You can look around anywhere and find women with fake nails ranging from very simple and understated to frighteningly gauche and long. There's no sin in wanting artificial nails, but you should take into account your lifestyle and what exactly you want. Artificial nails can definitely be fun and a good way to express your personality, but approach with caution and a good degree of taste.
If you have stupid nails like mine that won't grow long and aren't strong or healthy, then artificial nails might be the way to go for you. If you do decide to get artificial nails, choose ones that have a natural shape and steer wide and clear from the claw-like ones. I most definitely advise getting your nails professionally done because ones you apply yourself don't usually turn out looking so hot. The nails you get at a salon are much better fitted for your nail shape, stay on better, and don't look so fake. When getting your nails painted, feel free to have some fun with it. You can get sparkles, design, or even tiny rhinestones if you're feeling sassy. Your artificial nails don't need to look undeniably real, but shouldn't look tacky either.
Before you head over to the salon though, consider the consequences of applying fake nails. Consider your lifestyle and the things you do on a regular basis. I've never been able to get fake nails because I play the violin and long nails are always out of the question for violinists. Apart from the violin, I type quite a bit and long nails might hinder my typing abilities. If you have young children and are frequently cleaning up, opening sippy cups, and picking food out of the carpet, artificial nails might not be the best option for you right now (or you could wear really short fake nails so they don't impede your mothering responsibilities).
When getting your nails, think about the simple things you do everyday and how long nails could affect that. Text messaging on the phone is a bit more difficult with fake nails and clasping buttons and zipping zippers can also prove a problem. If the costs are reasonable for you then have fun on your trip to the salon, but I you decide that artificial nails are not what would be best for your routine right now, then it's completely acceptable to pass.
The application of fake nails is completely personal and is dependant on your lifestyle and your everyday routine (not to mention your taste on what is really appropriate). Don't ever go for scary inch and a half long nails and always avoid tacky artificial nails. Fake nails can be trendy and another good outlet for expressing your unique self, but you need to be cautious and always think about if it's worth it given your lifestyle and personal style.