I had my first experience with acrylic nails in school last night. Dipping, dabbing and dotting polymers and monomers was not as easy as I thought! You have to have the perfect liquid to powder ratio to create a pliable ball of "goo" (for lack of a better word!) to apply on the nail. Only once the chemical reaction between the liquid monomer and the powder polymer resembles the "skin of an orange," as my instructor describes it, on the tip of your brush, will it be ready to sculpt on to the nail and not give you a lumpy or drippy mess.
Luckily, we are working with odorless acrylics so it was not the nauseating, head-spinning experience I had anticipated. Pretty soon we'll be on to gel nails and I'm super stoked about those because they last forever and they look extremly natural.
My first set of acrylic nails was not very pretty. But my second set wasn't so bad! With practice, I'll be a champ.