These Acrylic Nail Ideas Will Inspire Your Next Manicure

Just in case you're looking for something new.

Acrylic Nail Ideas
Photo: Getty Images

If you've always envied ladies with long nails, there's really no need to hate. Acrylic nails can give you the length you desire, and durability to go with it. So, if your natural nails are always breaking or grow slow, you might want to get on board.

Acrylics are strong, resilient nail extensions that allow you to take care of your everyday activities without fear of chipping or breaking your perfected manicure. The overlay is basically a combination of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer that form a paste that's then bonded to the natural nail. Once in place, it hardens and can be buffed and shaped as desired.

"Acrylic is a stronger nail coating than most hard gels, and some of my clients really need that durability," says Julie Kandalec, celebrity manicurist and founder of Julie K Nail Artelier in New York City.

Acrylic nails also make it easy to create manicure art that look like a masterpiece and lasts. Whether you're looking to create an almond-shaped ombre design or a square tip French manicure, acrylics give you the ability to do it all. "I like using acrylic nails to create forever French designs and 3D nail art," says Kandalec. "Acrylic powders are also easily mixed and customizable which is a valuable asset for creating the perfect shade for a client's skin tones."

Below, Kandalec shares five acrylic nail art ideas that will work perfectly with any outfit or mood.

Candy Dipped

Acrylic nails

This acrylic nail design is one of our favorites because it works with any color. Swap in a few fall shades for a transitional manicure. "This design is easy to maintain because your nail growth will be less obvious in between appointments," says Kandalec.

VIDEO: What to Know Before Getting Acrylic Nails

Dramatic Forever French

Acrylic nails

This french acrylic design gives a clean, natural-looking, manicured look. "These are what we call 'Forever French' because there is no polish involved, says Kandalec. "The pink and white color comes from colored acrylic powders and an ultra-glossy gel top coat."

Millenium Nostalgia

Acrylic nails

Give your acrylic nail design a little turn-of-the-millennium throwback with this Y2K nail design. "Nail art doesn't have to be literal," says the manicurist. "Taking inspiration from the movement or mood of a print can be more on-trend to keep the design working through all four seasons."

'70s Flower Power

Acrylic nails

Acrylic nails don't always have to be long nail extensions, there are tons of cute designs that can be worn with short nails, too. Thisfloral nail art gives a soft, feminine look with a slight edge. "From painterly, realistic flowers to simple daisies, the colors you choose can elevate the look from simple to spectacular," says Kandalec. "Our inspiration for this acrylic nail design was a fall bachelorette party in Ibiza: this look fits the tropical, fun vibe of Ibiza, while incorporating some fall shades."

Grounded Geometry

Acrylic Nails

This modern design plays with geometry and rich fall colors. "One of my clients is very into manifestation and positive mind shift, so we chose a cool emerald and warm verbena color to keep her balanced," says the manicurist.

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