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Solar Nails Guide: Durable and Low-Maintenance Alternatives to Acrylic Nails

solar nails guide

If you’re a nail enthusiast who loves staying on top of the latest trends, you’ve likely come across the term “solar nails” in the last few years. But what exactly are they? While classic acrylic and gel extensions have been popular for a long time, a new, more durable, and beautiful option has emerged: solar nails. These acrylic nail enhancements, made of ethyl methacrylate (EMA), are not just a trend but a practical choice for those who want long-lasting, stunning nails. 

In this solar nails guide, we answer all your questions about trendy solar nails, from “What are solar nails?” to “DIY solar nails.” By the end of reading our solar nails guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you need before getting your new nail enhancements. 

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What Are Solar Nails?

What Are Solar Nails?

Solar nails are acrylic nail extensions made using a paste of acrylic powder and a liquid monomer (ethyl methacrylate—EMA). As opposed to traditional acrylic nails, which are applied directly to the natural nail bed, solar nails feature a plastic extension that is firmly glued to the tip of the natural nail. 

They are then sealed with a powder or liquid formula to cover the entire solar nail. This consists of a plastic nail extension glued to the tip of your own nail and a powder or liquid formula painted over the top to seal the entire solar nail.

The unique construction of solar nails, with their blend of acrylic powder and liquid monomer, not only makes them durable but also gives them a natural appearance. This technique offers a range of benefits, making solar nails a popular choice. They are sometimes even called solar pink and white due to their resemblance to French nails. 

What Is Solar Manicure?

What Is Solar Manicure?

Our solar nails guide also comes with a detailed breakdown of the solar manicure. The application of solar nails is a layering process and with a solar manicure, no particular chemical reactions are required to make the nails hard. 

Here’s how a solar manicure unfolds:

Step 1: Since the natural nail plate serves as the foundation of the solar nail, this area is prepared by cleaning and trimming the cuticles and filing the nail bed slightly.

Step 2: Then a professional technician attaches a translucent nail tip by trimming it to your desired length.

Step 3: This nail tip is then filed to your shape and the ledge between the tip and nail bed is sanded for a clean finish. 

Step 4: The professional then applies a dehydrator followed by the primer only on the natural nail bed. 

Step 5: The nail technician dips a brush in monomer, brushes it on the side of the container to remove excess liquid, and then dips it into the powder. This mixture is then applied to the nail to create the acrylic, which hardens as it dries in the air (UV curing is recommended).*

Step 6: Afterward, the nail technician can protect the SolarNails with a clear top coat, gel nail polish, shellac, regular nail polish, or the powder color that was used on the nail.

*Most professional technicians agree that using a using a lamp (UV or LED) is the best option to have a long-lasting and chip-free solar nails manicure. 

Solar Nails Vs. Acrylic Nails

The key difference between solar nails and acrylic nails lies in their durability, solar nails full set are the most durable and then comes acrylic nails. Also, acrylic nails are more prone to chipping due to the top layer of polish while solar nails cured using UV are less prone to chipping. 

How Are Solar Nails Better?

The solar manicure process offers numerous benefits, making it a popular choice among nail enthusiasts. One of the primary advantages is the durability and longevity of solar nails.

Unlike traditional acrylic nails, solar nails full set are made from a specific type of acrylic powder and liquid that creates a stronger bond, resulting in nails that are less prone to chipping, lifting, or breaking. This makes them an excellent option for those who engage in daily activities that might otherwise damage their nails.

Our expert reviewer also found that solar nails maintain their shine and clarity over time, reducing the need for frequent touch-ups and making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Our Solar Nails Guide: DIY Solar Nails

Our Solar Nails Guide: DIY Solar Nails

There is a possibility of doing solar nails at home with a DIY solar nails kit. Also, it is crucial to remember that solar nails are applied directly to the natural nail bed, so don’t use them on extensions. 

Here’s a solar nails guide if you’re doing solar nails at home. You will need:

  • DIY solar nails kit
  • Brushes 
  • Fake nails tips for lengthening your natural nails
  • Nail drill or a nail buffer machine
  • Clippers
  • Trimmer 

How To Achieve Solar Nails At Home

Wash Your Hands: Start by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water to remove any dirt or oils.

Push Back Your Cuticles: Gently use a cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles, creating a clean base for your nail care routine.

Trim and Buff Your Nails: Trim your nails to the desired length and shape, and then buff the surface of your nails to create a smooth base.

Apply Nail Primer: Apply a single coat of nail primer to your natural nails to prepare them for the acrylic application.

Attach Artificial Nail Tips: Attach artificial nail tips to your natural nails. Trim the tips to your desired length.

Apply White Acrylic Powder: Apply white acrylic powder from the tips of your nails to the nail plate. Create a smile line where the white acrylic meets your natural nail.

Apply Pink Acrylic Powder: Apply pink acrylic powder to the rest of your nails, blending it seamlessly with the white acrylic.

Shape and Polish Your Nails: Use a nail drill machine or a nail buffer to shape and smooth your nails.

Dry Your Nails: Let your nails dry. You can use a UV lamp if available or let them air dry.

Apply a Glossy Topcoat: Finish by applying a glossy topcoat to seal and add shine to your nails.

Solar French Tips: A Timeless Look

Are you looking for a classic and sophisticated look? Solar nails pink and white, also known as French manicures, are a timeless choice. These iconic solar French tips design feature a natural pink base with crisp white tips, creating a clean, polished look that suits any outfit or occasion. 

Solar nails pink and white are versatile for everyday wear and elegant enough for special events like weddings, proms, or formal dinners. Whether you are someone who prefers a traditional French manicure or wants to add a modern twist with glitter accents or embellishments, solar pink and white nails exude timeless charm and refinement.

Solar Nails vs Dipping Powder: Which is Better?

When comparing solar nails vs dipping powder nails, both have their unique advantages. Solar nails give you that glossy, natural look, and dipping powder nails give you a strong, chip-resistant finish. Solar nails may need regular maintenance to avoid lifting and discoloration, but dipping powder nails generally need less upkeep.

If you’re a busy bee, this is the better option. Dipping powder nails have a quick application process, too. Ultimately, the choice between solar nails and dipping powder depends on your personal preference for durability, appearance, and the level of maintenance you’re willing to commit to.

Solar Nails Pictures: Visual Inspiration

Solar Nails Pictures: Visual Inspiration

Visual inspiration is crucial for nail designs. There are so many creative ideas to choose from, and nail artists can also stay ahead of trends. Popular solar nail design trends currently include vibrant solar ombre effects, intricate solar-themed patterns, and dazzling solar glitters that capture the essence of sunlight.

Browsing through some solar nails pictures can be a good source of inspiration, so you can experiment with lots of styles and techniques and upgrade your manicure to a work of art.

Ombre Solar Nails: Trendy and Chic

Ombre Solar Nails: Trendy and Chic

Ombre solar nails have become a popular trend in the world of nail art, known for their gradient effect that transitions from one color to another. This chic design adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any look. Let’s explore what makes ombre solar nails so appealing!

Ombre solar nails feature a gradient effect where colors seamlessly blend into one another. This design can range from subtle transitions using shades within the same color family to bold, contrasting hues. The ombre effect can be achieved through various techniques, including sponging, airbrushing, or even carefully blending with a brush. The result is a beautiful, eye-catching nail design.

Since solar nails are a type of acrylic nails, they give you a durable and long lasting base that could be used for various intricate designs including ombre. They are low-maintenance and require less frequent fills compared to other artificial nails and have a beautiful natural look. 

Solar Nail Designs: Endless Possibilities

Are you thinking about getting solar nails? If yes, then they’re perfect for nail art, offering a wide range of design options for every style and occasion. These nails are durable and long-lasting, making them ideal for intricate designs, from subtle to bold. Popular solar nail designs include glitter for a touch of sparkle and glamour, floral patterns for a natural and elegant look, and geometric shapes for a modern, edgy style. 

Depending on the occasion, you can choose subtle and sophisticated designs like nude ombre or minimalistic geometric patterns for professional settings or opt for bold and colorful designs with glitter or floral motifs. Solar nails’ versatility ensures a perfect design for everyone, allowing for personal expression and style. 

Are Solar Nails Worth The Price Tag?

Are Solar Nails Worth The Price Tag?

You can generally expect to pay around $120 for a set without tips and $150 for a set with tips. Solar nail prices vary based on salon location and the skill level of the manicurist. Also solar nail prices can also fluctuate depending on factors like the salon’s reputation, the technician’s expertise, and any extra services included in the package.

But is it worth it to pay this much?! Solar nails can last for weeks and only require filling to maintain their appearance as your natural nails grow. It’s recommended to schedule a filling appointment every two to four weeks to maintain the seamless look of the nails.

Bursting Myths: Environmental Impact of Solar Nails 

You might confuse solar nails with something that is eco-friendly as the name ‘solar’ in this particular might be a little deceiving. So, despite what the name suggests, solar nails are not eco-friendly, and ultimately, are just a form of acrylic nails, but much stronger and durable. 

Solar nails are made using EMA (ethyl methacrylate) which at the end is a kind of plastic only and we are all well aware of the detrimental effects of plastic to the environment. If you’re some looking for greener alternatives, there are some reusable press-on acrylic nail options, but they are also made of plastic. Instead, try these eco-friendly gel nail polishes for some green glam.

Summing Up!

In this solar nails guide we saw that solar nails are just a better, more durable and relatively low maintenance version of acrylic nails. They are not eco-friendly as we might think from the name but definitely a better choice for a nail enthusiast who wants nails that are as beautiful and as sturdy as you would hope! We found that OPI has a neat collection for solar nails that you’ll probably like!

If you want to take the eco-friendly route and get your nails done, click here for our DIY eco nails! You can also check out our recommended nail polish brands here, and our top vegan nail polish brands here.

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Picture of Shruti Jagani

Shruti Jagani

She has an environmental science and biodiversity management background with a keen interest in sustainability. She spends all her extra time gardening and loves contributing her knowledge and collaborating with those who share the same enthusiasm for sustainability.

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