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Some nail trends seem to never go out of style, including acrylic nails. If you’ve been wanting to create your own without going to a professional, you’re going to need a few items first.
A bit more complicated than your classic DIY manicure, acrylic manicures require polymer powder and liquid monomer. When the products are combined in a small dipping jar, they should form a thick, gel-like paste (resin) that you’ll apply over the natural nail and let harden, before filing down the false nail to achieve your desired shape and length. To do so, you’ll also need a sculpting brush and nail form. Typically made of thin metaled foil or plastic with an adhesive backing, these peel-off forms should be carefully wrapped around the fingernail so that just the nail tips are covered. They serve as a temporary foundation to help you build the nail and are removed once the sculpting method is complete.
When shopping for a liquid monomer, it’s important to look for formulas made with EMA (ethyl methacrylate) as opposed to MMA (methyl methacrylate), as the latter is tough and inflexible and can be damaging to your nail beds. Keep in mind that MMA-free options do tend to have a strong odor, though, so it’s best to have a window open or air circulating when applying the product. You’ll also want an option that blocks out UV rays to prevent nails from yellowing.
If you’re newer to creating acrylic nails, consider an option that takes longer to dry, so there’s time to fix any mistakes before the liquid sets. Below, eight liquid monomers to shop now.
Mia Secret Liquid Monomer
Provided in a 4-ounce bottle, Mia Secret’s Liquid Monomer is MMA-free and has a slightly thicker consistency than some, which allows some leeway if you make any mistakes during application. It’s also non-yellowing, deigned for superior adhesion and available in 16 and 32-ounce sizes.
Kiss Acrylic Kit Nail Fill Kit
The most affordable and travel-friendly option on our list, this Kiss Acrylic Kit Nail Fill Kit not only includes a half-fluid ounce bottle of non-yellowing acrylic liquid, but also a small jar of acrylic powder, sculpting brush and nail file. The brand recommends gently buffing the area where your nails have grown with the fine side of file.
Nailite Regular Liquid Monomer
Available in 8 and 16-ounce size options, Nailite’s Regular Liquid Monomer is an EMA-based formula that should provide contained pick-up and easy application. The product is made to help you create strong acrylic nails that stay put and won’t yellow or crack.
Vafee Acrylic Liquid Monomer Kit
Vafee’s Acrylic Liquid Monomer Kit comes with a 5-ounce liquid monomer, 4-ounce acrylic powder, dipping jar, forms and an application brush. The formula contains UV-inhibitors to prevent yellowing, a light fragrance for a more pleasant application experience and should provide lasting color for weeks.
Karlash Liquid Monomer Kit
For a high-shine finish and lasting results, Karlash Liquid Monomer Kit should fit the bill. It supplies a 4-ounce MMA-free liquid monomer containing UV stabilizers as well as a 2-ounce jar of acrylic powder offered in clear, white, French white and multiple shades of pink. Each kit also comes with a complementary glass dish and mask for safe, easy application.
YoungFocus Acrylic Liquid Monomer Set
While perhaps not the best options for newbies, as it’s said to set faster, the products in YoungFocus’ Acrylic Liquid Monomer Set should still be reasonably easy to work with. They include a 5-ounce bottle of MMA-free liquid monomer made with anti-yellowing UV inhibitors and a 4-ounce jar of powder. The monomer also comes in a spill-free squeeze bottle for mess-free application.
Tachibelle Liquid Monomer
Tachibelle’s Liquid Monomer is an MMA-free formula made with UV stabilizers to stave off yellowing or dulling. While your purchase doesn’t include powder or any extras, you do get four sizes to choose from: four, eight and 32 ounces, as well a whole gallon. It should also offer lasting shine and ensure color clarity.
Modelones Liquid Monomer Set
Each Modelones Liquid Monomer Set comes with four ounces of monomer and two 2-ounce powders, one clear and another in pink. The MMA-free monomer is packaged in a bottle that allows you to better control your pours so you don’t waste any formula. It’s non-yellowing and designed for a flexible, smooth and color-stabilizing finish.