95 Ideas for Acrylic Nails that Are Instagram Worthy

Did you know that acrylic nails have been around for a few decades? Many people seem to think that acrylic nails or acrylics, for short, have only been with us for a few short years. But they’re wrong. It only seems that way because acrylic nails have become a trend in recent years thanks to so many celebrities wearing them. You know who we’re talking about – Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, and more, have been rocking this trend in all its glory.

So, let’s break down the concept of acrylic nails. We have a long list of ideas for you that you can wear in any situation, as well as tips and tricks, FAQs, and much more. Keep scrolling!


What Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are more commonly referred to as fake nails because this is exactly what they are. This type of nails is made of liquid are powder polymers and monomers. The chemicals need to be mixed together to form a type of putty. 

If applied to your nails, this putty forms small beads which will be shaped into the desired type of nails which you wish to wear. When you have the desired shaped, the nail professional will air dry the acrylic so that it lasts in that shape on your fingers for as long as possible.

When it comes to acrylic nails, there are two methods of applying them to your own nails:

  • Using a plastic tip – this is the part that needs to be glued to your own nails. Later they will sand it down so that it can connect as naturally as possible to your own finger.
  • Using a form – also called a sticker, the technician wraps it around your finger and follows it as a guide. Acrylic nails go on top and the technician can remove the form once he or she has finished the job.

The History of Acrylic Nails

Just like with so many other things, we love to believe that our generation was the one to come up with this concept as well. Sadly, that is not even remotely the case. In reality, women have been wearing extra long nails for thousands of years. Yes, you read that well. Thousands of years.

Ancient Egyptian aristocratic women as well as those belonging to the royal line wore very long and fake nails. They were made of ivory, bones, and gold. The idea behind these extravagant nails was that they represented a status symbol. Only very rich and powerful women could afford to wear such nails as they didn’t have to do any manual labour. They could simply lay back and not use their hands all day. Get it?

But, of course, there were no acrylic nails back in Ancient Egypt. Still, acrylic nails go back a lot further than many people realize. Yes, long before Rhianna and Kylie Jenner wore acrylic nails, your great-grandma might have sported a set back in the 50s. 

The story behind acrylic nails is that a dentist by the name of Frederick Slack broke one of his nails one day. Wanting to cover it up, he experimented a bit with the acrylics he had in his office and this is how he came up with the famous acrylic nail.

Two decades later, in the 1970s, another doctor, this time by the name Stuart Nordstrom, was the one who invented the material, meaning both the liquid and the powder that we still use today to create acrylic nails. Of course, acrylic nails have now come a very long way since the ones great grandmas wore back in the 50s. However, that’s where they started.

Instagram Worthy Acrylic Nails Designs

One of the most amazing things about acrylic nails is that there is no limit to what you can do. Basically, if you can dream it, you can get it on your nails. So let’s take a look at some of the best acrylic nails designs you can wear this year.

Nude acrylic nails with rhinestones

This is one of the most beloved designs out there. The length of the nails is just right – not too long, not too short. The color is simply gorgeous – it’s a nude beige with a cold undertone that will fit everyone. Plus, the ring finger is decorated with a superb set of rhinestones. You can wear this design everywhere from the office to your own wedding when you want to look elegant and dreamy.

Baby pink acrylics with glitter

There is a way to do baby pink that won’t have you look like a teenage girl, and this is it! These gorgeous, rounded acrylic nails have been painted a fantastic baby pink with micro silver glitter. This sweet color can be paired with any outfit and works on any occasion. Not to mention that the rounded shape is so elegant and timeless that you will simply fall in love with it!

Diva red nails

Are you ready for a manicure that will unleash the diva in you? If so, than this is the way to do it. Here is a set of extra long acrylic nails that have been rounded and sharpened around the tip and painted a garish red. We can’t even decide what we like more. Is it the incredible color or is it the shape? The color simply screams red carpet queen while the shape and length of these nails will make you feel like you just stepped out of a Nicki Minaj video. Talk about red carpet royalty!

Halloween acrylic nails

Such a special holiday like Halloween presents an incredible opportunity for thousands of ideas. And you can put them all on your nails. That is the beauty of acrylic. It allows you to play as much as you want. All you need to do is put your imagination hard at work. And find a good nail technician, of course!

This example consists of a set of coffin nails that have been painted a deep and cool forest green. The middle two nails also have a marble pattern obtained with lighter shades of green. The ring finger nail has been elegantly adorned with rhinestones for a touch of luxury that you know you deserve!

Spring nails

What better way to celebrate spring than with flowers and pastel colors? And here is a nail design that incorporates both those things. The background consists of a lovely ombre pink that gets just a touch darker toward the base. At the same time, the ring finger has been decorated with some sweet spring flowers that will make you smile every single time you look at them.

Acrylic nails for the queen of hearts

Who doesn’t want to be the queen of hearts? Now you can have her nails. This set of acrylics sports a wonderful intricate pattern of red and white with colorful French tips, white hearts on the ring finger as well as ruby red rhinestones that look like real rubies!

Acrylic Nails Pros and Cons

So many people wear acrylic nails every single day and yet, there are still some preconceived ideas that they might not be the best choice. Is that true? Here are the pros and cons to this beauty trend.


  • Acrylic nails are very hard and durable. In other words, you will be able to do with them what you can’t do with your natural nails – open soda cans, packages, use your hands in any way you want, because these beauties are not going anywhere. And this means freedom!
  • They are incredibly versatile. Therefore, you can change the shape, color, design, and length of your nails as many times as you want. Or as many times as your budget allows. This is something that you could never do with your natural nails.
  • Acrylic nails allow for incredible creativity. A simple YouTube search will show you that women have been putting everything on their acrylics. From designer logos to Halloween decorations to the portrait of their boyfriend to mini cupcakes. The sky is the limit when it comes to these babies!
  • They can be the picture of perfection. If done correctly by a professional technician who has sufficient experience and expertise, no one will be able to tell that they are fake.


  • You cannot wear acrylic nails all the time. Just like with everything that is fake, you will have to take a break and allow your natural nails to grow back and simply breathe.
  • Acrylic nails are made entirely out of chemical materials. This means that the smell as well as the materials can harm you if you don’t use them correctly.
  • Hygiene is crucial when wearing acrylic nails. If you have never tried a set on, you should know that an insane amount of dirt, debris, and buildup gets caught underneath them. Therefore, you have to be thorough when cleaning them.

Acrylic Nails FAQs

If you have never worn acrylic nails or are thinking about trying a set, we’re sure you have a lot of questions. That’s why we have compiled this set of FAQs. To help you out!

  • How much do acrylic nails cost?

This is not an easy question to answer. It all depends on the design you want to get as well as the accessories you are intending to use. However, the rule of thumb is that the more intricate the design of the nails and the more expensive the accessories, of course, the more expensive the nails will be.

For example, if it takes the technician hours to work on your set of acrylic nails and if you want Swarovski crystals set in, then you are looking at a very expensive nail job. 

Still, on average, a simple set of acrylic nails should not cost more than $100.

  • How long does it take to apply acrylic nails?

Once again, it all depends on the technician. If you have an appointment at a very good nail salon and the technician is experienced, this can be done in less than an hour. However, if your technician is not that experienced it can last up to three hours to have your nails set in.

  • How long do acrylic nails last?

Provided that you care for them as instructed and that you do not do any excessive manual labor while wearing them, acrylic nails should last for about two or three weeks. In fact, they can last even longer than that, but it’s not a good idea to keep them in longer. Plus, as the weeks go by, you will start to notice your own natural nails growing at the bottom and the look will become unaesthetic.

  • Are acrylic nails bad for you?

No, they are not. It’s true that acrylic nails have a bit of a bad reputation. But that might just be due to the fact that they tend to look quite artificial. Therefore, just like it’s the case with anything artificial, people tend to assume that they are also bad for the health of your natural nails. But they are not!

  • Do acrylic nails fall off?

Yes, they can fall off since they are not permanently glued to your natural nails. This usually happens if you have kept them on for far longer than you should have. Your natural nails have pushed and weakened the acrylics and now they are falling off. But it can also happen if the the technician did not use the proper type of glue. Or if the nails themselves are of poor quality.

  • Do nails grow under acrylics?

Yes, of course they do! Acrylic nails do not interact with your natural nails in any way. This means that your own nails will continue to behave normally underneath the acrylics. In fact, they might even be better off, since they will be protected and won’t break anymore.

  • What can you not do while wearing acrylics?

According to women all over the world who have worn acrylics, there is a number of things that might be inaccessible while wearing very long fake nails. Examples include removing credit cards out of your wallet, typing or texting on your phone, styling your hair, using the toilet as usual, or doing certain parts of your makeup routine. Of course, none of these things are set in stone. You can try them out for yourself while wearing acrylic nails and see how you fare!

  • Can your nails be too short for acrylics?

No, in general the length of your natural nails does not matter. In fact, many women get acrylic nails because their own are very short, bitten, or broken off. The only rule is that you do have at least a part of your nail still intact so that the acrylic can attach itself to something.

  • Can children get acrylic nails?

It depends on many factors. If you are concerned about healthy issues, there are none. Acrylic nails are just as safe for you as they are for your child. However, please bear in mind that acrylic nails are not allowed in many schools, which means that your child might be reprimanded or even asked to stay home.

  • Do acrylic nails hurt?

No, they do not. In fact, acrylic nails should not feel like anything on the nail. However, if you feel any pain or discomfort, that may be due to the fact that your technician has filed off too much of your natural nail. At the same time, it may be that the glue they used is expired or it was not glue intended for safe use on human nails. Please address the salon you visited as well as a doctor.

The Best Products for Acrylic Nails

Just because you go to a salon to get your acrylic nails that doesn’t mean your job is done. Most nail professionals recommend that you take care of your nails as best as possible by using the following products.

  • Cuticle oil – this product goes as cheap as a few dollars if you buy established and beloved brands such as Sally Hansen. It will soften up your cuticles and make your nails look perfect every day, not just on the day you come back from the nail salon.

  • Gel top coat – if you want, you can use a gel top coat to freshen up your look every few days in between appointments. This is, of course, not necessary, as acrylic nails are meant to look perfect from one session to the other. However, you might have to go on a date or a party and not have enough time for a new sitting. Apply a top coat and you’re good to go.
  • Hand and nail treatment – this product usually comes in the shape of a cream, but you can also find oil treatments. They will nourish your skin and keep your hands looking picture perfect.


What about you?

Let us know all about your experiences with acrylic nails down below in the comment section. Do you have any tips and tricks you would like to share with us? Check out our other blog posts on nail care and cool hairstyles while you’re here!

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