Acrylic Nails That Look Like Real Nails

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Learn how to make your acrylic nails look like real nails.

Acrylic nails are a great manicure to add length and allow you to try different designs, shapes, and colours.

Although, for those that want to add some length and not necessarily experiment with the different shapes and designs, acrylic nails can be off-putting as they don’t seem natural. However, it is possible to have natural-looking acrylic nails.

In this post, I’ll be sharing ways to get your acrylic nails that look like real nails, and there are a few examples of natural-looking acrylic nails that you could try out.

How to make your acrylic nails look more natural?

The key to making your acrylic nails look more natural is to match your acrylics to your nails. The purpose of acrylic nails is to enhance your nails. Instead of going for something entirely different from your natural manicure, try making it look similar with a slight addition. For example, you could add a bit of length, change the shape slightly or just give it a cleaner, more fresh look. Here are a few ways to make your acrylic nails look more natural. 

Choose a natural shape – This one is very simple; having a natural shape will make your acrylic nails look like real nails. There are many nail shapes to choose from, with a lot of less natural shapes becoming very popular, so if you want to keep your acrylic nails looking natural, it is best to stay away from the trending shapes and go for a shape that compliments your hands. For example, square, almond, oval, and round nails are much more natural-looking rather than coffin, stiletto, or lipstick shaped nails.

Stick to a short length – Shorter nails will always look more natural than extra-long ones, as they look much closer to what your real nails would look like. Not only do they look more natural, but they are also much more practical. If you want acrylic nails but you have a job that you need to look professional for, or you have to use your hands a lot in your day-to-day life, then shorter nails will make things easier for you, and it prevents the risk of them breaking.

Pick neutral colours – The colour you pick plays a big part in making your acrylics look like real nails. There’s nothing wrong with going for bright colours, but they tend to make your nails look more like acrylics rather than a more natural look.

Nudes, light pinks, or light browns are good colours if you want your nails to have a clean, fresh look. They tend to blend much nicer with skin tones and give the illusion of more slender hands, whereas when you go for a more bold colour, it creates a colour block and makes the part between your nails and fingers more visible.

You could also go for a french tip or an ombre design. Although this is more of a design rather than a neutral base, it’s a simple design that is very natural-looking also. French tips have the same structure as real nails do, they’re just more prominent, and natural ombre designs are the same; they just have a more seamless finish.

Find a colour and style to suit your skin tone – When it comes to picking a colour to make your acrylics look like real nails, it is important to pick a colour that suits your skin tone. Not every colour will look the same on all skin tones, so if you’re going for a shade that you think is ‘natural,’ it may not be the most natural for your skin tone.

For example, light pinks will stand out more on darker skin tones than lighter skin tones, so this isn’t necessarily natural for darker skin tones. Lighter skin tones should go for light pinks and nude shades, whereas darker skin tones should try out light browns, darker shades of light pink, and milky white shades.

Acrylic nails that look like real nails

Here are six examples of acrylic nails that look like real nails, that you could try out.

Instagram: dbnails_pro

1. Glitter Ombre

This version of ombre is great when you want a natural-looking set. It’s a minimal design that follows the same form as natural nails do, with a darker base and a lighter tip.

I like this one because the colours are quite muted, so they don’t stand out too much, which is a great way of making them look even more like real nails. There is a slight glitter on the nails; however, it is very subtle, and it won’t be noticed much; but it’s a nice touch and a good way of adding small detail while still being very natural.

Instagram: prettynailboutique

2. Milky White

This off-white colour is great if you want natural-looking nails but still want to enjoy a colour. It’s a simple design, but it looks very clean and classy. The rounded square shape is also a great way to make acrylic nails look like real nails because it follows the same shape as your natural nails would.

This is also a great shape and length to go for if you have a very practical lifestyle, for example, you may do a lot of cleaning, you need to use a computer in your job, or you have a baby; this is a good manicure for you.

Instagram: nailsbymilee

3. French Tip

French tips are a classic whether you’re trying to make your acrylics look like real nails or not; it is a great manicure to get. The nude base blends nicely as a natural nail would, and the white tip is fresh and looks very elegant. The shorter tips are also a great way of making them look more natural compared to the longer tips, as they can start to look fake the longer they are.

Instagram: jenny.jennys 

4. Barely There White

This white colour is slightly more transparent than normal nail polish, which is good for making them look like real nails as it allows your natural nail to be seen through it, giving the illusion that your real nails have been painted.

This colour is also a perfect shade for darker skin tones; it complements darker skin really well. It stands out well against the skin but isn’t too bold, and it’s still very natural and looks like real nails.

Instagram: thejessnailedit

5. Light Oval

Oval nails are a good shape for making your acrylic nails look like real nails; it follows the same form as your fingers, which makes them blend into your hand and look more natural. It’s also a good shape for making your hands look slimmer, and it looks good on short and long nails.

The like pink is a good nude shade for lighter skin tones; it has enough colour to stand out against the skin tone but still isn’t too bright to look painted rather than it being your natural nails.

Instagram: katieleighbeautyx

6. Slight Pink

This polish is a more opaque colour than the previous manicures, but it’s still a great colour for natural-looking nails. It’s a muted tone of pink, which is good as it doesn’t stand out too much, and it creates a very clean natural manicure. This length is also great for making your acrylics look real, they aren’t long, but they add a bit of length to natural nails.


I hope this has been helpful and given you a few ideas for your next manicure. Natural-looking acrylics have become more popular recently, and we can definitely see why. Having acrylic nails that look like real nails looks much cleaner and fresh, perfect for spring and summer. So, if you haven’t tried them before, why not give them a go and try something new the next time you get your nails done.

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