Many people enjoy putting on acrylic nails or nail tips to give themselves a new look. The glue that attaches the real nails to the acrylics is also good for the quick repair of broken nails. The most important factor for good-looking, safe acrylic nails is proper application, but without the right glue, that becomes impossible.
Using super glue instead of acrylic nail glue is risky, as the former is more difficult to remove, and the real nail could get damaged when the false nail comes off. Moreover, super glue is also very difficult to remove from skin, so careful handling is a must. When using, invest in a remover. However, it is very close, chemically, to some forms of nail glue, and some will use it on their nails for this reason. The same cannot be said for other forms of glue, such as epoxy, which should never be used on nails or skin at all.
Strength of Hold
Nail glue comes in two major types: methacrylate and ethyl-2-cyanoacrylate. The latter form is similar to super glue and offers a stronger hold. It also occasionally makes the nail separate from the nail bed, something to avoid. If a methacrylate formula works, it is the safer option. Higher quality ones like professional nail glues typically hold longer than low quality options with the same main ingredient. Extended wear glues sometimes do indeed work better than standard formulas, but users experience varies widely. Some do not find any difference at all.
False nail glue formulas vary in consistency from thin and watery to very viscous. Most users get the best results with glues in the middle of the range, since thin glues are not as strong, and thick glues do not grab onto the nail as well.
Some nail glue formulas are very fast drying, which sounds very convenient; however, drying too fast increases the risk of gluing fingers together or the glue starting to set before the acrylic nail is ready to go. As a general rule, someone experienced with applying acrylic nails can go ahead and use a fast-drying glue, but a beginner should play it safe with a more standard formula.
Bottle and Applicator Type
The bottle is almost as important as the glue itself. This is one reason ordinary super glue is often a poor choice for nails; super glue tubes usually dispense too much glue at once. Not only is too much glue messy, but large amounts do not form as strong a bond as small amounts. Choose one in a slow-flowing bottle with a pen-like or brush applicator. Users should choose whichever style feels most comfortable in their hands.