The Basics To Applying Artificial Toenails: The 15 Minute Pedicure:

Ok, so you’ve decided to try artificial toenails. Once you get the hang of it, you can have a professional looking pedicure in less than 15 minutes, but you should allow some extra time for your first attempt.

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Pedicure supplies you will want to have on hand and which are often included in store bought artificial toenails kits: An emery board with a smooth and a rough side, an orange stick, some nail glue (the long slender package is the best because you can squeeze it out a drop at a time) your artificial nails, and some nail polish (optional).


I’m not going to go into the steps for beautifying your skin before working with your nails. Those basics are covered on another page! Assuming you’ve moisturized and conditioned your feet, it’s time to put on the “bling!” Well, it’s not really bling, ‘cause these days, the most appealing look is a French pedicure. That’s what I prefer...it matches everything and looks very natural.

The first thing you will want to do is size up your nails. For the purpose of this article I will refer to your natural nail as a “toenail.” Artificial toenails will be referred to as “tips.” So, first take out all your tips and match the sizes for each of your nails. You should avoid using nails that are too big as this can cause itchy infections around the nail. After lining up your two sets of five tips, begin prepping your toenails. Trim and lightly sand your nails so that there is a smooth surface for the tips to adhere to. You will probably want to use the smooth side of an Emory board for this, but if you have some thickening of the nail, you’ll want to do some more aggressive filing, using the courser side of the board. When your toenails are prepped, begin with the largest tips. Place one to two drops of nail glue directly on your toenail and place the tip on your nail, lining up with the cuticle edge, and pressing the artificial toenail tip against your nail. Apply pressure for about 20 seconds. If your surface was well prepped, this is all it should take. If for some reason it didn’t seal, wipe the nail clean, refile and try again. Some reasons the tip won’t stick will be: if the nail was not completely dry, if it was not prepped well by filing, or if you used TOO MUCH GLUE! This is a case where too much of a good thing is never good. Never apply more than one drop on any nail, except the big toe. Depending on the size, it may take two drops, but never more than this. If you use too much glue, the nail will not seal and you’ll have a sticky mess to clean up. Not to worry, nail glue dissolves in acetone based nail polish remover.

The first thing you will want to do is size up your nails. For the purpose of this article I will refer to your natural nail as a “toenail.” Artificial toenails will be referred to as “tips.” So, first take out all your tips and match the sizes for each of your nails. You should avoid using nails that are too big as this can cause itchy infections around the nail. After lining up your two sets of five tips, begin prepping your toenails. Trim and lightly sand your nails so that there is a smooth surface for the tips to adhere to. You will probably want to use the smooth side of an Emory board for this, but if you have some thickening of the nail, you’ll want to do some more aggressive filing, using the courser side of the board. When your toenails are prepped, begin with the largest artificial toenail tips. Place one to two drops of nail glue directly on your toenail and place the tip on your nail, lining up with the cuticle edge, and pressing the artificial toenail tip against your nail. Apply pressure for about 20 seconds. If your surface was well prepped, this is all it should take. If for some reason it didn’t seal, wipe the nail clean, refile and try again. Some reasons the tip won’t stick will be: if the nail was not completely dry, if it was not prepped well by filing, or if you used TOO MUCH GLUE! This is a case where too much of a good thing is never good. Never apply more than one drop on any nail, except the big toe. Depending on the size, it may take two drops, but never more than this. If you use too much glue, the nail will not seal and you’ll have a sticky mess to clean up. Not to worry, nail glue dissolves in acetone based nail polish remover.

When you’ve finished with one toe, work your way through the whole set of artificial toenails. You can then trim (if needed) and file the nail to the perfect shape for you. When finished, if you prefer polish, you may polish your artificial toenails. If you prefer the natural look you may just leave them as they are. However if you have yellow toenails or a discoloration that is visible through the toenail tip, you can lightly brush the flesh tone part of the toenail tip with a natural colored frost nail polish. This will keep the natural look of the French pedicure, while camouflaging any discoloration from showing through the nail tip.

Voila! Your French pedicure makeover is finished. Slip on a pair of really cute sandals and hit the beach, or a night on the town. Get ready for the compliments. Everyone who sees your feet is going to rave over them...trust me on this!

Now for a discussion about artificial toenails maintenance.There are some basics you need to know to maintain this look. First, know that occasionally you’re going to lose a nail. Be prepared for this by keeping a kit in your purse, for quick fixes on the run. After wearing the nails for a while, you’ll begin learning how to be a careful about how you walk when you’re bare foot, so as not to bang into things, and how to kind of protect your feet when walking in a crowd. This just gets to be instinctive, the way people protect their fingernails after getting a manicure. You should always change nails regularly in order to allow your natural nails to breath. Here’s a good way to insure that you do this, without it being too time consuming. After wearing your nails for several days get on a regular schedule of changing them. Start by removing the two smallest nails on Monday (letting your nails breathe over night before replacing, then next biggest ones on Tuesday, and so on, until on Friday, You will be left changing the biggest two nail tips so you have a fresh set for the weekend. Then, start this process over again on Monday morning. I realize, you may not be this serious about keeping your toenail tips, but then again, you may fall in love with your new look and want to keep it going all summer long. If this is you, then I would strongly recommend you get on this schedule. It will be healthy for your nails, and will reduce the chances of getting or worsening a toenail infection. Remember, if you have a toenail infection, you should get on a treatment plan to address this. There are several treatments that have been affective in treating this infection, but you will have to be persistent and you will need to reduce your risk factors for reinfection. The risks are the same as those for athlete's foot. Click here to read how you can reduce your risk of getting tinea pedis (athlete's foot) and onychomycosis (toenail fungus). When you are ready to remove a nail tip, apply the end of an orange stick to the cuticle side of the tip and gently lift it off. If this doesn’t work, just use some acetone based nail polish remover to soften the nail tip and it will come right off. Never pull aggressively on a nail that is stuck, you can lift the underlying natural nail and leave it more vulnerable to infection!

Well, now you have the basics. I hope you’ll try them out and let me know how it goes! You might also be interested in this close out deal on Nailene Perfect Toes: Check it out here! If you found this page on artificial toenails application helpful, please feel free to share it, Facebook it, or Twitter it! Thanks for reading!

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