The 5 Best Acrylic Powders and Liquids for Nails

Best Acrylic Powders and Liquids for Nails

Thankfully, if you have some time, patience, and a bit of creative flair to spare, it’s entirely possible to do your own acrylics from home! This is as convenient as it is financially savvy. However, there are so many acrylic products on the market, you might be unsure where to start.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide of some of the best acrylic powders and liquids for nails on the market. There’s a little bit of everything, from quick-dry formulas and colored powders to translucent liquids and non-toxic ingredients.

Don’t worry, nail lovers; we’ve made sure everything is MMA-free, too! So sit back, relax, and let us take you through our most loved selection of acrylic products.

5 Best Acrylic Nail Powders

ACRYLIC NAIL POWDERS

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First up, we have this crystal clear acrylic powder from Karlash. You can buy this powder in a two or four-ounce pack, and it’s compatible with all acrylic systems.

The Karlash formula makes this powder non-yellowing, self-leveling, resistant to life, and bubble-free! We found this powder easy to apply during testing, and as expected, it gave us a completely smooth finish. Not a bubble or crease in sight!

You can also use this product in all climates without the weather impacting the finish of your powder. We also found that this powder dried in super-quick time, so you won’t have to wait too long to finish building your acrylics.

What’s more, we found this product was finely milled, so you get a LOT in each tub. This powder is excellent value for money, and a little goes a long way!

Pros
  • No Bubbles: This powder left no bubbles for a smooth, even finish.
  • Quick Dry: The powder dries quickly, so you won’t have to wait around for ages before completing your acrylics.
Cons
  • May Need Prep and Bond: We found this powder worked best when used with Karlash prep and bond. Without it, your acrylics may not last as long.

ACRYLIC NAIL POWDERS

Mia Secret Clear Acrylic Powder

Next up, we have the clear acrylic powder from Mia Secret. This powder claims to be self-leveling and requires minimum filing. When we tested this product, we can confirm that this is true! The Mia Secret clear acrylic powder dries hard and sturdy, and it’s easy to shape without the risk of chipping.

While we agree that this powder is self-leveling, it does have a tendency to run into the sides of your nails. What we love the most though, is that this product is COMPLETELY translucent, making it great for beginners. This makes it versatile, too, and it’s easy to mix with other products such as sparkles to create your own new powders.

If you’re looking for a clear acrylic powder that you can use as a dip powder, this product works well, too. There are few dedicated clear dip powders on the market, but we found that this product worked well for dipping, as well as capping, or as a base layer.

Pros
  • Can Be Used for Dipping: Although it’s not advertised as a dipping product, this powder can be used for dipping.
  • Great for Beginners: This powder is completely translucent, so it’s great for beginners.
Cons
  • Not 100% Self-Leveling: Unfortunately, this powder does tend to run into the sides of your nails.

ACRYLIC NAIL POWDERS

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Now, let’s look at the Modelone's clear acrylic powder. This powder is made from a unique, non-yellowing formula that actively prevents discoloration and is non-toxic, leak-proof, and odor-free.

This powder is also compatible with other liquid monomers and nail products, so you can mix and match your products with other brands to create your complete look!

During testing, we found this product to be incredibly long-lasting. It worked well to create a hard, durable layer, even when used with other liquids and powders. This powder would be ideal for home use and professional salon use.

Unlike other brands, this ‘self-leveling’ powder completely self-levels without the risk of drip. However, the texture is a little dryer and harder than other brands which can appear harsh. Unfortunately, although this product is considered ‘clear’, we found it had more of a pastel tone.

Pros
  • Self-Leveling: This product is true to marketing and is completely self-leveling.
  • Can Be Used With Other Products: This powder can be used with other products, not just the modelones line.
Cons
  • Not Completely Clear: Unfortunately, we found this powder wasn’t completely translucent.

ACRYLIC NAIL POWDERS

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Next on our list is the Saviland acrylic powder set. Unlike other competitors on our list, this product is a ten-piece color powder set.

Colors include four glittery acrylic powders and six solid colors. If you’re more experienced with acrylics or you’re looking for more color options, this is an excellent set to choose.

During testing, we found each color of acrylic powder turned out well. Each powder created a hard, durable layer that was highly pigmented and reflective. However, despite being provided with clear instructions, we found the consistency challenging to get right.

However, we found that each acrylic powder in this set worked well as a dip powder, and it’s resistant to chipping and cracking.

This powder creates a beautiful protective layer and can be used alongside other liquids to complete your look. This kit is also easy to use and doesn’t require UV or LED light.

Pros
  • 10 Piece Set: You get more for your money with this set and have the ability to create a variety of looks.
  • Colors are Highly Pigmented: Each color in this set is highly pigmented and of high quality.
Cons
  • Challenging Consistency: Unfortunately, we found it challenging to get the right consistency with this powder.

ACRYLIC NAIL POWDERS

Saviland Clear Acrylic Powder

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Last on our list of acrylic powders, we have the Saviland clear acrylic powder. If you’re a fan of Saviland products but don’t want to opt for the ten piece set, we highly recommend this clear acrylic powder.

This polymer powder actively works to create a durable, non-yellowing layer that promotes stronger nails and prevents splitting and peeling. This product is also made from non-toxic and cruelty-free ingredients, so you can rest assured that it is as ethical as it is high-quality.

During testing, we found this powder was completely translucent as advertised, and it dried in around 2-3 minutes. We also found that this product beads and sets incredibly well. This powder can also be used for dipping to finish off your look.

Unfortunately, we found that this product didn’t spread well or evenly during testing. Although it dried quickly, it was challenging to get a smooth finish because of the consistency of the product.

Pros
  • Non-Toxic and Cruelty-Free: This powder uses only non-toxic and cruelty-free ingredients.
  • Completely Translucent: The Saviland powder was utterly transparent, unlike some powders, which deliver a most pastel-toned appearance.
Cons
  • Sticky Consistency: Unfortunately, we found the consistency of this powder made it challenging to get a completely smooth, even finish.

Pros and Cons of Acrylic Powder

Pros
  • Quick-drying: So there’s no need for a UV light
  • More maneuverability: This protects against damage
  • Long-lasting: Most acrylic powders can stay intact for weeks before showing signs of wear and tear.
  • Versatile: There’s a variety of possibilities for decoration
Cons
  • Harsh: Some powders can be harsh on the nail plates because they require filing and buffing.
  • Risk of Infection: If powders aren’t handled or applied properly, there’s a high risk of infection.
  • Risk of Damage: If acrylic powders aren’t removed correctly, they could damage the nail's natural appearance.

5 Best Acrylic Nail Liquids

Now we’ve covered our favorite acrylic nail powders, it’s time to take a look at some of the best acrylic liquids on the market.

ACRYLIC NAIL LIQUIDS

LIQUID MONOMER

First up, we have this acrylic liquid monomer by Mia Secret. This professional-grade liquid monomer is an advanced blended EMA with a specialist non-yellowing formula. It offers great flexibility and adhesion and works well when combined with other Mia Secret powders.

If you’re a Mia Secret fan, this monomer will be perfect for you!

We were keen to see if this monomer worked well with other powder brands during testing. Unfortunately, this monomer did not dry as well when used with other brands, which means you’ll have to use other Mia Secret products only for the best results.

However, we loved that this monomer was virtually odorless and very quick drying. The consistency was just right, and we found it incredibly easy to get a smooth, non-sticky finish that protected well against splitting and chipping.

Pros
  • Quick-Drying: This powder is quick-drying, so you won’t have to worry about waiting too long for your completed look.
  • Minimal Odor: Although this powder gives off a faint odor, it’s barely noticeable, making for a pleasant application.
Cons
  • Doesn’t Perform Well With Other Powder Brands: Unfortunately, this powder doesn’t work well when used with other powder brands. For best results, use with other Mia Secret products only.

ACRYLIC NAIL LIQUIDS

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It’s now time to introduce you to another high-quality acrylic nail liquid. Say hello to the Morovan monomer acrylic nail liquid. This liquid includes UV stabilizers to create the best bond and color and protect against yellowing and chipping.

We found that it dried within just 3-5 minutes when we tested this product. This was enough time to create overlays and sculpting before it was completely set, but not long enough for us to get bored and frustrated in the setting process!

This nail liquid was easy to apply, and it had a perfect consistency. When you dip your brush in this liquid, you’ll be able to glide through it with ease. This makes the application process super quick and simple. This liquid would be ideal for beginners and more experienced acrylic wearers.

The only real qualm we have with this liquid is that it has a very strong odor. If you’re using this, make sure you’re applying it in a well-ventilated area.

Pros
  • Quick Drying Time: This liquid has a fast and efficient drying time.
  • Good Consistency: The consistency of this product is perfect and makes the application process straightforward.
Cons
  • Strong Odor: Unfortunately, this liquid has a strong odor, so make sure you’re using it in a well-ventilated space.

ACRYLIC NAIL LIQUIDS

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It’s now time to introduce you to another high-quality acrylic nail liquid. Say hello to the Morovan monomer acrylic nail liquid. This liquid includes UV stabilizers to create the best bond and color and protect against yellowing and chipping.

We found that it dried within just 3-5 minutes when we tested this product. This was enough time to create overlays and sculpting before it was completely set, but not long enough for us to get bored and frustrated in the setting process!

This nail liquid was easy to apply, and it had a perfect consistency. When you dip your brush in this liquid, you’ll be able to glide through it with ease. This makes the application process super quick and simple. This liquid would be ideal for beginners and more experienced acrylic wearers.

The only real qualm we have with this liquid is that it has a very strong odor. If you’re using this, make sure you’re applying it in a well-ventilated area.

Pros
  • Quick Drying Time: This liquid has a fast and efficient drying time.
  • Good Consistency: The consistency of this product is perfect and makes the application process straightforward.
Cons
  • Strong Odor: Unfortunately, this liquid has a strong odor, so make sure you’re using it in a well-ventilated space.

ACRYLIC NAIL LIQUIDS

Young Nails

Next on our list, we have this liquid monomer from Young Nails. This liquid monomer has just the right drying time, not too fast or slow, so you’ll still have time to add finishing touches before it sets.

The Young Nails liquid monomer has been developed to industry standard, and its non-yellowing formula is also self-leveling and delivers a nice, firm finish.

We tried this liquid monomer with other powder brands during testing and found that the setting time and quality were not altered at all. This monomer is versatile and delivers a high-quality finish every time.

It’s also effortless to use: simply submerge your brush in the liquid, press it into the powder, and place it onto your nail and sculpt! This monomer is ideal for beginners and more experienced users alike.

Unfortunately, although this product is marketed as ‘low-odor’, we did find the smell quite overwhelming. Therefore, we recommend using this monomer in a well-ventilated area only.

Pros
  • Good Drying Time: This monomer has an optimal drying time that’s not too fast or slow.
  • Works With Other Brands: The quality of the finish is not affected when using this monomer in conjunction with other powder brands. Feel free to mix and match!
Cons
  • Strong Odor: Although this monomer is marketed as low odor, we still found the smell to be quite overwhelming.

ACRYLIC NAIL LIQUIDS

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Last but not least, we have the EMA acrylic liquid monomer from Modelones. This monomer does an excellent job of creating a strong, protective layer on the nails and protecting against spitting or peeling.

This monomer is also non-yellowing, self-leveling, and blended to support color clarity. You won’t have to worry about your colors dulling over time.

We found it had superior consistency and adhesion when we tested this monomer. It was easy to apply and hardened well, so our nails felt incredibly secure. According to Modelones, this monomer lasts up to 2-3 weeks without dulling, too!

What’s more, we didn’t feel the need to use a primer on our nails after they were completed. This monomer delivered a beautiful, natural shine all by itself! Although this monomer is translucent, Modelones also sells other packages that include various, high-pigmented colors.

The only downside to this product is that it doesn’t work well in conjunction with other powder brands. You should only use this monomer with other Modelones products for the best results.

Pros
  • Long-Lasting: This monomer can last up to 2-3 weeks.
  • No Color Dull: The ingredients in this monomer protect against color dulling, so your nail colors will remain highly pigmented for as long as you keep them on!
Cons
  • Only Works Well with Modelones Powders: Unfortunately, this monomer doesn’t work well with other powder brands, and it may become sticky or clumpy.

Pros and Cons of Acrylic Liquid

Pros
  • Inexpensive: Using liquid monomers to create acrylics is often cheaper than getting gel nails.
  • Long-Lasting: Acrylic liquids or monomers are great for bonding and provide a long-lasting, durable nail
Cons
  • Harsher Chemicals: Acrylic liquids and monomers often use harsh chemicals which risk damaging or putting stress on your nails.

Buyers Guide

Buyers Guide

If you’re on the hunt for some new acrylic nail products, you should now have a high-quality selection of products to choose from.

However, do you know what you should be looking for and avoiding in your acrylic liquids and powders? Before you make a purchase, let’s explore some of the key factors you should be considering when purchasing acrylic liquids and powders.

No MMA

Whether you’re buying powder or liquid, your main priority should be to avoid MMA products. MMA, or Methyl MethAcrylate, is a liquid monomer most commonly used in dentistry for false teeth and veneers. Some budget nail bars and suppliers use MMA as a cheaper alternative for their nail enhancements.

MMA can be incredibly damaging to your skin and nails. However, if you use MMA products, you may find that your natural nails turn yellow, and excessive MMA use can even lead to permanent nail loss, numbing on the nail and skin, irritation, and air blockages.

Although MMA was a common ingredient in professional nail products when the industry was first established, the product is now illegal in the US and should not be used on nails. However, many suppliers have still used MMA in their acrylic powders and liquids.

When shopping for a powder or liquid, make sure you opt for EMA-only products. EMA, or Ethyl Methacrylate, has been deemed safe to use and approved in the beauty industry. It does not damage the nail plate and is unlikely to cause allergic reactions.

How to Identify MMA

If you suspect your acrylic products may contain MMA, there are a few ways you can check.

1: The Acetone Test

One of the quickest ways to test for MMA is to complete the acetone test. Begin by buffing the shiny layer off your nail, and dip the nail in 100% acetone for around 30 seconds.

If you find that your nail is still shiny and slimy when you remove the liquid, you’ve been using an MMA acrylic. However, if you’ve been using EMA, the acrylic will have begun to break down and will have failed to stay intact.

2: Odor and Appearance

Another way to check for MMA is to inspect the appearance and odor of your nails. MMA acrylics are tough, may have a yellow tinge, and may give off a fishy or fruity smell.

3: Itching or Burning Fingers

If your fingers itch or burn after having your nails done, you may have come into contact with MMA. However, if you’ve been using EMA, these reactions aren’t common.

UV and Gel

Today, most acrylic liquid products are designed for UV curing. Read the product description thoroughly or contact the manufacturer for more information to check if your product is suitable.

Color or Translucent

Another factor to consider is whether you want a translucent or colored product. Colored acrylic monomers can be mixed with other colorless acrylic powders or colored acrylic nail powders to create a variety of colored nails.

If you’re looking to try nail art, colored monomers may be a great addition to your nail product selection. You may find it easier to stick with translucent products if you're a beginner.

Gel or Acrylics: What’s Better?

Gel or Acrylics What’s Better

If you’ve ever considered getting your nails done, you’ve probably been presented with two of the most popular options: gels or acrylics. Not sure what the difference is? Let’s take a look.

What are Gel Nails?

Gel nails are created using a three-step process. This consists of applying a base coat, nail posh, and a final top coat over your natural nails. Gel nails are painted from a small pot and then cured under UV light.

Gel nails have a glossier finish than acrylic nails, which often look more matte-like and sturdier.

When gel nails were first introduced to the market, they were labeled ‘traditional gels’ or hard gels. Over time, other variations emerged, including soft gels and gel polishes.

Hard gels use a bonder and a base coat before the hard gel. A builder is then applied and finished off with a top coat to create a glossy finish.

To cure the nails, they’re placed beneath a UV lamp for a few minutes. When removed, gel nails are usually filed off rather than soaked.

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are made with a combination of liquid and powder monomers. Together, these create a paste that is then bonded to the natural nail. This paste is then molded into the desired shape and then hardens to add extra strength, thickness, and length to the natural nail.

Acrylics use a much stronger gel than gel nails, and they don’t require a UV light to set them. Instead, gels are better for giving a more natural look, and acrylics offer a more extended and unique appearance.

Acrylic nails also require minimal upkeep, and like gel nails, they can last between 2-3 weeks. Once your acrylic nails have been shaped, each nail is painted with a base coat, a nail polish color, and finally finished off with a topcoat.

Most acrylic powders and liquids dry quickly, but they’re sometimes placed under a fan to speed up the process.

Gel Nails vs. Acrylic Nails

Gel Nails

  • Require UV light to dry
  • More natural look
  • Quicker to remove

Acrylic Nails

  • It takes longer to remove
  • It looks more extended and unrealistic than gel nails
  • No light is required to dry

What’s Better?

There’s no easy answer to this question. The answer is likely to be unique to you.

If you want a more natural-looking nail, you may prefer gel nails. However, if you’re looking to get your nails professionally done, you can expect to pay for more gels.

There’s also no risk of any corrosive effects with gel nails, as they can be applied without a base or primer, and gel nails tend to be more flexible than acrylics.

Generally speaking, acrylic nails have a lot more creative potential. They provide a more exaggerated appearance that’s bolder and capable of creating more of a statement nail than a subtle design.

Acrylic nails have a higher risk of corrosive effects because of their primer, which can damage the nail and bed if their products come into contact with the skin. However, these nails do tend to be far more robust than gel nails.

Acrylic nails are also likely to last longer than gel ones. Although both have the potential to last up to 3 weeks, gel nails tend to last an average of 14 days before they need to be removed.

Final Thoughts

Since acrylic nails began to boom in popularity, many people are now choosing to create their own at home and avoid the hefty fees associated with going to a salon.

Even if you’ve never attempted to do your own acrylics before, there are plenty of products on the market that can make this process easier and more accessible, even to the most inexperienced acrylic wearers!

We hope our list of some of the best acrylic powders and liquids has given you the inspiration and information you need to take the leap and begin experimenting with your acrylic styles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Bad Is Acrylic For Your Nails?

They may get a bad rep, but acrylics are generally safe for your nails. However, if they’re not applied correctly or contain chemicals like MMA, you run the risk of damaging your natural nails.

If you want to err on the side of caution, you should always ask a professionally trained technician for advice or complete the application process.

Are Acrylic Nails Better Than Fake Nails?

Fake nails are cheaper and easier to apply to your natural nails. Acrylic nails can last up to three weeks, so if you’re not ready for that commitment or want to avoid damaging your nails, you should experiment with fake nails first.

Do Acrylic Nails Have Chemicals?

Some toxins in acrylic formulas can be harmful to the respiratory system, eyes, and skin. Exposure to both liquid and powder acrylic products can cause dermatitis, and fumes can cause symptoms such as dizziness, irritation, and nausea.

Always use acrylic products in a well-ventilated area.


Miranda Cole
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