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Acrylics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

My Story

Loved this lavender color I had...

These kitty claws made me feel hella confident

My journey with acrylics has definitely been a bag of mixed feels.

So let me start from the beginning. About a month or two ago, let’s just say I watched a lot of Kardashian episodes and I think Khloe’s acryls are pretty rad. And I figured, well she types on her laptop and uses her phone ALL the time, so why can’t I get the same kitty claws and still be functional? Right?


Dead wrong. I soon came to realize that having acrylics was basically paying to have your nails look super bad ass while at the same time minimizing your ability to do just about anything with your hands. But don’t get me wrong, they still look fresh to death.

Let me break it down:

The Good

They're super cute.

Like, SUPER cute. You won’t be able to stop holding your hand out and looking at them. And I already have long, slender fingers so they just made whatever I already have look ten times more feminine. And the first time I did them, I got them pretty pointy almond shaped with a gorg pastel pinkish lavender and I just felt powerful.

They’re good for scratching an itch.

Pretty self-explanatory. Also, if your boyfriend didn’t like having you run your fingers through his hair before, he’ll be like your own human pet cat when you graze these babies through his scalp.

Pointing at things will never be more fun.

And tapping table tops, and pressing buttons, ya know. I actually noticed that after I got them, I started to use my hands more while I talked. I’m not usually one to make grand gestures with my hands while I talk but maybe subconsciously I was just trying to get people to notice my cute nails.

The polish stays on longer.

The two times I had acrylics (the first set and the fill after that) I made sure to get a gel coat on top of them. I’m sure even regular polish stays on longer but I just went with gel. But when the gel isn’t sitting on top of your natural nail bed where all the oils can work at getting them to peel off, the polish stays on longer! So you never have to worry about that gross, chipped look you get with your regular nails.

You can get almost any shape you want.

Whether it’s almond, coffin, stiletto, square, squoval, oval, etc., as long as you have a good manicurist you can trust, show him or her a picture, and they can get you the nail shape you want.

You can kick that nail-biting habit once and for all.

Confession time: I was a chronic nail-biter for about as far back as I can remember. In recent years, I’ve gotten tired of biting my nails (moved over to biting the cuticles now), and having acrylics makes it even tougher for you to go back to nail-biting. It’s like trying to bite cement. It just makes nail-biting not a fun activity anymore.

The Bad

Typing is just about impossible.

At least typing as quickly as you used to type. For me, that’s a BIG reason to never get them again. I couldn’t type at super fast speeds on my laptop anymore and it was starting to slowly drive me crazy and depress me at the same time.

Doing just about ANYTHING is impossible.

I’m talking opening car doors, opening my laptop, texting things quickly, taking out and putting in earrings, grabbing things like blankets, etc. I know. This is the weird stuff you don’t think about. But it actually hurts to GRAB A BLANKET IN YOUR FIST. Total deal-breaker.

They’re pricey as hell.

I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I think, at my salon, to do a “full set” (that’s what it’s called when they glue long tips to your natural nails) was $36, and to get a “fill” (when they fix it all up and cover the part of your natural nail that’s exposed and growing in) was about $25-27, I think?

Keep in mind this price included the extra $6 to get a certain shape that wasn’t a square, and another $5 to do the gel coating. But still, I don’t have a money tree in my backyard so that’s really a lot of cash to have to come up with every TWO WEEKS, which is the recommended waiting period between fills.

The Ugly

(I wasn't joking about the ugly.)

They KILL to remove.

After mine grew out, I removed them by digging my teeth under the acrylic (sorry—gross, I know) and lifting it off of EACH. AND. EVERY. NAIL. BED. And it HURTS. Like really bad.

But in the end, it’s worth it to not have those weird half moons of your natural nail growing back and pushing your acrylics away. And I’m very OCD about my nails looking pristine, so once one of them lifted off, the rest just had to go.

When you finally remove them, your nails look horrendous.

When I took my second set of acrylics off (using the teeth method) my nails were literally so flimsy feeling and parts of my nail actually ripped too far into the nail bed where the “quick” of your nail is. Super ouch. Needless to say, they were stinging for a couple days and were in dire need of a buff and file.

You’ll get grossed out by the fact that stuff gets trapped under them.

Hello, bacteria! This was actually something that really made me want to give up on them. Forget cooking anything, trying to dab moisturizer on your face, or putting lotion on. No. ALL that stuff would get under my nails and it was a pain in the butt to dig it out. And I’m the type of person that’s so afraid that bacteria is going to get trapped between my natural nail and my acrylic layer that I just wanted them off off OFF.

My Full Story

You can get them as short or as long as you want!

So I first started with the full set. They glued those hard plastic tips on and filed them down to this nice pointy almond shape with the pretty pinkish lavender gel coat I mentioned earlier.

Things were okay for a while. I was too focused on how hot they looked to care about functionality. But then they started to grow out. And because of this, they got longer than I originally wanted them to be.

What I SHOULD have done originally was gotten them shorter so that they would grow into a longer length. But whatever.

When I went to get them filled, I decided to get a really short square in a bright pink gel coat. I thought that if I got them short and squared that they would still look super cute and I would still be able to type with them.

After realizing that no matter how short I got the acrylics, THEY WERE STILL TOO LONG TO TYPE WITH.

I became increasingly annoyed by them that finally I snapped and took a nail clipper and clipped every single nail so that they became these gross, short, stubby acrylics.

Weeks later, I popped them all off and went to the salon to just put gel on so I wouldn’t have to see how disgusting my nails looked. They were just unhealthy. The bed was filed down so thin and frail and there were ridges in the middle of the nail bed as well. The white grown out part of my nails were really thin and flimsy too. It was really just a depressing sight.

But I’m happy with the gel I got after that. I’m not a huge fan of spending money on unnecessary things at the nail salon (It can get pretty steep!), so I just asked them to file and buff the nail bed and put a gel coat on top. None of that fancy shmancy manicure cuticle stuff. Like I said: I don’t have a money tree.

Thankfully, the total only came out to $15 as opposed to the $27 I would have had to pay for a fill. So I paid and went about my merry way.

Now listen… I’m in NO WAY saying that you should or shouldn’t get acrylics. This is just my own personal experience with them. I think there are some people who can totally function with acrylics and do all the stuff that was difficult for me to do.

Bottom Line:

If you want to get them. I say go for it! I think they’re good to try out at least once in your life.

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