Getting your nails done can be such a therapeutic and relaxing experience. We all deserve to be spoiled, and what could be better than a set of bright, vibrant, and sparkling new nails? Acrylic nails are pretty, durable, and readily available, but they’re also expensive.
Acrylic nails can cost anywhere from £25 to £125 depending on the style, length, design, and nail technician. A full set of painted acrylic nails may cost as little as £30, but if you want to add length and a design, expect to pay a lot more. Some technicians charge as much as £5 per nail for nail art.
This article will cover everything you need to know about getting acrylic nails in the UK, including costs, availability, at-home options, and the cost of removing acrylic nails. We’ll also go over some money-saving tips, so keep reading!
The Cost of Acrylic Nails in the UK
It won’t come as a surprise to hear that it will likely cost a lot more for a set of acrylic nails in London than it will in Manchester. Prices in the capital are always higher, so expect to pay for the luxury.
However, when you move away from London, acrylic nails become similarly priced throughout the country, depending on what you’re looking for.
Below is a table with the prices for four different nail salons across the UK:
|Full Set||Extensions||Full Set with Ombre||Extras||Removal Cost|
|York||£35||£38||£40||£43 full set glitter tips||£10|
|London||£40-50||£50-60||£50-60||+£35 nail art x5||£50|
|Manchester||£25||£55||£55||£50 full set nail art||£10|
As you can see, the cost for a complete set of regular acrylic nails is more in London and Edinburgh when compared to York and Manchester. And chances are, you’ll be able to find cheaper options if you check out social media in those cities.
The prices all go up when you start adding length, and designs can run from £10 to £50. Some salons only offer simple ombre effects or add glitter, whereas others have more elaborate nail art options.
Some beauty salons will also price per design, meaning they could charge £5 per nail for glitter as well as £5 per nail for rhinestones.
Acrylic Nails in Salons vs DIY Home Kits
Using the London spa from the table above, we can see that the cost of a full set of long acrylic nails is between £50 and £60. The extra money comes in depending on whether or not you use a tip for the extensions or if you ask them to sculpt the nail (the latter being more expensive).
At the same spa, a simple manicure costs as little as £25, which is half the cost of a set of acrylics.
Compare both of those to this Pheonixy Acrylic Nail Kit from Amazon.co.uk, which costs under £25, and you could save yourself a lot of money in going the DIY route. There are 42 different glitter powders, and it also comes with nail clippers, buffers, nail forms, and 3D acrylic moulds.
With this kit, you could do your own nails over and over without spending any extra money. Plus, there are so many 3D moulds available, you could use a complete set just for practice.
Seeing the costs associated with acrylics nails and the fact that they typically only last two to three weeks, you might be tempted to start doing your own nails.
Tip: One of the biggest roadblocks will be working on your dominant hand. Right-handed people will likely struggle to use their left hand safely and accurately, and vice versa.
In the end, much like cutting your own hair, if you’re not a professional, it’s not the best idea to jump right into doing your own nails with acrylic. DIY applications run the risk of getting acrylic on your skin, leading to redness and swelling. Plus, poor application and removal can lead to serious damage to your nails.
So, if you want to go down the at-home path, be sure to practice on the moulds before you attempt to apply anything to your own nails.
Press On Acrylics – Costs and Considerations
Another even cheaper option to salon acrylics and at-home kits are press-on acrylic nails.
Truthfully, press-on nails don’t have the best reputation, and I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of fails where a nail popped off after just a couple of hours. But the trick is to find a decent set that includes more than just weak nail glue.
It’s also worth spending a little more to get extra nails so you can easily replace any that do happen to come off.
This Kalolary 192PCS Gradient Color Acrylic Press on Nails comes in 12 sizes for each of the eight colours, along with durable jelly glue that adheres better than your average nail glue. At just over £10, you get a lot of uses out of this one set.
To ensure press on nails last as long as possible, follow these guidelines:
- Don’t use too big, or too small press-on nails or they won’t hold.
- Prepare your nails like they would at the nail salon, by cleaning, buffing, and pushing the cuticles back.
- Use rubbing alcohol to ensure the nails are as clean as possible.
- Apply the glue to the nail and the press-on for better coverage.
- After application, try not to do too much and avoid getting them wet for at least two hours.
- Choose shorter nails that are less likely to catch and pop off.
The Cost of Styled Acrylic Nails
Usually, when you look at the cost for a set of acrylics, the price is for the very basic nail. In some cases, that might not even include the extended tip.
The reason you’re paying more is that it takes more materials and far more effort to add extensions and then style the nails, especially when compared to a simple manicure with a couple of coats of polish.
In the table above, you can see that adding ombre, for example, increased the price for each by a minimum of £5.
The Nails & Brows bar in Leeds, for example, charges £28 for a full set of acrylic nails with colour, and that goes up to £32 if you want ombre. From there, you’ll need to add £5 for a French tip or £2 per nail for nail art (Source: The Nails & Brows bar).
As you can see, the costs can start to rack up.
How to Save Money on Acrylic Nails in the UK
If you choose to stick with the salon for your natural nails, you have to expect to pay for the nail service. In this case, it will likely cost upwards of £40 per visit, going as high as £150 if you have them removed, reshaped, and redone with nail art and embellishments.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to save a bit of money.
Use Infills To Make the Nails Last Longer
After a few weeks, even if you’re lucky enough to have perfect nails that are unchipped and durable, you still need to consider the natural growth of your actual nails.
This won’t be as prominent with lighter colours, but if you have bright red or pink nails, the nail bed will start to show.
Instead of having your natural nails removed and redone completely, try adding infills instead.
Infills are, as they sound: they fill in the area near the cuticle showing the new growth.
At The Nails & Brows bar in Leeds, it would cost over £50 to have the acrylics removed and redone. Infills, on the other hand, only cost £20. Not only that, they will extend the life of your acrylic nails to as long as three months.
Opt for Shorter Nails
Although some salons will charge a flat fee for acrylics, including the cost of extending your nails, some will not. You’ll need to check your local salon to see how they price their nails and then make your decision based on that.
Adding extensions will make the price creep up in a lot of places.
But that’s not the only reason you should go for shorter nails. Long nails are prone to breakage, and they’re so easy to crack. Also, daily life, no matter what you do, will put stress on your nails, and that’s why they don’t typically last more than a few weeks.
So, if you choose slightly shorter nails and then be careful with how you use your hands, you should be able to extend their life and get more wear out of them. So maybe instead of spending £50 every few weeks, you could get away with it every other month instead.
That could extend even further if you combine shorter nails with infills!
Remove Acrylic Nails at Home
Salons can charge anywhere from £10 to £50 to remove your nails. So, why not save that and remove them yourself?
To remove acrylic nails at home, follow these steps:
- Clip the top of the nail as close to your own nail as possible.
- Use a buffer over the surface of your nail, so the acetone has something to cling to.
- Soak your nails in 100% pure acetone for five minutes.
- Use a cuticle pusher to gently nudge from the bottom of your nail, lifting the acrylic up.
- If the acrylic doesn’t come off, soak them again.
- Buff off any excess acrylic leftover.
Once the nails are off, finish with this Cuccio Naturale Revitalising Cuticle Oil. It’s excellent for dry skin and is full of antioxidants, and vitamin E. Massage it over your nails and cuticles and then let them breathe for a few days (Source: Cosmopolitan).
Acrylic will always be kind of expensive, and the truth is, if you see them for less than £25, there might be something wrong with the salon! Or they might be new, and trying to drum up new business. Always do your research!
You get what you pay for, after all. Still, I hope this article helps you understand the costs of acrylics and a few ways to save, too!