Using False Nails

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Having a great set of perfectly manicured and long nails is a great way to improve your overall look. While painting them yourself is a good way to add some colour, you won’t be able to achieve the same look you’d get in a salon yourself or add pictures and filing to quite the same degree. However spending money on a professional manicure every time you need to improve you nails would be an expensive and extravagant use of your money.

Furthermore you may well struggle to grow your nails to a significant length – particularly if you bite them or partake in sports or other physical activities. This is where false nails come in handy, allowing you to create the illusion of having long, manicured nails immediately at a fraction of the cost that it would be to have them done professionally and for real. This also means you can change your styles as quickly and often as you like and even re-use them in some cases. However, that’s not to say that applying your own false nails is easy, and indeed it’s something that requires practice. Additionally knowing some of the tips and common pitfalls can help you to do a better job more quickly.

When you buy false nails you will also need to buy a false nail kit. These should come with everything you need to attach the nails including glue and an emery board. Alternatively you can acquire these separately, or in some cases they will come with the nails themselves. Ensure that you have all the correct pieces before you begin. False nails come in a lot of different styles, and while most brands will follow a natural nail, painted nail or French Manicure look, others will be more colourful or decorated with patterns or even piercings.

Before you begin you should remove any nail varnish you already have on. This will look tacky if it shows through but will also prevent your false nails from attaching as well as they could. Additionally make sure your nails are thoroughly clean so that you don’t trap dirt under the false nails. Using the emery board, now file your nail to ensure it is a smooth, straight line which will work best for attaching the nails.

Also before attaching the nails you should measure them against your own. False nails should preferably be the same size as your nails to begin with so that they fit like a glove. If they poke over the edge then they will be likely to break, if they don’t reach the edge then they will quickly look ‘stuck on’ instead of seamless. Make sure then that you cut your nails or the fake nails as appropriate to match. Once you’ve done this you should arrange them into the order that they will be going on your fingers. This helps to make the process less complicated and prevents you getting them mixed up.

When applying your false nails, spread the glue onto the bottom of the false nail (rather than your own nail) but don’t use too much and avoid going to close to the edges, both of which could cause the glue to escape out from the sides when you place it down. Next press the fake nail down onto the nail you want it attached to – getting it as close to the cuticle as possible but without going over the cuticle which will look bad and prevent it sticking and possible dig into your nail bed. Hold the nail in place for about ten seconds to ensure it attaches firmly and then be careful with it for a while afterwards. Do the same thing with each of your nails. Most people tend to attach their nails using their dominant hand first, but this is really a matter of preference. Once you’ve completed the hand get out your board and use this to file down the false nails to smooth the rough edges and to get them to match each other and your own nails better. Then simply repeat this process on the other hand (being sure to be careful not to damage the nails you’ve already placed in the process).

False nails can usually last around five days before they start to deteriorate and look bad. However if you see a black spot forming under the nail you should remove them immediately. This is important as the spot is probably a fungus that can grow as a result of fake nails.

When it becomes time to remove your false nails this too can be a tricky process as the glue designed to hold them is very strong. This means you shouldn’t pull off the nails using force as this can damage your own nails (and will also mean you definitely can’t reuse the false ones). This is also another important reason to be careful with your false nails when you’re wearing them too. The better method then is to soak your nails in a substance that will break down the glue. The most commonly used product for this is ‘acetone’ which will loosen the glue and enable you to pull them off more easily. Aceteone can be found in most nail polish removers, though it’s also possible to purchase specialised products.

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Margrit Bradley

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