Acrylics refers to any of a group of clear, synthetic resins used to make plastics, paints, etc. Nail enhancements (or artificial nails) made by combining a liquid acrylic product (monomer) with a powdered acrylic product (polymer); the two products form a soft ball that can be molded into a nail shape that adheres well to the natural nail or a tip; once applied, the acrylic hardens into a strong artificial nail that can be filed and buffed to a high shine. In 1934, Maxwell Lappe, a dentist in Chicago, created Nu Nails, an artificial fingernail for nail biters. In the early days of acrylic enhancements (late 1970s), most of what was available was coming out of dentists’ offices. The nails were thick and decidedly fake looking. Over the years, chemists have developed new technologies so that today, nail technicians can sculpt acrylic nails that are thin and more natural-looking. The nails in the photo were done by award-winning nail technician Lynn Lammers and were created with a pink and white acrylic system.