Do Fake Nails Go Under The Cuticle?

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Fake nails are a great way to add a little glamor to your everyday style.

Whether done at home or in a salon, having long, unbreakable nails is always a wonderful spark of joy.

If you’ve never applied fake nails or gone to the salon for acrylics, you may have many questions about the process. Do fake nails hurt to apply? Do fake nails go under the cuticle? Do they damage your nails?

The short answer is that no, fake nails don’t go under the cuticle. We’ll explain how the nails are positioned in relation the cuticle, and more! You will be able to feel confident walking into a salon or giving yourself an at-home manicure.


Do Fake Nails Go Under The Cuticle?

If you’ve seen fake nails up close before, you’ve seen how close to the cuticle they lie. But do fake nails actually go under the cuticle?

Artificial nails are laid down at the cuticle, but they don’t go on or under the cuticle.

When prepping your natural nail, you’ll want to push your cuticles back with a cuticle pusher. This is so that they’re off your nail bed.

This makes space for the fake nails to be applied. They won’t stick if laid on top of your cuticles.

When you apply a fake nail, it’ll sit on your nail bed and shouldn’t be shoved down into the skin at the edge of your nail.

Your nail technician will do the same in a salon. Pushing your cuticles back and even trimming them to create space.

Artificial nails are laid down at the cuticle, but they don’t go on or under the cuticle.

Do Fake Nails Ruin Your Nails?

Artificial nails shouldn’t ruin your natural nails unless you do something really Krazy. With the right care, application, and removal, your nails should be fine.

But if your nails are neglected or the fake nails are poorly removed, then there is potential for damage.

Acrylics will only damage your nails if they’re already weak, thin, brittle, infected, or irritated.

If you or your nail tech notices any of these issues, then fake nails should not be applied.

Incorrect removal is also a reason for ruined nails.

Ripping, biting, or peeling them off can wreck your natural nail. It will take a while for them to strengthen once again.

The removal process at a salon involves lots of filing and chemicals. They will file down the nail to remove the topcoat, then soak them in acetone to help them pop off.

The process of applying and removing acrylics is taxing on the nails. Many clients will take a break for a few weeks in between sets. This is usually after three months of continuous wear.

This goes for at-home fake nails, as well. The glue that’s applied to your nails can be irritating. It is better to give your nails a bit of a break between sets and apply some nail strengthener.

How Are Fake Nails Applied At The Salon?

Acrylic nails are a mix of liquid monomer and powder polymer that forms a paste that bonds with your nails. Once it’s given shape, it hardens in place.

At a nail salon, you’ll first choose your nail shape, length, and color.

Following this, your nail tech will clean, soak, and file your nails. They will then buff the nail and push back your cuticles.

If you request long nails, they will apply artificial tips to your nails, then use the paste and shape it as desired.

They will file everything down and shape your nails until you’re satisfied with the results.

From there, nail polish and accessories will be applied, followed by a topcoat.

How To Apply Fake Nails At Home

When applying fake nails at home, you first need to choose a set that’s the correct size for your nail. This way, the nails will look realistic.

Start by filing the fake nails so that the curve or size fits better and the length is what you’re looking for.

You can utilize manicure scissors to carve the base of the nail to mimic your actual nail shape. This provides a realistic finish.

Prep your nails by pushing back your cuticles and applying nail primer.

To apply the nails, start with your dominant hand first. As it has more control and will be less troublesome when applying the nails to your other hand.

Put a dot of glue on the fake nail and one on the natural nail. A little glue goes a long way, so you want to make sure you’re not over gluing.

Place the fake nail just above the cuticle and keep it straight, as you don’t want to have a crooked nail.

Press down onto the nail bed. Apply pressure for roughly 10 seconds, or as advised on the package, to avoid air bubbles.

If you have a nail stick, use that instead of your fingers to avoid accidentally gluing yourself to the nail.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).