What is Acrylic Nail Art?

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  • Written By: Jillian Peterson
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Images By: A1Ex76, Votash, Larisabozhikova, n/a, Neil Milne
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2019
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Acrylic nail art is decorative designs that are painted or sculpted on acrylic fingernails using nail polish, stencils, stickers, jewels or other nail art supplies. While most nail art consists of flat designs painted onto acrylic nails, there is also 3D nail art that is raised above the surface of the fingernail. Elaborate fingernail art is increasingly being featured in high fashion magazines and runway shows, as well as gaining popularity in nail salons around the world. Nail art can be done by a professional manicurist or nail art specialist on natural or acrylic nails, but acrylic nails are preferred for their durability. Fingernail art can also be done at home by the consumer using nail art supplies available from beauty retailers.

Acrylic nail art is becoming more and more popular in nail salons all over the world. Simple designs such as flowers or stripes can be added to acrylic fingernails once the nails have been applied to a person's natural fingernails. Many of these simple designs are economical and take just minutes to apply.


Traditionally, fingernail art is applied with a nail art brush and nail polish by a nail technician, but there are many options available for professional nail artists to create more elaborate designs. Acrylic nail art can be created using colored acrylic powders or by air-brushing designs onto the nail. Nail art pens help nail artists create intricate designs, and rhinestones can add interest to a painted design. Some salons even have a nail art printer that prints designs directly onto acrylic nails.

For people who wish to do acrylic nail art themselves, there are many retail products available that will produce salon-quality results at home. Beauty supply retailers sell nail art polish designed specifically for freehand nail art, but consumers can also buy the same nail art pens that nail technicians use in the salon. Perhaps the easiest home nail art uses nail art decals that are simply pressed onto the fingernail. Rhinestones can also be set into wet polish using a toothpick and then brushed with a clear top coat once the underlying polish is dry.

Also available from beauty retailers are easy nail art kits that allow people to get salon-style nail art at home. Many kits contain stickers, jewels and a clear top coat to protect the nail art once it is applied. With these kits, people can get acrylic nail art without going to a salon.


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