Wondering which artificial nails are right for you, if any? Here is a brief summary of what is available:
Press-on Nails: Although these artificial nails are easy to put on and inexpensive, it is always obvious that they are fake, simply because their form rises too high over the real nail.
These nails also have a tendency to pop off at the worst moments. So unless you don’t care about your nails looking obviously fake and don’t get embarrassed easily, skip the press-ons.
Gels: Gel nails are the wave of the future. Most of Europe is now using gel nails because of their natural look. The whole idea behind this type of product is to let you grow your own nails out while you are wearing the gel nails. The gel forms a layer of protection for your own nails. This will keep your nails from cracking, splitting, peeling or chipping. Although this procedure is a little pricier than the other types, the fact that it’s odorless, natural feeling and natural looking makes it worth it.
Acrylic: Acrylic nails are a polymerized polymer coating that can be applied over your own natural nails or over artificial nail tips. Acrylic nails last the longest because they are the strongest. When applied by a trained professional manicurist your own nails will continue to grow. You should see your manicurist every two weeks to maintain your nails and be sure to go as soon as possible if any of your nails should lift. (See: What can go wrong? below)
Nail Tips: These are acetate nail extensions that are trimmed to fit your nail and glued on. Acrylic powder and glue or silk wraps are used to build up a natural looking nail surface. It can take more than an hour for an experienced manicurist to do all 10 nails. The nails generally cost $5 to $10 or more for each. They are generally worn for several weeks and require weekly manicures to keep them up.
While this process may seem like a blessing, in the sense that it can look natural, dermatologists have some serious warnings for you. With tips that use acrylic powder and glue to build up the natural surface, there can be some serious allergic reactions. The nail can become thickened, cracked, discolored, and misshapen. In some cases it can become permanently disfigured. With tips that use both acrylic powder and glue or silk wraps, fungi can contaminate the space between the natural nail and the artificial one. If the tips are not removed in time (generally within 24 hours after discovery), the organisms will multiply and can discolor and permanently distort the nails.
What other artificial nail services are available?
Nail Wrapping: Wrapping is done by gluing fabric over your own nails and nail tips. Types of fabrics used to accomplish this are linen. silk and fiberglass. Linen, which is thick and holds more glue, is the strongest fabric but is used the least because it doesn’t look natural. Silk is the most natural looking but not the strongest. Fiberglass has the strength of linen but is more natural looking. Your manicurist can decide which of these artificial nails are best for you by asking about your lifestyle. This technique is ideal for those whose natural nails need additional support. It is good for those whose nails are weak and prone to splitting and peeling. A strip of paper, silk, or linen is glued to the nails surface. The nail is then manicured. It is the safest procedure of all those mentioned above and is also the most costly, costing anywhere from $6 to $10 per nail or more. It also takes several hours to completely wrap the nails on one hand. The results generally last for about 2 weeks, growing out with the natural nails. After this time, the polish and wrapping should be thoroughly removed, as the process may be repeated if desire. The only problem seems to be when the wrapping covers the entire nail, creating a closed environment that can trap bacteria and fungus organisms, leading to infections.
Patching: Patching is the same concept as nail wrapping, using the same materials, except instead of wrapping the whole nail, the material is used to cover only splits or breaks in the nail. The patch should be large enough to fold over the tip to even off the repair. When dry the nail can be manicured.
What can go wrong with Artificial Nails?
Choosing a quality salon is your first step to making sure nothing goes wrong. A trained professional should be using clean, sanitary, disinfected instruments and all disposable items need to be trashed after every client. Check the salon for any odor problems and the stations for cleanliness. If you live in a state where nail technicians need to be licensed (and most do) be sure the license is displayed.
Gaps and lifting of the nail are the #1 reason that infections can start. When water remains between the fake nail and your nail, mildew can grow. According to MayoClinic.com bacteria and fungus loved the moist, warm environment in the gap. If left untreated this infection can worsen. This is the reason that regular trips to the salon are necessary. Remember, should an infection occur, your nail tech is not a doctor. Seek medical advice if needed. Sculptured artificial nails have been known to cause eczema (an itchy, scaly skin disease on the face and eyelids. The real nails also can become thin, discolored, and separated from the bed. These nails can literally destroy your real ones.
What can go right with Artificial Nails?
Of course, there’s the obvious answer: beautiful nails! Well kept nails are a sign of someone who cares about their appearance. Applying artificial nails has also helped many nail bitters to finally quit destroying their nails. They don’t want to damage what they spent so much time and money on. Other benefits could include the self-esteem boost that having fabulous nails can give anyone.
What are the new nail trends?
Nail jewelry is becoming quite popular. This is done by piercing the artificial nail and applying a dangle or stud. You can get all kinds of jewelry, including diamonds and 14k gold pieces.
For a beautiful classy look ask for a “Pink and White” which will give you a natural-looking “French” manicure look whether on your own nails or your new artificial nails.
Looking for an all natural nail polish? “Water-based, non-flammable, and odorless” is the claim of Acquarella Water Color nail polish. This easy and safe to use polish is available at Ulew.com. or Acquarellapolish.com websites. Their polish comes in many fabulous colors like Hot Chocolate, Vamp and Pink A Boo and is $18.00 per bottle. They also offer other natural nail products like conditioners and polish remover.
We'll be sure to keep you up-to-date on all the latest artificial nail trends.