How To Design/Plan A Custom Mix’n’Match Acrylic Set

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“Erm… I’d like a pink set please…”Β 
*Eye roll*… Well that narrows it down doesn’t it?! haha.

I frequently get asked how I design my custom sets. So I’m about to break it down. It can be complicated, t i m e – c o n s u m i n g, and a tad over-whelming to begin with so I forewarn you, this one is going to be a LONGGG blog post! but stick with me and try to keep up lol πŸ˜›Β 

Before I continue, I will add that I get asked this question so much because I only tend to do acrylics that are mix’n’match custom/’out there’ sets and while I totally understand that it won’t be to everyone’s taste, everyone has their own taste and preference…Β Each to their own πŸ™‚ Here are a few examples of my custom sets…

I decided to use PINK for this example as not only is it almost every tech’s most diverse colour within their collections, whether that be large or small, but because it’s one of the most chosen go-to requests from clients besides nude.

For this example… I collected all of my pink Glam & Glits acrylic colours to begin with.

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When my client arrives, I ask them what colour they want… and I immediately start by grabbing everything related to that colour. This is where you have to break it down…
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…Choose your colours. The client has said pink… but what type? What combination? Does she want baby pinks? Pinks and purples? Pinks and peaches? Bright pink and rose golds? Pink and silver or pink and gold? I didn’t include these last two as it was taking long enough with 4 examples but you get the idea. Of course, pink can just be pink, or even with an accent nail or two, but this is my process for a full mix’n’match custom set.

Start by picking out the colours that could potentially go with the main colour, then grab your glitter acrylics like above. Once you have decided what colour pallet you’re going for, here’s the next step.
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…Now you have to choose what accessories and add-ons you want to include in the set.

Swarovski crystals, loose glitters, angel paper, netting, mylar ice, pigments, flakes, glitter shapes (hearts, butterflies, stars, diamonds etc).

You may be thinking “WOAHHh… TOO much… chill out” so bear with me on this one.

I’ve put together 4 examples below. You may look and think… how the heck do I get all of that in to one set? They are just options. Not every single thing has to be included. The trick is, is to incorporate a concoction of different shades, glitters and techniques together whilst not making the set look too over the top. The outcome should be a well-coordinated and planned out set.

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Now… by this point, you have a medley of products staring at you while your client is waiting. What now? Here is where you decide what you want to have on each nail.


We don’t all have the luxury of time to sit there with every client and plan out each set with what designs or techniques we want to do on all 10 fingers… BUT… you can do this in your spare time – to prepare for your favourite clients who like to go all-out wacky. Below is an example of what I plan out (mine are a normally a great deal messier than this) either with a patient client who has all the time in the world or whether I’ve drawn up a few in my spare time (I normally tend to do this when I receive nail mail). However, after some time, designs do just become routine and automatic so not always is it neccassary unless you really want to change it up completely.

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So… I’m pretty sure you’re looking at this like I’m literally a barmy person (ok so what if I am :D) but it helps. It doesn’t have to look like this, or anything remotely similar, but here’s the method in my madness.

I have gone forrrr… baby pinks and peaches, with a dash or orange and yellow. I’ve tied them all together with an iridescent glitter acrylic and a pink/rose gold one too. I’ve got extended nail beds, netting imprints, marble nails, ombres, clear encapsulated tips… but guess what, if you take all of these 5,387,980 products and use a VERY tiny amount on every other nail, with the accessories you’ve chosen here and there too, then it will begin to look like a cohesive set. Whereas, if you where to do an orange nail, then a yellow nail, and then a pink nail, then a clear nail, and an extended nail bed blah, blah, blah, then it could all look out of place and too much.

So, to conclude (if you’ve actually made it all the way down here haha) then it’s just all about choosing a nice pallet of shades, with a few accessories. Decide on a few different acrylic design/techniques, and give it a go. You can plan these designs when you get a spare 10 minutes, or when you’re on a bus or something boring like that, and when you get that lovely client who let’s you do what you want to do, you just base it all around the Β colour that they want πŸ™‚

Bish bash bosh

If you feel like this has helped or inspired you, I’d love to know, and if you decide to crack on with a set inspired by this rambly info (I promise I have tried to explain it the best I can lol) then please show me on either Facebook or Instagram!

Love to you all xox



24 thoughts on “How To Design/Plan A Custom Mix’n’Match Acrylic Set

  1. This has helped me so much I love your creativity and if I’ve ever tried to mix and match it would usually look too much because I haven’t planned it out. I entered a competition and I planned it out and it helped so much but I thought I was being extra planning it out. I don’t have many acrylic colours and glitters so I have to work with what I got but for now this might make it easier for me to come up with some designs. I’m definitely going to buy a book just for some designs I would like to do. And now you’ve shown examples of colour mixes you would use that’s changed the game for me it’s just gave me a better image in my head of what ways you can add different shades thankyou. Sorry about the essay 😩

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  2. Beth this is amazing!! So well explained and I love your idea of jotting down ideas for sets in advance. This will def help me out with the “oh I’ll have anything…” customers πŸ˜„. Thank you xx

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  3. Love this, gr8 info … thanks Bethany you’ve given me so many ideas can’t wait to be back off mat leave now I can really let my creativity out!! In the meantime I’m going to be designing on paper as you have! Thanks again πŸ’•

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