Acrylics lifting at cuticle


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Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2015
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East sussex
Can anyone tell me why I'm having trouble with lifting with my acrylics? I know the common reason is prep but I am meticulous with my prep, I sanitise, use 180 grit file to remove shine followed by a white block, spray and wipe, then acid free primer and finally salon services acrylic, they only last a week then they start lifting at the cuticle, I also make sure it doesn't touch the skin and that there is no cuticle left on nail plate, please help?
Have you a picture of your work?

Incorrect prep is the most common cause of lifting but it is not the only cause
You can't tell from pictures as I have a colour on but when I do French you can see it go white at the cuticles where is starting to lift
Even if you have colour on I can tell by the application of the acrylic. Post 3 pics , one from the front, one from the side and one down the barrel of the nail :)
240 grit is the coarsest you should be using on natural nails. Otherwise you'll be actually thinning the nail each time which over time could be contributing to your lifting problems.
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Sorry I should've said, I use 180 grit on the acrylic when infilling, I just use 240 grit white block on natural nail. I'm still quite new to being a nail technician.
Your structure is all wrong. From the front they look lovely , but do you see from the side view the highest point of the apex is right at the very tip of your finger? It should be less thick and placed further back, it should be in the middle of the nail. Without the apex in the correct shape it will have no strength so will pop up at the back.

Your also missing your lower arch, do you see the gap in at the side of the nail ? You will get lifting here and possible cracking or snapping as the lower arch is an important part of the strength , this is more than likely caused by filing up and down at the sidewalls without first tapering the acrylic into the natural nail. You should not be able to feel any edge at the cuticle or sidewalls it should be blended into the nail. if you can feel an edge you'll get lifting there.
Thank you so much for your help, I've not had any problem at all with cracking or snapping, just lifting at the cuticle, I will Def take note of what you have said and keep trying, thanks again, I really appreciate it ☺
Lifting at cuticle can mean your mix is off either too wet or dry and you have either flooded the skin or not got a good enough consistency to stick

You should use your brush at an angle when doing zone 3 only use a tiny bead, it should be not too wet so it drops off your brush and loses shape but not too dry you can see powdery bits place it a few mm away from cuticle let it settle, dry off your brush and then pat into shape and really press the product in with your brush at an angle then pull up the rest of nail with brush

Hope that all kind of makes sense

Your structure is off too but I'd concentrate on getting that zone 3 perfect first then work on a better structure.
Thank you, I'm sure my consistency is as it should be as it's exactly how you describe, and I do it exactly how you describe so I will concentrate on getting the structure right, thanks again for your reply
That's the difficulty with nails you can only follow a description so much- I think it's one of them things that the more you do it will just click one day. I have been teaching someone for a year now to do acrylics and she is only just these past few weeks producing nails that don't lift and are of a good standard even though she's followed exactly the right way to do them. They are a lot harder than they look
They certainly are, don't have any trouble doing gel, just acrylic. I haven't been doing them long, but I'm a perfectionist and hate it when I can't do something right lol

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