Model nails

Nails are extremely important, both inside the modeling world and outside of it.

Your hands are some of the first things people see.

As we all know, when your nails are not as fabulous as you are they can hurt you.

Chips, cracks, or too much going on can keep you from landing that job,

or even the job interview to begin with.

For this post we are going to talk about the secrets to “model nails”.  Models are required to have their nails looking freshly manicured, all the same length, and in a natural shade. (clear, nude, or light pink.)

How do you achieve model nails without having to worry about tears or chips?

Nail enhancements of course!

But which to choose?




1. powder fill, day after
2. powder fill, 2 weeks after
3. powder fill, 1 week after

        (The markings on my hands are henna pens of traditional inuit tattoos )

Acrylic powder – this is where you get just the powder added to you own nails to make them thicker, it is done without added tips and a thin layer to achieve “model nails”
  1. Look – they look fabulous and are less likely to chip – in my experience they look just painted for at least 10 days even with doing the dishes
  2. No Tears – Less likely to get a break and snag your clothes or cut yourself
  3. Time (which we all know is money)- When they grow out it looks less obvious when done with a thin layer and you can go up to 3 or 4 weeks between fills and just file down the length a little.
  1. Price – Fills are expensive (25-45$)
  2. Time – at least an hour to apply (or fill) and polish
  3. Bubbles! If you don’t have a great nail tech or rush them you can get bubbles which look bad and can lead to  breakage.



1. gel nails
Soft Gels – gel nails are a special kind of polish that is cured by a uv light. (hard gel is meant to extend the nail past the nail bed)
  1. Time – You don’t have to wait for them to dry when you are done.
  2. No smudges – When you are done they are set and they won’t smudge on the way out of the salon.
  3. Look – They look fantastic and shiny.
  1. Removal – You have to soak your nails and fingertips in acetone for 8-15 min to remove them. The other option is to have them filed down which can hurt your nails.
  2. Peeling – If you don’t have a fantastic nail tech or a rushed job you could end up with peeling and no one wants that!
  3. They can’t be changed last minute. In model world you could have a perfect nude manicure but they could want a different shade or color or even natural nails. You wouldn’t be able to remove them and make them look decent and painting over them isn’t always easy. However you could get clear gel to avoid all this.
  4. Look – when they grow out it is obvious and cant be filed down like powder it must be removed entirely

1. press ons with good shape and good sizing
2. press ons with okay shape and okay sizing
3. press ons with bad shape and bad sizing
Press Ons – fake nails put on with glue.
  1. Time – it takes me less than 5 minutes to apply a pre done set and 10-15 minutes if I shape them and paint them myself. Would probably take about 20 minutes the first time.
  2. Look – they look flawless all the time and don’t chip or peel.
  3. Price – 5-12$ 🙂 🙂
  4. Removal – I soak my hands while in the bath a pop them off while they are wet and its beyond easy. Then you just  file and buff of any residual glue and voila natural nails again.
  5. Protection – your natural nail gets to grow underneath and from what i’ve experienced are stronger and longer when I remove the press ons.
  1. Sizing- you have to experiment at first with different brands and make sure you select the right size for you or they will look too big and wonky.
  2. Loss – you could lose a nail if one pops off. I usually notice it happening and just glue it back on. In the rare case it happens without me noticing or I can’t find it, I just use another from the pack. So don’t toss the package with the extras until AFTER you finish wearing them.
I personally have tried gel a handful of times and it wasn’t my thing. Too much time and money for my taste. Mostly I used acrylic power for many years. As long as you have a nail tech you love and is easy to schedule they are a great option.
Model life makes for hell when scheduling and I ended up with bad techs which led to bad fills.
Annoyed with the time and money I was waisting I wanted to go back to natural nails, but they were so weak and brittle!
Enter press ons.
Originally I just wanted something on top of my nails so they could grow underneath. But I fell in love with how simple and cheap they are! Now I use the press ons to grow my nails strong and long. I remove them before jobs that focus on my hands to have natural moons showing and they look flawless in between!

Any other enhancements you’d like to hear more about?

Feel free to #askcoco or let me know if there is something you’d like me to investigate more for you!