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Nail care FAQ - applying artificial nails

Tips on how best to apply and remove artificial nails

Author: Mickhael Cannon April 22 2007

hand with red nails

Many women stop and seriously consider purchasing the artificial nail tips they see for sale at the beauty supply and drug stores. They really desire to try these artificial nails, are fearful that they'd make a mess of their nails.

10 easy steps to artificial nail tip application

1. Clean nails. Remove all traces of polish from your natural nails. Also be sure to remove all traces of the polish remover, with soap and water, or the artificial tips will not adhere properly.

2. Size up the full nail tips to your own. With rounded end at cuticle, try several full nail tips. Choose those that best match your own nails. Not sizing the artificial nail tips to exactly match your own will call attention to the unprofessional unevenness in the end result.

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3. Clean cuticles. Gently push cuticles back with cotton-tipped orange stick. Wash hands to remove any traces of cuticle remover, which could adversely effect the application of the artificial tips.

4. Cut nails. Clip and file your nails to the end of each finger. This means that when you lay a file across the tip of your finger your nail is even with the tip of the finger and no longer.

5. Apply a coat of ridgefiller to help protect the nail. We recommend O.P.I. Ridgefiller.

6. Apply the artificial nail tips. If right handed, to right hand first. Check fit before applying. Shape and file cuticle end of the full nail tip if necessary. Begin with little finger. Apply a nail glue to natural nail. Place the artificial nail tip up to, but not over or under cuticle. Press the artificial nail tip straight down. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Then press and rub the nail toward cuticle. Remove any glue seepage immediately with a quick swipe of a paper towel. Repeat for each finger.

7. Shape the thumbnail. File and shape rounded end of thumbnail to match your own. Apply as in step #6.

8. Test bonding. To test bond between you natural nail bed and the artificial nail tip, gently twist nail tip. Reglue if it comes loose - quickly removing any excess nail glue that seeps, with a paper towel, as you work.

9. Shape the full nail tip. Cut the artificial nail tips in a "V" to desired length, then clip off sharp point of the "V" with a sharp nail clipper. Then File and shape the artificial nail tips to desired shape.

(Follow steps #1 through #9 on the nails of the opposite hand)

10. Strengthen and polish. Apply a "base coat" (nail strengthener) over both the natural nail bed and the artificial nail tip (allow to dry), then colored lacquer (polish) of your choice (allow to dry) and over that apply a "top coat" (nail polish protectant and shine product). We recommend the Profile Manicure Dryer to quickly dry any base/top coat or nail polish.

Steps for easily removing artificial nails

Remove nails, clean with an artificial nail glue remover tool and reapply weekly.

1. To remove, gently place a nail between the full nail tip and natural nail at the cuticle end.

2. Quickly snap forward under nail tip to break bond. Do not force.

3. Soak in warm, soapy water if necessary. A minimum of four days is recommended before removal.

Important safety rules

- DO NOT use acetone polish remover or Keri lotion!

- DO NOT expose to flame!

- DO NOT apply to toenails!

- DO NOT apply over acrylic nails!


Now that you see how easy it is to apply your own artificial nail tips, give 'em a go - Start out the new week in elegance with your own set of professional-looking nails!

About the Author

Mickhael has been a licensed Cosmetologist for over 20 years, including ownership of quality salons across the U.S. for over 15 years. He has worked as a platform artist and educator for several haircare companies, and was awarded the prestigious Paul Mitchell Medal of Honor. Mickhael used these experiences in formulating & producing the Oasis Haircare line, as well as, the Fat Lip Makeup Company, which he promotes in his beauty products supply stores & online.

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Posted on 03/01/10 08:58 by: paulina

On number 10 you said apply base coat and nail polish of your choice and top coat. I have a question, don't you have to also use powder (the pink one)?
Posted on 20/01/11 05:47 by: angelapink

Thank you for your helpful tips.

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