So I opted to get some artificial nail tips added on to mine, so they'd look nice (and not like a gardener's hands) in our wedding pictures.
I've got to say that there is a distinct disadvantage in dealing with nail technicians that don't speak much English. I've gone back for my first fill, to a lot of problems making me reconsider continuing this at all.
1. The blobby toenail polish when I first went. There is no excuse for that. I can paint mine smoothly with a cheesy dollar bottle of polish.
2. He insisted on using a drill to rough up my natural nails even though I requested that he not do that. Why? It takes a little longer to do it properly with a file. Though I was the first one in when the shop opened, it was obvious he wanted to rush through and do a quantity of jobs, but not quality.
3. Using said drill, the first guy sanded the sides and base of two fingers until they were raw and bleeding. The second guy held the drill tip under my nail until he had burned a raw spot into my fingertip.
4. The first set of nails started lifting on day 3, which can lead to a fungal infection with moisture between the acrylic and your nail bed.
5. When I went back for the fill / repair, the second guy forcibly lifted the fake nails up to cut them away with clippers.
6. And then he literally ripped four of the partially lifted nails off my nails with a fake nail tip as a pry bar. This caused two of my natural nails to rip off, one down in the quick. His response when I winced? "Oh, sorry." Artificial nails should never be ripped off. They're supposed to be soaked off using acetone.... But I didn't realize what he was doing until too late. Forcing things under your nails and ripping nails off forcefully is actually a method of torture, so why did I have pay for this guy to hurt me over and over? Seems like he should have been paying me.
7. He wouldn't listen to even the smallest request. He asked if I wanted squared off nails or round, and I said round. So now I have some sharply square corners that feel awkward and don't flatter my hands. He also asked if I wanted them shortened, and I said no. Therefore he shortened them anyway.
8. They are trying to claim that acrylics are gels. They're not. And you shouldn't try to sell acrylics for the gel price.
I'm pretty sure that I can do my own acrylics and maybe even gels, IF I ever go this route again. But I won't be letting those people put me through that again. I would reaLily rather stay with my own nails. My fingers are still sore today, and I expect they will stay sore for at least another day. Not good.