How to Jump on the Acrylics Bandwagon . Long nails have been used to symbolize wealth and status for millennia, particularly amongst the Chinese upper classes, who used ornate talons to symbolize their lack of engagement with manual labour. These nails, however, were commonly natural, grown out by the wearers themselves and then adorned in gold, silver and jewels. False nails have also been around for millennia, but were, once again, used by royals in cultures such as the ancient Greek and Egyptians to symbolize wealth and status.
Ancient history aside, it is a one Dr Stuart Nordstrom that we have to thank for the more plebeian-proportioned acrylics that we all know or know of. Nordstrom invented the Creative Nail Design system (CND), which is the powder-and-gel technique that is still used to form the nails that have taken over your, and everyone else’s, Instagram feed. With their explosive return into mainstream fashion, I am sure that, you, like me, have found yourself tempted by the long-taloned trend, but have been too scared to sail these waters on your own. Luckily for you, I have chartered these waters and tamed her beasts so that you don’t have to. Here is my guide on how to not just survive but also thrive through life with acrylic nails:
Step 1: Ask around
One of the best ways to narrow down the ever-growing pool of nail salons is by asking your friends for suggestions! If you know anybody who has acrylics done, and you like the way they look, then ask them if they can point you in the right direction!
Try to ask people who you work, study or live with as, chances are, they will know a place that is a convenient distance from one of your bases. When I was going through my search process, I was lucky enough to know someone at my school who recommended Trieu Nails London, a lovely salon that sits right next to my university!
Step 2: Do your research
Research is the essential key to a good acrylics experience. I live in London, and in a big city like this, you can find salons that range all across the spectrum in both price and quality. Quality is a notable issue, because it can be really difficult to gauge the quality of a salon’s work from their website alone. This is why Google is your best friend. Use Google to find the socials for every salon you are considering. Instagram is especially useful for this because it will allow you to see the salon’s work up close. If they don’t have any socials, or they do but haven’t posted any pictures of their work, then my advice would be to run, and run screaming.
Once I had ensured that Trieu Nails both had an Instagram and created beautiful work, I turned to their reviews. Once you have narrowed down the salons you like best via their social media, focus your attention on what their customers have to say about them. Sometimes, salons will give one price on their website but tack on a bunch of different costs once you get there. If the quality and the people who run the salon are genuine, their customers will let you know! Luckily for me, Trieu Nails had both gorgeous results and gorgeous reviews. So, I proceeded to book my appointment.
Step 3: Get creative, but don’t forget the practical
Now that you have your appointment, you need to start brainstorming how you would like your nails to look. Your acrylics, like many forms of body-art, will be a collaboration between the canvas (you) and the artist. That doesn’t mean that you should go there having done no brainstorming on what you would like your nails to look like. Acrylics and false nails come in wide variety of shapes and sizes, with an even wider variety of décor options. You don’t need to have come up with everything, and you can, of course, keep yourself more open to the nail artist’s recommendations. But, going in knowing what general length you would like and whether you prefer coffin, stiletto or square is always a good idea!
As much as I would like to only emphasise the creative, you also have to consider the practical when you are brainstorming how you would like your nails to look. If you work in hard labour, such as construction, a long, bedazzled, Cardi B-style nail might not be for you, purely because you risk breaking them. If you work an office job, you may also need to consider the dress code. If your office has a professional-appearance-only policy, then, once again, you might have to pass on Bardi’s blingy talons.
Step 4: Give yourself time
Once you have your new nails, you are going to start to feel pretty great. I find that mine tend to make me feel bigger, almost as if the extension of my nails caused an extension of my person. This is a wonderful thing, and, by all means, embrace the new and positive feelings they bring forth. You will, however, soon notice that you cannot do things as quickly and as easily as you used to. This is temporary and will go away as you begin to adjust to your new set, but make sure you give yourself more time then you usually would. Be patient with yourself and be careful while adjusting because you do risk breaking a nail, which not only hurts but also just sucks!
Step 5: Have fun!
Acrylic nails are basically just a creative extension of self, so, allow yourself to embrace this! My new nails have made me more creative with my appearance by pushing me to think outside of the box. I have found myself dressing and wearing make up in ways I wouldn’t have dared to before. Make sure that you lean into any and all of the positive feelings your new nails bring forth and encourage any new waves of creativity! Embracing the confidence your nails give you will not only make you feel more comfortable, but will also have the compliments rolling in in no time!
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