perfect to have alongside your evening wear.

3. Black Coffin Shiny Mirror Nails

Black Coffin Shiny Mirror Nails

Source: nails_by_roma –

A futuristic twist on a classy and modern design leads us to these stunning nails. The shape of these nails is a unique coffin shape, which helps to elongate the fingers. An extra added touch of glitter to one of the nails on each hand helps to draw in the eye.

4. Natural Looking White Accented Nails

Natural Looking White Accented Nails

Source: haleyznailz –

If you like the look of french nails, but want to switch up your style, then you may want to try this trendy take on french nails. This is also a great option for someone who is new to trying out different nail designs, as the nail looks pretty natural. The design is completed by a beautiful squared tip.

5. Elegant Long Pierced Gradient Nails

Elegant Long Pierced Gradient Nails

Source: dawn.marie_nails –

These long square nails are sure to make a statement. Although elegant, these orange to red gradient nails also hold a special twist. This is because the end of one of the nails is actually pierced two times so that two little rings have been looped through. Varying amounts of gemstones are also placed on the nails, which allows the nails to have depth.

6) Beige Oval and Glitter Acrylic Nails Mixture

Beige Oval and Glitter Acrylic Nails Mixture


A favorite pattern for 2018 acrylic nail designs is to mix a solid color with a glitter color within a similar shade. For women who prefer a tone that is perfect for every occasion from casual to dressy, beige goes with everything. Adding a pop of glitter transforms the choice from plain to pizzazz and works well with an oval nail shape.

7) Gold French Tip Acrylic Nails

Gold French Tip Acrylic Nails


Nail addicts adore French tips, especially in bold colors such as gold. Coffee colored nails decorated with gold French tips are a perfect combination for a cocktail party or a night out on the town. However, because coffee and gold are colors that go well with everything, this combo also works well for casual wear.

8) Awesome Chocolate and Solo Silver Design

Awesome Chocolate and Solo Silver Design


For 2018, manicure types in acrylic with four nails in a solid color and one nail in a glitter color is all the rage. Dark chocolate is a neutral shade that goes well with glittery silver. Wear this color combination for casual events as well as for fancy occasions.

9) Sophisticated Beige Short Nail Design

Sophisticated Beige Short Nail Design


Short acrylic nails in beige go with everything and work well with all skin shades. But how do you dress the color up without wrecking the clean, classic look? Transforming one nail into a crisscross pattern with rhinestones adds a unique touch to the casual acrylic style without going overboard.

10) Teardrop and Glitter Short Acrylic Nails

Teardrop and Glitter Short Acrylic Nails


Getting creative with nails is one of the things that makes working with acrylics so much fun. Starting with a neutral shade on short nails and then mixing rhinestones with glitter, turns a classic color into a show stopper. A single teardrop rhinestone is added to four nails, with the fifth nail in silver glitter.

11) Unique Onyx with Gold Glitter Nails

Unique Onyx with Gold Glitter Nails


There are so many cool styles for acrylics, and many of these styles include the use of glitter. Starting with an onyx base, gold glitter is added to the bottom of every black nail with one nail featuring glitter from top to bottom. This is a fancy look that is perfect for a night out at the club.

12) Glitter and Mauve Acrylic Nails

Glitter and Mauve Acrylic Nails


Mixing colors and glitter is done right when the color scheme is well planned. Shades of mauve with silver glitter is a good combination. Silver glitter is added to some nails; the lightest mauve blended into a deeper mauve is added to some others, and then the same deeper mauve is added to the rest.

13) Oil Painting Nail Art Designs

Oil Painting Nail Art Designs


One of the most unusual manicure types is to give acrylic manicures an oil painting look. Start with a white base and add splotches of pink, blue and silver as if each nail were an oil painting. This is a casual look that is perfect with leggings or jeans.

14) Pink Bubblegum and Gold Speckles Acrylic Nails

Pink Bubblegum and Gold Speckles Acrylic Nails


Everyone loves pink bubblegum, especially when the color appears in a nail design. Here solid pink is mixed with gold colored speckles. Long nails shaped in a square style are in two matching color schemes – the first is pink and the second is white with gold and pink speckles. The style is fun and youthful.

15) Coffee Cream and Glitter Long Acrylic Nails

Coffee Cream and Glitter Long Acrylic Nails


The best artificial nails show attention to detail and design. Here coffee colored long acrylic nails filed in a square shape are painted in various shades – dark coffee, medium coffee, and coffee with cream, along with bronze colored glitter. Because the color scheme is neutral, it’s good for day or evening.

16) Unique Aqua Blue Swirl Acrylic Nail Art

Unique Aqua Blue Swirl Acrylic Nail Art


A simple but eye-catching style is painting acrylics with a dark aqua blue and white swirly pattern. Short nails are filed into a round shape, and a base of dark aqua blue is applied. Then tiny swirls of white are applied on top. It’s a casual look great for the office or weekends.

17) Deep Ocean Short Nail Design

Deep Ocean Short Nail Design


One of the most original ways to decorate acrylics is in an abstract style that celebrates the wonders of the deep blue sea. Here short dark nails, filed into a square, are painted, beginning at the bottom of each nail and working up, with a modern design that mirrors the colorful beauty that lurks at the bottom of the ocean.

18) Pink Peony Designer Nails Design

Pink Peony Designer Nails Design


A unique nail design is to paint one nail with a portrait of a beautiful flower. Here, two pink Peony blossoms, along with their greens, are illustrated on a nail. Another nail is coated solid shimmery gold. The rest of the nails are champagne pink with a gold rhinestone on top.

19) Creative Ice Frosted Nail Art

Creative Ice Frosted Nail Art


A cool nail style for acrylics is to construct a look that’s frosted and gorgeous. Long nails filed into a square shape are coated with various frosty looks using blue glitter and white polish. Creativity and color coordination tie everything together. This is a perfect winter look with blue jeans and sweaters.

20) Beautiful Chocolate and Glitter Nails

Beautiful Chocolate and Glitter Nails


What’s classy and gorgeous? It’s when dark chocolate and glitter polish grace a woman’s hands. The nails are filed into a square shape. Then a dark chocolate color is painted on most of the acrylic nails. The remainder of the nails feature glitter styles in silver and silver and brown.

21) Classy Ebony Paint and Sprinkles Acrylics

Classy Ebony Paint and Sprinkles Acrylics


A painless way to make a statement with your hands is to keep your acrylic styles in the same color scheme but in two different textures. Long nails are filed into a square shape. Then some long nails are painted black while the other long nails are covered with black sprinkles. That’s it!

22) Sparkles with Gold and Creme Pointed Nails

Sparkles with Gold and Creme Pointed Nails


Some long nail styles are filed into a sharply pointed fashion. It’s a shape that’s not as popular as square or oval, but quite a statement is made when such acrylics are color coordinated and feature sparkles. Here, the nails are covered with gold polish, creme polish and gold sparkled polish.

23) Best Artificial Nails in Emerald Green

Best Artificial Nails in Emerald Green


A classy way to present acrylics is with a strong color such as emerald green. Here the regal form of green covers most of the nails. Two nails, however, feature not only the green but also present beautiful green rhinestones. It’s a simple but graceful way to dress up nails for both fancy and casual affairs.

24) Easy Bronze and Beige Nails

Easy Bronze and Beige Nails


A beautiful way to showcase long nails filed in a square shape is to place one color on half of the nails and another color on the rest of the nails. Here, beige covers one-half of the nails while a shiny bronze covers the rest. The look is perfect for women who want to dress up their nails but without a lot of fuss.

25) Aztec Inspired Nail Art Designs

Aztec Inspired Nail Art Designs


Nail designs are awesome as well as innovative when they include ethnic touches. Here, Aztec culture inspires this nail design. Two nails are depicted in an Aztec print using a light peach for the base with a dark brown for the print. The rest of the nails are painted in solid dark brown.

26) Clean and Simple Long Fake Nails

Clean and Simple Long Fake Nails


Long acrylic nails filed into a square look great with various colors and designs, but they also look wonderful presented in a natural format. Applying acrylic to nails and then sealing with a clear polish in an easy but attractive look that is appropriate for all occasions, casual to fancy.

27) Pink and Glitter Long False Nails

Pink and Glitter Long False Nails


Pink is a popular color to place on one’s nails, and one of the best compliments to the color is pink glitter. Here, long nails, filed into a square, have pink polish on half of the nails and pink glitter on the other half. This is another look that can go from casual to fancy with ease.

28) Beautiful Bronze Short Nail Design

Beautiful Bronze Short Nail Design


Gold and silver are favorite colors, but so is bronze. Here, all the fingernails are dressed in a beautiful shiny bronze. There are no additional paints or ornaments. What is presented is a simple but elegant look that goes with everything, and is especially suited for fancy occasions, such as parties.

29) Cute Coral and Gold Nail Art

Cute Coral and Gold Nail Art


The best designer nails often mix several different looks on one display while making sure the colors match. Coral is painted on some of the nails, but the use of gold and coral make up the rest. One nail is in solid gold. Another nail incorporates a web pattern of gold and coral.

30) Red Acrylic Nails with White and Gold

Red Acrylic Nails with White and Gold


Long pointed nails become even more of a showstopper with a dazzling pattern. As with all the best designs, the colors used go well together. Here, half of the fingernails are painted in red with the other half painted in white with gold stripes. This is a casual look that’s perfect with leggings and jeans.

31) Black Hearts Designer Nail Design

Black Hearts Designer Nail Design


Acrylic nail art frequently consists of an all-time favorite – hearts. In this design, a single black heart, over clear polish, appears on two fingernails. The remainder of the nails is presented in solid black. The fingernails are filed shortly in a square shape. This look is 100 percent perfect for casual needs.

32) Gold and Pink and Glitter Acrylic Nails

Gold and Pink and Glitter Acrylic Nails


Gold is a favorite color for acrylics, and many colors go well with gold. Two of those colors are white and pink. Here, two nails are displayed in shimmery gold. Two more nails are presented with a white base and a gold arrow design. The remaining nails are painted a soft pink.

33) False Nails in a Clear Clean Design

False Nails in a Clear Clean Design


Clear acrylic nails are a look that goes well with everything from casual to work life to dressy. Here, acrylic is applied to nails to make them long and fashionable. The nails are then filed into one of the most popular shapes – square. Clear polish is added for the finishing touch.

34) Diamond and Glitter Acrylic Nails

Diamond and Glitter Acrylic Nails


Most nail addicts who love acrylic manicures would also love their nails coated with glitter and with rhinestones that look like diamonds. In this design, silver glitter covers some of the nails. The rest is painted with a grey base that is adorned with two rhinestones that resemble diamond studs.

35) Acrylic Nails in a Long Square Design

Acrylic Nails in a Long Square Design


With acrylic manicures, nail color can be colorful, or you can wear clear acrylic nails. Here, long nails shaped into a square are covered only with a clear polish. Nail designs of this variety are simple and pretty at the same time. The look will take you from weekends, to work weeks to nights out on the town.

36) Shades of Taupe and Gold Nail Design

Shades of Taupe and Gold Nail Design


Taupe, on its own, runs the risk of looking rather dull. But that’s not the case when you dress it up with gold. Gold and taupe go well together. In this example, one nail is painted in glittery gold. The rest of the nails are painted in shades of taupe with a line of gold near the cuticle area.

37) Pink with Gold French Tip Acrylic Nails

Pink with Gold French Tip Acrylic Nails


A regal look reminiscence of Greek style and fashion is long pink nails featuring gold tips. Here, long nails are filed into a skinny square. A matte pink covers the nails and each nail features a shiny gold tip which pairs but that is in sharp contrast to the matte pink.

38) Short Almond Acrylic Nails with Sparkles

Short Almond Acrylic Nails with Sparkles


Nail color in almond is not only attractive but also versatile for the day through evening. Short nails covered with acrylic are filed in the popular square shape. Then, a single fingernail is covered in sparkly almond. The rest of the nails are painted in plain almond matching the sparkly version.

39) Chocolate and Gold Sparkle Acrylic Variation

Chocolate and Gold Sparkle Acrylic Variation


What makes the world of acrylics so much fun is that there are all sorts of nails for you. Many women are choosing designs that include enticing variations. In this example, one nail is covered in shimmery gold. Another nail is covered in the same gold but features chocolate colored stripes. The remainder of the nails are in solid colored chocolate.

40) Long Nails with Silver Glitter

Long Nails with Silver Glitter


A long nail design can be elaborate, or it can be simple. This example is a simple variation but with a bit of flair. Long nails are filed square. Most of the nails are covered in just clear polish. However, two of the nails are covered in sparkly silver to match the plainer nails.

41) Simple Creamy Medium Length Nail Design

Simple Creamy Medium Length Nail Design


For women who enjoy a simple look but with some color, a soft matte finish on medium length nails is an option to try. Here, a soft cream color is painted on acrylics with no additional colors or embellishment. The shade is more of a matte finish than a shiny finish.

42) Unicorn and Rainbow Awesome Nail Art

Unicorn and Rainbow Awesome Nail Art


A unicorn and rainbow design is great for women as well as teens. Iridescent pink is painted on medium length square shape nails. One nail features a rainbow, and another nail features a unicorn in the same pink color design. This is a cute and casual look that is all about fun.

43) Black and White and Gold Hearts Design

Black and White and Gold Hearts Design


A pretty design that includes plenty of detail is this black and white and gold hearts design. Although each nail matches each other, the patterns are different. One nail is solid shiny black. Another nail is solid shimmery gold. Another nail is black with white hearts, and another pulls it all together with a shimmery gold heart on black and white stripes.

44) Easy Black with Black Hearts Nail Art

Easy Black with Black Hearts Nail Art


Short nails may not be as popular as medium nails and long nails when it comes to acrylics, but the right design can make the shorter versions pop. Two nails left to their natural color, are covered with clear polish and a tiny black heart. The other nails are solid black.

45) Toffee and Glitter Long Nail Design

Toffee and Glitter Long Nail Design


A long nail design that includes glitter is a favorite for 2018. Here, long nails are filed into a square shape. Two of the nails are covered in gold glitter. The rest is covered with either toffee colored polish alone or with the addition of gold glitter.

46) Creative Rhinestones Glitter and Rose Nails

Creative Rhinestones Glitter and Rose Nails


Here's Proof Acrylic Nails Don't Have to Be Long

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Red French Tips

Love the look of a French manicure but crave a pop of color? This red French mani is just what you're looking for. You can use the same five colors on each hand, or (if you're feeling fancy), ask your manicurist to mix it up with different acrylic colors on each digit.

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Neat and Nude

There's nothing like a perfect nude mani. Unfortunately, classic neutral polishes can chip so easily that the coveted natural effect rarely lasts. Nude acrylics, on the other hand, are here to last.

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Cotton Candy Ombré

Can't pick a single color? Opting for a faded acrylic ombré lets you show off two of your favorite shades in a way that will make you glad they'll last for a couple of weeks.

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Bedazzled Ombré

Nude nails are pretty in their own right, but when you add glitter to the mix, even better. When getting your acrylics done, let your manicurist know beforehand that you'd like to have glitter on your end product, as it will change their process.

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Rounded Nudes

If you fancy a nude manicure but can't get behind super squared tips, consider asking your manicurist to round out your acrylics. Not sure what to ask for? Look up almond, squoval, oval, and round nails to help you choose.

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Burgundy Babies

Perfect for fall, we love how these champagne and burgundy shades play together.

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Art Deco

Add a pop of color to your day with these Art Deco-inspired digits. With bold color choices, modern lines, a splatter of black, and an easy-to-rock short length, we're confident they'll be the source of daily compliments.

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Classic Red

If Ruby Woo were an acrylic nail, we think we found it. Perfect for the holidays (or year-round), you can't go wrong with a classic red.

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Glitter Bomb-lettes

Everyone loves an accent nail, especially on longer, bolder acrylics. But when your nails are shorter (and therefore more subtle), you can afford to go all-glitter, all over.

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'90s French

The French manicure you know and love is officially back and better than ever. Protect your white tips from noticeable chips by going acrylic, keeping the look natural (as intended to be) with a shorter style.

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Floral Details

Another way to enhance a classic nude manicure is by adding floral details. While professional acrylics will help the adorable design last for days on end, you can easily DIY with regular polish and a push pin at home.

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Simple White Lines

Single white lines are minimalism at their finest, so if you're looking for a simple nail look, search no further. You can layer the lines over nude nails, as was done here, or go a bit bolder with a lime green or red base.

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Glitter Tips

Negative space is all about showing off your bare nail in contrast to color. While it always looks appealing, it comes off even prettier when paired with eye-catching glitter. One of the best ways to help the glitter stay in place is to get it done in long-lasting acrylic.

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Rosy Nails

Give yourself all the good vibes with a set of these rose quartz-inspired acrylic nails. The pale pink jelly color gives off an ethereal vibe that's sure to make for a stunning photo op.

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Barely There Nude

If the goal is to achieve strong, natural-looking nails that won't chip for weeks on end, this simple nude mani is worth adding to your folder of mani inspo. Snag the barely-there nude polish or copy the look by switching off with jelly holographic glitter.

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Matte Red Mani

Let's get one thing straight: You can never go wrong with red nails. If you're worried that they'll be too bold for your day-to-day, simply subdue them a bit by foregoing a shiny finish in favor of a matte effect.

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Pastel Mismatch

The rainbow nail art trend shows no signs of slowing down, so if you're looking for new ways to test out the bold beauty statement, consider going a bit lighter with your shade selections. These mismatched nails feature pale colors and are also inverted in terms of which nail they're on, on each hand.

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Pink Yin and Yang

Feeling moody? This yin and yang mani will set all the vibes. Best of all? It's so easy to achieve. Just apply two coats of primer, create a squiggle down the center of your nail, use a nail brush (or the polish itself if you're steady-handed) to fill it in, and mark up your dots.

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Matching Toe and Tips

Just like there's a fascination with matching bras and underwear, the same can be said for fingernails and toenails. While acrylic toes are not necessary, getting short acrylic tips to match your toes is a good idea, as it will help them last as long as your pedicure.

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Starfish Charm

Summer calls for bright colors and nautical prints. To get in on the look, ask your manicurist to recreate these precious starfish acrylics.

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Rainbow Bright

Sure, pastels are pretty and white accents are minimalist, but for the days when you want to go all out, look no further than these gorgeous rainbow nails. The hot and cold color selections make for an easy-to-match mani that you'll want to wear time and time again.

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Larimar Dreams

Just because the Larimar stone can only be found in the Dominican Republic doesn't mean that you can't bring its beauty stateside via your nails. With a tie-dye-like mix of blues and a silver outline along the entire nail and tips, you don't need a ton of surface area to show off these beauties.

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Baby Blues

If you can't get on board with Skittles nails⁠—where each nail is painted a different color⁠—try adding one white nail to your mani. In this example, the bright white makes the periwinkle pop.

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Matte Moment

If you're looking for short acrylic nail inspiration, chances are you're into subtlety. Look no further than this matte nude perfection.

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Black Lacquer

These high-shine, almond-shaped acrylics are so glossy you can see your own reflection.

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Natural Ombré

A softer take on the classic French manicure, these trimmed acrylics create a blurred gradient that goes with everything.

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Constellation Cuticles

We love constellation piercings, so it's only natural that we pin these constellation nails. Pro tip: customize this mani with your zodiac sign.

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Neon Nail Art

Neon is having a major moment. If you want to play it up a notch, consider adding glittery nail art on top of the already eye-catching neon color of your choice.

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Moody Black and White

There's just something so simple yet chic about a black and white mani, and this one delivers on both fronts. To amp it up, try adding a nail jewel.

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Green With Envy

We're green with envy for this whimsical-esque mani. Best part? You can do the same style, but with whatever color spectrum you want.

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The wonderful world of acrylic nails is home to so many fun and innovative designs. Although they're frequently associated with extra-long looks, acrylics actually let you can experiment with different lengths and interesting styles, whether you want a short, square French manicure or a set of lengthy, neon-pink, stiletto-shaped nails. The possibilities feel fairly endless (and, at times, overwhelming), but this gallery of 60 images of acrylic nail art ideas can be a guide for your next appointment. 

You'll want to make sure the design is one you love because these types of manicures are long-lasting. Acrylics tend to be harder than gel, nail artist Brittney Boyce previously told Allure. They're created by mixing a powder (polymer) — usually clear, but the powders come in a range of colors — and a liquid (monomer) into a dough-like consistency that can be filed and molded. From there, a talented nail artist can create whatever your imagination conjures. 

And if you're worried about potential damage to your nails: don't be. The key to healthy nails with acrylics is proper removal with the right tools (like lots of acetone) and tons of time and patience. (This how-to guide has all the steps for at-home removal.) The right nail technician will be able to care for your natural nails regardless of whether you use acrylic powders, gel polishes, or gel extensions. So peruse this gallery full of acrylic manicures in square, stiletto, coffin, almond, and even lipstick shapes. We're sure that you'll be able to find exactly what you need for your next nail appointment.


Acrylic Nails: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know

Acrylic nails are the definition of glamour in the beauty world, and pretty much anyone with eyes can see that. But are acrylic nails safe? Do acrylic nails hurt? How much do acrylic nails cost? And what are acrylic nails even made of, anyway? If you’re curious about acrylics and have never tried them before, it’s totally understandable if you have some reservations about the beauty treatment. Find out if acrylic nails are right for you after reading our answers to all your questions about the unique manicure below, and then get inspired by some of the prettiest acrylic nails on the internet today.

What are acrylic nails? 

Acrylic nails are nail enhancements made by combining a liquid acrylic product with a powdered acrylic product, according to Nails magazine. The two products (known as a monomer and a polymer, respectively) together form a soft ball that can be fashioned into a nail shape. Once a nail technician applies this acrylic to a client’s nails, the material hardens and becomes much stronger. And then it can be buffed and filed to the customer’s liking.

But wait: Who invented acrylic nails? You might be surprised to learn that acrylics as we know them today were first developed in 1934 by a dentist named Maxwell Lappe. He created these artificial nails in order to help nail-biters curb their habit. Who would’ve guessed that they’d become such a huge fashion statement in the decades following? Considering the fact that chemists have developed much better techniques to make acrylic nails look more natural, it’s no surprise that this beauty treatment still has such an enormous staying power to this day.

How to Remove Acrylic Nails at Home 

It is highly recommended to go back to the nail technician or salon where you got your acrylic nails done to have them removed. After all, the professionals are the ones that are most experienced in knowing exactly how to soak off acrylic nails and file them down in an efficient manner. However, sometimes going to the salon right away isn’t possible and you absolutely need to know how to remove acrylic nails at home for one reason or another. (Hey, life happens!) If you must learn how to take off acrylic nails at home, you want to be sure you do it safely: Beauty experts at say your best move is to soak your nails into acetone until they’re totally soft and then file the acrylics off one by one. As you can imagine, these instructions about how to get acrylic nails off can take quite a bit of time to complete in real life. But it’s a much better method of removing acrylic nails than trying to pull them off manually. Overall, trying to learn how to remove acrylic nails without acetone or a file is a pretty bad idea. If you try to do that — especially while your acrylics are still hard — you can say hello to some seriously brittle and weak natural nails in the future. No one wants that!

How are acrylic nails applied?

After you choose your preferred nail shape, length, and color, your technician should begin your acrylics appointment by cleaning, soaking, and filing your natural nails. If you requested length to be added to your nails, they’ll add artificial tips after that. (If you requested very short acrylic nails, they will skip this step.) Next, nail techs will apply an adhesive before attaching the acrylic nails to all your nail beds. Then, they sand down and shape the acrylics. Finally, they add any additional polish, accessories, or nail art that you asked for at the beginning of the appointment.

If you’re wondering how to apply acrylic nails at home, this can vary depending on what type you’re using. Luckily most kits, such as Kiss Products Salon Acrylic French Nail Kit ($6.49, Amazon), include instructions about how to do acrylic nails safely and effectively on your own.

Gel Nails vs. Acrylic Nails: Should I get acrylic nails?

If you’re considering getting acrylic nails, you’ve probably heard some folks suggest that you try gel nails instead. Considering that gel nails are often grouped in the same type of beauty treatment as acrylic nails, it’s easy to confuse the two, or even mistake them as terms that could be used interchangeably. In reality, they’re quite a bit different — and they both have pros and cons.

While acrylics are nail enhancements made by combining a liquid acrylic product with a powdered acrylic product, gel nails are part of a more homogenous gel product that needs to be “cured” or “sealed” onto the nail with the use of a UV light between each layer. According to Nails, a helpful way to understand the difference between gel and acrylic nails is to think of gel as premixed acrylic.

While acrylic nails are more strong and durable than gel nails, gel can actually be used to strengthen the natural nail and helps protect it as it grows. That said, acrylic nails are a bit easier for you to maintain at home, because you can both fix them soak them off without the help of a nail technician, unlike most gel nails. However, gel nails may be a more practical choice for people who use their hands quite a bit; they are far more flexible than acrylics. Gel is generally pretty odorless, and the same cannot be said for acrylics. 

Wondering, “Should I get acrylic nails or gels?” When it comes to the debate about gel nails vs acrylic nails, there’s not really a way to say which one is the actual “winner.” At the end of the day, it’s totally up to you whether you want to opt for acrylic nails or gel nails — it’s all personal preference about which method works best for you and your lifestyle. Goodness knows that both beauty treatments boast a wide variety of fans, and either group would be more than happy to have you join them for the fun.

How much do acrylic nails cost?

The price of acrylic nails varies widely between nail technicians. According to Cost Helper Health, the typical cost for a mid-range acrylic manicure at a spa or salon ranges from $35 to $45 for a standard set. For colors like pink or white, that price can increase to $50 or $60. But how much are acrylic nails that feature an elaborate design? Don’t be shocked when you see that especially creative acrylic nails can cost up to $100 or even $120. For example, if you’re getting fancy coffin acrylic nails or holiday-themed acrylic nails, you can expect to pay a premium price. Remember: It might be tempting to pay a low price for acrylics, especially since there are “deals” of prices as low as $10 floating around out there. But when it comes to your nails — and everywhere else on your body — your health comes first. And there’s a much higher risk of your nails suffering in the long run from a low-quality acrylic set. Not worth it!

How long do acrylic nails last?

The lifespan of acrylic nails varies widely from person to person. For example, if someone uses his or her hands for work quite a bit — especially for manual labor — that person might learn pretty quickly that acrylic nails won’t last too long compared to someone who uses their hands for little more than typing. But how long do acrylic nails last in a general sense? Experts say you need to return to the salon every two to three weeks to fill in the gaps that appear as your natural nails grow. So that’s a good rule of thumb (and all the rest of your fingers!) to follow for how long you can expect your acrylic nails to look fabulous. But how often should acrylic nails be replaced? If you love wearing acrylic nails often, it might be worth considering removing them every two to three months to let them “breathe” in between sets.

Are acrylic nails safe? 

In a piece for Mayo Clinic, dermatologist Lawrence E. Gibson, MD, says that artificial nails are unlikely to harm natural nails — as long as they’re healthy. That said, it is possible to encounter some problems if you’re not careful while maintaining them. If your artificial nail is damaged or if you let your nails grow too long, a gap can develop between your acrylic and your actual nail. The warm and moist environment there is basically a breeding ground for an icky infection. An infection might also happen if you request very long or rigid acrylics. Of course, if your technician uses unsanitary tools, this will put you more at risk for an adverse reactions (as is the case with just about every beauty treatment out there).

Luckily, there are ways for fans of acrylic nails to keep themselves as safe as possible. Other than making sure that your nail technician properly sterilizes all tools used during the treatment, it’s also a good idea to select salons that display a current license and technicians who are licensed by the state board. For optimum safety, request a new nail file or bring your own (nail files cannot be sterilized like other nail tools). If you spot signs of a nail infection — such as redness, swelling, and pus — talk to a trusted medical professional about the best treatment for you.

Why do acrylic nails hurt the first day?

According to licensed nail technicians, there are a few possible reasons why your acrylic nails might be hurting right after you get them done. For instance, the nail technician might have applied a tip that was too small for your nails. Maybe they accidentally pinched the nail during the application. Or perhaps your nail might have been over-filed. Although this can happen every now and then, it’s not a good sign if your acrylic nails hurt every single time you get them done. If you’re still wondering, “Why do acrylic nails hurt?” a day after your appointment, it might be time to find a different technician for the job.

Are acrylic nails vegan?

If you’re a strict vegan, acrylic nails might not be the best choice for you. According to The Beauty Academy, the brushes often used for acrylic nails are typically made from “kolinsky,” which is sometimes called sable hair. This kolinsky is real hair gathered from an animal — a type of weasel found in particularly cold places in Russia and China, to be specific. This natural hair from the weasel is the preferred brush option for many technicians because it has a certain thickness to it that helps it hold the acrylic liquid effectively. It’s also quite strong and flexible.

That said, it’s worth noting that some technicians are starting to use synthetic bristles in their brushes for acrylics. As with technology in general, this “vegan” method is improving. But many nail technicians still prefer the brushes made with natural hair instead. If you’re not sure which type of brush — or which type of nail products in general — that your technician uses, always ask first. You might be surprised!

Do acrylic nails damage your nails?

According to Thomas Knackstedt, MD, of Cleveland Clinic, most folks can use acrylic nails without it affecting the overall health of the natural nails. However, it is possible that some people can develop a contact allergy to dyes or glues used during the appointment. But if you don’t get a reaction after the treatment, do acrylic nails damage your nails after you get them removed? As is the case with many beauty treatments, the part of the process that can actually be the most irritating is the removal of acrylic nails. If you take good care of your nails and keep them in generally good health, the irritation should be fairly minimal. That said, a few people might notice that their nails are particularly sensitive afterward and visibly brittle or discolored. If you’re part of that population, you may want to consider alternate options for your next manicure. But if not, feel free to get those bad boys glued on — especially if you have a special occasion coming up where it’s time to impress.

Scroll below to see some of the most stunning types of acrylic nails out there, then click on a circular button below your favorite image to share it instantly with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!

  1. Beautiful Acrylic Nails

    All types of acrylic nails are lovely, but there's something special about an ombré shade like this one. Shared by Instagram user @solangebeenails, this acrylic manicure shows that it's possible to successfully combine two very different nail colors that shade into each other. The beautiful final result speaks volumes.

  2. Glamorous Acrylic Nails

    When it comes to decorating acrylic nails, the sky is the limit. This elegant acrylic manicure, posted by Instagram user @vip.naillounge, is all the proof you need. We simply can't get over those complementary designs — it's like a party on her fingertips! 

  3. Cheerful Acrylic Nails

    Some acrylic nails are so bright and happy that they could lift the mood on any rainy day. This fabulous acrylic manicure, posted by Instagram user @nailconailbar, is a wonderful example of just that. It's such a joyful shade, and the pretty nail art only makes it even more eye-popping to behold.

  4. Dainty Acrylic Nails

    If you're more of a sweet and feminine type of gal, check out these adorable acrylic nails by @vanitynails. The subtle gold sparkles and nail gems blend perfectly with the baby blue hue. But what we love the most are the pretty butterflies that add such a sweet touch. They give them a rather darling look, don't you think?

  5. Artistic Acrylic Nails

    Do you love going to the gallery to feast your eyes on some gorgeous art? Then you'll love these abstract-themed acrylic nails by @nailsbynatalielp. This striking design combines a neutral-toned nail with fierce aqua blue, orange, red, and black line accents. We just love the addition of a little sparkle with nail jewels, too. This was a design we couldn't look away from.


Nails fancy acrylic

Acrylic nails, which mix a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to form a paste that is bonded to the natural nail, have had a renaissance as of late. So have acrylic's sister the gel extension (which use a different technique but the results are similar). They're both a great option if you're looking to experiment with elongated and fun nail lengths and shapes.

So whether you're looking to try acrylic nails for the first time or stumped on what cool design you should try next, we've got you covered. Ahead, the 15 acrylic nail designs we're loving from mani experts on Instagram. Bookmark one of the below for your next salon visit.

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Audrey NobleBeauty ContributorAudrey Noble is a freelance writer and reporter.

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#103✨Amazingly Beautiful Acrylic Nails Art Designs Compilation 💅


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