I never thought I would be the type of woman who would resort to the regular application of acrylic nails. However, I have spent the past six years living a lifestyle which requires that my nails look perfect all the time, so I truly have no choice but to cover them in acrylic. Though I was blessed with great hair and skin, my nails are paper thin and very weak, and getting them to grow evenly without major peeling and breakage is almost impossible. Besides, I kind of enjoy going in every two weeks and getting a pampering treatment. I say pampering lightly, though, since my nail technician almost always inflicts pain on me when I go to visit her. Grooming can be torture!
For those of you who don’t know how acrylic nails are applied, here is how it’s done. A nail technician mixes a liquid with a powder and brushes the mixture onto the nails, then allows the product to harden. Over time, the acrylic material grows out with your natural nails, requiring application of more acrylic substance in the empty area between the nail bed and the existing acrylic overlay. If you want to have acrylic nails removed, the technician usually soaks your nails in nail polish remover for easy removal, but my nail technician tugs and pries them off me with so much force that I often wince from the pain.
I also get gel overlay because my nails are truly that weak. Once acrylic is applied and is fully dry, the technician brushes on the gel, then the nails are placed
under ultraviolet (UV) light for a minute or two to harden the product. Though there has been some controversy over the UV exposure, the amount of exposure is so brief that it is almost negligible. But then again, there are risks associated with the application of acrylic to the nails, such as fungal infections and damage to the nail bed from trauma. If you have ever had acrylic nails and have had your entire nail lifted off the nail bed from trauma, or a break within the nail bed, you know how wickedly painful that can be!
Despite the fact that I believe the healthiest way to care for one’s nails is to leave them completely unadorned, I am forced to go to the other extreme with the interventions mentioned above, getting my nails covered in harsh chemicals every two weeks. Some ladies will take breaks from acrylics, but sadly, I am unable to do this. Even going for one or two days without acrylic on my nails is torturous, because my thin nails don’t allow me to navigate comfortably through my day to day tasks. It is literally painful for me to go sans acrylics.
Usually I will opt for a basic French tip look, but I wish I could do something more exotic! I have to make sure my nails are practical in length and shape, and they can’t look wild or garish when I have to see patients or do a basic fitness or swimsuit photo shoot. Check out these cool nail looks which I found online: