Acrylic Nails

Colored Acrylics with Reverse Application

Colored and glitter acrylics are beautiful, but many of us do not do them in the salon because it is too time consuming for us and too expensive for the clients to change the color. Use a reverse application to make it easier. 

Colored and glitter acrylics are beautiful, but many of us do not do them in the salon because it is too time consuming for us and too expensive for the clients to change the color. So we might occasionally convince a friend or very client to try colored acrylics, but this does really make us any more money.

Using reverse application for colored acrylics (and pink-and-whites) is a very quick way to replace the colored tip of the nail. Clients can choose a new color every other week, just like they would choose polish. My clients love having all the colors to choose from. They feel like they have something special and don’t mind paying extra for the service.

My business has grown tremendously ever since Heidi Bender of Scottsdale, Ariz., explained this method to me. I am able to do my client’s nails faster (“I’ve cut half-hour off my backfill time) and get more clients done in my day, which means I make more money in the same amount of time.

Before introducing the service, I first came up with many different combinations of glitters and powders. I made samples of them all on a nail disk and premix all the combinations. I have each combination numbered and the recipe I used to create it written out in case I run out and have to make up a new batch.

Here are the steps:

<p>1)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When a client comes in for a backfill and is planning to change the color of her nails, I use tip cutter to shorten the nail. I cut most of the old color to get it out of the way. At this point it is like you are doing a regular fill. If there is any lifting, file it away. File the shine off the whole nail, and prep the grown-out cuticle area for a fill.</p>

<p>2)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Ignoring the colored acrylic free edge for the moment, I fill the grown-out cuticle are of the nail with a translucent pink acrylic.</p>

<p>3)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Now that the main body of the nail is done. I use a carbide barrel electric file bit and carve the new smile line. Hold the client&rsquo;s finger snug and gently pull back the skin from side of the nail. File across the nail and up into the other corner of the smile. When you have the line you can go back and make sure you file off all the old acrylic color from the edge. This takes a little practice but once you get it, you can do it very quickly.</p>

<p>4)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; When all 10 nails are done, I put forms on and apply the new colored acrylic my client has chosen.</p>

<p>5)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; File and shape the nails like normal. I do my last filing step with a 180-grit abrasive and dust the nails off. At this point, I add nail art if the client wants it. Finally, I apply Young Nails Finish gel and cure the nails for one minute. My client have beautiful glossy nails in their new choice of colored acrylic and are out the door without having to worry about smudging their nails.</p>

For some great colored acrylic and glitter combinations or “recipes” visit my site at

Christie Lovett is the owner of Christie’s Nails in Ocean View, Hawaii. She is also a Young Nails educator. Her nail art appears regularly in NAILS.



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