An Educational Website for Nail Technicians and Interested Consumers

Hooked on Nails is an education provider for the nail industry as well as interested consumers.

Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are called many different names, with the nail technician’s least favorite being “fake nails”. We much prefer the term artificial nails. There are several different types of artificial nail enhancement products as well as application procedures. The most commonly applied enhancement is traditional acrylic, which is a two-part system of liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer). This type of product can be applied with one color of acrylic, pink and white acrylic for a Permanent French look, or can be applied with colored acrylic, glitter acrylic or in any combination. Pink and white acrylic nails are often referred to as “Solar Nails”. Solar Nail is a product made by Creative Nail Design Systems and includes their Original Solar Nail, Radical Solar Nail, Retention + , and Moxie acrylic systems. Unless you actually see this product in its original bottle on the nail table, your nails may not be ‘Solar Nails”.

Gel Nails

Gel acrylic is a one-part system consisting of the application of a thick viscosity gel acrylic. Gel is normally ‘cured’ under a UV light. Do not confuse gel with traditional acrylic. Even though the two products are actually acrylic, they apply and wear differently. Gel applied over acrylic to seal the surface does not make your nails “Gel Nails”. Gel nails are actually acrylic nails; they are made from the same class of acrylates, but with different molecular structures, appearance, application procedures and different curing methods. Be certain you are receiving the artificial nails you requested.

Nail Chemistry

Acrylics contain cross-linking monomers. Cross links are like rungs on a ladder; creating strong net-like structures. Cross-links can also join many other layers of cross-linked nets. The result is a three-dimensional structure of great strength and flexibility. This is how many types of artificial nail enhancements are made. See Product Chemistry for more information on nail product chemistry; how and why it works.


These pages will show you how to perform a basic manicure and how to apply the Perfect Polish. Whether you are a novice nail tech, a veteran technician or an interested consumer, these tips will work for you.


Learn how to perform a basic pedicure and a Spa Pedicure for a perfect relaxing ‘feet treat’.

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