There's a new craze that's creating quite a smash among fashionable ladies - acrylic nails. They come in a number of designs and colors that are tailor-made to fit every woman's taste. Like a girl's favorite dress, these acrylic nails are ideal for special occasions although some of the more chic young women of today wear them on a regular basis. They're easy to apply and absolutely wonderful if you want to lengthen or strengthen short, brittle nails. They also have practical uses as well, If you're one of those people who nibble on their nails when you're bored or stressed, then these acrylic nails can help you break that habit. Bite and chew on them as much as you want and you'll still hardly make a dent. They're also great if you have the kind of nails that often split and break under the slightest pressure, because acrylic nails may look light and fragile, but they are made of sturdy stuff. You only have to maintain them on a bi-weekly basis and, after that, they're no trouble at all. For maximum results, it's best to care for your acrylic nails the way you would care for your natural nails. Avoid soaking them in water for prolonged periods of time since water can seep in between your acrylic and natural nails and cause damage and perhaps even infection. When washing dishes of tidying up the house, it's wise to wear rubber gloves for extra protection. Overall, you can go about your normal routine without worry about breaking acrylic nails. You may wonder how acrylic nails are made. It's really a simple process. They are made by mixing a powder with a special liquid and then painted and shaped into place using the mixture. Most professional nail care experts recommend Ethyl Methacrylate or EMA. It may be a bit more expensive than its alternative, Methyl Methacrylate or MMA but it spares the wearer from harmful MMA side effects such as skin irritations and irregular nail growth. Meanwhile, EMA are renowned for their superior quality and excellent materials. Plus, they add a dash of style and safety to your nails. Other things to consider are nail color, design and trends. A well-loved classic color combination is the French manicure, which is simply a natural nail color accompanied by white tips. Women love them because they complement anyting in their wardrobes. For the more daring customers, there is a virtual plethora of designs to choose from, ranging from stars to teddy bears. For a real party look and feel to your nails, you might want to try a little sparkle, which consist of inserts that are imbedded right into the acrylic. Among the more popular choices are tiny gems and stickers that come in a large range of shapes, designs and colors. You may also wish to try nail piercing which involve a piece of jewelry. This procedure would be nearly impossible on natural nails.