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Nail Care

How to Make Acrylic Nails Smooth and Shiny in (4 Simple Steps)

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How to Make Acrylic Nails Smooth and Shiny in (4 Simple Steps)

Love the durability of acrylic nails, but are having trouble adding shine in between manicures?

Here’s how to get a shiny and beautiful perfect ten that lasts for at least two weeks!

Things You’ll Need to Make Acrylic Nails Smooth and Shiny:

1Begin with a clean slate.

clean your acrylic nails with acetone-free polish remover

Even if there is no polish on your acrylic nails, run one cotton ball dipped in acetone-free nail polish remover over your nails.

The remover makes your nail bed free from any natural oils that may cause premature chipping of the polish. Before swiping the remover over your digits, check each nail for cracks, lifting, chips or damage to the cuticle.

2File and shape nails using a course sponge buffer. 

best nail sponge buffer for acrylic nails

For an inexpensive set of sponge buffers that are really cheap and effective, buy the Flash Shiner Nail Buffer. With over 535 reviews on Amazon, this best selling buffer add shine to acrylics and natural nails.

Always finish buffing with strokes from the center of your nail outward to create a snag-free edge.  After smoothing the nails with the buffer, wash your hands to remove any dust from your nail bed.

3Smooth tops of nails with a high grit file.

This nail file features a high grit that adds shine to acrylic nails.

Gently rub the 180 grit buffer across the top of the nail for 3 to 5 strokes per nail. Using a gentle side-to-side motion move the finishing file across the top and sides of your nails to add a high shine.

4Finish nails with a gel top coat to add shine.

use a gel top coat to add shine to acrylic nailsUsing the gel top coat, paint on three vertical strokes on the nail: left, center and right. The best, no-lamp, gel top coat is the Essie Gel-Setter Top Coat.

This 2016 Allure best of beauty award-winning product creates a dense, super-shiny layer of shine that is long-lasting and wow-worthy.

Allow nails to dry thoroughly for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

Tips and Warnings & Resources to Make Your Acrylic Nails Smooth and Shiny

  • If you are placing a layer of nail polish on your acrylics, use a clear air-dry top coat instead of the gel top coat to add shine. If the nail polish is not completely dry on your nails, it may crack the gel top coat.
  • When adding a colored polish to your acrylic nails, add a base coat first, before applying the final nail color and your air-dry top coat.
  • Nails Magazine: How Can I Get Acrylic Nails to Shine Better Using Top Coats?

Who doesn't want shiny and smooth acrylic nails? Because acrylics are molded and shaped to the nail using a liquid acrylic combined with a powdered acrylic product, sometimes these nails can get dull and lackluster in a few days of wear.  But I've discovered the secret to glossy and smooth acrylic nails so you can have a chip-free shine for at least two weeks!

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