Acrylic, fake, false. What's the difference?

Acrylic, fake, false. What's the difference?

We've been asked many times what is the difference between acrylic, fake, and false nails? In this three-part blog, I hope to try and lift the fog on these different terms, and maybe you'll be able to make up your mind as to which one suits you best.

More Confusion

Here's the problem. Acrylic nails are in fact false nails. False nails are often made from acrylic. Fake nails are also false nails. Confused? Let's see what we can do.

Acrylic Nails

These nails are usually done in a nail salon by nail technicians, who spend many years perfecting their art. The nails are built up by applying layers of acrylic powders, cured with UV lamps between layers, to create stunning nails. The colours, lengths, designs, and effects is mind-blowing.

A Fun Day Out

Fans of acrylics will tell you that going to the nail salon, with friends, making a day of it with lunch and shopping, is something many look forward to. It doesn't need to be for any reason, but when it's linked to a special occasion such as a wedding, or family celebration makes it that little bit more exciting.

Strong and Durable

The main positive with acrylics is their durability. The methods used welds the acrylic to your natural nail to make an almost permanent bond. Getting them off is a major effort, requiring either soaking in acetone, or grinding off. Both methods are quite risky if you don't know what you're doing, especially if you grind through to the nail bed!


Acrylic nails are very strong, that is in no doubt. However, they can be prone to chipping. Repairing them is a simple matter for the professional nail technician, but if they are closed, or you can't get fitted in, you're left with an imperfect set of nails, and no matter how small the damage is, it will always feel a mile wide.


Having a stunning set of acrylics will set you apart and complete your look. But what about the next day? Because of their longevity, you're stuck with the same design until they have served their purpose.

You're also stuck with another problem. As your nails grow, the new nail will be revealed leaving a gap between your cuticle and the acrylic nail. You can get the nail technician to perform an 'infill', at a cost, of course. The other option is to get the nails removed.

But the main inconvenience of acrylics is two-fold. Firstly, there is getting the appointment. Since lockdown was lifted, nail salons have closed by the dozens. Secondly, if the nails you want are long, and the time between the appointment and the event is a long time, you are now stuck trying to live your life with awkwardly long nails.

Hidden Danger

Acrylic nails are strongly bonded to your fingernails to make sure they don't come off. This can cause a major problem if you happen to catch them and your nail is forced upwards, which is entirely possible during the course of the day. Just search for "acrylic nail injuries" and you'll see what I mean! Once your fingernail has been pulled from its bed, it's time for a visit to A&E. They will remove the remainder of the fingernail and bandage it up. This needs to be done as soon as possible to prevent infection and to ensure your new fingernail grows back properly.

Cost and Time

Acrylic nails are beautiful and the creativity of nail technicians is endless. A quick Internet search will reveal millions of hits with a dizzying array of designs and ideas. To get these nails done takes time and a whole load of cost. With the average cost in the UK for a basic set coming in at an eye-watering £60, and infills being £15-£25, the cost soon mounts. Then there is the time, which ranges between an hour for a simple, single colour, to up to three hours for more complex designs. Not to mention getting there.


I've laid out here what acrylic nails are. They are mainly the type created by nail technicians in salons. They are durable, strong, long-lasting, and come in an endless array of designs. They do take a lot of money and time to get done, and injuries can be quite debilitating.

In the next article I will highlight the traits of a false/fake nail, and why they are different.

Get the Liberty Nailbar

We have seen the joy made by having a perfect set of false nails match the perfect outfit This is why we designed the Liberty Nailbar to empower anyone to create those perfect artificial nails anywhere, anytime.

Skip to product information

The Liberty Nailbar Pro | Worlds #1 Home DIY Press-On Nail Art Kit

$38.00 USD
$24.00 USD
Tax included.
Shipping calculated at checkout.
In stock!