If you want your nails to look sharp before Valentine’s Day, but don’t have the time to devote to supplements or to wait for them to grow out, you might think acrylics are the answer. Well, think again — acrylics might look fab, but there are drawbacks. Mainly, the chemicals used to apply them are bad for your health and can do serious damage to your nails over time. Luckily there are some alternatives. These nail treatments will give you the gorg mani you’re after without the dreaded downsides of acrylics.
1. Gel Nail Extensions: Similar to acrylics, but without any of the toxic methyl methacrylate, gel extensions are a solid alternative. You can pick from a variety of shapes like square, round, or stiletto, and your manicurist will use a small amount of gel to secure the extension to your own nail. It dries under an LED light and colorful gel polish can be applied per usual if you’d like. These are strong and sturdy and can last up to three weeks.
2. Fiberglass Nails: If you bite your nails or have very thin nails, you can still get a thick, healthy-looking mani with fiberglass. Your technician will apply a thin mesh strip with tiny glass fibers in it to your nail and secure it with clear glue to create a hard surface. You might need several layers to get there, so consider yourself warned: This process can take a long time. You’ll also need professional touch-ups every two to three weeks.
3. Dip Powder Nails: Dip powder nails are a good option if you’re looking for something more than a gel manicure, but aren’t ready to commit to fake nails yet. You’ll start with a base coat and buff as usual. Then, like the name suggests, you’ll actually dip your nails into a powder in the color of your choice. Your manicurist will shake off the excess powder and apply a sealant and topcoat. Unlike gel, there’s no need to dry under a UV light. They might last longer too. Expect two to four weeks of flawless nails.
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(Featured photo via @bonny_nails_)