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Acylic Nails

Beauty Tips


Acylic Nails

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Written by: Kathryn Danzey
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Acrylic was the first system used for artificial nails and is still the most widely used system in the world. It is the most cost-effective system to use and once mastered it is the quickest to apply. For a beginner, due to the fast setting nature of the product, it is probably the most difficult to learn.

Acrylic products consist of a powder (called a polymer) and liquid (called a monomer) which when mixed and applied with a brush, form a solid structure. The chemical process is called polymerisation, and once the powder and liquid are mixed together the process is triggered by heat (from the client and the room) and oxygen in the air. If the products are mixed in the correct quantities (called the ratio) they form a strong and flexible overlay, which can be easily removed.

The application of acrylic is normally made in zones over a prepared tip. The zones help to build a very strong overlay, which looks natural. Zone 1 is the free edge of the nail and should taper to a very thin layer at the edge. As you move towards Zone 2 this becomes thicker. Zone 2 is the area where the tip and the natural nail meet and is often referred to as the stress area as it is the weakest area, so the overlay need to be thickest here. Zone 3 is the cuticle area. Again this area tapers from Zone 2 to a thin layer, leaving a small margin around the cuticle.

Sculpting with acrylic was the original method of application. The acrylic is applied to a nail form (not a tip) to build a nail shape. It is an art, which takes plenty of practise and specialised training and can produce excellent natural results. It can also be a useful technique when nail tips do not fit e.g. on large thumb nails.

There are many types and sizes of sable brush used for acrylic application. Most technicians prefer a round brush as the belly of the brush holds enough liquid to make a perfect bead. Your chosen brush should not be used for any other systems, even other acrylics. It is preferable to clean your brush in monomer. Ensure that you dry your brush thoroughly on a flat surface to allow chemicals to disperse.

A well-ventilated room, or a ventilation system is essential when using acrylic products, as the odour can be strong. It is advisable to take sensible precautions such as wearing a dust mask when working with acrylic, as when filed into shape, acrylic can create tiny dust particles. These dust particles can float around in the air and may cause respiratory irritation if inhaled. Acrylic products can also be irritating to the skin so it is advisable to avoid contact and wear disposable gloves.

Newer products on the market, like the Fusion and Fusion Plus systems are more advanced acrylics with a lower odour. They are suitable for experienced nail technicians as they are fast setting. The self-levelling properties help to minimise filing. They offer superb bonding to the natural nail and extreme strength and flexibility, making it an ideal system for clients prone to lifting. Excellent clarity and superior colour definition produce superior results and the product is lighter on the nail making it more comfortable for the wearer.

About the Author

Kathryn Danzey
I have a passion to bring to you what really works in the beauty industry, from a moisturiser to the latest advanced treatment for anti ageing. After almost 4 decades in the industry I'm packed with info to share but never tire of looking for new things and would love you to share your experiences with us too. We're here to help you find that treatment or product that will make a change for you. Can't do without My Collagen Shots and H3O Night Repair. Love a great serum and UV protection

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