What’s the best acrylic powder to get for awesome-looking nails?
If you’re not sure where to start, stick around!
We’ll dive into the different types of acrylic powder for DIY nails and what you should know before you buy.
To make choosing an acrylic powder easier for you, I’ll also share my top recommendations below.
Let’s get right to it!
Just want to know what products we’d recommend?
Here ya go:
No, acrylic powders are not all the same.
The main difference is the size of the particles.
The particle size is measured in microns.
It ranges from 25 microns (smallest) to 125 microns (large particles).
There are 3 types of acrylic powder (more on that in a sec…) and they all behave slightly differently when you mix them with a monomer.
The type of acrylic powder you choose to work with will affect the consistency of your bead. I.e how wet or dry the mixture is.
It will also affect the setting time and the strength and flexibility of your finished nails.
The three main types of acrylic nail powder are:
1. Finely ground powders (very small particles)
Finely ground powders tend to be very wet when you mix them with monomers.
This means that if you use a fine acrylic powder, you will have more time to sculpt the exact nail shape you want.
Finer powders are great for beginners. They create a nice wet consistency that glides on smoothly. Fine powders also stay soft and workable for longer.
They also allow you to create beautiful thin nails.
2. Coarse powders (much bigger particles)
Coarse acrylic nail powders have larger particles and make a much dryer bead.
Coarser powders dry fast – which is great for nail techs (because they can work fast) and it saves them time.
But for beginners, they can be difficult to work with. This is because they make thicker beads that aren’t easy to maneuver and set quickly.
3. Medium grade powders (somewhere in between)
Medium-grade powders fall somewhere in the middle.
They try to strike a balance between setting time and ease of use.
If you’re just starting out, I’d suggest going for a fine grade or a medium grade powder.
Pro tip: You might think that you should start out with a fine acrylic powder – because that’s going to be the easiest to apply. And then upgrade to a medium.
But the application technique is going to be completely different once you switch.
So you might as well go for a medium from the get-go if you don’t want to retrain yourself.
As we’ve learned, there are 3 main grades of acrylic powder (coarse, medium, and fine).
But when it comes to colors, textures, and effects, the choices are endless!
Acrylic nail powders come in just about every color you can think of.
You can buy acrylic powders in commonly used colors like clear, pink and white (great for a french manicure look).
Or you can get them in neons, brights, shimmers, glitters, and even glow in the dark!
I want to have the option to change my nail color more often, so I like to go for a clear acrylic and paint them after.
But there are plenty of options out there. So experiment with different colors and finishes. And combine them in unique ways to create amazing nail art!
You can get amazing results and create stunning designs by combining several powders together on the nail.
You might use a clear, glitter, and one or two or colors in the same design for instance.
Check out this video which shows 3 simple designs using a combination of different powders:
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I don’t recommend mixing different brands for 2 reasons.
First – different brands of powder will not have the same sized particles.
So the setting time and the way the mixture moves will not be the same.
Second – It’s always safer to stick to one brand for all your acrylic nail products. Including primer, monomer, and powders.
Mixing a monomer from one brand with a powder from another brand is a bad idea. You could be mixing chemicals that don’t play well together.
Not only could this ruin your nails. But it can also cause allergies, irritation, or create dangerous fumes.
To keep it in perfect condition, store your acrylic nail powder away from heat and moisture.
A cool, dry place like a cupboard or drawer is ideal.
Never store your monomer and powder together!
Even if they are both sealed tight, the fumes from the monomer can still get into the powder and it will go crusty on top.
First, decide which powder grade you want.
Fine powders are easier to apply and give a smoother finish but don’t dry as quick.
Coarse powders are stronger and the application is quicker. But they dry faster, don’t go on a smooth and often need more filing.
A medium grind is often the perfect balance between strength and a smooth thin finish.
Once you know what grade you want – you’ll need to do a little research.
Nail technicians are the best source of information about products. Because they often try out different products and compare.
You can read reviews and get a pretty good idea about a powder if you know what you’re looking for.
A good quality powder will be easy to apply. It will glide on smoothly, pick up well and absorb monomer fast without any chunky or chalky pieces.
Good quality powders also have some flexibility to them. So it’s a good idea to check reviews for anyone talking about breaks or cracks.
This is important. If you bang your nails against something, you want them to be flexible enough to absorb the impact. And not crack or break.
If you’re looking at colored powders, check that they keep their color well and don’t fade or yellow in the sun.
High-quality powders have stuff in them to block UV rays. This keeps the color looking vibrant for longer.
Try to find a valuable informational Youtube video about the topic. Make sure the video isn’t branded and doesn’t ask people to go to a specific url at the end.
Here are some of the best brands and products that I have tried and/or know of for doing your own acrylic nails at home.
We’ll check out some of my fav acrylic powders, color kits, and more.
Let’s get into it.
This is a no-brainer. Mia Secret is a top and well-known brand for acrylic nail supplies.
They sell everything you need to get started (powders in different colors, monomer, primer – the works) so you can easily stick to one brand and avoid mixing chemicals.
This is easily one of the best clear acrylic powders I’ve come across!
I like it because it’s easy to work with and doesn’t dry too quickly, which makes it great for beginners.
Depending on the amount of monomer you use, I found that you’ll have anywhere between 1 and 3 minutes to shape your nail before it dries.
You can use this powder with tips, or you can use it to strengthen your natural nails if you’re happy with the length.
If you want to try the dip method, you can use this powder for that too and it works great.
I love clear designs! This powder is fantastic for doing them because it comes out pretty clear and not too cloudy.
This makes it great for using glitters or doing any kind of design that needs to be encapsulated.
Some of the other clear acrylic powders I’ve tried have been grainy. But the consistency of this one is nice and smooth.
It also sets nice and hard so it’s long-lasting and doesn’t chip when you’re filing it down.
- Easy to use
- Dries clear and not too cloudy
- Strong and long-lasting
- Smooth consistency
- Doesn’t lift
- Great value (there’s enough for 40 to 50 full sets)
- Dries hard so you need a strong file to get a smooth finish
Love being in the nude? Then you might wanna try this awesome nude acrylic powder from Modelones 😉
If you’ve been watching tutorials on youtube, you’ve no doubt already come across this brand.
Modelones has a great reputation. Their acrylic nail products are of good quality and affordable.
This nude acrylic powder is perfect if you’re just starting out. It doesn’t dry too quickly and works well with both natural nails and tips.
I think this is fantastic value for the price. You get a nice big jar and it will last you for ages!
It looks very natural and is a little bit pearlescent. The perfect color for doing a french manicure.
This is a very fine powder so it’s really easy to use – especially for beginners.
The consistency is very smooth. Not too runny but a tiny bit smoother than Mia Secret I’d say – and the self-leveling works great.
Because it’s so smooth, it goes on like butter and you won’t need to do as much filing once it’s set.
As we’ve learned – there are lots of benefits to sticking to one brand.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, Modelones is a good brand to go for.
They have great reviews which I’d agree with and they’re not too expensive.
They sell everything from acrylic nail brushes to dehydrators, monomers, and complete kits for beginners.
- Slow drying time gives you time to sculpt
- Easy to use – perfect for beginners
- Fine grain powder that makes a good bead consistency
- Very little filing needed
- Excellent price
- Huge jar
- May turn yellow if you use a monomer from another brand
So far we’ve talked about what I think are the 2 top brands for acrylic nails (Mia Secret and Modelones).
There are lots of other brands out there. But I’ve found that they can be unreliable, not the best value for money, or poor quality.
I always recommend either Modelones or Mia Secret for beginners. Because both of those brands are reliable and consistent in their quality.
So now that we’re about to look at color sets, I’m going to give you my recommendations for both of these brands.
Let’s start with Modelones.
This 12-color set of acrylic powders from Modelones comes in 3 different color collections. So there are plenty of options.
- There’s a “grey” collection. It has beautiful classy and elegant colors in muted soft shades and 2 glitters.
- A “green” collection. This one has bright vibrant shades and some great oranges and greens for Halloween. But no glitters.
- And a “pink” collection which has beautiful pinks and purples and comes with 6 glitters.
As we’ve already talked about, Modelones powders are super fine and go on like butter.
They are easy to work with and give you enough time to work on your sculpting technique before they set.
They also easily double up as dip powders.
The colors in each of these sets are fantastic. My personal favourite is the “green” collection. Because the colors are very vibrant and fun for Halloween.
Plus it’s hard to find a good black and the one in this set is the best I’ve seen.
- Good selection of beautiful, well-pigmented colors
- Excellent value for money
- All the colors have the same consistency – so it’s easy to mix them in the same design
- Nice opacity
- Colors look true to what you see online
- Great quality, very fine plus they are easy to use.
- Can be used with monomer or to do dip nails.
- The containers are quite small
- Can get sticky if you use a monomer from another brand
If you’re feeling a little bit fruity, why not try this amazing collection from Mia Secret!
This 12 color set features yummy-sounding shades like blueberry, grape, red apple, green tea, and banana.
I love this set because the colors are vibrant and beautiful and the powders are great quality.
I’d say this set is perfect for beginners who want to try out some colorful designs!
Don’t fancy this particular set? No problem. There are 7 other color collections to choose from!
Here are your options (just follow the link above then choose your favorite):
- Alpha and dusty glitter collection – all glitters in colors like electric magenta, dark night and classic gold and silver. Perfect for magpies.
- Clear (Fruity) collection – my favourite – as described above (no glitters just normal colors in shades like green tea, cake and ice-cream – yum!).
- Fabulous collection – a mix of shimmers, glitters and metallics for all you fabulous diva’s out there!
- Galaxy collection – shiny glitter mixes in gorgeous colors with fabulous names like paradise, pink stars, venus and galactic.
- Guilty collection – definitely a guilty pleasure. A stunning mix of glitters, metallics and pearl finishes to play with in pink, purple, blue, red and gray.
- Iconic collection – bold stand out colors and some fireworks. Guaranteed to get you noticed!
- Pearl collection – a little bit of everything – all with a pearl finish. Great staple colors like black, white and red as well as fun shades of pink, yellow, orange, blue, purple and more.
- Spark collection – lovely sparkle mixes that are just perfect for doing nail art. A great winter collection that includes brown, green, gold, red, blue purple and more.
- Lots of different colors and finishes to choose from – so it’s easy to find something you’ll love.
- Easy to apply so great for beginners.
- Perfect for nail art
- Very vibrant rich colors that don’t fade
- Great price
- Nice fine powder
- Not the best packaging
- Some colors can come out a little patchy.
Here’s the problem with beginners’ kits.
Often they have great powders, but crappy brushes. Or a bunch of tools or other random stuff that you don’t really need or that isn’t useful.
I like this kit because it has the basic stuff that you need and that you would want to have.
But it still isn’t perfect because you’ll need to buy the primer and dehydrator separately (link below).
Anyway, this is a good little kit because the brushes are decent. You also get a little glass dish which is very useful for monomer dipping.
You’ll get 3 different lengths of brushes. You also get monomer, forms, and a pretty decent nail file.
As far as powders go, this kit is decent quality.
They are finely ground, very easy to apply and come in the 3 standard colors. Colors that everyone will use – white, clear, and pink.
So you can do a french manicure right away if you like or just practice clear designs.
In short, this kit has most of what you need. It won’t break the bank and is good enough quality to give you long-lasting, strong, and beautiful nails.
Definitely worth checking out if you’re just getting started.
- Good quality brushes in 3 sizes
- Very easy to apply powders
- Great color selection
- Fantastic value for money
- The brushes are on the small side
- You don’t get a lot of monomer
- Doesn’t come with dehydrator, primer or tips/glue
Some people prefer to buy all their items separately instead of just grabbing a kit.
If that’s you, then you might be interested in this acrylic powder and monomer duo from Mia Secret.
As you already know, Mia Secret is a great brand.
This little set is a fantastic buy for someone who just wants the basics. A good clear acrylic powder and a matching monomer.
You get 4 oz of crystal clear acrylic powder and 4 oz of EMA – non-yellowing monomer.
I found that the powder has a medium setting time.
Not too fast so you’ll have plenty of time to sculpt your nails into the shape you want.
The consistency is good, not too runny and it goes on smoothly. Perfect for beginners.
It’s also long-lasting, durable, and doesn’t lift.
If you want to do a clear design or encapsulate everything, this is great for that.
- Excellent value
- Doesn’t lift or break
- Sets very clear and not cloudy at all
- Products work perfectly together
- Easy to use
- Strong smelling so you might need to open a window
What’s the secret to longer-lasting nails?
I’m about to reveal my secret weapon…
Awesome acrylic nails start with good preparation.
To get good results and to avoid nails lifting and falling off, you need to remove the natural oils from your nails.
Then, you need a good surface for the product to stick to.
So, if you want your beautiful nail creations to last as long as possible, it’s essential to start with a dehydrator and a primer.
I learned the hard way by spending hours and hours on a fantastic design only to watch them fall off just days later. Don’t make the same mistake!
These little bottles have been a total game-changer for me.
Definitely worth their weight in gold!
- Help make your nails last way longer
- Well worth the investment
- The primer contains HEMA which can cause allergies for some.
When I first got into acrylic nails, I was completely overwhelmed.
I spent so much money trying out different things. I had so many questions, and the products seemed very intimidating.
By passing on what I’ve learned along the way, I hope that I’ve helped you feel a bit more confident with choosing the right products.
If you stick to the brands I’ve recommended above you can’t go far wrong.
Good luck, do your prep, watch as many youtube tutorials as you can and you’ll get there.
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