How to Apply Nail Tips at Home to Instantly Transform Your Nails

How to Apply Nail Tips at Home for an Instant Transformation

When you learn how to apply nail tips at home, you’ll be able to completely transform short, uneven nails. You’ll also be able to fix a broken nail as they arise. Whatever the case, this nail tip tutorial will show you exactly what to do.

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watch video: how to apply nail tips

Watch this tutorial to learn how to apply nail tips at home.

Knowing how to apply nail tips at home is incredibly useful. Though I generally prefer to rock my natural nails with dip powder, I’ve been known to break a nail or two. I love taking on house and garden projects! So I’m a bit rough on my nails from time to time.

Nail tips allow you to fix broken nails in a pinch to even out your manicure. They’re also great if you’d prefer to wear longer nails.

Products Needed to Apply Nail Tips at Home

Here’s what you’ll need to apply nail tips:

  • Nail Tips – Tips come in a variety of shapes and lengths. You can choose whichever nail tips you like, but my favorite are the short oval tips shown in the tutorial. They’re so easy to apply!
  • Nail Glue – You’ll need nail glue to adhere the tips to your nail. I prefer this brush on glue from Young Nails.
  • Curved Hand File – These curved hand files will allow you to perfectly shape your nail tips.
  • MelodySusie E-File (optional) – An e-file isn’t required. However, using an e-file with a sanding band will be quicker to buff the tip.
  • 100% Pure Acetone (optional) – Using a brush (or even a q-tip) soaked in acetone will “melt” the tip into the nail for a seamless blend.

How to Apply Nail Tips at Home

Before you dive into applying your nail tips, it’s important to prep the nail to ensure good adhesion. This includes removing the cuticle, lightly buffing the nail and cleansing the nail.

Step 1) Size the Tip for Each Nail

Before application, it’s important to properly size your nail tips.

find the right size before applying nail tips at home

The nail tip should comfortably reach the sidewalls of your nail. If the tip is too small, it may not adhere well. So if you are between sizes, it’s better to size up. Then file down the sides to ensure a perfect fit.

Step 2) Rough the Inside of the Nail Tip

To ensure better adhesion, rough the inside of the nail tip.

rough the nail tip before application

It’s easiest to do this with an e-file. However, you could do this will a file as well.

Step 3) Apply Nail Glue to the Tip

Place a fair amount of nail glue to the nail tip.

I prefer using a brush on nail glue as it makes application easier.

Step 4) Apply Tip to Your Nail

Place the tip on your nail at a 45-degree angle and then press down firmly.

Hold the tip in place until the glue dries – usually takes just a minute! If you’ve used nail tips with tabs, you can clip them off.

Step 5) Rough Up the Nail Tip

Using a file or an e-file with a sanding band, rough up the surface of the nail tip.

Roughing up the surface of the tip will promote better adhesion with your nail enhancement.

Step 6) Use Acetone to Seamlessly Blend into the Nail

This trick is so handy for getting a seamless blend!

Using a nail brush (or even a q-tip), apply acetone along the seam of the tip.

acetone will seamlessly blend nail tips

This will “melt” the edge of the tip into the nail so you won’t have a harsh edge.

Step 7) Shape Your Nail Tip

Grab your hand file and begin to shape your nail tip.

You can check out my nail shaping tutorials here:

  • Square Shape Short Nails – this is the most basic and easy nail shape to do. It looks great on short nails with dip powder.
  • Almond Shape Short Nails – though this tutorial shows how to shape shorter almond nails, you can use these same 3 tricks to shape longer almond nails too.

Once your nail tips are shaped to your liking, you are all done!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which nail tips are the best?

Choosing nail tips comes down to personal preference. There are so many different lengths and shapes to choose from! You can also choose between full coverage tips and half coverage tips.

I’ve found half-coverage tips, like the ones in this tutorial, to be much easier to apply.

Can I apply dip powder over nail tips?

Absolutely! Once you apply your nail tips, you can apply dip powder as usual. You can learn how to do dip nails at home by clicking here.

How do I make sure my nail tips last?

Nail prep is key to a long-lasting manicure! You can follow the same routine for how to prep nails for dip powder.

I also recommend using this DIY nail cleanser before applying your nail tips. This will effectively remove oils and moisture from your nails to promote better adhesion.

How do I apply full-coverage nail tips instead?

You can follow this same step-by-step process to apply full-coverage nail tips at home. You’ll just need to apply the tip with the appropriate placement higher on the nail bed.

How do I shape my nail tips?

If you want to shape your nail tips into an almond or square nail, I’ve shared my nail shaping tutorials here.


Following this step-by-step tutorial will make it easy to apply nail tips at home. You can also find more DIY nail tutorials, including how to apply dip powder, shared here on Pinterest.

Ready for More DIY Dip Nail Recommendations?

You can find all of the best DIY nail product recommendations and essentials by visiting my Amazon storefront.

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