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How To Stop Acrylic Nails From Lifting [The Professionals Way]

If you’ve ever experienced Acrylic Nail Lifting, then you’ll know how frustrating it can be! Not only can it ruin your new manicure, your new style, but it can be painful too.

So, how do you stop Acrylic Nails from lifting? Of course, application is very important and essential but the majority of problems when it comes to lifting can be traced back to not preparing the natural nail properly.

Today, we’re going to take you through step by step how to prepare the natural nail for all applications so that your Acrylics no longer lift.

How To Stop Acrylic Nails From Lifting

This is something that I personally had problems with when I first started doing my nails. I was able to find out that it was all down to the way I was prepping.

I’d like to show you the fastest way to prepare the nails in the proper way that is going to help you prevent lifting for good. We’ll start with the wrong way before turning to the right way to prep. This will enable you to see the difference and where you may be going wrong.

Now I personally use an Electric Nail File (I was surprised at how affordable it was on Amazon), and it saves me a lot of time and effort.

However, you can use a standard Nail File if you wanted. Better yet, a Glass Nail File (like this one on Amazon) would make things easier and will last you for around 5-10 years!

A great tip (no pun intended) when prepping the nail is to apply some permanent marker to the nails.

If you apply the marker to the Cuticle Area, you can really see the area that needs to be prepped.

To do this all you need to do is place the marker against the bottom edge of your nails (where the cuticle area generally is).

Use the ridge (where your nail meets your skin) and draw a small semi-circle line from one side of the nail to the other.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m going to explain how to prep with my Electric File and Medium Grit Sanding Band.

Now the majority of people go wrong with prep by starting on one side of the cuticle, run down to the bottom and then over to the other side. They remove the shine from the nail and think that is good enough.

Unfortunately, and if you applied the black permanent marker you would see this as not all of it will have been removed and have come off, this does not completely clean the nail.

The thing is, you have to make sure the cuticle is completely clean or otherwise you will experience lifting.

So the correct way to do it to file right into the groove and clean the entire cuticle area. This is why the permanent marker method is so great; because if you prep correctly all of it will be removed.

If you have deep pockets you’ll notice that it is very difficult to get your Electric/regular nail file in there and get it all clean.

In this case, what you will have to do is switch Electric Nail File bits or use a more precise nail file. In this instance, a Medium Diamond Bit works particularly well.

This bit works very similar to the standard Medium Grit Band, but it has a smaller head which enables you to get right into the Cuticle area much more easily.

I also like to turn the Electric File down to low, because this gives you greater control over the file and is less harsh.

You can also pull the skin back to really get down into the cuticle area, but by turning your hand you’ll notice you are really able to get into the groove.

Next Steps and Applying Acrylics

Now you know how to properly prep the nails, let us now look at the entire process all the way through from start to finish. This way you will know exactly how to apply acrylics that will not lift.

Step One: Start off by pushing back the cuticle. This is very important as it enables everything that needs to be removed to be exposed.

Step Two: With a Nail File (preferably Electric), use a Medium Arbor Band and on low speed, clean up the cuticle area making sure its nice and clean in its entirety. Be sure to remove the shine from the whole surface of the natural nail.

Step Three: Its very important to cleanse the nail with a product that is going to really dehydrate and remove the natural oils and any contaminants that are on the nail. You can do this in two different ways. The first is with a Lint-Free Wipe. The second is with a Manicure Brush (like this) which works really well.

Using the Wipes/Manicure Brush, once you have filed and prepped the nail in the steps above, dust off the nail. Pump it with the swipe and then cleanse from the bottom of the nail to the top.

The reason I like to do this is because it pulls out all of the dust from the cuticle area (that you can miss with a wipe) and makes sure its nice and clean.

Step Four: Now its time for Protein Bond. Ensure you cover the whole surface of the nail and be sure not to touch your skin. Apply the Bond to all of your ten nails.

Once you have completed your last nails, you can come back to do a second coat of the Protein Bond.

So this is how to properly prep your nails. This is the correct preparation for both Acrylics and Gel.

If you follow this strategy from start to finish, it should only take around 5-10 minutes to do all of your nails.

When I first started it took me around 20 minutes to do. If you find that it takes you a while, make sure you get yourself a good Electric Nail File and keep practicing!

Doing it properly means that your Acrylics will not lift and you’ll save a lot of time and money down the road. Its all about proper preparation.

I’ll leave you with a quick recap of the process:

  1. Pushing back the cuticles,
  2. Removing shine,
  3. Swipe clean and remove dust,
  4. Apply Protein Bond.

Over to you. Best of luck!

P.s. If this article has sparked your interest in getting an Electric Nail File, be sure to view my Best Nail Drill Article here.