Fake nails can help turn your ordinary look into an extraordinary one in an instant. You can leave your nails bare for a natural look or give your nails some attention – go for a manicure – anything can be done! If you want to put on fake nails for a dance party or date night, or you just want to make your appearance more beautiful, see Step 1 to learn how to apply artificial nails.
Part 1 of 3: Preparing Your Nails
Step 1. Remove your old nail polish
You'll need to remove your old nail polish, even if it's a clear white, to apply false nails. If you still have the old polish on your nails, the fake nails will be harder to stick to. The nails will fall off in a day or two unless you take this important step.
- If you are already wearing false nails, either acrylic or gel, take them off and clean your nails. You can use acetone or another way to do this.
- Wash your hands after using acetone or other nail polish remover. The chemicals in nail polish remover can dry out your nails.
Step 2. Soak your nails
Do a quick manicure prep before putting on fake nails, to keep your nails healthy and to make sure they stay in place as long as possible. Start by soaking your nails in warm water for about five minutes, until your nails are nice and soft. Dry your hands and nails with a cloth.
You can add body wash or hand soap to the water if you want, but don't soak your hands in an oily solution. While oil-based solutions are great for moisturizing your hands, having oil residue on your nails before you put them on will make it difficult for them to stick
Step 3. Trim and file your nails
Use nail clippers to trim your nails so they are all even. Cut your nails short, but not too short; leave a small tip on your nail so the fake nail can get more area to stick. Use a nail file to smooth the edges of your nails.
Step 4. Get rid of your cuticles
While the skin around your nails is still soft after soaking, use a cuticle stick or cuticle pusher to gently push your cuticles. This way you can make sure you're sticking the fake nails to your nails, not your skin.
Don't cut your cuticles, but push them with a pusher. Your cuticles protect the inside of your nails from infection and cutting them increases the risk of dirt or germs building up there
Step 5. Brush your nails
Use a nail polisher to give your nails a good gloss. This will make the surface of the nail a little rougher, which will make it easier for the false nails to stick. Dust off when you're done.
Part 2 of 3: Installing False Nails
Step 1. Put on your false nails
Unwrap it and place all the nails in the order you want them to be installed. The largest nail for your thumb, and the smallest for your smallest finger. Make sure the false nails fit snugly against your natural nails, and use a file to shape the lower ends if needed.
- False nails are easiest to install using a simple tool, namely nail glue. Your tool should come with false nails for each nail and a bottle of adhesive.
- If you have the tools to apply acrylic false nails, this process is more complicated. See the article How to Apply Acrylic False Nails for instructions.
- If you have a tool for applying gel false nails, check out the article How to Apply Gel False Nails.
Step 2. Attach the first nail
Pour a drop of glue over your natural nail, and another drop of glue on the part of the artificial nail that will be attached to your nail (not the part that is sticking out of the nail). Be careful when placing the false nails over your natural nails so that the lower arch fits perfectly into your cuticles. Press your nails and hold for 10 seconds for the fake nails to stick.
- Make sure the nail is firmly attached to your natural nail, with no gaps.
- Don't use too much glue. You don't want the glue to squirt out of the sides. A small drop is enough. If the glue gushes out, use a cotton swab to gently wipe it off.
- Be careful not to set it sideways. Because nail glue dries quickly.
- Start nailing your dominant hand first.
Step 3. Repeat the above steps for all remaining nails
One by one, attach each nail using a drop of glue. Remember to press down on each nail for 10 seconds to make sure they are firmly attached to your natural nail.
Step 4. File the nails into the shape you want
You can use a regular nail file to file it into a classic shape like an oval or a square, or whatever shape you like. If you like the original shape of the fake nails, you don't need to file it!
Part 3 of 3: Nail Decoration
Step 1. Paint your nails
Some fake nails have embellishments on them, but if yours is plain, you might want to add a little flair to it. If you want a classic look, then just a few coats of good paint will suffice. In addition to the monotone style, consider the following designs:
- Gradient colorful nails
- Flower themed nails
- Galaxy themed nails
- Ladybug themed nails
- Marble themed nails
Step 2. Add a little sparkle
You can add a coat of polish to any color, but if you want your nails to really stand out, stick rhinestones on them. You can create a radiant look by attaching it to each of your nails, or use the rhinestone as an elegant accent in your design.
Step 3. Do a French manicure. This is a beautiful and natural style that will look great on your fake nails. If you want your fake nails to have a realistic touch, a French manicure is the way to go. You can buy a French manicure kit or use your own pink, clear, and white nail polish.
Step 4. Try a special pen for nail art
These pens come in a variety of colors and make it easier for you to create the design you want, without the mess that nail polish brushes cause. Try a polka-dot look, or make something more elaborate, like a panda or strawberry.
- Make sure the fake nails are wide enough for your nails so you don't see your real nails.
- Make sure your natural nails are clean and free of nail polish.
- Make sure your nails are not greasy when you put on the false nails, otherwise they will come off more easily.
- Treat your artificial nails with as much care as possible. Don't bite your fake nails like you would your natural nails, otherwise they will break and you definitely don't want your fake nails to be damaged.
- Scrub your nails using a nail polisher for optimal results.