What is a Russian manicure

Everyone needs a day of nail pampering once in a while. I mean who doesn’t love having nice and appealing nails, right? 

Nowadays, our nails have become a significant beauty focus. 

Most of us probably have tried regular manicures, gel polish, press-on nails and acrylic nails. Indeed, many options are available when it comes to nail beauty! 

But have you heard about Russian manicures? 

It turns out that this new nail trend is slowly taking nail enthusiasts by storm. 

But what is this technique exactly? And is it worth trying?

Follow along as we delve deeper into Russian manicure.

What is a Russian pedicure?

What is a Russian pedicure

A Russian manicure/pedicure has many names. Some people call it “dry” manicure, “e-file” manicure or “hardware” manicure. 

But what really is this technique and why are many people talking about it? 

What’s peculiar with Russian pedicure is that it does not only clean the nail surface, but it also thoroughly cleans the nail cuticle and the excess skin around the nail bed. This technique focuses on taking off the cuticle with an electronic file, leaving you with extremely clean cuticles. 

And since the process involves extensive cleaning, the duration would run from an hour or two. 

Also, only trained and experienced nail technicians with appropriate license should do this technique to ensure that it is done safely and meticulously and that only sterilized tools are used. 

So as a piece of advice, never do this technique on your own! Otherwise, you might end up with a damaged nail bed or worse, a nail or skin infection. 

Difference between a regular manicure and a Russian manicure 

The main difference between the two lies in the manner of removing the cuticle.

In regular manicure, the cuticle is soaked in a bowl of water for easy removal. Russian manicure, on the other hand, uses the dry manicure technique.

This dry manicure technique involves cleaning and removing the cuticle with an electric file. An alternative method is cleaning the cuticle with an electric file and removing them with nippers. 

Either way, these two methods require extreme care! 

Now, let’s talk about duration. 

As I’ve mentioned earlier, a Russian manicure extremely cleans the skin around the nail bed. Hence, the process would take a little longer compared to regular manicure. 

So if you’re planning on heading on to the nearest nail salon to try out this technique, allot at least 1-2 hours of your time. 

CHECK OUT: How to take off acrylic nails with hot water

Why is it called Russian manicure? 

I’m no mind reader but I know that you think Russian manicure, from the name itself, originated from Russia. 

Well, you’re kinda there.  

But let’s settle some little details first. There is nothing Russian in this technique. 

So why is it called a Russian manicure in the very first place? 

The procedure involves hardware. Hardware simply means mani-pedi tools such as nail file, nail cutter, nail buff, and cuticle nipper. 

Again, these mani-pedi tools are in no way associated with Russian culture or tradition. In fact, the person who invented these tools was a German national. 

But what makes “Russian manicure” Russian lies in hardware-usage. 

So to answer the question, the term “Russian manicure” arose because hardware has been widely and actively used in Russia. 

CHECK OUT: Is nail polish remover rubbing alcohol

Are Russian manicures safe?

The answers are mixed. 

Most doctors say that Russian manicures are dangerous.

This is because the technique is invasive. It entails intentional cutting and scraping off living skin around the nail bed. 

This abrasion reduces the ability of the skin to protect itself from germs and bacteria. And since the living skin is cut off, the damaged skin is at high risk of infection

It also becomes more prone to skin irritation because nail coating products are directly applied  onto the damaged area. 

However, the nail industry believes that the procedure is otherwise safe when done by trained nail technicians.

Since they are properly trained, they know better about hygiene and more so, infection prevention and proper measures.

So before trying out this technique, it’s best to weigh out the pros and cons. If you’re a risk taker, then go for it. Otherwise, stick with traditional manicures. 

Russian manicure benefits

We’ve already talked about the dangers of Russian manicure but there’s always something good in every bad, right?

So let’s flip the coin and talk about its benefits. 

Russian manicures are super long-lasting. It can last up to four weeks depending on the growth of the cuticle. So if you want to cut down your nail salon expenses, you might as well go for a Russian manicure. 

Also, the technique restores the nail bed. It makes the nails stronger and shinier while also promoting nail growth. 

CHECK OUT: How to fix bumpy nail polish

Why is Russian manicure illegal?

As stated earlier, Russian manicure is considered as an invasive procedure which is illegal and prohibited in many countries and states. It is illegal because it abrades the skin, making you susceptible to infection.

Most states in the United States of America limit the use of e-filers solely on the nail plate. Using it on the skin around the nail bed is therefore forbidden. 

Others require proper medical licenses while some completely prohibit nail technicians from doing the said procedure.

The takeaway

A lot of celebrities like Kendall Jenner have jumped onto the Russian manicure bandwagon. 

Who wouldn’t? It’s exceptionally picture-perfect!

But remember that our cuticles protect not only the nails but also the skin around them. Hence, intentionally cutting them makes it easier for bacterias to enter, thereby causing infection. 

And while most nail technicians are trained to do a Russian manicure, the risk of developing infection and irritation are just way too high. 

Even the use of sterile tools is not enough prevention. 

But above all, the decision is still up to you. 

No one is stopping you from trying out this new nail trend, unless of course if it’s illegal in your country. 

But in doing so, keep in mind the possible ‘disastrous’ consequences. 

Otherwise, on your next nail salon appointment, you can simply just have your cuticles pushed back, rather than having them removed. 

CHECK OUT: How to protect your nails from nail glue

Nail Glue

Can you reuse press-on nails

Fake nails, glue-on nails or press-ons— whatever you call them— are the breather your nails need from gel and acrylic nails. They are pretty and they definitely will last long (with care!). 

But your overthinking mind might wonder, “What’s the catch?” After all, glitters and rhinestones and the most vivid of colors on your fingernails feels like it, at least, has one downside you can’t and must not ignore. You know, like how fire can keep you warm and also burn your house. 

Yet, what if there is really none? 

It is affordable, quick to apply and remove, and even leaves your nails healthier than your usual gel or acrylic mani. And as you are a smart buyer, there is one more thing which catches your attention: is it cheap for its one-time use only or can you reuse press-on nails?

Yaaaay for you and Mother Earth! These nails are actually reusable! There are certain terms and conditions, of course, as to how often you can do it or even how to properly ensure you can reuse it for later time. 

How many times can you reuse fake nails?

How many times can you reuse fake nails?

Are press-on nails reusable? Yes. That’s one newbie question to be tossed to Neverland. 

But there’s a follow up to that you are itching to ask — how many times?

Reusing something is quite a subjective topic. You see, it’s like dropping food on the floor. Do you still pick it up and eat it? Or do you just let it be even if it was there for mere seconds? 

Taylor Swift answered it really depends on you.

And perhaps, there lies your clue. Once you remove your fake nails for the first time, they become that dropped food. And now it depends on you to assess it. 

A tip: It’s a general rule to only reuse it if it has not lost its aesthetic value a.k.a. if you can still slay with it, go for it. But if it is chipped or has started to peel off, you might not want to reuse that. 

Granted, the slightly more expensive ones are more durable. No shock factor there! They don’t chip easily, look better and feel more comfortable. They are more resistant to clumsiness. 

But if you started the journey wary or non-committal, it’s alright. The cheap ones can be reused too. Great, right?

Cheap or expensive, there are two conditions to keep in mind so you can reuse them: (1) you took care of them while using and (2) you were careful in removing them. 

How to clean press on nails for reuse

On your way to buying press-ons, you have probably heard some nasty rumors about it— how it damages your real nails. It’s not totally unfounded, of course. Someone probably bought a bunch of them and never did any reading on press-ons but for the simple instructions stuffed along with it. 

But such things are not earthquakes. They are merely bumps in the road that you can avoid if you stay alert.

The first thing is to always assess (such as in our proverbial dropped food). Is it still nice to look at? No chipping or peel-offs? If yes, then the next thing is to devise the removal of your fake nails. 

If you ever wondered where those rumors came from, it’s from the people who ripped their press-ons so hard trying to get them out that their nail beds suffered the consequences. 

Removal Method

In order to reuse your press-ons, it is important that you don’t use acetone when removing them. This potentially dissolves the acrylic making up your press-ons. And second, you don’t use too much force that you would eventually break them. 

In other words, treat it like a baby falling asleep. You won’t yank it, will you? You have to be patient and gentle.

Okay, now that you took notes of the no-no’s, it’s time for some removal tips.

These days, you can use press-ons with either an adhesive tab, as discussed below, or the classic nail glue. 

(May you not be the type to be reminded that super glue is not and never will be an alternative.) 

Attached with adhesive tab

1. Loosen the adhesive tab with rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based sanitizer. It doesn’t take that long— just a mere 30 seconds of rubbing around the edges of the extension will do.

2. Gently rock the press-ons from side to side in order to lift the press-ons. If it doesn’t feel as smooth as Excalibur on King Arthur’s hands, then do not pull it out. It will destroy your nails for sure. You can use more alcohol in order to help with the lifting process.

Attached with glue

You probably opted to still apply glue even when there is an adhesive tab. Trust issues or not on your part, you are now committed to a more permanent path. Be it that way, the removal process looks more like a spa day for your nails than a rigorous pull-out session.

1. Your friend here is a warm soapy water for five minutes. It’s like giving your nails a deserved soak in the bathtub after working so hard for you. 

2. Further loosen it using oil. Olive oil or coconut oil will do. Soapy baths can be drying so it’s a plus to have this hydration boost! 

3. Gently rock your nails from side to side. (Yes, this motion again.) You can soak while rocking if it seems to lift it more naturally. You may have to soak and rock more than you’d prefer but patience is key to healthier nails!

Hardened glue may interfere with the fresh glue and it may not stick as nicely as you want. 

You can use any sharp object or tweezers to scrape off the residual glue left. If that is too crass, you can use isopropyl alcohol to do a quick wipe on your press-ons. 

As long as you clean off the remnants especially at the back, then all is well for reuse.

CHECK OUT: How to clean underneath acrylic nails

How to reuse press on nails without nail glue  

How to reuse press on nails without nail glue

A nail glue should already be stuffed somewhere in the set that you bought. If not or if you happen to lose it, don’t fret. 

Adhesive tabs

Adhesive tabs or sticky tabs are your double-sided heroes. It’s the most common alternative to nail glue. They come in different shapes so they perfectly fit each nail. No awkward nail here! One side sticks to your press-on and the other to your nail. 

If somehow you can’t get ahold of the official ways of gluing your fake nails, there are always some sage advice that may seem suspect but actually works.

CHECK OUT: How to protect your nails from nail glue

Fashion tapes 

If it is just for a one-time event you are showing those glorious nails off for, then make use of something which won’t hold strongly but would still get you through till lights out. 

Good thing, fashion tapes are a thing. It’s not just for wardrobe malfunctions! 

Clear nail polish

You can’t go wrong with buying a clear polish. Not only is it a go-to for casual manis but it will rescue you in the most dire of nail situations—including your press-on dilemma.

How to: Paint the back of a press-on with a tiny amount of clear polish. Leave it to air dry until it has a tacky (NOT dry nor wet!) consistency. You can then put it on your nails and hold it still for a minute each. 


Base coat and white glue

This is the most unorthodox of the lot but it works the same so here it is!

Pro tip: Work one nail at a time since the base coat can dry easily. 

How to: Apply base coat on your nail and before it can dry, cover it generously with white school glue. Brush it out to even out the glue. You can now press the nail and hold it in position for a minute. It cures for only 5 minutes so no long waiting time!

CHECK OUT: Why are nails clear

How often should you replace press-on nails? 

How often should you replace press-on nails

The ideal time is when you say it is. 

Nah, kidding. 

Glue-ons typically last for 2-3 weeks. The give-away is when most of them lift off naturally. One nail can be remedied but when your nails are popping off like popcorns, that’s your cue to remove them. 

So there’s your answer.  You can replace it when a majority of your nails say it’s time. 

And while you are in this line of thinking, do not ever remove glue-on fake nails on the same day. It has a great probability of damaging your real nails. So avoid it!

To make sure you don’t subject your nails to constant replacements and the likelihood of wrecking havoc to your real nails, you must learn how to make them last longer. 

Tip 1: Prep religiously. That means, alcohol pads should be at your disposal before you glue on fake nails.

Tip 2: Quality is king. This applies to your choice of glue and press-on themselves. You may choose to put the glue on both your nail and the fake ones just to fully secure them. And when you apply them, put enough pressure for 30 seconds to make it stick better.

Tip 3: Do not come in contact with water. If you really want to ace it, stay dry overnight. 

When you finally decide to replace them, you can use the double boiler method. 

Pro tip: Slather your nails with oil first before this. 

How to: Fill a larger bowl with a couple inches of water then place a smaller bowl with acetone inside. Once the acetone is warm, soak your nails for 5-10 minutes.


Can you use press-on nails more than once?

Yes, yes, yes! You can use them as long as they still look presentable. So if you have any plans of reusing, just be careful in removing them. 

Can you keep press-on nails?

Yes, you can. But they will naturally pop off after 2-3 weeks (if you are not clumsy!). If you are thinking of re-gluing them, just stop. Fresh glue won’t be as sticky when glue residue is still present on your nails. Besides, it would be thick. Yuck! 

Can you reuse Kiss press on nails?

Yes. Kiss offers reusable press-on nails so you could get quality and also have your money’s worth from your nails. An example from their line is Kiss Majestic nails which has up to 3x reusability. 

Can you reuse imPress press on nails?

ImPress, Kiss’ sister company, offers a great deal for no-glue press ons. According to imPress themselves, their nails are not reusable. They are made to be flexible to provide a comfortable fit. Removing it will distort this somehow and will not be available for reuse. 

CHECK OUT: How to dry gel nail polish without UV light


Press-on nails aren’t and shouldn’t be difficult. If they are, they defeat their purpose. So even with the cautionary tales and onslaught of pro tips that you would probably forget, just take it easy and enjoy. 

Sometimes, it can really just be summarized to one sentence— reuse when you can still reuse it and replace when you can’t. It’s a quick rule to master and something you probably do know already. 

So get on with it because, as cliche as it sounds, experience is the best teacher.


Is nail polish remover rubbing alcohol

Our nails will keep growing, and eventually, they will outgrow your “permanent” nail polish. Of the thousands of things that don’t last forever, that nail color is one of them is a good thing. There is always a new nail style or trend that will trump the nail color you first loved. 

As the nail care industry gives you a plethora of choices, you won’t run out of new things to try. Let’s be honest — painting our nails is not Picasso-level art, although in some obscure window of time, Picasso manicures were in. People literally have art on their nails! But most of the time, we opt for one or two timeless colors.

Whether it’s us or the chipping polish, at some point we have to let our nail color go. With a few easy swipes of the nail polish remover, your nails become a fresh canvas for your next artwork. 

What is in nail polish?

What is in nail polish

Polish removers work by undoing what nail polish ingredients do. 

After it leaves its tiny bottle, nail polish becomes a hard and pigmented film over your nails. It contains hardener or resin so that the film stays on your nail plate. This is why preparing for a manicure includes making sure nothing comes between your nail and the resin. 

We don’t want the nail polish to be as hard as a brick. A stiff film is counterintuitive because it will chip and break easily. Plasticizers in your nail polish prevent this from happening.

Manufacturers use different kinds of resins and plasticizers. There are also additives in the nail polish that boost luster and longevity. In this industry, beauty must come in a long-lasting package. 

Not everything in the nail polish bottle stays and hardens with the film. For traditional nail polish, the solvent that keeps the product liquid in the bottle will evaporate. Without the solvent, the nail polish would not stay dissolved.

On the other hand, gel nail polish doesn’t use evaporating solvents. Instead, they have photoinitiators that are activated under UV light. This starts the drying process. This also means you can’t remove gel polish in the same way as you would traditional nail polish.

CHECK OUT: How to take off acrylic nails with hot water

How does nail polish remover work

How does nail polish remover work

After the nail polish has hardened, nail polish removers have to do the reverse process. 

Think of the nail polish ingredients as puzzle pieces suspended in liquid which is the solvent. When the liquid is removed, the puzzle pieces can join together and stay in place. The nail polish becomes or polymerizes into a hard film. Technically, the film is a polymer or a chain of smaller molecules.

If you add the liquid back to the hard film, the puzzle pieces break apart. Turning the hard film into liquid makes it easy to remove from the nail. You will also notice that the color is transferred to the cotton.

In general, acetone is the solvent used in nail polish. But other manufacturers use alternatives like ethyl acetate or butyl acetate that work similarly. For this time, we will focus on acetone-based nail polish remover. 

The molecular structure of acetone allows it to interact and dissolve a lot of materials. That is why acetone is not just found in nail polish removers. Acetone can remove household stains and coats of color from surfaces.  

How does it remove even the polish that’s already several weeks old? 

Acetone only disrupts the arrangement of the molecules that make the nail polish hard. As long as the solvent can disturb the structure of the film, it can remove the nail polish from your nails. 

Is nail polish remover the same as rubbing alcohol?

Is nail polish remover the same as rubbing alcohol

Although both have a strong smell, the short answer is no. Rubbing alcohol can be one of the ingredients of a nail polish remover, but the nail polish remover’s not-so-secret weapon is acetone.

Is acetone rubbing alcohol? We can learn from organic chemistry that acetone is molecularly different from alcohol. Alcohols are chemicals with a group of oxygen-hydrogen (OH) bond. 

Alcohols end with the suffix -ol. We may have encountered names like propanol, methanol, ethanol or ethyl alcohol, and isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol.

Scientifically, acetone is known as dimethyl ketone. It can also be called propanone. Unlike alcohols, propanone does not have an OH group. So, acetone’s names don’t end with an -ol suffix. Acetone belongs to another group called ketones. Instead of an OH group, ketones have a carbon-oxygen group.

When we buy rubbing alcohol from the pharmacy, there is a big chance that we get either isopropyl or ethyl alcohol. These alcohols can disrupt cells, effectively killing germs in the process. This makes rubbing alcohol an effective disinfectant.

Unless you own a nail salon, you might not always have a stash of nail polish remover lying around. You’re more likely to have rubbing alcohol because it’s a household disinfectant. And when it comes down to a matter of necessity, can you use rubbing alcohol to remove your nail color?

Essentially, rubbing alcohol is not the same as a nail polish remover. But if you don’t have other options, rubbing alcohol can get some nail colors off. Because it is not meant to be a nail polish remover, you will not get a fast and flawless result. Still, it can substitute nail polish remover when you’re out of luck.

What if it’s the other way around and you ran out of rubbing alcohol?

Can I use nail polish remover instead of rubbing alcohol?

We keep rubbing alcohol around so we can clean our hands, bodies, and spaces. In its pure form, acetone disinfects surfaces as well. But if you check the bottle that you have, there is a big chance that its acetone concentration is less than 100%. 

Despite being less than maximum strength, can nail polish remover be used as rubbing alcohol to disinfect surfaces? That nail polish remover may not be powerful enough to substitute rubbing alcohol. Dilution weakens its disinfecting power.

That the acetone in the remover is not strong enough is for good measure. Since it’s not made to kill germs, its acetone doesn’t need to be very strong. Too strong or too much acetone is very dehydrating. Your nails and the skin around them don’t deserve such harsh treatment when you just want to remove your nail color.

While rubbing alcohol may remove nail color, you can’t do the reverse and use the nail polish remover to disinfect. Especially when it comes to your body, you should stick to the intended use of items.

While this should not be the norm, you can take advantage of nail polish remover for other household uses, provided that you understand what you’re doing.

Can I use nail polish remover to clean electronics?

It boils down to what you intend to clean. First, you have to assess the situation. You should run a test to see if the liquid won’t damage your electronics. Just carelessly pouring the nail polish remover on the item is making a mountain of a molehill problem. 

We go back to the idea that nail polish molecules polymerize or join together as the solvent evaporates. The acetone-based nail polish remover erases nail color because acetone disrupts polymers. If you misuse the nail polish remover, you may damage your electronics, especially those made of plastic.

Nail polish remover with acetone can save your day when you spill ink or superglue on your devices. And if you want to clean visible dirt and grime, you can use a minute amount of the polish remover. 

Of course, this is only for surface cleaning. You should consult a professional when you want to clean the inside of your devices or those areas that are sensitive to corrosive chemicals. 

The wonderful chemistry behind nail polish removers is often taken for granted. These products have been so long and widely used that we barely give them a second thought. That is until we need them. So far, the alternatives fall short of what nail polish removers are capable of.

CHECK OUT: How to fix bumpy nail polish

Nail Glue

Nail glue vs super glue

We all want nice and appealing nails, right? Fortunately, press-on nails do the trick.

Instant long nails? Stunning nail art? Press-on nails got you covered! 

And while there are a lot of artificial nails, you can choose from, finding the perfect glue that will tightly adhere to your natural nails is also very important. 

Choosing the right glue for your press-on nails is like choosing the best materials for your new house. The bottom line is you need to make sure that the very foundation is strong and long-lasting. 

So follow along as we learn about glue products perfectly safe and designed for press-on nails. 

Can I use super glue as nail glue? 

Can I use super glue as nail glue? 

Let’s get this straight – never use superglue as nail glue.  

Super glue and nail glue are technically not the same. Both products are graded differently. Super glue forms a strong adhesive bond that is nearly unbreakable. 

Hence, using super glue when attaching press-on nails is strongly not recommended.

Super glue damages the nails and can be very difficult to remove once applied. Worst, you may even lose your entire natural nails when removing them. 

Also, super glue traps water which could lead to fungal nail infection.  

Common effects of fungi infection are cracked nails and nail discoloration. 

So again, don’t entertain the idea of using super glue. Remember that it is a potent chemical that could possibly harm the nail cuticle and the skin surrounding the nails. 

CHECK OUT: Nail Glue Alternatives

What happens if I use superglue instead of nail glue?

Indeed, super glue is a great tool for fixing common cracks and breaks in the household. It’s impressive how it bonds with almost everything. 

However, using them on human nails is a whole different story; it’s a big no-no! 

The use of super glue on the human body is not recommended at all. Due to its strong chemicals, using them on your nails and skin won’t be safe. 

If you use super glue instead of nail glue, you may experience adverse reactions like yellowish nails and skin irritation. You might also end up with torn and detached nails. 

Scary, isn’t it? 

That’s why, as much as possible, avoid using super glue when attaching fake nails. 

What can I use instead of nail glue? 

What can I use instead of nail glue

Since we’ve already established the harmful effects of using super glue as nail glue, you might have wondered whether there are other alternatives available for nail glue.

And the answer to that is yes. You can use eyelash glue or gel nail polish instead of nail glue. 

Eyelash glue and nail glue contain the same ingredients. So it can be used as an alternative for nail glue. 

However, eyelash glue does not have the same adhesive bond as nail glue.

Obviously, fake eyelashes are lighter than fake nails, so the former only requires minimal adhesive power. 

So if you use eyelash glue, except that it won’t hold your fake nails for a long time. 

Aside from eyelash glue, you can also use gel nail polish. This is, by far,  the best alternative for nail glue.

Gel nail polish is a special kind of nail polish that contains gel. Compared to regular nail polish, gel nail polish uses UV or LED light for it to harden. Gel nail polish can hold your fake nails for about one to two weeks if properly applied. 

However, the only downside of using gel nail polish as nail glue is that your fake nails should be transparent or light-colored since UV or LED light cannot penetrate through dark ones.  

CHECK OUT: How to protect your nails from nail glue

What is the strongest glue for fake nails?

The answer is plain and simple. The strongest and safest glue for fake nails is nail glue. 

Yes, you’ve heard that right! You should only use nail glue for your fake nails.

You might think super glue is the strongest glue due to its superior adhesive strength, but it turns out when attaching fake nails, nail glue is far more durable than super glue. 

Nail glue is a strong glue, perfectly and safely designed for nails.

It contains lower concentrations of cyanoacrylate and has additives, making it handle moisture better than any other glue product. That’s why it lasts longer than super glue. 

Aside from that, nail glue prevents skin irritation since the product is graded for the human body. 

Hence, I’ve listed five good nail glue products you can try on: 


If you want long-lasting fake nails, then Infilila is for you. This product can hold your fake nails for a month. Also, it instantly bonds your fake nails to your natural nails. 

NYK1 Super Strong Nail Bond

Another product known for its solid hold is the NYK1 nail glue. Aside from its durability, NYK1 also dries up extremely fast. 


Nailene is best known for its quick-drying ability. Durability-wise, it can hold your fake nails for up to 7 days. 

Makartt Quick Nail Glue 

If you’re still new to the press on nail trend, then this product is for you. Makartt Nail Glue is beginner-friendly since it doesn’t dry up quickly, giving you ample time to adjust your fake nails. 

Big Bondini All-Purpose Nail Glue

You try out Big Bondini nail glue for those with sensitive skin. This product is hypoallergenic and is non-irritating to the skin. 

The difference between nail glue and super glue

The difference between nail glue and super glue

Before we go into the difference between nail glue and super glue, let’s first talk about their similarities. 

Both products are waterproof and contain cyanoacrylate. Thus, the two dry and bond quickly. 

However, their main difference lies in terms of ​​durability, ingredients, cost, customer usage and effect on nails after removal. 


When used on the nails, nail glue lasts longer than super glue since it handles moisture better. It doesn’t easily break down with water. Super glue, however, wears out when contacted with moisture.  


Nail glue contains additives, making it safe for the skin. On the other hand, Super glue has a higher level of cyanoacrylate. Hence, it is more susceptible to skin irritation.  


Regarding pricing, nail glue is far more expensive than super glue since it’s being advertised as a cosmetic product.

Customer usage 

Nail glue is designed for the human body, so it isn’t harmful at all, whereas super glue is specifically designed for holding materials such as metals and wood. It is therefore unsafe for the human body. 

Effect on nails after removal

In a nutshell, nail glue won’t damage the nails once removed. Some nail glue even contains ingredients that encourage nail growth. 

On the contrary, super glue damages the nails since the top layer, including the nails’ keratin, are pulled off. Hence, making your nails prone to discoloration and breakage. 

CHECK OUT: How to take off acrylic nails with hot water

Final thoughts

Super glue is definitely NOT the safer alternative. It is too harsh for your nails. So if you plan on using them, think again.   

Stick with nail glues instead but remember to use high-quality ones that adhere quickly to the nails and are long-lasting. 

Also, be wary of brands advertising their super glue as nail glue. 

Aside from choosing the right glue product, a proper nail care routine is essential to ensure healthier and stronger nails

Acrylic Nails

How to take off acrylic nails with hot water

Acrylic nails are the go-to if you want that instant pretty and fabulous long nails.

But while acrylic nails are easy to apply, the removal process can be a little challenging. 

Having it removed in a nail salon can be quite costly. Most salons will charge you from $10 to $15. 

So if you’re tight on budget, this article is for you. Fortunately, there are other alternatives available which won’t require you to spend that much.

Follow along as we look into cheap and effective ways in removing acrylic nails. 

Can you get acrylic nails off with hot water?

Yes. In fact, the safest way of removing acrylic nails is with hot water. 

The skin around the nail cuticle is softer and is more sensitive to damage and corrosion. 

It is recommended to get acrylic nails off with hot water since it does not contain harsh chemicals which could harm the skin in any way.

CHECK OUT: Can you paint over acrylic nails

How do you get acrylic nails off quickly?

If you want instant acrylic nail removal, acetone does the job. 

The fastest way in taking off acrylic nails is with acetone. Simply pour the acetone in a bowl and dip your nails there for about five minutes. 

Using a metal cuticle pusher, remove the acrylic nails off. Do this gently as possible. 

Again, soak your nails in the bowl of acetone for another five minutes and keep pushing. Do these steps until you’ve fully removed the acrylics. 

Aside from this method, you can also soak a cotton ball filled with acetone and cover your nails with it. Wrap the fingertips with tin foil afterward and leave it for about 15-30 minutes. 

How to remove acrylic nails using hot water?

While it is true that acetone instantly removes acrylic nails, regular use of acetone may lead to skin problems. 

So what do you do then? 

Thankfully, there are other techniques available in removing acrylic nails without using acetone. 

As I’ve mentioned earlier, plain hot water is the safest way of removing acrylic nails since it is a natural ingredient.  

Hence, here are five easy steps you can follow in removing acrylic nails using hot water: 

  1. Fill a bowl with hot water. Be careful so that you won’t burn your hands. 
  2. Once the water is lukewarm, soak our hands in the bowl. 
  3. Do this for 20 minutes. 
  4. Look out for any bulges. This indicates that the acrylics are falling off.
  5. Using a sharp object, carefully separate the acrylic nails from the real nails. 

When doing this method, never pull your nails forcefully or you might rip off your real nails. 

How to take off acrylic nails with hot water and soap

How to take off acrylic nails with hot water and soap

Acrylic nails are extremely attached to your real nails. Gentle soap and hot water won’t dissolve the glue holding them. 

However, the exception is dish soaps. 

Compared to regular and skin-friendly soaps, dish soaps contain strong chemicals such as surfactants, making it viable for acrylic nail removal. 

How do you remove acrylic nails with hot water and dish soap?

The process is simple. Just mix the dish soap with warm water. 

A grease-fighting dish soap is a top choice when it comes to removing acrylic nails. It can be very effective in breaking down the bond in the acrylic’s adhesive.  

Simply follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Dip your nails in a bowl of warm water mixed with dish soap for about 10 minutes.
  2. Use a nail tip in removing your acrylic nails from your real nails. Be very careful in this step.  
  3. Move the nail tip around the nail cuticle and wait until the fake nails pop off. If it does not pop off, soak your nails in the bowl of soapy water. 
  4. Repeat step 2 until your acrylic nails completely come off. 
  5. For final touches, use a manicure brush in removing the dust and a cuticle pusher in pushing the nail cuticle back. 

CHECK OUT: Why are nails clear

How to take off acrylic nails with hot water and oil without acetone

How to take off acrylic nails with hot water and oil without acetone

Hot water softens the nails, making it easy to remove acrylic nails. But what about removing it with oil?

This may be a little surprising but oil can remove acrylic nails. 

Yes, you’ve heard that right! You can take off acrylic nails with hot water and oil without the use of acetone. 

Here’s a step by step tutorial: 

  1. Fill a bowl with hot water and soap. 
  2. Pour a few drops of argan oil into the bowl of warm soapy water.
  3. Soak your nails in the bowl for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  4. Gently remove the acrylic nails from your original nails. 

This mixture loosens up the glue that holds the acrylic nails, making it easy to remove them. 

How to take off acrylic nails with hot water and olive oil

But what about virgin olive oil?

Well, olive oil can be a good substitute for cuticle oil. Aside from promoting nail growth, virgin olive oil also helps loosen up the adhesive holding the acrylics. 

All you need is a bowl of warm water and olive oil and you’re good to go! 

Follow these steps I’ve listed down below: 

  1. Apply olive oil onto your nail cuticle
  2. Soak your nails in a bowl of warm water and leave it there for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Pat your fingers dry
  4. Push underneath the nails with the use of a cuticle stick.
  5. Repeat the process until the acrylic nails pop off. 

This method requires a little bit of pressure so be very careful not to rip your nails off.

How to take off acrylic nails with hot water and acetone

How to take off acrylic nails with hot water and acetone

This method is also known as the “double boiler.” When doing this, you’ll be needing a large bowl filled with warm water and a small bowl filled with acetone. 

The steps are quite simple and easy to follow: 

  1. Pour the acetone in a small bowl and pour the hot water on a large shallow bowl.
  2. Put the small bowl filled with acetone inside the large bowl filled with hot water. This heats up the acetone, thereby speeding up the removal process. 
  3. Cover the skin around your nails with petroleum jelly to avoid hand dryness due to the acetone.
  4. Soak your hands in the acetone bowl for 30 minutes with 10 minute breaks in between. 
  5. Scrape off the adhesive nails with a cuticle stick or any pointed object. 
  6. Repeat the entire step until the acrylic nails are completely removed.

After doing all the steps, wash your hands with water and soap and moisturize them. 

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Acrylic Nails

Final thoughts 

There are several ways of removing acrylic nails without heading to a nail salon.

Luckily, there are techniques which can be done in the comfort of your own homes. You can either use acetone for faster removal or hot water for less damage. 

These two alternatives will surely save you a lot of money. 

However, make sure that you’re doing these DIY methods properly. Removing acrylic nails incorrectly could damage your natural nails. Hence, you should carefully follow the steps listed above and come up with a nail care routine.

Also, moisturizing and buffing your natural nails is a must right after scraping off the acrylics. This keeps your real nails smooth and healthy.

CHECK OUT: Why does my gel polish peel off


Why is my gel polish sticky

It’s hard not to get wide-eyed with your gel polish. You place your hand on the UV lamp, and you can feel the jitters running throughout your body. 

You know how it would look, but you still hold your breath. 

You just wanna finish everything, raise your hands under those sparkling lights and watch it REFLECT that shine. 

It’s addicting. 

And then you see that one dull nail. You fearfully touch it. And there it was— the imperfection.

Why is my gel polish sticky?! You screamed. You wanted to thrash out. This is not what was promised to you! 

Relax. It’s not like a broken Barbie doll or a missing lego piece of your old snotty days. It’s manageable. 

There is a fix to your frustration.

Why is my gel polish not drying?

Why is my gel polish not drying

Drying your gel polish, especially without the help of UV light, maybe like lining up for groceries behind the lady with a doomsday cart. 

When exactly does this end? Why did you even do it? Could you have chosen another option which doesn’t take this long?

But before you get your Karen on, there is something you must understand: you won’t know it is the finish line when you are blind to the checkered flag. 

CHECK OUT: Why does my gel polish peel off

How to tell if gel nails are cured

A dried, or to be technical about it, cured gel polish looks shiny and plain. It does not slide down and does not drip. Air bubbles and peeling are also indicators that it has not been cured yet. 

Look at your thumb. Most of the time, the tragedy is often noticeable there.

You might want to add these two to your evidence bag when you suspect an under-cured job. 

Tip no 1: It shouldn’t be like dragging yourself for the early morning shift when you brush your topcoat. Rather, it should feel like butter. The gel polish shouldn’t stick to the topcoat brush. A topcoat is clear, so that is a big red flag if you see any color. 

Tip no 2: An under-cured gel topcoat looks dull. And when alcohol-based cleaners come in contact with it, it goes sayonara. 

Other things to look for: loss of clarity, a dull, soft finish, and a more than normal stickiness. 

But what if your eyes are not as good as a magnifying glass? Well, there is no better way of telling a mirage from an oasis than actually touching it. 

Yes, touch it. As much as that makes you fear the possibility of messing your nails up, you gotta do it. If you leave any fingerprint behind, then you know for sure that thing has not cemented itself on your nails yet. 

Now, you can ask what the culprit to this endless waiting is. 

Thick layers

Counting may sound elementary, but it is essential when it comes to curing gel polish. Getting excited and applying multiple coats might be the reason for the sticky mess you have there. 

It’s like putting a jacket over a sweater on a humid day then expecting to dry off your sweat. There is a big problem there somewhere. 

So get to counting. Three to 4 layers is enough and actually the ideal range. 

But! Just one reminder: do not roll the dice when choosing how many layers.

Fix the number of layers you want. If it is 4, stick to it. That way, the nails dry evenly and at the same time. 

Expired bottle

It’s nice to say that we never forget anything in this world where our phones can remind us what to do every second of the day. 

That would be a blatant lie, though. How many times did you leave the keys at home when you went out? Or your wallet? Worse, your phone?

Such is the case of expiration dates. You buy that bottle. You don’t even look at the bottom, do you? You just trust that it will not disappoint you with its incurable gooey consistency when you open it. 

But don’t be like that. Be better. 

It’s a basic check, and it is something you must never neglect.

Base and top coat

This should be your last newbie mistake of the year. Don’t make yourself dirty like that. 

When you buy that $40 gel mani, you also have to grab both base and top coats, or else it won’t get you the results you want.

Applying gel mani directly to the nail leads to uneven texture. No base coat? Goodbye flatlands, hello seabed. That bad, yes. Some parts may remain thick and others thin, which just leads to a longer curing period,

No topcoat either? Same dilemma. 

Never create ridges of gel polish on your nails. It’s only forgivable when it is intentional. 

Finally, and this sounds unnecessary, but cure it properly. Do not stare at it or wave it to air dry and leave it to the Fates to blow your nails to a dry finish. If that worked for regular polish, that is not how it works with gel manis. 

How to cure gel nail polish

How to cure gel nail polish

Curing a gel nail polish is not unlike curing a person. You do it with care, and you do it with great consistency. 

Thin layers

When it comes to gel manis, all shortcuts are blockbuster horror movies.

Example no. 1: you thought that putting on layer after layer of polish then curing it all at the end will save you time and woulddefinitely work still. 

Wrong. While that top layer looked like it got a perfect time under the lamp, what was squished under it might not have. 

Example no. 2: You are going for the paler palette, then you decided that since it is light-colored, you should put on more coats. 

Wrong again. You need to keep it thin, no matter what color it is. Never slap one thick layer on your nail like you’re casually putting jam on bread. 

A good UV lamp

A UV lamp is an investment piece. It needs to work for you. There shouldn’t be a moment where it indirectly causes smudging. Yes, that can definitely happen when you use a 20 watt or less lamp since curing time is slower. 

One more thing! Upgrades are important. 

Not to worry, this is not the iOS pace where upgrades are more often than you would truly appreciate. 

This is more of an observe and react situation. 

When your curing timer seems like it is not working as before, that may be a good assessment. 

It is recommended that you change your UV lamp every 2-6 months. And while you are on your maintenance spree, check if your bulbs are clean. It’s not uncommon to hit the roof and do an accidental paint job on the bulbs out of excitement. 

Alternative to UV lamps:

If UV lamps are not your type or budget, there are a few alternatives

Led lamps

If you have heard some scary rumors about UV lamps, you might wanna try a LED lamp. It certainly cures your polish three times faster. 

FYI, it still emits UV rays, but in a less broad spectrum. 

Ice bath

This one might be actually enjoyable, albeit wet and not as efficient. So, not that fun and definitely really cold. 

But it works! With patience, it does. 

Quick-drying topcoat

Quite the common sense on this one but worth mentioning. You have a lot of options now for every single product in the aisle. Topcoats also come with quick-dry. 

There’s also a quick-drying spray to help cure. 

They have their own pros and cons, but if it works for you, why not?

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Gel Nails

Why is my gel polish sticky after curing?

What if you’ve done all of the above and still have that sticky leftover? No worries. It might be simpler than you think. 

Your initial suspect should be your topcoat. Well, you might have forgotten to wipe off that topcoat before curing in the UV lamp. 

Every topcoat comes with specific instructions.  You can often just use alcohol. To make sure, just follow what is suggested at the back. 

It’s not rocket science, but it isn’t counting sheep either. So do your due diligence, and you will never fear the length of the curing process again. 

FYI: There exist no-wipe topcoats. So rather than assuming and wiping away your efforts accidentally, read the back label carefully.

Your second on the line is the air. Aye, something vague gets to be a villain of your story this time. 

See that tacky residue? It’s the oxygen in the air preventing the surface layer from curing.  It is called an inhibition layer. 

What can I use to remove sticky residue gel nails?

What can I use to remove sticky residue gel nails

Now that you get some idea why here are some solutions to try. 

Isopropyl alcohol

Budget-friendly? Yes. Effective? Super. It’s a general preference to have 70%  isopropyl alcohol-soaked wipes. But if that may seem wasteful and not very true to the whole cheap advertisement, you can always use a lint-free cotton pad.

Pro tip: Alcohol wipes aren’t reusable. So one wipe is for one nail. Besides, there’s a likelihood you will transfer that residue. Talk about defeating your own goals.

Gel cleanser

You know how there are products made specifically for something and nothing else? 

Gel + cleanser. This is your solution— the expensive one. They don’t only remove your problems post-curing but also during prep time, like oils and moisture on your nail plates. 

Non-acetone nail polish remover

Okay. If it came to this point, it’s either you scoured the entire mall and came up with nothing, or you didn’t want to move an inch from your set-up. 

There is no judgment here, but you have to be warned: Even non-acetone ones potentially weaken your gel manicure. 

So if you are lazy rather than plain unfortunate, it’s a smart choice to start walking for a better option.

DIY substitutes

If you listened to your chemistry class, the following shouldn’t shock you. 

Nevertheless, some household materials should work: perfumes, Lysol, and hand sanitizer.

This might ruin your nails. Or not. It’s a matter of luck at this point. 


Gel manis are expensive even when it’s DIY. So if you want it, go all out. Don’t hold back on purchasing quality gel polish, your base, and topcoats. As for technique, trying is the only option you got.

It’s a hit and miss to remedy your mess, but sticky layers are temporary issues. It shouldn’t be a cause of alarm or even a restart of, fates forbid, an entire hand. 

Don’t frown because a little research and you are on your merry way!


Why does my gel polish peel off

We don’t want our new nail color to last forever of course. Think of the wardrobe nightmare in trying to match the color of your nails with your outfit. 

But we spent a good amount of time comparing nail gels that are only about a shade lighter than the others. We also don’t want the winning nail color to chip off too soon.

Why gel polish peels off fast isn’t always a you-problem, but what you’re doing before, during, and after your nail appointment contributes to the issue.

Nail color and social class

The world’s love affair with nail colors did not emerge just recently: Our history with nail polish goes back a long way. As early as 3200 BC, people have been painting over their nails. Nail color was used to show off one’s rank either in the military or in one’s society.

Today, you could walk out of the nail salon with whatever color you set your heart out. Red nails are for anyone bold enough to seek them. In the past, that may have been your death sentence. Because you can remain in your social standing for life in some cultures, you may never wear certain colors.

Thank heavens for people who made nail colors available for everyone.

How do nail colors work?

How do nail colors work

The pigments in the nail polish will not do much beautifying on your hands if they would just drip or slide from your nails. The polish has to adhere to your fingernails. In the bottle, the polish is liquid. But when it is already brushed onto nails, it has to harden in a process called polymerization. It is how nail gel works.

Polymerization is just smaller molecules, called monomers, connecting into a chain, called a polymer. Different kinds of nail-coloring products achieve polymerization differently — by air or by light. 

Traditional nail polish

A traditional nail polish dries on its own after it is applied to nails. It’s a type of polish or coat that leaves a shiny finish.

It contains solvents like acetate, butyl acetate, and ethyl acetate which will evaporate upon application of the product. The solvent gives off that distinct smell.

Pigments and other nail polish ingredients create a smooth and glossy film that will harden as the solvent leaves.

The film does not fall off after it dried because of the resins in your nail polish. Resins keep the nail polish attached to your nail. To keep the film from breaking too soon, manufacturers also add plasticizers. Plasticizers allow flexibility of the film.

Your traditional nail polish may also contain additives that help protect the finished product from sun damage or add adornments like glitters or pearls.

Gel nail polish

Unlike traditional lacquer nail polish, gel nail polish does not dry on its own. Its molecules have to be joined and bonded together through a chemical reaction. Ultraviolet light jumpstarts this bonding which initiates the drying process. This is also known as curing the nails.

Don’t we get UV light from the sun? Yes, we do. However, the UV dose that we are getting may not be enough to activate the photoinitiator in the gel. If the light is too little, the reaction does not happen. If the light is too strong, it may damage the fingers because there is too much heat.

Since gel polish does not depend on evaporating solvents, they don’t have the signature smell of traditional nail polish.

Gel nails are strong. But if the finished product is also too rigid and stiff, it would break easily, like a thin biscuit. So, nail gel polish also contains plasticizers to prevent early breaking and chipping off. 

But the plasticizers in your nail polish won’t prevent chipping and peeling by causes other than the nail polish itself.

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Gel Nails

Why is my gel nail polish peeling off?

Gel nail polish is supposed to last longer than traditional nail polish. It is stronger and less susceptible to chipping. 

You may ask, “If that is true then, why does my gel nail polish peel off so easily?” And despite the promise of longevity, you could be the next person asking, “Why do my gel nails peel off after a week?” 

If the issue already exists during the manicure process, painting over the problem won’t fix it. 

Why is my gel nail polish peeling off

Your nail cuticle is in the way

If you look at your fingernails, a thin layer outlines the base part of your hard nails. This is your cuticle. When you paint over your nails with the cuticles still protruding, some of the polish sticks to the cuticle and not the nail itself. This would cause gel nails lifting and peeling because of where the polish is adhering to. 

The gel polish could not stick properly

Another reason why your new gel nail polish lifts and peels too soon is that it didn’t have a tight grip on the nail plate in the first place. Unlike when it was just your cuticle in the way, the gel polish barely has anything to hold on to this time.

You could be upping your lazy-day game and just painting over old polished nails. Or you didn’t wash your hands first before whipping out your nail kit. Old polish and oils keep your nails smooth. 

CHECK OUT: Why is my gel polish sticky

The curing process was not right

Gel nail polish requires exposure to UV light from special lamps. It is what transforms the polish into a dry and strong film on your nails. The chemical reaction from UV light alone perfects the manicure process. If this process did not go as expected, your freshly manicured nails did not dry properly. 

Not all UV light lamps are not created equal. While there is a common range of wavelengths (340 to 380 nanometers), wavelengths alone do not tell the whole story. 

The intensity of the light differs as to bulb wattage (in watts). How many bulbs there are and how far they are from the fingernails also affect how the lamp cures your nails. 

Add to those, there is no singular magic number for how long the nails should be kept under the UV light. 

But the hard part in understanding UV light lamps is finding the perfect match for your gel polish. Brands differ from each other in the recommended specifications for UV light lamps. For instance, the photo-initiator of Brand X reacts at 340 nm while Brand Y’s only activates at 370 nm.

If you use specifications that are not meant for your gel polish, your manicure won’t cure properly. 

The gel polish layers are too thick

You may have been too excited about your new nail kit that you applied too much of the product in between layers. Thick coats of the gel polish won’t cure in the same manner as the recommended coats. The time would be too short to perfect the curing process. The light won’t be as effective as well. 

However, this does not mean you should keep your fingers under the lamp longer. Nor does this mean that you should use a stronger UV light lamp. The light could damage your skin if you do either.

CHECK OUT: How to fix bumpy nail polish

Not taking care of your manicured nails

Even if you’re sure that the manicure went perfectly, you can still get early gel nail lifting and peeling from not taking care of your nails. Manicured hands need extra attention. There are activities that you have to do a little differently when you have gel nail polish.

For instance, you could be working with harsh chemicals regularly. The chemicals can weaken and damage your fresh nails. Working with high or low temperatures can also make your nail polish flake away too soon. 

How to fix peeling gel nails

Eventually, nail polish is going to peel and lift. You can still fix peeling polish. How you’re going to react when it happens can save or shorten the life of your nail color. 

Picking on it is not the answer

If you have a habit of picking on nail polish even after you just applied them, the question “Why do my gel nails peel off after one day?” answers itself.

When you notice that your nails are prematurely peeling, you shouldn’t make it worse by picking on the lifted gel. Not only will this make the polish peel off faster, but you may also damage your nails. If you force the polish off by picking on it, you might also unintentionally slough off cells from your nail. 

Cover and seal it

If the polish is just starting to lift from your nail plate, you can use a topcoat to reseal it. While this is a band-aid solution, it’ll help you get by for a while.

But if bits and pieces of the polish have already peeled off, you may have to visit your nail salon. They can recommend a long-term solution.

How to stop gel nails from peeling

How to stop gel nails from peeling

For the several issues discussed earlier, the solution is simply to start the manicure right.

Prep your nails properly

Before you start painting over your nails, make sure that there is nothing that will prevent the nail gel polish from sticking on your nail plate.

And you should keep your cuticles in check so they don’t come between the nail and the polish. You don’t have to trim the visible layer. Instead, just make sure that you’re actually applying the polish not on the cuticle, but on the nail. 

Curing process done right

Your UV light specifications should complement your chosen gel polish. Thus, you have to follow down to the letter what the manufacturer prescribed for their product. 

By making a personal estimation and formula, you might be wasting a perfectly good product. Worse, you could irreversibly harm or hurt yourself from UV light exposure.

In following the correct specifications for wavelength, light intensity, duration, and distance from the light your nail polish would cure properly. It would not peel too soon. And you could set aside that nail appointment for later. 

Use thin, even layers

Swiping on a singular thick layer to finish early seems like a logical way to apply gel nail polish. After all, it would take you a long time to achieve the same thickness if you apply several thin layers. 

But this would only prevent your nail polish from curing correctly and completely. And if you use thick layers, that means you have to adjust the settings for your UV lamp or keep your hands under it for longer. You should not resort to this.

Your nail polish won’t be strong and long-lasting. You may even harm yourself if you stray from the recommended use of the lamp. 

The answer to “Why are my gel nails peeling off?” may also be found in what you do after you get your nails done. 

Protect your hands with gloves

Manicured nails should not stop your day. It just means that you have to be extra careful when you’re working with your hands.

A good pair of gloves keeps your nails safe from chemicals that would otherwise weaken your nails or damage your nail polish. Your hands will also thank you for taking this extra step.

Don’t bite your nails

If the edges of your teeth are sharp enough to cut and tear down food, they can also scrape your nail polish. Biting your nails can damage not only your nail plate. It can leave painful cuts and wounds on the skin around your nail. This habit should be curbed since it is an invitation for infections and diseases.

Keep your nails healthy 

Keeping your nails healthy is an accumulation of habits that contribute to good nail health. Number one on the list is maintaining a balanced diet so that your nails won’t be deprived of nourishment. 

Another habit that you should have started yesterday is using hand moisturizers. Taking care of your hands is also by extension taking care of your nails. When your nails are moisturized, you’re less likely to have chipped and peeling nail polish. 

CHECK OUT: Why are nails clear

Acrylic Nails

Can you paint over acrylic nails

We love some pampering time, right? And it usually includes going to a salon and having our nails done.

But you don’t have to spend a lot of money for some pampering time. You can do it at home too. 

Yes, you can even update the color of your acrylic nails in the comfort of your home. With the right product and the proper know-how, you can paint over your acrylic nails at a much cheaper cost. 

Let’s learn the ins and outs of repainting over acrylic nails below!

Gel polish over acrylic nails

Can’t decide whether to get acrylic nails or have a gel polish? Don’t worry. You don’t have to choose. You can have both. 

So can you paint over acrylic nails with gel polish? The answer is yes. You can apply gel nail polish on top of your acrylic nails just like how you’d do it on your natural nails. 

Many people opt for gel polish as they last longer than regular nail polish. It doesn’t chip, so you don’t have to apply it often. 

To make sure that your gel polish will last on your acrylic nails, here’s what you’ll need:

The Right Products

You’d need an acetone-free nail polish remover. It will completely remove the paint on your acrylic nails the same way acetone-based products do but without the damage. 

When applying a gel nail polish, opt for acrylic-compatible products. The same goes for your base and top coats. 

And if you’re thinking of skipping the base and top coats, think again. 

You must apply the right amount of base and top coats before and after the nail polish. This will protect your acrylic nails while nourishing them. In fact, base coats help with the longevity of your acrylic nails. 

The Right Application

The application process is the same when applying gel polish to your regular nails. 


The first thing is to clean the cuticle area using well-sanitized tools. You’d need a cuticle pusher, cuticle scissors, nail drill bits, and a hand file. 

After prepping the nail, remove all the dust and start with the base coat. You can then proceed with the nail polish and end with a good top coat. 

The Right Care

A properly applied gel nail polish can last for two weeks. And if you are careful with your nails, it can even last for another couple of weeks. 

Make it a habit to apply cuticle oil to the nail beds. And if you need to do some rigorous cleaning chores, put on gloves to protect your nail polish. This way, you’d get the most out of your gel polish.

Nail polish for acrylic nails

nail polish for acrylic nails

Not a fan of gel polish? In that case, consider applying traditional nail polish on your fake nails instead. 

So can you paint over acrylic nails with normal nail polish? Yes, you absolutely can!

In fact, traditional nail polish lasts longer on acrylics compared to your natural nails. Don’t forget to seal the ends properly, though. Also, apply a good top and base coat for outstanding outcomes.

Regular nail polish is your best choice if you:

  • easily get bored of your nail color and would like to change the shade on your acrylic nails frequently.
  • are allergic to acetone.
  • are frequently experiencing nail problems.
  • prefer a safer and more affordable option.

Sure, gel polish lasts longer than traditional nail polish. That’s a good thing for those who want to stick to a single nail color for a couple of weeks. But if you want to change your nail colors more often, then traditional polish is the way to go.

Removing gel polish also requires acetone. If you’re allergic to this product, you’d have to opt for traditional nail polish. The use of acetone can also damage your acrylic. So think twice before applying gel polish over your acrylic nails.

While the drying time for traditional nail polish is much longer than gel polish, it is way safer. Not only for your nail health but your overall health as well. This is because drying gel polish usually requires UV light which can be hazardous.

One of the greatest drawbacks of regular nail polish is its longevity. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing that you can do to make them last longer. 

Here are some ways to keep your nails looking their best for longer:

Proper Preparation

You don’t need to buy nail care products to prepare your nails. You can use easily-accessible kitchen products for your nails. Vinegar, for example, is great in removing excess oil on your nails. It will act as a natural cleanser for your pre-manicure session. 

Proper Coat

You’d need a base coat to ensure the nail polish will stick for much longer. Then defend your nail polish from chips by sealing it with a topcoat. Do this every other day. Let your nails dry after every coat before applying another coat to prevent damage. 

CHECK OUT: How to fix bumpy nail polish

Proper Protection

No matter how much preparation or coat you apply to your nail polish, it will still chip and crack if you don’t protect it. So if you have some excessive cleaning to do, do it a day before or a few days after applying your nail polish. It’s also wise to skip the hot bath if you want your nail polish to last the next day. 

Can you paint over acrylic nails at home? 

Can you paint over acrylic nails at home 

You aren’t wearing acrylics for the sake of shielding your nails, right? You’d love to paint them too. The good thing is, you can even do this at home. Show off head-turning nail colors without going to a salon. Here’s how to do it.

Remove the old polish

You shouldn’t paint over your old nail polish. This will make your nails look thick. It can also affect the quality of the new nail polish. So first, remove the old nail polish. 

Make sure to use a non-acetone-based polish remover. Using regular nail polish removers with acetone content can remove the acrylic nails along with the polish. You wouldn’t want that, for sure.

Clean and dry the nails

Always keep your acrylic nails clean. Make sure to dry them to avoid nail infections. Don’t proceed to the next step unless your nails are completely dry. It’s the key to ensuring that your nail polish will look nice on your acrylics.

Apply the base coat on the acrylics

Apply two layers of base coats on your acrylic nails. Make sure that the first layer is already dry before proceeding with the second layer of the base coat. And when shopping for base coat products, choose those that are acrylic-compatible. 

Apply the nail polish

This is the most exciting part – applying the actual nail polish on your acrylics! 

Make sure that your nails are ready before you proceed. Check again if the base coat is already dry and not coming through. 

If so, apply two coats of nail polish on your acrylics. Again, wait for the product to completely dry and settle before proceeding with the next coat. 

Apply the top coat on your acrylics

Now, proceed to the cherry on top of your eye-catching nail art — the top coat. 

Once you achieve the outcomes you want, apply a good top coat. This will protect your nails while making them shine. Make sure to cover the entire acrylic nail for a complete seal. 

No matter how lazy you get, you should never skip this part.

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Acrylic Nails

Can you use a regular top coat on acrylic nails?

Can you use a regular top coat on acrylic nails

You’re applying a top coat not only for the added shine, right? It is also to protect your acrylic nails. So be sure to choose the right one that will not damage your stunning nails. 

It is almost necessary to use a regular top coat on your acrylic nails. While it’s tempting to opt for the popular UV as the top coat, it’s not a good idea. It is not the best choice for your acrylic nails as it can actually chip your enhancements.

Use normal top coat layers for your nails’ best protection without damage.

CHECK OUT: Can you paint over acrylic nails

Final Thoughts

Gel polish, traditional nail polish, acrylic nails — they’re all great options when styling your nails. And you don’t have to choose one and stick with it. Your options remain limitless even if you go with acrylic nails. 

You can paint your fake nails using gel polish or natural nail polish with no problem. Whatever you choose, proper application and regular care will keep your stylish nails in top shape. 


How to dry gel nail polish without UV light

One great pleasure in life is splurging on a fabulous manicure.

And if you’re already splurging on one, why not get the one that lasts longer?

Gel nail polishes are made up of acrylic monomers and oligomers that bond together when cured under UV or LED light, making a more durable manicure that lasts for 2-3 weeks. So you don’t have to worry about chipping your manicure after a short period of time.

But you might be asking, “Isn’t UV light bad for your skin?”

Repeated exposure to UV light is harmful and can cause multiple skin conditions.

So now you’re trying to look for other ways to dry your gel nail polish without using UV light.

Well, follow along as we discuss less harmful alternatives for drying gel nail polish at home.  

How to dry gel nail polish at home

Before we get into other alternatives, let’s go back to basics.

You might be wondering why gel nail polish needs UV or LED light to harden. 

Well, gel nail polish contains a chemical called, photoinitiators, which needs direct UV wavelengths to dry. This process is called photoreaction

The photoinitiators are then converted into energy needed to start the polymerization process. This is when molecules inside the gel bond together, turning it into a hard coating.

How to dry gel nail polish at home

Either a UV or LED nail lamp is used as they both emit UV wavelengths. The difference is, UV lamps emit broader wavelength spectrums, while LED lamps give off a more targeted number of wavelengths.

However, LED nail lamps are more expensive compared to UV lamps, as they tend to last longer. So it’s a better investment if you want a sturdier lamp.

The only disadvantage is, not all gel nail polishes can dry using an LED nail lamp. So you have to figure out which brands of gel nail polish can. 

CHECK OUT: Why is my gel polish sticky

How To Make Gel Nail Polish Dry Faster

When you’re in a rush but still need to do your manicure,  applying a thinner coat of nail polish can help speed up the drying time faster.

Also, an LED lamp can dry the polish faster compared to a UV lamp. It takes a single layer of polish 30 seconds to cure, while a UV lamp takes 2 minutes. 

That’s why more people are now choosing to buy LED lamps over UV lamps.

Can gel nails dry naturally?

What if you don’t have a nail lamp, or just generally want to avoid them, can gel nail polish still dry?

Nope, unfortunately. Without the help of UV wavelengths, oxygen will hinder in curing the nails. The air will stop the gel particles from binding together, preventing them from hardening. So leaving your nails to airdry is not a plausible solution.

But what happens if you use gel nail polish without UV light? Would it even be possible?

All hope is not lost. There are alternatives, albeit a little out of the box, but read on to find out. 

Substitute for UV light for nails

Here are a few ways on how to set gel polish without UV light:

Gel-like nail polish

Gel-like nail polish, or also called “Gel Effect nail polish”, is a type of polish that gives off the same shine and appearance as gel nail polish gives off.

They also have the same strength and durability, so they don’t chip off easily.

What’s great about gel-like polishes is they don’t need curing under UV light. You can apply them like regular nail polish and you’ll get the benefits of a gel nail manicure.

They can also be removed the same way as regular nail polish, so you don’t need to soak your nails in acetone for an extended period of time.

Gel-like nail polish

Natural sun

What better way to get UV light, than from the original source, right? 

Just like UV nail lamps, the sun emits UV wavelengths, so drying gel polish can be effective, it just takes a little longer.

As long as you pick a gel nail polish that’s light-sensitive, you can dry them under the sun for 20-45 minutes.

There’s also a brand that designed a gel nail polish line that can actually dry using natural sunlight.

Now you don’t have to wait for your gel polish to dry before going out. Just don’t forget to slather on your sunscreen.

Ice bath

Getting your nails wet to dry your nail polish seems like an unusual idea, but it can work.

After applying a coat of gel nail polish, air-dry your nails for 5-10 minutes, then dip them in cold water with ice. The bowl should contain more water, so you don’t smudge your nail polish with the ice cubes.

Keep your nails submerged for 3 minutes before removing them.

Let your nails air-dry for about an hour to allow them to be fully set. Remember to use your hands minimally to avoid smudging.

Fast-drying nail polish spray

If you’re not a fan of freezing your nails off, then try a fast-drying nail polish spray. This method takes the longest time, so if you do try this, set aside a few hours.

The method is easy:

  • Lay down a newspaper to protect your table.
  • Hold the can of fast-drying nail polish spray 6 inches away from your nails.
  • Apply slowly to your painted nails.
  • Allow your nails to sit for a few hours until completely dry. 

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Gel Nails

How long does it take gel nail polish to dry without UV light?

How long does it take gel nail polish to dry without UV light

The drying time for your gel nail polish will depend on a number of factors, like the method, brand, or coat thickness.

Gel-like nail polish can have different drying times depending on the brand that you’re using. It’s best to look at the label of the polish to get the best results.

But, typically, gel-like nail polish can dry to the touch in about 6-8 minutes, while it dries completely after 13-15 minutes.

As mentioned above, drying your polish using the sun can take around 20-45 minutes. The ice bath method can take about an hour, and the fast-drying nail polish spray can take several hours.

CHECK OUT: Why does my gel polish peel off

Final Thoughts

Gel nail polish can give off a shinier and stronger manicure that can last longer compared to regular nail polish. So if you want a good quality manicure, you also need to invest in a good UV nail lamp.

But sometimes the effects of the radiation from the UV light can deter you from this type of manicure.

All hope is not lost, though, as there are alternatives on how to dry your gel polish, you just need to experiment with the methods mentioned above.  

Acrylic Nails

How to clean underneath acrylic nails

Not all people are born with thick hair, curly eyelashes, and strong nails. But this shouldn’t stop you from getting beautiful hair or stunning lashes, and strong long nails. 

You can have anything artificial and there is nothing wrong with that. This is especially true for your hard-working fingers. Nothing should stop you from rocking eye-catching acrylic nails!

Like anything artificial that we add to our body, though, nail acrylics need proper care. It is the key to ensuring that your fake nails will look as natural as possible. 

So before you enter into the world of nail enhancements, learn the basics of keeping them clean below!

How to cut your own nails under acrylic 

How to cut your own nails under acrylic

Your nails will continue to grow under the acrylics. It’s natural and you must learn how to keep your acrylics in top shape even with your natural nail growth.

Sure, you can go to a professional nail technician for your regular fill appointments. But if you’re not willing to pay their expensive fees, you can trim your nails yourself. Be cautious not to damage your enhancements, though. 

Here are the things that you’ll need:


Safety Nail Bits

Safety nail bits with a smooth dome-shaped top are great for trimming nails under the acrylics. If you can’t find a round-shaped nail bit that can fit your small pinky nail, choose a corn-head nail bit instead. The narrower tip of these types of nail bits is perfect for your tiny nails. 

Begin at a low speed of about 6,000 to 7,000 RPM and go up according to the thickness of your nails. Go back and forth until you achieve your desired length. Remember to be gentle with your natural nails.


After trimming the nails under the enhancements, remove the dust using a brush. You can use any nail brush for this step. 

Isopropyl Alcohol

After trimming your nails, use an Isopropyl alcohol to clean it. It’s a non-toxic product that isn’t only perfect for cleaning your nails. It will help prevent infection caused by minor scrapes too.

CHECK OUT: Can you paint over acrylic nails

Dirt between nail and acrylic

Acrylic nails are stunning. But, it can get in the way of your regular cleaning chores. You might have to reduce rigorous tasks like gardening if your beautiful acrylics are on. 

Here are ways to keep your fake nails clean while they’re on:

Personal Hygiene

Proper handwashing is the key to keeping your nails clean. Use mild soap and water. Be careful when washing your hands. Improper hand washing can do more harm than good. If you have to use a brush, opt for a soft-bristled brush. Focus on the surfaces of acrylics as it’s more prone to germs compared to the other parts of your nails.

Protect Your Nails

Protect your nails using rubber gloves when doing some chores. This is especially important if it involves water. Using rubber gloves as you bathe is not a bad idea. This will help in preventing dirt from getting under your enhancements. It will keep your hands dry as well. Bear in mind that excessive moisture will cause fungi growth.  

How do you clean underneath your nails?

How do you clean underneath your nails

It is almost normal for acrylic nails to accumulate dirt underneath. This is because we use our hands to do a lot of tasks. While it’s normal, you mustn’t ignore it. It’s unhealthy and dirty. So do something about it right away. Read below to know how to clean it properly!

You’ll need:

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Soft-bristle nail brush
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol 

You’ll have to:

  1. Use an antibacterial soap and wash your hands in warm water. Do this whenever you do something with your hands. From cleaning your room and gardening, make sure to always take the time to wash your hands after. Be careful about too much hand washing, though. It can actually also compromise the durability of your nail enhancements.
  1. Sterilize a soft-bristled nail brush in warm soapy water. Remove excess moisture. After that, you can use it to carefully brush under your long acrylic nails to remove any gunk. Be extra gentle. Improper brushing can weaken the glue. 
  1. Use a cuticle pusher to push away dirt tucked under your nail enhancements. Before proceeding to the other nails, clean the tool with a towel first. This is to prevent contamination. Be cautious as too much pressure can cause the enhancements to become loose. 
  1. Lastly, soak your nails in rubbing alcohol. Do this when reattaching a loose nail. This essential step will prevent fungal growth on the nail bed. 

CHECK OUT: Why are nails clear

What is the white stuff under my acrylic nails?

Proper acrylic application is vital to prevent problems with your enhancements. Failure to do this can lead to discoloration on your nails. 

That white stuff that you’re seeing under your acrylic nails is probably fungus growing. Incorrect acrylic applications can also cause chipping and flaking on your nails.

Perhaps, it’s not only white stuff you’re seeing in your nails. Maybe, you’re one of those who’ve asked the question “why are my nails yellow under acrylics?”. 

Your loose acrylic nails are the culprit. The broken seal between the  product and your nail will attract fungi growth. The discoloration will then start to appear. It will not only be yellow or white, a green nail discoloration is another sign of fungal growth caused by your loose acrylics too.


You’d know that it’s a fungal infection if it has the following signs:

  • Nail discoloration (white, green, or yellow)
  • Itching
  • Redness or swelling on the skin around the nails
  • Pain around the nails and on the nail bed
  • Bad smell
  • Brittle nails
  • Pus on the nails


Now that we know the signs of fungi growth on acrylics, let’s dive into its causes below!

Improper Application

If the acrylic nails are improperly attached, they can become loose easily. When that happens, moisture will sip and get trapped into the area between your natural nails and enhancements. Your nails will then become the breeding ground for bacteria. 

Poor Hygiene

This is one of the cons of going to a nail salon. It is because you wouldn’t confirm if they use sterile tools or if they practice proper hygiene.

If you do the nail enhancements, you have control over your hygiene practices. Make sure to sterilize your equipment to prevent exposure to fungal infections.

Not cleaning the gap

There will be instances when you’ll have to remove the enhancement. Perhaps, it detached on its own. Before you re-glue the acrylics to the nail bed, clean it properly. Soak your finger into rubbing alcohol before attaching the acrylics to the nail bed again.


You don’t have to give up acrylics just because they can develop such problems. It’s all about knowing the proper way to attach them to your healthy nails. Here are a few ways to prevent fungal infections from your acrylics:

clean nails


Test your fake nail for a reaction before applying products to all your nails. If it’s your first time using acrylics, apply the products to one nail.

Wait for several days to see whether it causes allergic reactions. Redness, itching, rash, and pain aren’t normal things when applying acrylics. When you notice this, stop using the acrylics and see a professional nail technician.

Sanitize the Tools

This one is very important yet often neglected. Unsanitized tools are actually among the common reasons why nail fungal infections occur. If you’re doing your own acrylic nails, dip the equipment that you are using on a good-quality disinfectant.

Change Nails Regularly

Sure, you can touch up every 2 to 3 weeks if you want to wear your enhancements for more than a month. But this doesn’t mean that you can wear them for a year. 

The longer that you are wearing them, the more you’ll be risking your nails from infection. That’s why you have to remove your fake nails if you have it for more than three months already. 

After that, let your natural nails rest for a month before getting your new enhancements. 


We’ve talked about the symptoms and causes of preventable fungi growth on your nail enhancements. Now, let’s tackle the easiest home remedies that you can do. Read below!

  • Vinegar: Vinegar is well-known for its antibacterial properties. Soak your finger in a 2:1 mixture of vinegar and warm water. 
  • Tea Tree Oil: This miracle oil is not only good for reducing your acne. You can also apply it to your nail two times a day to help treat fungi growth. 
  • Oregano Oil: If tea tree oil isn’t available, use oregano oil instead. In the same way, apply it to your affected nails two times a day. Use a cotton swab for a proper application. 

CHECK OUT: How to fix bumpy nail polish

How to get rid of nail growth under acrylics

If only nails stop growing for a long while after you get acrylics, right? This way, you wouldn’t need to change your acrylics right away. You can enjoy having beautiful nails for a longer time. 

But no, that’s not the case. Your nails will grow at their natural rate under the acrylic. For this reason, you need to keep it maintained. You have a couple of options when your nails start to grow.

Go with your natural nails

It will take around two weeks for you to notice the growth in your nails under the acrylics. When this happens, your enhancements will not look as good as it was when it’s newly installed. Trimming the nails under the acrylic wouldn’t be easy as well. 

If you want an easy way out, you can completely remove the products and go with your natural nails. You can also get a new clean set after. This option could be costly, though.

Continue wearing your enhancements

Installing acrylics on your own might not be as costly as going to the nail salon. But it also involves a lot of time, energy, and effort. Unless you have a few hours to allot for the nail art yourself, you would want your enhancements to last. That said, you might not want the first option.

You don’t have to remove your current enhancements as the nails underneath start growing. You can continue wearing your enhancements for more than a couple of weeks.

How? Take the time to file the nails under the acrylics. Use a medium carbide cone with a rounded top. Be careful to not cut the underside of your fingers. 


First, put your nails upside down. Shave off the excess nail growth from the center. Be careful not to hit the sidewall of the enhancements. If you do, it will create an unsightly notch or could even damage your acrylics. 

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Acrylic Nails

The takeaway!

Acrylic nails are beautiful and stylish. But only when they’re still clean. The good thing is, you can actually keep them clean and healthy through proper nail care. Our best advice is to always be cautious about your acrylic nails and make sure they don’t get dirty. And when they do, clean them properly! 

That way, you can enjoy having long and stunning nails with no fuss.