Start Up Q&A – A Beginner’s FAQ
If you’re unsure about something here’s the best place to start looking (if your question isn’t answered here, just comment below or facebook me and I’ll add it to the list :)). All the answers are brief so you can glance through them. If you need more info I’ve provided links to more in-depth articles.
The menu below is a quicker way to skip to where you want to go – just use the back button on your browser to return to this menu:
What are the most popular types of nails you can do?
A. UV Gel Nails, Acrylic Nails, False Nails or simply Painted Nails.
These are very broad categories and they overlap a lot, but I’ll give you a general definition.
Painted nails are nails with only nail varnish applied.
Gel nails are artificial nails that most closely resemble the natural nail. You paint your nails with gel that hardens under a UV lamp, strengthening your natural nail or securing your false nail tip whilst also adding a nice shine to it.
Acrylic nails are made using acrylic powder (known as polymer) and liquid (known as monomer). When added together they harden, creating a strong nail. You can simply use this as an overlay to your natural nail to make it strong, or as an extension to your natural nail to create a nice tip.
‘False nails‘ is the term used for any nails that are not your own and are applied on top of your natural nail. They can be full false nails (i.e. cover the whole of your nail) or just a tip (to extend the length of your natural nail). When using false nail tips, UV gel or acrylic must be applied over the top to secure it.
What is the most common? Which is best?
A. The most common way to decorate your nails is to simply paint them. Acrylic nails are probably more popular than gel nails, but I prefer gel nails as they are easier to apply (well I think so anyway :]).
As for which is best, it really comes down to personal preference. Acrylic nails are more commonly known for being the strongest and therefore lasting the longest – however, this also means they are the hardest to remove :[.
The best way to start out is by doing the easiest (painting your nails with nail polish), then afterwards practice trying a different type (this is how I chose to learn them all). You just have to experiment really to find which you like best :).
Personally my favourite are UV Gel nails, with practice they become really easy to do and they look great! They are more time consuming than just painting your nails, but the end result is always worth it ^_^
What are the different shapes I can have my nails?
A. The five most popular shapes can be seen in the picture below:
Are manicures bad for my nails?
A. UV gel and acrylic are not good for your nails. If you get this type of manicure done once in a while, the only side-effects that you can expect to find are that your nails feel a bit weaker and a bit thinner. This isn’t a major problem as long as you let your nails recover.
If you get them done a lot, you may risk nail infection through your nails/cuticles getting worn down and not being able to recover.
Painting your nails is safe; one thing you might find is that your nails will be stained yellow. This happens when you wear nail varnish a lot and don’t apply a base coat (a clear protective coat applied before your nail varnish).
How do I remove my manicure?
A. Painted nails can be removed by simply applying nail polish remover to a cotton pad and smoothing over your nails.
Acrylic, UV gel and false nails unfortunately have to be removed by being soaked in acetone. If you’re lazy like me, you can just pick them off (PS. this is definitely not good for your nails though and I would not recommend anyone should do this!)
What equipment do I need for a manicure?
A. It depends on what kind of nails you’re making. For a detailed guide on what you’ll need for each manicure, click here.
If you just want to paint your nails, ideally you want: your favourite nail polish, a clear topcoat and a cuticle stick. The topcoat is a clear liquid used to secure your design and make it shinier, and your cuticle stick is used to push your cuticles back. This way you can get the nail varnish further down your nail and prevent your manicure from lifting. Finally you’ll need a nail file, to shape the free edge of your nail.