Types of Fake Nails

Posted 5 months ago by Prakhar Parihar in

Gorgeous and well-managed nails make for the perfect finishing touch to a woman's beautiful looks. And since, variety is the spice of life it can't hurt to add a bit of variety to your nails too. It is the area of your appearance which is small and not given that much thought outright. However, when you do think about, beautiful nails do add a lot to your overall appearance and look. It provides a certain elevation to your look. If you want to look classy, well manicured classy nails will help you elevate your look and style to the next level. Same goes for any type of look or style you might be shooting for. You want to achieve a quirky and zesty look, colorful and peppy designs on your nails could be the perfect finisher you are looking for to round out your style. Nowadays, you do not just have to depend upon nail polish and just filing and stuff to customize the look of your nails. The beauty and cosmetics industry has come up with fake and artificial nails which you can use in tandem with your real nails to give them the exact look and style that you have been wanting. You must have heard about a few of them over time but if you do not know about them in detail and want to, do not worry one bit more. We have brought you this detailed post which will cover all types of artificial nails which are available in the market today for your pleasure and convenience. We will learn about different types of fake nails and how to best use them, which ones will go best with your looks and what their pros and cons are. We will also understand how they match up against each other so that you can make your choice fully informed and educated. Now, let us get on with the real meat of this topic.

Types of Fake Nails

Let us start with the most common among all the artificial nails:

Different Types Of Fake Nails

Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails[1] are definitely one of the most commonly used types of artificial nails[2]. You will find them commonly and easily in any nail or beauty salon (Sometimes these are also known as porcelain[3] nails). These types of nails are very different than any other type of artificial nails due to the materials being used in this one. 

How To Apply Acrylic Nails:

Acrylic nails are formed onto your nails practically and hence they cover all of your nails. The process which is followed starts with placing a liquid component which is a monomer[4]. Then, a powder is placed over it which is a polymer[5]. Then, these chemicals are dried which form the acrylic nail on your nail which then can be styled and shaped as desired. So, overall, these are the most common form of artificial nails which you could be pretty sure to find in any place which provides you with artificial nails like salons. Moreover, it lasts for quite a long time and hence is quite durable and hardy. 

How Long Do They Last:

They can last you up to a few weeks before you will have to have them refreshed. And since it is so common also makes it more economical and affordable method than the others. 

Pros & Cons:

Now, let us look at a couple of pros/cons of acrylic nails. 



Sometimes forms are also used to shape and style your artificial nails. These are used as a mold when applying the acrylic nails and then removed when it is time to shape and style the nails. The materials which make up the acrylic nails come in a few different colors and styles too like sparkles and some special effects. You can easily go for acrylic nails which have built-in color rather than applying a nail polish after.

Removal process:

When it comes to removing them, you can do it by yourself but that is definitely not recommended for the fear of you injuring yourself. So, just go to a professional place when and if you decide to have them removed. In a professional setting, they will remove your acrylic nails by soaking them in acetone[7] or by filing them. There are a couple of more things you need to know. First is that you will have to dry your nails when you first have them and that usually takes an excruciatingly long time. It could take up to an hour and you will need to do that as that is how your acrylic nails harden and take their shape. Remember that the longer your acrylic nails are exposed to air when they are applied the stronger and harder and more solid they will be so there is an element of importance there. That is about all you need to know about acrylic nails. Now time to move on to the next one, which is:

Gel Nails

If acrylic nails are the most common and widespread variety of fake nails, Gel nails make up for the most sought after and admired variety. Women all over the world love this style of artificial nails and it is the most natural looking method too which probably has something to do with it. Okay, a lot. These types of nails are formed when a specific chemical gel-like mixture is applied onto your nails and then is cured under UV light[8]. This 'curing' from UV light radiation dries out the gel to form the gel nails[9]. After that, they could be styled and shaped as desired. These types of nails are a looker and most women consider these to have the most natural appearance of all. 

Pros & Cons:



Considering all this, it is a great option for fake nails if you want them to look great and that is of more importance than other factors. Gel nails are harder than acrylics and have non-porous[11]surface too. This allows them to be hardy and much less likely to stain or retain previous colors. But as mentioned before they are not so easy to remove, and that is because of them being non-porous. It might be more expensive but that is the price you pay for better quality and lifestyle. You will be enamored by the natural glossy look so much that it would be hard for you to go back.

Nail Wraps

These are also commonly known as silk nails. In these types of nails, fine layers of fabrics like silk[12], linen, fiberglass, or tissue are wrapped onto your nails. This type actually works to shield your nails from damage. These are quite commonly used on brittle, weak, or broken and damaged nails. That is because these can help repair and heal them. The procedure involves taking the fine layers of the fabric and then shaped as desired and then applied onto the nails using nail glue or something similar. The fabrics used in this one like silk is not that long lasting, unfortunately. 

How long do they last

A good coat of nail wraps will probably last you about 3 weeks at the most. Thereafter you will have to have them refilled if you want your nails to keep looking great via nail wraps. Overall, this is a terrific option to go for if you think your nails are weak and brittle. This method will help you bring them back to a strong and sturdy state they should be in. So, it also does not hold any risk of damaging or weakening your real nails because this is used to repair them often. Some drawbacks which this type might have in relation to other varieties is that this type is not as durable as others so it might suffer more wear and tear than others. As far as their removal is concerned, you can not do it by yourself or using chemicals and stuff. You will need to visit the salon if you want to have these removed.

Press on Nails

This a quick and easy method for getting artificial nails which busy ladies will find as a perfect option. You can find these pretty much anywhere, in stores, department store, drug stores, online stores, etc. These come premade in a variety of shapes colors and sizes and you can customize and toy with different styles all you wish without thinking about any harm or damage to your real nails. Moreover, this is a very economical method too, it is the cheapest method you are going to find among all of these. That is because you do not need to go to salon or anything, you can just buy these yourself and apply them yourself too. You do not need to do anything else or deal with any hassle with these types, just buy and apply. These are quite weak though and are not going to last you a long time. But that shouldn't be too much of a problem just an opportunity to change up your nails frequently. Once, you break them, you can just get another easily and do it yourself and the total cost will still be lower than other methods. Also, they won't require any sort of upkeep or anything like that so you can be carefree. All in all, press on nails make up for a fantastic option if you want to go for a quick solution when you are running short on time or just want to experiment and see how your nails will look like in particular color or design. Now, let us look at its drawbacks as is customary here.

These are quite a temporary method and they will last you about 10 days before they fall off on their own. So, this also works into their removal process. You will not need to do anything and they will fall off when it is their time. But if there is a reason you want to remove them as soon as possible, you can file them off. Another drawback is that these are not the best looking among all the options, these could appear quite fake if they are inspected closely. So, if these couple of drawback do not faze you much, this is a great, cheap and quick method to get artificial nails.

Dip Nails

Also known as powder nails. Dip nails have been a recent one and have been getting some traction on social media and such. These can be applied quicker than other generally so they won't eat up as much of your time. The main difference between this and others like acrylic nails is that dip nails are much softer and hence more flexible. This is because of what its made of and its composition. The process of forming these starts with your nail technician giving your nails a specific base coat. After that, they will dip your nails into colored powder. After that, your nail technician will work on it to make them look good. They will turn it into a glossy and gorgeous looking finish. Another great thing about this type of artificial nail which every woman finds brilliant is that these dry really quick, probably the fastest amongst all. On most other factors this one is quite similar to acrylic and gel nails.

Different Types of Nail Shapes

Now that we have learned about the varieties of fake nails which you can get, your imagination must be itching with thoughts of creative designs and shapes for your new nails. We have got some stuff here to help you out. In this section, we will learn about different types of shapes which you can go for. All of these look great but you can select which one you like or which you think is the best for you. This part will help you to decide which nail shape to go for and which one you like before you visit the salon. So, we are freeing you from making difficult choices in the nick of time. We have included here 12 of the most gorgeous and clickable nail shapes which you could go for.

Tips and Tricks Regarding Artificial Nails

In this section, we will supply you with some tips and tricks which will make your overall experience with artificial nails much better. These will help you to keep them for longer and have a more hygienic and better experience.

  1. You can get products which allow you to make your own artificial nails right at your home. However, applying artificial nails is an intricate job and needs a good amount of skill and know-how than, say, coloring your own hair. So it is recommended that you go to a nail salon or a professional nail technician to have these done. That way you will know that a skilled professional is working on your artificial nails and you will have a much better experience with your artificial nails.
  2. Look for good quality salons and skilled technicians. Applying fake nails is an intricate process which requires a lot of skill and tiny changes in the variables of applying could have big impacts. So, you will be much better off if your tech knows what they are doing. You can look for good places by looking at reviews and stuff or getting recommendations from people you trust.
  3. Artificial nails aren't really like real nails in a way that they are mostly for show and not really practical tools. So, you should try to avoid any labor which requires your nails like scratching and stuff. Try to avoid any such actions as that would harm your artificial nails quite a bit.
  4. Do not try to peel or pull off your artificial nails. It does not work like that at all and doing that will probably result in your real nails pulled out or pulling the top layer of your nails. This is highly damaging to your real nails. Visit your nail technician if you want to have them removed quickly for some reason, they will know and perform the appropriate procedure for that particular artificial nail type.
  5. Look for, and even make sure, that the nail place you are going to is hygienic[13], ventilated and uses clean and hygienic tools and methodology. This is quite important as you want to stay hygienic and do not want your nails to be infected b a fungus or something, which is known to happen by the way. So, make sure everything is clean and hygienic and ask your technician to wash their nails if they did not do it by themselves.
  6. Do not always have artificial nails. Just like every other part of the body, your nails need some rest and recuperation too. So, do not work them too hard by always and continuously cycling through fake nails, let them go all natural every once in a while and for a while.
  7. Ask any questions, doubts, or fears you have to your nail technician. This will also hint you into your technician's knowledge and skill level. You want a technician who is skilled and knowledgeable and basically good at their jobs, as should be obvious. Make sure to ask for tips to maintain your artificial nails and how to care for them and keep them in good shape. That is useful information to have.
  8. A good rule of thumb for good nail health as that you should not tamper with the cuticles[14]. So, do not do that or allow your tech to alter them, cut them, or anything like that. Your nails could get easily infected if your cuticles are tampered with.
  9. If your nails are damaged or broken or anything like that, go to a professional to have it repaired instead of toying with it and trying to repair it yourself, that is a good way to give yourself an infection.
  10. Artificial nails and their application is supposed to be a painless process. So, do not hesitate to speak up if you experience any pain during or after the application of artificial nails.
  11. If you are having, infections, rashes[15], inflammation, or irritation around your artificial nails you could be allergic to an ingredient in the artificial nails. These rashes could spread to anywhere you touch with your nails like your face or neck, that could be a sure-fire sign of knowing that you are allergic to something in your fake nails.
  12. Cleanliness and hygiene are important when applying fake nails so as to keep everything on the up and up and avoid any infection. So, make sure the place you go to is clean and disinfects its tool for every client.
  13. Some people recommend rubbing vinegar on your nails before you have fake nails applied on to them. People claim that it gives them stronger artificial nails and consequently they last for longer too.
  14. If you have been using short nails for a while and you want to get long nails. However, you find them to be too cumbersome and clumsy when you get them. You find it harder to do normal everyday tasks then do not fret, like everything else, you will get used to them and then it will much easier. You won't even think about it or notice it then.

This article has been medically reviewed by Dr.Nagakeerthana S, MD (Dermatology) on 24/05/2019 

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