I like having pretty acrylic nails:

my nails

Roughly once a month, I need to get a refill. (Basically, they take the color off, and fill in the part of the nail where it's grown out, and paint them again.)

In my last visit to China, I attempted to get a refill, except (a) my Chinese didn't seem up to the task (I typically listen to intermediate level on ChinesePod, but this is a specialized topic), and (b) the lady didn't seem to have the appropriate equipment. I managed to get my nails done, but it wasn't the same as what I've had previously in Western countries (instead, they just painted over them).

Question: How can I ask for a nail refill?

I've just learned the words 假指甲 (fake nails) and 美甲 (manicure). But I suspect a translation of "refill" will not give me what I'm after.

  • Being a male having zero knowledge on specific terms, I would say "帮我把假指甲取下来,把真指甲修短,再贴一副新的假指甲". Dec 22, 2014 at 5:03
  • It seems user needs acrylic paint remover or 脱丙烯酸涂料剂 (脱丙烯酸漆剂) before applying a new coating of finger nail lacquer。 So it is not a matter of getting a refill of lacquer but paint remover。Users make following suggestion: 我是染指甲的。你们有没有脱丙烯酸漆剂呢? I am colouring my finger nails。 Do you have acrylic paint remover?
    – user6065
    Dec 22, 2014 at 7:00
  • finger nail "lacquer" is commonly called "nail polish or 指甲油" and the needed "paint remover" is "polish remover or 洗甲水" 。cf。zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%8C%87%E7%94%B2%E6%B2%B9。 For 指甲油 and example sentences see iciba iciba.com/polish_remover?renovate=751404
    – user6065
    Dec 22, 2014 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


Refill 修补

Saw this talking about gel nails, but the concept should be the same:

H.K. Gel Nails F&Q


Edit: I have a hunch that acrylic nails are called 水晶甲 but I could very well be wrong....

  • acrylic is 丙烯酸 so acrylic nails is 丙烯酸指甲, look up acrylic nails in iciba
    – user6065
    Dec 22, 2014 at 11:13
  • That's rather, professional. Seems like only HK&TW use this and seldom at that.
    – Mou某
    Dec 22, 2014 at 11:16
  • Neither in mainland China.. Dec 22, 2014 at 13:11
  • according to description of required procedure (如何使用丙烯酸指甲?)at ew9z.com/ruhe-shoyong-bingxisuanzhijia.html procedure requires 12 materials (材料)。 User possibly only needs refill of monomer 单体 and acrylic powder。Perusing these instructions (使用说明) will supply the necessary vocabulary (using 简体汉字)that may be needed to explain required product(s) to shopkeeper。 Incidentally these instructions use 丙烯酸 8 times altogether。Also instead of 洗甲水 the term 指甲油去除剂 is used。
    – user6065
    Dec 22, 2014 at 14:55

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