Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week 5: Fixing Bitten Nails with "Buttons"

by NAILS Magazine | June 11, 2012

This week I finished all of my training acrylic exercises and got the chance to work on a technique I have been itching to learn — buttons! One of the hardest types of nails for extensions to me are the bitten, chewed-up “nails of doom”. With very little nail bed to use as an anchor, they are especially difficult to apply and hold acrylics. Through YouTube I saw a very interesting technique using nail forms and “buttons” of acrylic to extend these nail beds and give an illusion of a normal length. Sadly, I can’t remember the person who did them, but Young Nails did a series of videos that is similar. I was able to try them out on my friend (a very patient friend) and the transformation was nothing short of amazing.

When you see the finished product, keep in mind I am a student and my smile lines are out of whack a bit still. It took me three and a half hours and I had to have Mrs. Brown help me in a few spots. I only lost composure once but I am blaming that on my migraine that has hounded me for two weeks.

Ok, so here is the rundown of what I did and by all means comment if you know of a more effective way. I did a very thorough job of cuticle pushing and nail bed prep. (The area is so small every tiny bit counts.) Working with only one finger at a time I placed a nail form with the center button removed and then placed sideways to take most of the curve out of the empty space. My nail biters both had very flat free edges with zero grown out nail. With a small to medium ball of cover pink acrylic with extra fluid pulled from the brush, I placed it in zone two. I then pressed it into shape from the center to both corners hanging over onto the nail form giving the appearance of the longer nail bed. I waited a few moments for it to be good and set and then used a more fluid medium ball of cover pink to finish out the nail bed. I am used to applying my whites first then doing pink so it was a lot harder than I thought to make a "perfect" smile line with the cover pink already being placed. I took a medium ball with the extra liquid pulled out and gave a small smile line and white tip. Sorry my biters, but no long nails for you ladies until your beds are a bit longer. 

I did this again on a second nail biter and feel like I nailed it (nail humor!). Still not a nail professional’s final look but pretty good for the stage I am at now. 

Also included with my button photos is one of me and my two classmates I get to drive home. We stopped at Steak and Shake and I just can't resist the urge for the photos of us in the funny hats to hit the web. I really hope they don't kick me at school. Sharon and Jamika, you saved my sanity this week whether you know it or not!

— Mary

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