1.Remove old nail polish.
Acrylic should be applied to clean nails, so remove your old polish before getting started.Use an acetone-based, oil-free nail polish remover to take it off. If you have old acrylic nails or gels to remove, soak them in pure acetone to remove them. Do NOT peel them off; soak them until it can be pushed away with ease. Peeling it off will damage your own nail, making it a lot thinner.
2.Trim your nails.
To provide a good base for the acrylic, use a nail scissors or nail clippers to trim your natural nails to a short, even, manageable length. A few millimeters is good to have so you can glue the tips at the end where your natural smile line is. Use a nail file to even them out.
3.Buff the surface of your nails.
Use a soft nail file to make the surface of your nails slightly rougher and less shiny.This provides a better surface for the acrylic to stick to.
4.Push back your cuticles.
You want the acrylic to be adhered to your natural nails, not your skin. Push back your cuticles or trim them to keep them out of the way while you give yourself a manicure.Use a wooden cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles. Metal pushers can be used, but wooden are better for your nails. If you don't have a cuticle pusher, a wooden popsicle stick can be substituted. It's easier to push back cuticles when they're soft and wet, rather than dry. Soak your fingers in warm water for a few minutes before using the cuticle pusher, and preferably work on them a few days before so that they are extra fine for your treatment.
5.Use the nail primer.
This removes the remaining moisture and oils from your nails to get them ready for the acrylic. This step is one of the most important for best adhesion. If oil remains on your nails, the acrylic won't stick.Use a cotton ball or preferably a lint-free paper towel to carefully rub the surface of your nails with acetone. Nail primer with acid is made with an methacrylic acid, which can burn. Be careful not to use too much or get it on your skin. There are acid-free primers if you are unsure of the acid ones.