Bright and bold acrylic nails reign supreme in the northeastern Caribbean, says Ednice De Jesús Nieves, a nail educator with more than a decade of experience. “In Puerto Rico we love nails full of color,” she says. “So many nail techs are doing designs with acrylic colors and using techniques like 3-D sculpting, encapsulating nail art, and the scratch technique. Others are doing nail designs with gel-polish, construction gel, pigments, and foil to improve the designs.”

Follow these steps to see how Nieves used gel-polish and gold foil over an acrylic set to create a colorful antique glass effect manicure. 

1. Clean and prep the nails for acrylic application. Sculpt the nail extension in a square shape using cover pink and apply white acrylic to the nail tip.

2. Apply black-colored acrylic to the bottom half of the free edge. On the accent nail, dab a mix of black and white acrylic to create a faded and washed out effect.

3. Use a brush dipped in a little monomer to apply additives over the French tip and the accent nail to get a rainbow, stained glass look.

4. Encapsulate the effect with clear acrylic. Once it cures, buff all the nails and wipe the nails clean. Using a detail brush and black gel-polish, create intricate swirl designs along the French tip and over the entire accent nail. Cure for two minutes under a UV light.

5. While the gel-polish is sticky, press gold foil paper on the design and pull it off quickly.

6. Finish the look with gel-polish top coat and cure for two minutes under a UV light. Use alcohol to remove the sticky layer on the nails and apply cuticle oil.

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