How to fix bumpy nail polish

There is no such thing as absolute concentration. 

Not until your face is inches away from your nails and you are inhaling all that nail polish solvent you are not supposed to take in. And for what? All for that perfectly painted nail.

Hoping for a salon-quality from a DIY manicure is like looking for an oasis. Sometimes you really do get to it, eventually. 

Most of the time, it’s a mirage. You think it looks alright until you leave it for a second, and then bam! It is now resembling the Chocolate Hills. 

So now you are just staring at it, unbelieving. Do you restart? For the nth time? How do you even fix a bumpy nail polish? Will the next attempt be your lucky streak? 

Might be.

Just wanna say, to the hands of a non-professional, a smooth manicure is part luck and a great deal of technique.

So instead of being paralyzed at the prospect of doing it all over again, why not learn the why’s and how’s to avoid another bumpy mishap?

Why does my nail polish have bumps when it dries?

Why does my nail polish have bumps when it dries

You probably thought more trials equals smoother nails. 

While that is a good assumption to make, it only works when you actually learn from your mistakes after each attempt. After all, you possibly can’t expect a different outcome with the same methods. 

Nope. Often, you just repeat your mistakes over and over. And as the frustration piles up, you find yourself blowing on the polish harder or even applying the next coat without any waiting time! 

Moral of the story: Terrible ideas spring from terrible situations. But don’t fret, you’re not the only one doing this!

The bumps you observe are often air trapped during application. It can also be caused by natural oils produced by your skin or lotion. Or that french fries you thought was a good companion. 

So how do you not damn your nails and waste your time?

Simple. The key is to know how they might exist in every step of the process. 


What do you know about prep time? That it is in every single beauty routine. And for a reason!

Have you ever put moisturizer on an unclean face? It feels yuck and absolutely useless. That’s also how it goes for nails. 

Before proceeding, you should remove the oils on your cuticles and even the dirt hiding under your nails. 

Nail polish 

Nail polish is not a one-time use item. Naturally, it is okay to reuse them again when the quality is still good. But there are telltales signs you have to watch out for if you want to avoid any more bumps. 

Too thick? This usually indicates that the solvents have evaporated due to air exposure.

When you swipe that bright color, you also invite air to swoop inside the bottle you left open. You don’t realize it until you have to literally drag your nail polish on the next DIY session you have. 

It’s old. It’s goopy. It’s dying. And pushing it any further will also kill the flawless dream you have for your nails.

This often happens to nail polish of poor quality. Premium ones last longer. So fix it or ditch it, but be wise enough to know when to stop using it.


“Patience is a virtue.” Ever heard of that old saying? Well, when you do not listen to the wise, you end up wondering why. 

There’s the nail polish, and sure, maybe you know that you must wait before applying each coat. But there’s also the base and topcoat. And those two are essential. 

No blowing either! You are not a windmill. Your breaths are not efficient enough to dry it! 

Cold water can aid you better on this. Besides, it is more likely that you would trap air and dirt and then get dizzy. 

You have to understand that there is a woozy and bump-free solution out there.

CHECK OUT: Why is my gel polish sticky

So what do you do when your nails are bumpy? 

Two things you must ask first: are they dry already or in the process of drying?

The root cause is the same for both, but there are cases where you can catch it mid-disaster. 

When the nail bubbles (it sounds cute for something so awful) have formed when the polish is still wet, don’t overthink it too much. It might just be a bad bottle. Or even a bad brand (they exist, sadly).

Changing one bottle for another might get rid of those pesky bubbles. If not, here are some tips to still slay that DIY. 

How to fix nail polish bubbles

How to fix nail polish bubbles

Okay, you are in a mid-disaster crisis. Your nail polish is bubbling with the ferocity of a volcano erupting, and you are confused. 

Cleanliness is your friend

First of all, did you clean your nails? It’s the first step to remove the oils around and on your nails. So take your time with that warm water and soap because unless you need reminding, it is also hygienic! 

Scrutinize your nail polish

Yes, scrutinize it. Before you even apply it, check if it’s more of a glob of color more than a functioning nail polish. Thick and creamy are for coffee choices, not nail polish quality! 

Also, do not shake your bottle. Shaking leaves pockets of air, and those might pop off, leaving holes in your mani. So no shaking and yes to rolling. 

When you store it, make sure to remove residue from the neck, then cap it tightly. Don’t let it breathe, and then store it in a morgue! Or for a less gruesome option, a dark, cool place like your bathroom is good enough. 

More than just swiping

A salon-finish mani doesn’t only rely on nail polish. A good mani is a sandwich. You have the base coat, which seals your nail’s natural oils. Then your nail polish should be painted thinly and dry completely before another coat. And then the top coat for that smooth finish. 

Moisture and heat are your enemies. That is, direct sunlight and a shower after your mani is a horrible idea to entertain. So are fans and open windows. They are just big welcome signs for air to enter. 

CHECK OUT: Why are nails clear

How to fix nail polish that is dry

Okay, now this is some post-catastrophe recovery you need to do. But don’t despair!  There are a few tips to cover up that mess. 

Another layer

Again, the topcoat is your bulldozer. It will flatten and reduce the bumps you see. Another layer you can apply is actually that nail polish you just used. But make it thin! No need to make your problem worse!

Polish thinner

Nowadays, you can even salvage barely manageable polish. Polish thinners make the magic work. You just need to brush it on the bumps which formed.

With polish thinners, it’s a one-way street so don’t go back and forth when applying it! Start from cuticle to tip in a flowing and continuous stroke. You can then reapply the polish to the treated spots.

Sparkly additions

If you are on your last thread of patience, then let no man ever condemn you for actually trying to camouflage your mess with jewels or stickers. 

If you can’t impress them with smoothness, blind them with sparkles! 

CHECK OUT: Why does my gel polish peel off

How to make nail polish smooth

How to make nail polish smooth

Aside from the know-how already mentioned above, you might want that extra list of hacks. Who doesn’t? Smooth nail polish takes time and often more trials than you want to invest in. 

 But you are here already, and as Fergie said, big girls don’t cry. 

They just learn. 

The 90/10 rule

When you want to shape your nails, make sure it is 90% because of the nail clippers and 10% filing. 


The surface of your nails depends on whether you buffed it or not. And you guessed it right! Buffing creates a smoother surface for your nail polish to glide on. 

Oil and de-oil

Imagine watering your plants just for someone to say you need to dry them up for them to live. What a load of unmentionable curse words, right? But listen, while it might seem like that, there is a reason for it.

You must hydrate your cuticle with cuticle oil or serum. It’s still part of your prep, albeit the most counterintuitive one. 

The next part is washing away the effort you made. Kidding! You already know that oils of any kind are a big no-no. So scrub them off properly. You can even cleanse them with facial toner or alcohol for extra security!

CHECK OUT: Nail Glue Alternatives

Final word

It is all about quality— from the state of your nails to your nail polish to even how you dry them. Just remember, you may not have the experience of a professional, but you can learn like one. 

Take your time and nail it! 


Why are nails clear

Our nails are technically low-maintenance. Apart from regular trims and polish, if you prefer, we can just leave them alone and still expect them to turn out fine. So, most people don’t pay so much attention to their nails until they have to. 

For instance, we may have seen white streaks or lines on our nails. And after coming out of a long, warm bath, we may have noticed that the tips of our fingernails appear see-through. But our wrinkly and pruney fingers were more interesting to us at that moment. 

Because nothing bad really happens after we observe these things, we tend to dismiss them right away. 

But how do we know that we have nothing to worry about? 

Are nails supposed to be transparent?

Are nails supposed to be transparent

Our growing nails are made up of the same substance as our hair: keratin. The hard thing we recognize as nail is an aggregate of dead cells. These cells come from the nail matrix covered by our cuticle and skin. 

As new cells are being formed in the matrix, the older cells are being pushed outward. The nails that we know look pink because they are on top of the nail bed. The bed contains blood vessels. 

As our nails grow longer, they eventually extend beyond the nail bed and beyond our fingers or toes. It is this free edge or margin that we trim regularly. The free edge of the nail appears whitish or semi-transparent. This part is no longer covering a pink and vascularized nail bed. 

When it comes to nail health, there shouldn’t be a question of clear vs white nail tips. Whether you have white or clear fingernail tips, you have normal, healthy nails. That is, of course, assuming that the color of the tips is your only issue. 

What do healthy nails look like?

what do healthy nails look like

In as much as the health of your nails reflect your overall well-being, there are also various signs of good nail health. 

Healthy nails are strong, smooth, and free of obvious lines on the surface. And because nails rest on a vascularized nail bed, pinkish nails show that you have good blood circulation in your fingers and toes. 

You may notice a temporary color change in your nails. For instance, they might be bluer than pink at low temperatures. Having blue nails is a normal reaction to cold. This is your blood vessel’s response to temperature, constricting thereby distancing itself from the surface of your tissues.

While not every change on your nails should be a cause for worry, talk to your doctor when you don’t feel comfortable about any change that you observe. This is especially true when you are experiencing unnatural nail discoloration, dark streaks, surface pits, and nail form and shape changes.

The skin around your nails should also be healthy and hydrated. If it is swelling and painful, you may be experiencing an infection. It’s wise to consult your health care provider first so they can diagnose and treat you properly. 

Apart from keeping the skin moisturized, you should avoid having your cuticles removed during a mani-pedi. Cuticles protect the matrix underneath your skin. If you keep removing this protection, you would be exposing your nails to all sorts of infections.

You may also be unconsciously harming your nails. Habits like biting or picking your nails are manifestations of anxiety or stress. Over time, you may cut into your nail bed, allowing harmful pathogens to enter open wounds.

CHECK OUT: How to protect your nails from nail glue

Are white nails healthy?

Seeing a white region in the base of your nails is normal, even though others don’t see it in their nails. This section is called the lunula. It is composed of living cells that are yet to be pushed outward onto the nail bed. 

After these cells die, they lose color. That is why we can see the pinkish color of the nail bed through our nails.

When does a white nail become a cause for concern? 

Often, we notice white horizontal streaks appear on some of our nails. They are common and will eventually go away on their own. This phenomenon is usually due to trauma to the nail plate or nail matrix which disrupts the nail or impedes cell production. 

But if most of the nail becomes white or white bands are running across the nail, it could be a symptom of a disease or condition. You have to go see your doctor for proper medical advice and diagnosis.

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

How to fix clear nails

How to fix clear nails

Clear nails aren’t good if they’re a result of over-hydration. If you ordinarily have white tips, you might ask, “why are my nails clear after shower?” Since they are permeable to water, your nails become clear after you just stepped out of a long bath. This goes away after a few minutes, and you would be left with white nail tips. 

If you’re handling a lot of chores that involve washing and water, you would also get clear fingernail tips. Eventually, our nails would soften because of the water that was absorbed frequently. Although that would be the dream, we all can’t skip chores. So, we should protect ourselves while we clean. 

Especially when you are using hot water and strong chemicals, wearing gloves gives an extra layer of protection. Bleach and harsh cleaners can weaken your nail’s constitution. After an extensive scrubbing, the tips might easily tear away from the rest of the nail. 

Wearing gloves isn’t just for the sake of aesthetics. Where the nail chips and breaks off might lead to your fingers feeling raw and uncomfortable. Until your nail grows back, you’re left with this uneasy feeling for a while. A reliable pair of gloves help prevent that.

How to get clear fingernails

White and dry nails are also not good since that means your nails are brittle. What your nails need is a good balance of strength and hydration. 

Especially during these uncertain times, we need to wash and disinfect our hands often. In the process, we end up weakening our nails.

Products that contain alcohol are easy culprits for drying your nails. For example, hand sanitizers with high alcohol concentration strip moisture from your hands. So, moisturize after you disinfect your hands.

Try to avoid or minimize using nail polish removers as they’re notoriously dehydrating. Give your nails regular breaks from colors so you won’t always have to remove them after.

Your nails should be part of your skin care routine. Our nails may be low maintenance, but they also deserve pampering after helping us experience the world through our fingers. The next time you moisturize your skin, add a little love on your nails, too! 

CHECK OUT: How to clean underneath acrylic nails


How To Type With Long Nails

If you’re a fan of the Kardashians, then you’ve probably noticed their long dazzling nails. They even style their outfits based on their nail color and design.

Their nail obsession is top-tier, don’t you agree? 

But if you’re planning to get fabulous long nails just like the Kardashians, you might have to rethink again. 

The question now is, can you keep up? 

Maintaining long nails comes with a price. 

With long nails, buttoning your shirt, opening a soda can, putting on contact lenses, and even typing on your keyboard or phone screen will become a struggle.

But don’t fret too much; you’re in the right place. You can still be a keyboard warrior without sacrificing your nail style. 

So follow along as we look into the different tips and hacks when typing with long nails. 

Are long nails bad for typing?

Let’s get this straight, long nails are bad for typing. 

Yes, you’ve heard that right! 

Typing with long nails means you’ll have to exert more effort. 

The reason is that you will be using your fingerpads, and when you do this, the muscles in your fingers tend to hyperextend.

That being said, when you continuously type with long nails, you are likely damaging your hand muscles. This causes strain not just to your fingers but also to your hands and wrists. 

Typing with long nails hack

Typing with long nails hack

So since we’ve already established the harmful effect of typing with long nails, let’s now talk about some tips on how you type with them.

There is no doubt how challenging it is to type with long nails, whether on your keyboard or phone screen. You would probably press the wrong keys more often and make a lot of typographical errors. 

But with proper method and constant practice, typing with long nails would just be a walk in the park!

So I listed a few tips for you to follow. Let’s get started!  

How do you type on the keyboard with long nails?

If you have long nails, it is best to try out a new typing method — typing with your fingerpads. This prevents your nails from hitting the keyboard keys while typing. 

To do this, straighten out your fingers and place them horizontally to the keyboard keys. If your fingertips glide across your keyboard, then you’re doing the right thing. 

Also, press each key carefully to minimize error. 

How to type with acrylics on a laptop

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

They are best known for adding length and changing the shape of your nails. They are made from a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymer, which are then bonded onto your natural nails. 

And while acrylics make your nails look fancy, you will probably face the dilemma of typing on your laptop. 

It’s a big no-no to strike your laptop keys with your acrylic nails. This will only add stress to your nails, causing them to chip or, worst, to break. 

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Acrylic Nails

So what do you do then? You can follow these 3 steps listed down below.

Change your way of typing

The normal way of typing is using the tips of our fingers.

But if you have acrylic nails, using the tips of your fingers will only end up with tons of typos. 

So, changing your typing form is a must. All you need to do is straighten out your fingers so that your fingerpads can glide across the keys instead of your fingertips. 

The gentle technique

When typing with acrylic nails, type as gently as possible. 

This may compromise your typing speed, but on the brighter side, you’ll lessen the likelihood of damaging your acrylic nails. 

Practice makes perfect

Mastering your new typing form requires a lot of patience. As a beginner, remember that precision is more important than speed and that speed is nothing without precision. 

So, for now, just focus on pressing the rights keys.

Don’t pressure yourself too much. Your typing speed will increase in no time once you get the hang of it. 

Just remember Jordin Spark’s famous song lyric — “just take one step at a time, there’s no need to rush.” 

How to type with acrylic nails on the phone

How to type with acrylic nails on the phone

Almost everyone in the world seems to own a cellphone. I mean, who doesn’t have a phone these days? 

However, if you have long acrylic nails, you’ll surely face the dilemma of operating and typing on your phone. 

So what do you do? 

You can try holding your phone in one hand and using your pointer finger of your other hand to type on your phone.  This minimizes typographical errors since your pointer finger is thinner and is more dominant. 

The downside, however, is that your typing speed will slow down.

Another method you can try is by placing your phone somewhere else, like on a table, and operating your phone with your two pointer fingers. This increases your typing speed since you’re using two fingers to type. 

But don’t do this for a long time. 

Looking down strains the neck muscles, leading to nerve pain and spasms. 

So a piece of advice: take breaks in between. A 10-20 minute break will do. 

However, if you find the two methods a hassle, you can try using a stylus pen. This keeps your long nails away from your phone screen. 

When buying a stylus pen, pay attention to the nib and grip to determine if it’s a good fit for your hands. Also, make sure that it works well with your device. 

CHECK OUT: Can you paint over acrylic nails

How to get used to typing with long nails

Get the right nail shape 

Not all nail shape is good for typing. 

So if you wish to maintain your long nails, go for a square or oval nail shape. Don’t opt for pointy nails since they are harder to control and likely break when you type. 

A thicker and rounder shape will make typing a lot easier. 

Get the right nail length 

Get the right nail length 

Aside from getting the right nail shape, it is equally important to have the right nail length. 

Your nails should not be too long. Otherwise, you’ll end up having a hard time typing. 

The ideal nail length should not be more than 1 centimeters. 

Constant practice 

Again, practice with dedication.

Take all the time to get used to your new typing form and learn patiently. It’s always wise to remember that practice makes perfect. 

Final thoughts

Almost everyone spends their day typing on their computers and phone screen, whether it’s an email or report for work or just a quick chit-chat with friends. 

And yes, it can be a little frustrating to deal with mundane tasks when you have long nails. That’s why your nail choices should not affect your daily activities and productivity. 

Hence, just remember the proper typing method and practice it constantly. Over time, you will easily find your way around. 

CHECK OUT: Why are nails clear

Nail Glue

Nail Glue Alternatives

Now that press-on nails or fake nails have a broader range compared to a few years ago, it’s no wonder it’s getting quite the attention these days.

They’re budget-friendly, easy to apply and have hundreds of designs and shapes to choose from.

If you’re a big fan of doing your nails, then you’ve probably tried on some fun fake nails. 

But with press-on nails, you’d have to use nail glue to attach. 

Now, if you’re reading this, we’re guessing either you’ve run out of nail glue and need to change up your manicure ASAP, or you’re worried about the nail glue containing harsh chemicals or allergens. Either way, you’re probably looking for effective nail glue alternatives. 

Don’t worry; you’re in the right place. A good alternative to nail glue should be safe to apply to your natural nail so that it won’t cause any breakage or damage.  

So follow along as we look into various nail glue alternatives and find out which are the best ones.

What can you use if you have no nail glue?

How do you stick fake nails on without nail glue? Can you use just any glue?

The temptation to use any glue you can find at home may be strong, but using just any glue could leave damaging effects on your nails. 

Think about it, the idea of your fake nails being permanently attached to your natural nails is a very scary thought.

Adhesives like super glue, gorilla glue, eyelash glue, shoe glue, or craft glue are made for different uses. The question is, can they be used as nail glue?

CHECK OUT: Nail glue vs super glue

Alternative to nail glue

Here’s a quick guide to figure out the best fake nail glue alternative:

Alternative to nail glue

Can I use super glue for fake nails? 

Can you use super glue instead of nail glue? The thought probably crossed your mind. But is it actually safe to use super glue on your nails?

Super glue is made for industrial purposes, so it’s more concentrated than nail glue.

They both contain the same main ingredient, cyanoacrylate, but since super glue is not made to be used on your skin, it can cause irritations or dermatitis. 

Plus, super glue is usually manufactured in less sterile conditions, unlike nail glue and medical-grade glue, so there’s a possibility of chemical contaminants that your body can absorb.

Another thing is that super glue sticks better on rough surfaces; that’s why most brands add etching agents to make them work better. This will cause your nails to lose their top layer, making them thinner and visibly damaged. 

Finally, superglue is extremely difficult to remove. Since it’s a concentrated adhesive, you’ll need to soak your nails in acetone for a very long time, making your nails and cuticles dry.

Can I use Gorilla glue for fake nails?

Gorilla glue and super glue may be made for industrial uses, but they differ in their main component.

Gorilla glue is made from moisture-activated polyurethane that expands into materials to stick better. If used for sticking fake nails, it can form air bubbles in between your nails, making it the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to grow.

Gorilla glue is also extremely hard to remove from your nails since it’s meant for heavy-duty use. Their official website does not recommend using acetone to remove Gorilla glue on your nails or skin. 

Also, forcefully ripping out fake nails with dried Gorilla glue could remove your entire natural nail from its nail bed, making the old saying, beauty is pain, really come into your mind. 

Can I use eyelash glue instead of nail glue?

Eyelash glue and nail glue have the same ingredients. So technically, eyelash glue can be used as an alternative for nail glue.

But since fake eyelashes are lighter than fake nails, they don’t need as much adhesive power, so they’re not as concentrated as nail glue. 

When you use eyelash glue for sticking on fake nails, it won’t last as long as when you use nail glue. 

Can I use shoe glue for fake nails?

There are three common types of shoe glues available: urethane, neoprene cement, and super glue. 

Super glue is the most common type of glue available as it dries faster than the other two. 

As mentioned above, super glue can thin out your nails as it contains etching agents. It can also dry out your nails and cuticles as you need to soak them in acetone for an extended period of time to remove fake nails.

Can you use gel polish as nail glue?

Can you use gel polish as nail glue

Finally, a nail glue alternative that’s actually made for nails! 

Gel nail polish may not be the first thing you’ll think of as a nail glue alternative, but it turns out it can actually work. 

Gel nail polish is a special kind of nail polish that contains gel and uses UV or LED light to harden, so it lasts longer than regular nail polishes. 

Who knew you could also use it as a nail glue alternative? The only condition is, the fake or press-on nail color must have light colors or be transparent, as the UV or LED light can’t penetrate through opaque or dark colors.  

If used correctly, gel nail polish can stick your fake nails on for 1-2 weeks.

CHECK OUT: Why is my gel polish sticky

Can you use real glue on fake nails?

Real glue (or the most recognizable craft glue brand, Elmer’s glue) is used for school or craft projects. 

The question is, can you use Elmer’s glue for fake nails? Is it durable enough to keep your fake nails on?

Elmer’s glue can’t attach your fake nails onto your natural nails if used alone. But if it’s mixed with clear nail polish, it can harden into a temporary nail glue. 

You can only use this DIY glue for emergency manicure fixes or for a short period of time, like attending a party, since Elmer’s glue is not designed to stick on your nails.

How do you make homemade nail glue?

How do you make homemade nail glue

If the DIY nail glue we mentioned has piqued your curiosity, then here’s an easy recipe for an emergency nail glue alternative:

You’ll only need 3 things:

  • Clear nail polish
  • White or PVA glue 
  • Empty nail polish bottle


  1. Clean the empty nail polish bottle with soap and water to prevent nail fungus from using dirty containers
  2. Once dried, fill in half of the nail polish bottle with PVA glue
  3. Fill in the top half of the bottle with clear nail polish
  4. Mix the two ingredients using the nail polish brush, or a clean toothpick

And that’s it! An easy temporary nail glue alternative that won’t harm your nails. 

Just make sure to close the bottle if you’re not using it to prevent the mixture from drying up.

CHECK OUT: How to clean underneath acrylic nails

Final Thoughts

Press-on or fake nails are a fun way of adding color or design to your nails without spending a lot of money. 

But sometimes you run out of nail glue, so, no, this doesn’t mean you can use the first glue you see at home. 

Various glues are made for specific purposes, so it’s a good idea to stop and think about whether that glue can cause damage to your nails.

Thankfully, there are nail glue alternatives that are actually effective. Gel nail polish and DIY nail glue are great alternatives, even if it’s only temporary.

It’s still always best to use good quality nail glue, though, to make sure you won’t damage your nails in the long run.

CHECK OUT: How to protect your nails from nail glue


How to protect your nails from nail glue

Taylor Swift’s version of All Too Well has just recently dropped, in case you happened to live in the cave. It was not even the main song in her Red Album! And it even topped the charts! 

Taylor Swift, girl, you are the GOAT. 

Do you know who also made a comeback and totally owned the beauty industry? Press-on nails. Back then, they were not that well-received. They just don’t scream elegance, you see.

Even now, with the advent of gel and acrylic, it’s easy to dismiss it. 

But putting on press-on nails and making them look natural is an art by itself. And if you master it, you save yourself dollars and time going to a salon. You can even change it to suit your OOTD! It is that easy.

However, press-on nails do come with baggage. 

It needs a chemical to make it stick there, aka a nail glue. Random chemicals in the glue probably worried some people, so now they have to know how to protect their nails from nail glue.

But there’s always more to the story. That’s probably why Taylor Swift made All Too Well a 10-minute song. 

You are about to know the do’s and don’ts and what exactly should you be critical about with nail glues.

Does nail glue damage your nails?

Does nail glue damage your nails?

It’s such a wonder how you can consider press-on nails to be so simple compared to gels or acrylic manicures yet still find it damaging. There’s no harsh buffing or scary UV lights, so how is it possible to actually mess it up?

Now, there are some speed bumps on the way, which might be why you are sending your nails to a funeral. And nail glue is definitely one of them.

Two reasons: You are allergic to it or had some uncontrolled anger directed to your nails upon applying and removing it. 

The first one is the disclaimer section in every beauty product. This is clearly a you-won’t-know-until-you-try kind of situation. If you develop any itching, it’s best to either switch to another brand or an alternative.

Regarding allergies, press-on nails can be a hit and miss when you are a newbie. And while applying that glue in between, you might also trap dirt and moisture. Yeast infection? Fungal growth? These are nightmares you might sandwich along with that glue. 

Be hygienic!

Okay, onto the second one. Calling it anger is too much, but you been shouldn’t slack off and give no thought about it.

When you apply glue, make sure it is only the size of a glass bead. You can use cuticle oil to remove excess glue around the nails. Worrying about glue seeping under your nails? Just wash your hands, and it will be a-okay again. 

Important notice: Do not tug your fake nails in every direction just to get them off. Ripping them off so casually may also rip a layer of your real nails! It is not the way to do it. 

Besides, you are wasting the chance to reuse those press-on nails, honestly.

You heard it right. With the right nail glue, you absolutely can wear them again. So keep them in good shape and don’t mistreat them even upon removal. 

The elephant in the room is not yet addressed, though.

Does nail glue actually damage natural nails? 

This is a real concern, especially for those who already lived the horror of weak and brittle nails from gel or acrylic. 

Well, they don’t. Not when it is done properly. 

You only have to find a reputable brand of nail glue and also try not to wear fake nails so often. This will ensure that your nails will still be healthy even over time. 

CHECK OUT: Why does my gel polish peel off

How to wear fake nails without damaging the real nail

How to wear fake nails without damaging the real nail

So now that you have cleared up the air about your nail glue concerns, it’s time you teach yourself how to do the job properly. 

After all, you can’t dump the blame wholly on one factor. (Poor glue!)

There is one absolute part which is never missed since beauty standards were established: prep time.

Have you ever ridden a roller coaster without seat belts? Can you imagine just leaving it to fate to land you safely and successfully? 

No? Good.

That is how it works, even with the simple task of gluing a press-on to your nail. This is how you prepare for it.

Size matters

Whoever said otherwise has never tried to repeatedly glue pop-offs because they turned out smaller than your nails. On the other side, you can always file along the free edge of your nail to fit a bigger press-on.

Oil is a no-no!

It sounds horrendous to hear that word. Dehydrating just seems so against the nature of a beauty enthusiast. But listen, oils and glue? That’s two worlds apart. 

It’s always a good idea to wash your nails and cuticles with soap. Make sure you totally dry those nail beds! Get that alcohol afterward and do a proper cleanse. 

Bottom to the Top

Yes! As Meghan Trainor instructed you. Every inch should be perfect from the bottom to the top. That means to push back those cuticles and clip your nails short. 

It’s an extra step, but you have to commit to it entirely when you want to care for your nails. A nail primer is your investment of the day. Look it up! Who knows? That extra sticky layer might just be your saving grace.

So, seatbelts on, check!

Now it’s time for the rollercoaster ride.

Precision is key

Got shaky hands? Disastrous. That’s like asking the glue to just spill itself to everything, right?

Uh-uh, none of that victim-blaming. Not to yourself even!

No, seriously, you can wing it. You have to either use glue with an applicator brush to avoid such mishaps or employ this technique:

Bring the nail to the cuticle line and apply at a downward angle. Apply pressure to the center of the nails, then pinch at both sides.

If you feel really nervous about the nail glue, you can always try it’s not so sticky cousin, adhesive tabs.

Adhesive tabs are double-sided and will be your savior, especially if it’s just for a one-time occasion. You see, adhesive tabs are like your regular shift workers. They do their job, and they work well. The thing is, they don’t do overtime. These tabs will log off faster than your glue will. 

You just need to soak it off in warm water for 5 minutes and gently tug the false nails. Voila! You are now back to being a regular Cinderella. 

Contouring is life

This is slightly at odds with what you might know in make-up contouring. You create shadows to bring in the not-so-obvious lines in the face. Here, you need to contour last so you can bring out and mimic the natural look of your nails, so they don’t scream their falsehood on everyone’s face.

CHECK OUT: Why are nails clear

How do you not damage your nails with fake nails?

How do you not damage your nails with fake nails

Since the world, including you, has now agreed that nail glues are domesticated cats rather than lions which will maul your nails, you can now focus on the problem.

In order not to damage your real nails, you have to know that the usual damage reported stems during the removal process and not the glue itself. Sure, there may be harsh chemicals, but your nails will likely be injured at later stages.

Cats, even domesticated, can be mean when treated poorly. Nail glues are such. You have to coax them out rather than forcefully make them submit to your bidding.

So what to do?

Soak them off like you would do to gel and acrylic. Get yourself some acetone, a bunch of cotton balls, and aluminum foil. 

And by the way, unless your nails are not sending your brain some distress signals, please remember to moisturize. Get some vitamin E oil for your nails and even lotion for your hand. 

Gentleness and patience are a must here. But for fabulous nails and none of the terrifying acrylic or gel disadvantage? It is more than worth it. 

Your nails will thank you later. 

You made it pretty for a while, and most importantly, you made sure it will have more days of looking pretty by taking care of it properly.

CHECK OUT: How to clean underneath acrylic nails

Acrylic Nails

Alternative to Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails have been around for a long time. Whether you’ve seen them on your favorite celebrities, or you’ve tried them on yourself.

Acrylic nails are great for adding length or changing the shape of your nails. They are made from a mix of powder polymer and liquid monomer that are bonded onto your natural nails. Unlike gel nails, they don’t need a UV lamp to cure. 

They’re great for adding colorful and creative nail art designs due to their length and strength. But as fun as they may look, acrylic nails also have their drawbacks.  

Why are acrylic nails damaging?

Why are acrylic nails damaging

Depending on the quality and technique your acrylic nails were applied, there are certain dangers these talons can do to your natural nails. Here are a few of them:

Nailbed Trauma 

Acrylic nails harden stiffer compared to your natural nails. Since they are molded onto your nails, when you accidentally bump or knock your acrylics, there’s a chance your natural nails could also lift from their nailbeds.  

Since acrylic nails don’t bend the same way your natural nails do, little accidents could lead to extreme nail tears, depending on the strength of your nail.

Weakens Natural Nails

Since acrylic nails contain harsh chemicals, they dry out your nails’ natural oils making them dry and weak. 

Also, depending on the skill of the nail technician, they could file your nail beds incorrectly leaving thin and brittle nail beds. You would know if your nailbeds are damaged if they hurt to the touch and can easily bend.

Contains Harsh Chemicals

Another red flag to look out for is if the acrylic nails contain Methyl methacrylate (MMA). MMA is a liquid monomer that could cause nail damage, contact dermatitis, allergies, or infection. 

MMA used to be a common ingredient in acrylic nails in the ’70s, but because of numerous health complaints, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared to ban its use from beauty products.

Although it is still banned, there are non-standard nail salons that still use MMA in their acrylics since they are cheaper, compared to the safer ingredient, Ethyl methacrylate (EMA). 

You would know if your acrylics contain MMA by their strong odor and their hard and non-flexible surface. Another indication is that the service is offered at a low or discounted price.

Increases Risk of Infection

If the nail beds are not properly cleaned before the acrylic nails are applied, bacteria could grow in between and cause infection.

Also, if your nails split, this exposes a gap in between the nail and nail bed, making it the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to grow.

CHECK OUT: Is nail polish remover rubbing alcohol

Is there an alternative to acrylic nails

Now that you know about the risks associated with acrylic nails, the question is, can you put on fake nails without acrylic?

Acrylic nails may be the most traditional form of nail extensions, but with innovations in the beauty industry, there are now better and safer alternatives available.

What’s a healthier alternative to acrylic nails?

What’s a healthier alternative to acrylic nails

If you still want to have long pretty nails but are now skeptical of getting acrylics, don’t worry there is a better alternative to acrylic nails:

Gel Nail Extensions

Gel nails are more forgiving compared to acrylic nails. They’re pre-shaped and made entirely out of gel that is cured under a UV lamp, so they’re easy to apply, and don’t require any nail glue.

They’re designed for long wear because of their durability. They’re also lightweight, don’t contain harsh chemicals, and don’t require heavy filing, so your natural nails can grow longer and stronger once you remove the extensions. 

Gel nails can last for up to three to four weeks. So when removing them, you only need to soak your nails in acetone, compared to acrylic nails where your nail technician will have to drill, soak, and file them. 

Polygel Nails

Polygel nails are a combination of acrylic nails and gel nails. They have the durability of acrylics and the elasticity of gel nails. 

They’re made from a mixture of acrylic powder and clear gel, so they’re stronger, more flexible, and more customizable. Polygel nails also don’t release harmful chemicals into the air when mixing, compared to acrylic nails.

They’re also lighter than acrylic nails and traditional hard gels, so they still feel like your natural nails. Polygel nails can also last between three to four weeks and can be filled in once your nails grow out.

CHECK OUT: Why does my gel polish peel off

What is the least damaging artificial nail?

Just like acrylic nails, any artificial nail method can pose risks to your natural nails. But with several methods available, which is a less damaging alternative to acrylic nails?

The following methods may be more difficult to find in nail salons nowadays, but they used to be popular before acrylic nails came into the scene. 

But if you find the right nail salon that specializes in these techniques, you’ll fall in love with how non-damaging they are to your nails. 

Fiberglass Nails

Fiberglass nails are a lesser-known method of nail extension. It involves adding fiberglass, a thin cloth-like material onto your nails. Resin glue is used to harden the fabric, making it easy to shape with an emery board or nail drill. Once hardened, your nail technician can then add acrylic powder or gel nail polish over the nail. 

Fiberglass nails don’t last as long as acrylic or gel nails do, but they look very natural and can be used for lengthening and strengthening weak nails or for repairing chipped nails. 

Silk Wrap Nails

Silk wrap nails used to be popular back in the ’80s before acrylics became all the rage. But the good news is, silk wrap nails are slowly making a comeback, and for good reasons.

They are similar to fiberglass nails, the only difference is, they use different fabrics. Silk wrap nails use silk to add strength to weak and brittle nails.

Fiberglass nails may be stronger than silk wrap nails, but silk wrap appears to have a more natural look.

Silk wrap nails can also add a bit of length to your nails but not as much compared to acrylic nails. The downside is, silk wrap nails can easily be dissolved in water, so they’re not very durable.

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Gel Nails

The DIY alternative to acrylic nails

The DIY alternative to acrylic nails

Although there are at-home kits available for gel and polygel nails, it is still advisable to get them in a professional nail salon to avoid any damage to your nails. 

But if you’re on a budget or don’t have the time to pop into a nail salon, there is an alternative to acrylic nails at home, and don’t worry, this doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that can damage your nails. 

Press-on Nails

If you grew up in the ’90s, chances are, you’ve seen press-on nails or have tried them on yourself. They used to have a limited number of nail shapes and nail designs.

But now, they have evolved to have more shapes, lengths, and designs, that’s why they’re still popular. 

Press-on nails are made from acrylic resins that can easily be applied to the nails using nail glue. Depending on the quality you use, they could closely resemble acrylic nails that you can get from nail salons. 

Press-on nails can last up to two weeks, with proper application and care. What’s even greater, is if they’re durable, you can reuse the nails for another occasion. So if you only want to wear them for a party or a special occasion, you can get the ones with adhesives at the back for easy application and removal.

CHECK OUT: Nail Glue Alternatives

The Takeaway

Acrylic nails may be the trusted and proven nail extensions in the industry, but it’s also worth considering that there are risks involved if they’re not applied or removed correctly. 

That’s why it’s always a good choice to go to a reputable nail salon to get your nails done.

But if you’ve been a long-time acrylic nail user, it’s also good to know that there are other nail extension techniques available that are worth trying.  


Alternative to Gel Nails

Gel nails are fetch. They are the Regina George in the world of nail polish. They look fancy and stay aesthetically awesome for much longer than your regular nail polish. So why does it seem like everyone is putting it in their burn book and looking for an alternative to gel nails?

Well, because they are not-so-secretly nasty. Think about it for a second. The only reason gel polish is dubbed to be a 2-week manicure is because of your cuticles growing out. It is so durable; it is literally often indestructible. 

Doing a DIY removal? The only way out is soaking them with acetone then filing them down. You can get away without the filing part if you have a gel extension.

Well, it turns out karmic justice is real. Gel polish is relatively easy to dry but still takes time to remove. Removing it yourself will take patience, several cotton balls, and surprise! Aluminum foils.

And if you are the regular polish kind of person, this may feel like a lifetime of uncomfortable removal for you. 

The tale doesn’t end there, unfortunately. 

Acetone dehydrates the nail bed. So if you happen to wonder why your nails look parched, it’s because you need to do the after-care step of moisturizing them with oil or cuticle serum.

Gel polish is also known for another disappointing thing: lifting. 

Lifting happens due to a poor prep routine. The polish will start peeling off at the end of its long life. Words of wisdom, though, even if your nails look less than perfect, do not forcibly pick the gel nor the skin around them. 

You may feel tempted to just physically strip those gels but don’t rush into what could spell disaster for your nails. 

If your reason for going to this more expensive mani is that you are unsatisfied with your natural nails, then you would get instant regret from DIY-ing that removal process. 

First of all, white spots. No, not the Dalmatian cuteness you could have probably pulled off. These are the ones with irregular textures and seem chalky. It’s technically a bruise due to improper removal. 

Can you believe you are committing abuse against your nail beds? Terrible. 

You are probably thinking right now of the days you chipped them off despite warnings. Nothing really happened. There is no need to make a fuss about something trivial, right? 


Repeated picking leads to weaker nails. If you have that habit, your nails must be suffering from thinning. They can also make your nails dry, flaky, and cracked, which adds to the bumpy texture.  

What about totally growing them out? The sight of it wouldn’t be so terrible. 

That is not a smart option, honestly. When you grow it out, you also create a weight imbalance. The top becomes heavier, and the lower part becomes strained.

The removal process can be downright discouraging. It’s not the worst, but it may already be a hassle for you. Is it time to quit gel nails?


While you can wiggle yourself free from the guilt of destroying your nails by saying you can just take a break from gel polish, you might want to consider the other shady character in this story. 

Namely, the reason why you do not have to blow your nails until you get dizzy just to get them dry— UV light.

This one might have just had that possible consequence that no break can heal.

CHECK OUT: Why does my gel polish peel off

But first, why even use UV light?

why even use UV light

UV light helps with the “curing” process. It involves a polymerization reaction that hardens the resin in the gel to give you that smooth and indestructible quality. If that sounded alien, just think of your plastics. It’s basically the same stuff, but you are on the receiving end this time too.

So what’s the tea? 

Ultraviolet light which comes from the sun causes skin cancer. In theory, these UV dryers may cause similar damage to your skin, too, given your exposure to it.

In theory, of course.

Scientific studies show the risk is low. And scientists will tell you there is just no huge amount of data to conclude anything. So you sit there and wonder. 

Often, imagining the what-ifs might just be enough to terrify you of the whole idea of UV light. 

What are the alternatives to UV light for gel nails?

Pause for a moment. 

Now go back and return that LED lamp to where you got it from. 

If a UV dryer is the Flash, then an LED lamp is Quicksilver. They might look like they are from an entirely different universe, but they work the same. LED lamps also have a UV light. They might lower exposure by drying your nails faster, but it’s still the same horror movie you are trying to run away from.

And while you’re at it, stop standing out there under the glaring sun, hoping to “air-dry” your nails. Have mercy on your skin, please.

No sun and no LED to help, what then?

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

Ice bath

Ice-dipping might be one uncomfortable option to take, but it’s an undeniably effective one. You just gotta endure it. 

You often need to soak those nails repeatedly to dry both the top and base layers. So don’t get fooled and make sure everything has hardened. 

And by the way, if you are feeling brave, the freezer is available.

Quick-dry spray

On the scale of 1-10, 10 being most effective in drying, this one is at the top. It can even dry your nails in as fast as a minute! 

A word of warning: These sprays are flammable!

If somehow you aren’t game on investing in a proper spray, you got to try cooking spray at least. 

Surprising, isn’t it? But never say never!


Oil is, by far, the least unpleasant of the bunch and even a healthier way to dry your gel polish. When in a pinch, drip some olive or baby oil to your nails. It even hydrates, so that is a plus!

You know what could also work? Cooking oil. That is one magic you can once again summon from your kitchen. How dope is that?

But if the alternatives for UV light don’t convince you to stay with gel nails, there is always its known competitor: acrylic.

Which is better for natural nails: acrylic or gel?

Which is better for natural nails: acrylic or gel

So, to switch or not to switch— that is the question.

Gels and acrylics are both the go-to when you want that extra oomph to your nails or nail extensions. But “better” is a subjective word here. 

Aesthetically, there is nothing to complain about. They both give that mean boss vibes. The only way one is better than the other may lie in the ease and risk of the process itself. 

So here’s a rundown of quick facts to help you decide. 


The boon: The process takes less than an hour and can even be done at home. It stays for as long as 2 weeks and has a glossy finish. It is also more flexible.

The bane: An overuse of primer may lead to damage. When you have gel manicure removed professionally, the filing down process may weaken your nails. It is also more costly than acrylic nails. 

CHECK OUT: Why is my gel polish sticky


The boon: The process involves a powder and liquid mixture to create a very durable material. It lasts up to 6 weeks. It also sets in minutes without any equipment. You get to customize more with this!

The bane: While gel can be done DIY, this one requires skill to apply and remove. It can look thick when applied wrong. And even worse? The smell is not something you’ll miss. It is not as flexible as gel and still tends to damage your nails.

If you are the type of person to experiment at home, gel polish is an easier route. You can even buy your own UV dryer these days and skip a costly salon visit.

On the other hand, if you are going on a month-long vacation and want those nails to be impeccable from start to finish, acrylics may be better for you.

If you remain unimpressed between the two, though, there are other options out there. They are not all meh, after all. Something ought to stand out. 

CHECK OUT: Can you paint over acrylic nails

What can I use instead of gel for nails?

1. Dip powder

You instantly associate nail polish with painting your nails when you think of nail polish. But dip powders are Jackson Pollock paintings. They are different from what you are used to.

With dip powders, you apply first a primer, then literally dip your fingernails. The acrylic nature of dip powders ensures a longer-lasting manicure for you. 

2. Polygel

It’s not a trick. They didn’t just put “poly” there and sell you regular gel polish. PolyGel is a hybrid of all the good things a hard gel and acrylic have.

It is stronger than hard gel but more flexible than acrylic, and lighter than both. It can be applied directly on the nails, as tip overlay or sculpted over a form.

3. Shellac

If gel or acrylic nails scream loudly of fake nails, then this patented polish may just be for you. Shellac is more natural-looking and has a breezy removal process. That being said, it has a shorter life span.

But you can always apply another again, and your nails wouldn’t be a deathbed scene. So, why not, right? 

CHECK OUT: Alternative to Acrylic Nails

Other healthy alternatives to gel nails

Other healthy alternatives to gel nails

In this day and age, everyone demands the lowest risk for every beauty product. Got something minutely shady? Instantly canceled. 

Don’t worry; you’re not being a Karen. You are just opening your options wider.

When you walk down the healthy option aisle, you might be searching for this one particular phrase: vegan product. 

We all love these labels, obviously. For some reason, we feel closer to nature when we choose them. And if you are the conscientious type, say no more. 

SpaRitual creates the Gold Formulation line of 26 shades. It has a longer wear time than your regular polish and has a self-correcting feature if there’s a smudge. It is that flexible!

There’s probably another part of the healthy option you are particular about: the state of your nails. 

Could you get that glossy gel finish without ultimately suffering possible nail damage afterward?

Yes, yes, yes! 

This time, you won’t have to worry about any hard labor just to get them off. Your poor nails can finally rest!

Some great examples are Nails Inc.’s Gel Effect nail polish and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish. 

And if you are worried about longevity, these regular polishes last longer than your basic go-to.

Revlon’s Longwear Nail Enamel and Deborah Lippman’s Gel Lab Pro. 

You have a lot of options that either don’t have the difficulty associated with a gel manicure or even have gel formula at all.

If you are a newbie to gel alternatives, don’t be overwhelmed. It’s a trial and error basis. You go for what works for you. 

And as you are a newbie, it might be good also to remember that what you might want may not suit you at all. Not to be an alarmist, but there might be a chance you are allergic to these gel alternatives. In such cases, stop and reevaluate. 

You can always go for your regular polish or even take out those press-on nails you impulsively bought in a mall years ago and wear them. 

And if you are stubbornly sticking to gel mani, just try to take long breaks to encourage your nails to still grow strong and healthy.

It’s not just about UV rays or the hassle; it’s about sustainability. 

Do you want to do gel nails or other alternatives even when you’re older? Then take care of those nails and let them have that beauty rest when you can. 

Always remember: You can’t paint art on a ruined canvas.