DIY Acrylic Nails

In an effort to be more budget conscious, I gave up my long standing (12 years to be exact) relationship with the nail shop. I would visit the shop religiously to make sure I got my ‘nails did’. But, when I graduated from college and started paying bills, saving, building a business, investing, etc. I realized that my little habit added up quickly.

I did a little math…

  • Over 12 years I spent about $75 a month on nails, refills and pedi’s
  • Which  added up to *drum roll* about $10,800. Yea, I was shocked too. It really hurt my feelings.

Over those 12 years, if I would have done my nails myself which is usually less than 1/3 of the cost of going to the nail shop I would have only spent $3,500 or less.

And if I would have invested the remaining $7,300 while contributing my 2/3 ($50) of my former nail budget a month,  I would have about  $94,000 by the time I turn 60!

All from doing my nails myself!

There are a lot of things that I will spend money on that are totally worth it but nails done by a professional  isn’t one of them. So needless to say, I gave it up and opted for cheaper options a la Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects or just plain ol’ nail polish. But in the end, I still missed my acrylic.  I was looking through some old photos the other day and my nails were always bangin’ ( if I do say so myself). So I got to thinking about doing them myself. I mean how hard could it be? Last time I tried to apply an acrylic overlay it just turned out to be a lumpy mess. So this time I opted for the kit with the fake nails. I ended up getting the Kiss French Acrylic Sculpture Set. It came with a full set of both opaque and white tips, nail glue, acrylic liquid and powder, a brush and a file. Not too shabby for $8.

Since I previously spent 12 years watching my nails get done, I didn’t even need to read the instructions. But I did check you tube first to see if there were any special tricks I needed to employ to ensure a flawless manicure. Here is a video a used.

Except, I used the opaque nails instead of the white tips. Here are a few pics of my process.

The kit…

Here are the opaque nails.

Below are a few application  instructions:

  1. Make sure your real nails are clean, polish free, filed and the cuticles pushed back before starting
  2. Choose the nails you would like to apply, opaque or white tips
  3. Try the nail on before applying glue to the back to ensure it fits
  4. Once you selected the correct size nail, apply a small dab of glue to the back of the nail and press it firmly on your real nail until it sticks

Repeat steps 3, 4, 5 for each finger until done

This is what it should look like once you’ve put all of the nails on. Yea, I know my nails look crazy, but next you cut them down. I used a large toenail clipper and clipped each nail from the left and the right and broke off the remainder until it was the desired length. You don’t want to cut the entire nail straight across…

  • Then, I shaped each nail a bit before applying the acrylic powder
  • Next, I took the acrylic liquid and put it in a small container and opened the powder
  • I dipped my brush in the liquid and placed it in the powder until it formed a small ball
  • I then carefully applied that ball to my nails evenly( for more detail see the you tube video)
  • After the acrylic is applied to each nail and dried, I shaped each one

I accidentally made them a little too short…oops

Next, I buffed and painted them

I love this color!

The only reason I don’t have a finished picture of my painted nails is because they looked pretty bad. I am a horrible nail painter. But the acrylic part actually turned out really nice!  But literally 2 days later, at the gym, 3 of my nails popped off!

Sad hand #1

Sad hand #2

You can see my crappy paint job up close now…

So all and all, my DIY acrylic nails were a bust! But, I’m determined to find the solution. I was doing a little Google research and I found out that Kiss makes a DIY gel nails set! So I think I’m going to try that next as an overlay. I’ll report back soon!

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  1. […] is my second attempt at doing my own acrylic. Since last time I had such a hard time painting, I opted for some colored acrylic powder this time. Here is what I […]



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