Whether you don’t have time for a salon or are just looking for ways to cut back on your grooming bills, learning how to do acrylic nails yourself at home is a skill worth pursuing. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to learn. Plus, you might even find that applying acrylic from cuticle to tip is one of the most soothing ASMR experiences ever.
Remember that acrylic nails—whether done in a salon or at home—have their pros and cons. On the one hand, they are durable and offer a unique opportunity to achieve excellent nail length when your natural nails are having trouble growing back. On the other hand, they can damage your nails if you don’t find the right formula, remove them incorrectly, or let your nails come off acrylic every now and then.
Since doing acrylic nails is definitely a process, we’ll walk you through the process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own acrylic nails at home. Most importantly, take your time. Taking the time to use this technique will make all the difference between an unsightly nail accident and a salon-quality manicure. Find ahead for step-by-step instructions on how to make acrylic nails at home.
Purchase the acrylic nail kit (or purchase the accessories separately)
If you’ve never done your own acrylic nails before, it’s best to start with an all-inclusive kit (like the Mia Secret Professional Acrylic Nail Kit, $118), because it includes everything you need to get the job done—including detailed instructions. The most important thing to keep in mind when buying an acrylic kit is that you don’t need MMA (methyl methacrylate) tips as it is hard, inflexible and can cause unwanted reactions which are bad for your nail beds Potentially bad news. 1 Search for EMA (ethyl methacrylate), considered a safer alternative.
However, once you become more comfortable with the process, you may find that buying a separate accessory is more suitable for you, as it will be easier to find acrylic tips that match your natural nail shape perfectly. Plus, if you buy the full size (rather than the mini that usually comes with it), in two weeks you’ll be completely ready to touch up your acrylic without having to go to the store to do it.
Before you begin, you must master nail art prep!
Use your cuticle pusher to gently push back the cuticle, being careful not to leave any cuticle on the nail bed as the acrylic won’t stick to it.
Use a polishing block to remove any shine from your nails by stroking it side to side across the entire nail bed.
Remove dust with a nail brush or wipe with acetone
App tips. Find the right size for your nails. If the tip doesn’t fit your nails, please file it to the right size. Cans that are too small usually look better than cans that are too large. Apply a small amount of glue to the tip from side to side and apply to your natural nail so that the bottom edge of the acrylic tip is centered in the middle of the nail surface. Hold for five seconds to allow the glue to dry.  Do this for all 10 nails, then trim the nails to the desired length.
Prepare the acrylic material. Pour liquid acrylic into an acrylic bowl and some powder into another bowl. Acrylic is a strong chemical that produces toxic fumes, so make sure you are working in a well-ventilated area
Load acrylic brushes with acrylic. Dip the brush into the acrylic bowl. Push it all the way down, making sure all air bubbles disappear. Then brush it over the sides of the bowl to remove excess liquid. Pass the brush through the acrylic powder so that a small wet ball gathers at the end of the brush.
Apply the acrylic mixture to the nails. Start with the “smile line” – the bottom edge of the acrylic tip. Smooth the acrylic ball over the wire and brush to the tip. Apply quickly and evenly for a smooth transition between natural nails and acrylic tips. Take the second acrylic ball and place it close to your cuticle, but not too close.  Try using small circular motions to bring the acrylic closer to the cuticle without touching it, then brush the acrylic down to achieve a smooth transition. Repeat the process with all ten nails.
Let the acrylic dry. It only takes about ten minutes for the acrylic to fully cure. Test it by tapping the handle of the acrylic brush on the surface of the nail. When it clicks, it’s ready for the next step.
Finish the process with the final shape
Once the acrylic has been applied and dried, it’s time to touch up the edges. Since you’ve already cut the shape you like, simply file along the edges and tips for the perfect DIY acrylic nail look. Remember, under no circumstances should acrylic nails be pulled off. Instead, use e-file to remove gloss topcoats and topcoats. Next, wrap a cotton swab soaked in acetone on and around each nail and wrap in foil. Let them soak for 10 to 15 minutes, remove the foil and cotton, then use a cuticle pusher to gently remove loose acrylic.