How to Know What Length to Get on Acrylic Nails

by Alec Preble

Acrylic nails are applied over natural nails in a multi-step process. First, your regular nails are trimmed and the nail beds filed rough. Then, the tips are glued to your fingers and trimmed to size. At this point, you may choose the finished length depending on your personal preferences. Once trimmed, acrylic powder and liquid are mixed into a paste and applied to the nail, covering the artificial tip and the rest of your natural nail. After the acrylic application you will only be able to file the tips shorter if you are unsatisfied with the length.

Step 1

Choose a length that fits your personal style. If you are reserved and practical, choose a shorter length that will accommodate even bright nail polish without looking flashy. If you are uninhibited and fun-loving, choose a longer length that will stand out with bright polish and has enough room for painted or airbrushed designs.

Step 2

Choose a length that fits your lifestyle. If you type on a keyboard or cash register or work any other job that requires use of your fingers, ask the manicurist to trim your nails close to your fingertips. Otherwise, feel free to go as long as you like.

Step 3

Examine the length before giving your manicurist the final OK to apply the acrylic paste. Feel the space between your finger and the tip of the nail, tap your nails on a hard surface and try to press the buttons on your cell phone. If any of these actions feels strange or uncomfortable, go a bit shorter.

Step 4

Remember that acrylic nails are not permanent. You can file down the tips if the nails are too long. Your natural nails will grow out quickly, and if you like them longer you can ask the manicurist to skip the filing step when you have the acrylic filled.

References (1)

  • Erin Austin; Licensed Manicurist; Syracuse, New York

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Alec Preble began writing professionally in 2007. He began blogging in 2006, writing media reviews for the "Post-Standard" from 2007-2008. Preble received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Empire State College in 2005.