What Can I Use Instead Of Monomer For Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are an enjoyable and liberating method to improve your manicure skill. 

You may not only pick the color and finish you want for your nails, as you would with traditional nail paint, but you may also design your ideal length and shape to suit your preferences. However, what to do if you have run out of monomers? 

What Can I Use Instead Of Monomer For Acrylic Nails?

The answer to the question

“Is there an alternative for monomers?” is yes. 

Various acrylic nail brands are available on the market that do not include a monomer coating. They blend a unique type of powder with the monomer resin.

Furthermore, monomer replacements are available, but keep in mind that they will not be as strong as those containing the monomer itself.

Polyester resin 

It is chemically similar but not exactly identical to a monomer. Most polyester resins are transparent viscous liquids composed of a polyester solution in a monomer, often styrene.

Also, most individuals do not have it accessible. Furthermore, the polyester resin may dry somewhat greenish, spoiling your perfectly matching nail color.

Clearly, it can lead to an unappealing acrylic hue.

Rubbing alcohol

If you are in a hurry and only require artificial nails to conceal your real nails for one day or two, you may substitute rubbing alcohol. 

It can work in a pinch; however, the powder may not adhere, may be lumpy, the color may be washed off, and the actual acrylic may be incredibly weak. If you use this procedure, you should expect the acrylic to peel off within a day.

Despite that, you can still use it as a short-term alternative, such as if you want gorgeous nails for a particularly romantic date.

Dip powder activator

It is among the most excellent alternatives for making acrylics since it is basically a type of classic monomer combined with acrylic dip powder.

Unfortunately, some dip powder activator bottles seem too small to hold and accommodate an acrylic brush, making your job even more difficult. In addition, it is more expensive than the monomer liquid.

Nail glue

If you have any nail glue around, go on and make use of it. Surprisingly, it contains some of the same chemicals as the base coat solution for dip nails.

As a result, you may have no trouble getting your acrylics to adhere to your actual nail plate. Just remember that the texture may be fluid and become challenging to handle.

You can use nail glue as an alternative to the monomer.
You can use nail glue as an alternative to the monomer.

Press-on nail polish

It is a relatively inexpensive and quick technique to dry your acrylic. However, you will need an LED lamp and the polish to dry your acrylics correctly within the LED light.

What Should You Not Use Instead Of Monomer For Acrylic Nails?

Unlike the alternatives indicated above, two items may not work with the dipping powder to produce acrylic nails, although they are likely still being recommended somewhere.

Nail polish remover

If you want acrylic nails, you had better stay away from the polish remover. It is only intended to remove nail polish.

Also, nail polish removers are typically acetone-based, with non-acetone versions generally including ethyl acetate, which works by breaking the polymers in the nail polish.

You should not use acetone to apply acrylic powder since it will completely dissolve the acrylic and damage your work. You may be disappointed if you attempt to use it in conjunction with dipping powder.

It is the reason why you are always recommended to conduct a thorough study before utilizing any other liquid monomer or acetone since it has the potential to destroy your design rather than curing and hardening it.


In addition to acetone polish remover, water is another thing we do not recommend you replace with monomer liquid. 

The reason for this is that water lacks the gluey consistency required to aid acrylic adhesion.

Water-cured acrylics, on the other hand, are now accessible in the market and may be used precisely alongside warm water to shape it into a nail.

Is It Possible To Use Hydrogen Peroxide Instead Of Monomer For Acrylic Nails?

We have to say that the answer is entirely dependent on how you would like your acrylic nails to appear.

If you want your nails to remain white, the answer would be no. Acrylic nails retain their white hue since they possess a high quantity of white pigment called methacrylic acid, which merely contributes to their white tone.

Suppose you expect your nails to be more visually appealing. In that case, you should combine a monomer-based acrylic nail polish together with a tiny portion of methacrylic acid to achieve a more intense white hue instead of using hydrogen peroxide.

In case you want your nails to become more rigid and more robust, you can use hydrogen peroxide.

One of the main reasons acrylic nails are brittle (mainly if cold and dry) is the rapid rate at which the acrylic polymer’s bonds weaken.

Monomers serve to maintain the acrylic bonding in place by forming a protective film on the nail’s surface, extending its life and preventing breakage and splitting.

Is It Possible To Create Your DIY Monomer Liquid?

Without a doubt, sure. You may create your acrylic liquid right at home in a few simple steps.

An empty nail polish bottle, washable or non-toxic glue and water are all you need.

  • Put ¼ teaspoon of water together with ¾ teaspoon of any non-toxic glue that you have on hand to the bottle.
  • Then, shake the bottle vigorously until all of the components have been mixed well together.
  • The whole process may take you from 45 seconds to one minute. Acrylics dry quite clear yet emit extremely noxious fumes before curing.

This DIY monomer would be an excellent binding agent for curing acrylics, and it is also inexpensive and simple to create at home.

It is not challenging to make a DIY monomer for acrylic nails.
It is not challenging to make a DIY monomer for acrylic nails.

If you are a newcomer and wish to find out more about how to create your own monomer, do not hesitate to watch this video before getting started:

How To Do Acrylic Nails Without Monomers?

As previously said, there are numerous monomer liquid substitutes for acrylic nails. Among these, replacing the liquid using dip powder is the best method.

Because of the presence of cyanoacrylate, dip powder comes with an inherent gluey consistency. Also, it has no odor and is simple to use.

Here, we will show you how to create beautiful acrylic nails without a monomer.


  • Acetone solution
  • Nail file
  • Nail primer
  • A brush
  • Dip powder
  • Acrylic powder
  • Fake nail tips (if you want)


Step 1: Prepare your nails

The first step is to prepare your nails before putting any substance on them.

Ensure they are clean and free of any remaining nail paint from your previous manicure. You may clean your nails with an acetone solution.

Step 2: Shape the nails or use fake nail tips

Because your nails are prepared for further steps, shape them into your wanted shape. Here you had better use an excellent quality nail shaper or nail file.

You do not have to do anything to the actual nails if you wish to wear fake nails. Simply apply the appropriate sized artificial nails.

Step 3: Buff the nail plate

Buffing removes the shining texture from your nails, allowing the nail paint to last longer and appear better.

You may buff the nails with any nail file or nail buffer.

You should buff your nail plate.
You should buff your nail plate.

Step 4: Use primer

A primer is used to smooth out the nail surface so that any product or nail paint you apply to the nails integrates smoothly and appropriately. So, apply a preliminary coat to all of your nails in this step.

A primer will also prepare the nails for adherence.

Step 5: Design acrylic nails

In this step, dip the brush in the monomer liquid replacement, the dip powder.

Then, coat it with acrylic powder. Next, apply it to your nail plate, then shape it to your desire.

Step 6: Remove any leftover product

Remove the extra product from the cuticles once the dip powder layer sets on the nails. 

Next, shape any uneven edges with a nail file. Also, buff the acrylic nails’ top surface with a buffer.

Step 7: Add  some vibrant mush

Apply a priming layer to your nails when you have finished buffing them, as you did previously. 

Then, your nails are prepared to be painted with the appropriate nail color and pattern!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is monomer the same as an acrylic liquid?

The answer is yes. The proper chemical term for acrylic liquid is a monomer, just as the polymer is the exact one for acrylic powder.

Indeed, acrylic nails are made by blending acrylic powders and liquids. The powder element of the acrylic system is referred to as polymer, and the liquid one is referred to as monomer. 

The monomer causes the odor that you frequently detect in a regular salon in the acrylic liquid.

Can I blend acrylic powders and monomers from different manufacturers?

We strongly advise against it.

A chemical process occurs once you combine monomer with acrylic powder, causing the two different ingredients to mix flawlessly to form a robust and useable medium.

The acrylic liquid includes monomers, cross-linkers, catalysts, and stabilizers, while the acrylic powder contains polymers, initiators, colorants, and copolymers.

A manufacturer will make an acrylic liquid and powder with the proper chemical balance so that the two parts perform together. If bringing in other brands, you may not conclude their recipes are the same, and you could wind up with too little or too much of one chemical.

Each acrylic liquid comes with a specific amount of DMT (Accelerator, Activator, Promoter) to match the amount of Catalyst (Benzoyl Peroxide, BPO) distributed across the polymers. Polymerization may be slowed or accelerated if the BPO and DMT ratios are not correct.

For example, using too much initiator may cause the upgrades to become yellow or brittle. On the contrary, the monomer cannot react completely when you utilize too little initiator.

Then, once you apply it to the nails, the un-reacted monomer may penetrate your nail bed, producing irritation and an allergic reaction.

For this reason, all products must be used correctly and in accordance with the brand’s instructions. Combining the incorrect monomer liquid with a polymer powder may be inappropriate.

Nevertheless, if you have mixed one brand’s monomer with another’s powder and the mixture has repeatedly proven stable, you are ready to go!

What is the source of the color in my acrylic monomer?

Believe it or not, the monomer may be colored any hue in addition to clear.

Indeed, adding cosmetic-grade dyes to a transparent monomer results in a colorful monomer. These dyes are referred to as optical brighteners. Once optical brighteners are added to acrylic liquid, they increase the current color.

Cosmetic dyes dissolve in monomers, same as food dyes dissolve in culinary products. It simply needs a trace amount of dye, which is calculated in thousandths of a percent.

Final Thoughts

In all, we have provided you with all the information you need to know about “What can I use instead of a monomer for acrylic nails?” Numerous options are available to you, such as polyester resin, rubbing alcohol, dip powder, nail glue, and press-on nail polish. Notably, if you do not want to see your dissatisfied acrylic nails, avoid using nail polish remover and water.


Think of Well-Kept Beauty as your personal beauty professional – advising you on whether to switch up your beauty routine, re-up on a must-have product you are running low on, and even pinging you the best deals on the market. Now, let's take your beauty routine to the next level and keep your products doing what they promised!

Recent Posts