How To Apply Acrylic Nails At Home

Never Pay for Another Manicure

When Humble Timothy and I got married in 2008, I had my first full manicure, basic French tipped acrylics.

I loved how my hands looked, no worries about chipped nail polish or cracked nails.  I started thinking, “Hey, I could really get used to this!”

How Much Do Acrylic Nails Cost?

The truth is that I had only had acrylics applied because I was getting married.  I had no idea how much money keeping my acrylics would actually cost!

My full set of acrylic nails cost me about $30.00.  Not terribly unreasonable when you consider this initial cost, but it wasn’t until later that I was told I’d need to come back every 2-3 weeks for a fill-in, which apparently costs $15.00.

So basically worst case scenerio, you’re spending about $30.00 to keep your acrylic nails.  I don’t know about you, but that seems like a rather expensive upkeep cost.

That’s why I figured I’d try to figure out how to do my own acrylics.  It didn’t look that difficult and I couldn’t imagine a good amount of supplies would cost more than the $30.00 I’d spend in one month just for fill-ins.

Manicure Supplies

Like I said, you could buy all the supplies to maintain your manicure for a year for less than it would cost to have a nail salon fill them for a month.

Here are the supplies you’ll need to create the perfect French Manicured acrylics.  You can find these items at any local beauty shop or online at

  • French Nail Tips
  • Nail File (course grain)
  • Cuticle scissors
  • Orange stick
  • Cuticle cream or oil
  • Acrylic powder
  • Acrylic solution
  • Base coat
  • Top coat
  • Brush
  • Buffer

Step by Step Guide

1.  Prepare your nails by removing any nail polish and applying a base coat of clear nail polish. Buff the tops of your nails to give the glue something to stick to. Use the orange stick to push back the cuticles.

2.  Find an appropriate nail tip to fit fingernail. Apply a small dab of nail glue to the tip of your nail and press on the french nail tip. Make sure it is straight and apply pressure for 30 seconds to make sure it will stay. Cut and file to length desired.

3.  Dip a nail brush into the solution and then into the acrylic powder. Only use about a pea-sized amount at a time.

4.  Press the acrylic paste onto the nail tip and wet your brush again in the solution. Smooth the paste across the nail tip, making sure there are no lumps. Repeat this process until the nail bed is completely covered. Keep in mind, the thinner your apply it the more realistic it will look.

5.  Allow the acrylic to dry for at least 1 minute, then polish the nail. Repeat until all of your nails are finished, then apply some cuticle oil or cream to make ensure your cuticles remain healthy.

In no way would I call myself an expert on how to apply acrylic nails.  If you want more information about how to apply your own acrylics, check out this demonstration video!