I have several clients with funny-shaped nail beds –ski slopes, dips, or just plain flat,” says Becky Fangmann of All About Nails in Oak Grove, Mo. Fangmann’s solution? She uses clear acrylic rather than glue to affix tips to the natural nail. “It makes for a stronger bond,” she says. Fangmann applies a small ball (about the size of a cuticle ball) to the underside to the tip, waits until the acrylic becomes dull, then rocks the tip onto the nail. “The rocking is very important. You have to ‘smoosh’ the excess acrylic out the back of the tip or you’ll have a buildup of acrylic under the free edge,” she warns. Once the tip is in place, she holds it for about 10 seconds until it starts to set up. Then she releases pressure slowly to make sure it’s holding. Before it sets up completely, Fangmann uses an orangewood stick to slide off the excess acrylic. “I do all 10 nails, blend the tips somewhat, then apply the overlay,” she says.