Nail Tips vs Nail Forms: What is The Difference Between Them?

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If you’ve explored the idea of getting nail extensions, you may have come across the terms nail tips and nail forms. What do these terms mean, and what is the difference, anyway?

In this article, we’ll explain the difference between nail tips vs nail forms, and how tips and forms work to get you beautiful nails.


Nail Tips vs Nail Forms: What’s The Difference?

As we’ve mentioned, both the nail tips and nail forms work to get you perfect elongated nails. We’ll go through each of them below to explain exactly what each one is. 

Nail Tips

Acrylic Nail Tips

Nail tips or acrylic nail tips is usually something that you more commonly think of when we talk about fake nails. That’s because it is made of plastic or acrylic and is meant to be glued on your natural nails in order to elongate them. 

Nail tips or acrylic nail tips is usually something that you more commonly think of when we talk about fake nails. That’s because it is made of plastic or acrylic and is meant to be glued on your natural nails in order to elongate them. 

There are some that are meant to cover only the tip of the nails (if you don’t want to elongate your nail), while others can cover the entire nail plate.

Once the nail tips are glued to your natural nails, you can now apply the acrylic over them. 

Nail Forms

Nail Forms

Nail forms, on the other hand, are used together with either gel or acrylic nail systems. Unlike nail tips, nail forms aren’t meant to stay. They are just there and act as a support for the acrylic or gel that you will be using to extend your nails. 

Unlike nail tips, nail forms aren’t meant to stay. They are just there and act as a support for the acrylic or gel that you will be using to extend your nails. 

If you use nail forms to provide support to the nail, the glue generally adheres better and the whole nail is stronger.

Nail forms are stickers that go under the nail. They are disposed of after use. The disposable ones are generally better than the reusable ones, especially in salons for sanitary purposes. 


How To Use Nail Tips

False nail tips

1. Select The Right Size

The first thing you should do is select the correct size of the nail tip. You have to make sure that it properly fits the natural nail.

If it doesn’t, the nail tip could break off, fall off, or damage your nails. And it could be uncomfortable to use a nail tip that is not correctly sized.

2. Filing And Shaping

Sometimes, the nail tips may not properly fit your nail exactly. That’s because different people have different nail shapes and sizes. 

To make sure that the nail tips are comfortable and well fitted on the nail. It is usually filed and shaped properly before it is glued.

The nail tips are filed down to thin it down so that it becomes more flexible. That significantly lessens the pressure it places on your nail plate.  

3. Add The Acrylic Or Gel On Top Of It

A final layer of acrylic or gel will be painted on top of the acrylic nail tip. This will continue to your natural nail if the acrylic nail tip doesn’t cover it all. This helps make sure that there is a smooth surface created. 

When it is properly done, you won’t see any glue or pockets around or under the nail.


How Long Do Acrylic Nail Tips Last?

If done properly, the acrylic tips will usually last for about two weeks. That will depend on how well you take care of your nails after the manicure.

You can even make your nails last for months if you properly take care of them. 

Another factor that determines if your acrylic nail tips last is exposure to harsh chemicals. If you use acetone on your nails you could be drying out the natural oils and causing breakage

The way you use your hands can affect how long your acrylic nail tips last. If your work exposes your nails to pressure or any trauma, you’ll decrease the lifespan of your acrylic nail tips. 


How To Use Nail Forms

nail forms

Place The Nail Form

There are several different nail form  available from various manufacturers. However, they essentially are used by wrapping around the finger while it is slipped under the natural nail. 

The fit should be snug but not too tight. Correctly placing the nail form is the trickiest step in using it. There shouldn’t be gaps under the edge.

The fit should be snug but not too tight. Correctly placing the nail form is the trickiest step in using it. There shouldn’t be gaps under the edge.

Most of the time, it takes practice to do it properly. 

One good thing about the nail forms is that one size fits all. You just have to adjust the tips to perfectly fit your nails.

Additionally, you don’t have to file nail forms, unlike nail tips. 

Blend The Seam

Although you don’t need to buff or file it, you still need to blend the seam of the nail form before doing the last step. This filing is fairly easy to do. 

Apply Acrylic Nails

After it is blended, you can now apply acrylic over it. The acrylic helps create a longer nail so your natural nail is extended. 

One of the main reasons why people love nail forms is because they don’t place any pressure on the nail plate. The acrylic used after the nail form is placed molds into the shape of the nail. This follows the natural contour of the natural nail and simply extends it. 

One of the main reasons why people love nail forms is because they don’t place any pressure on the nail plate.


Putting It Together

Some people prefer to use nail tips because they think the tips are stronger. There is a structure underneath the acrylic which should help it last longer.

However, the sturdy structure could place pressure on the nail plate, especially if it wasn’t thinned down properly for flexibility.

On the other hand, there are others who believe that nail forms are a better choice. That’s because they do not create pressure on the natural nails.

The acrylic that goes over the natural nail will follow the natural shape of the nail and just extend it. That could be a lot more comfortable. 

You’ll have to choose the best, most comfortable method for you. You can always try both and then see how they work!

Written by Kayla Young

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