Clients love the unpolished perfection of pink and white, and are willing to pay more for it.
With pink and white acrylics you can create the look of a perfect French manicure without polish. This two-toned technique offers clients beautiful, durable nails that always look good. Pink and white wearers don’t have to wait for their polish to dry or worry about it wearing off.
Vicki Peters, a Los Angeles-based nail technician and industry consultant, emphasizes that the benefits of this technique are not reserved just for the client. “Its a technique that requires a nail technician to have a little more talent and a little more education, and should cost a little more to the client.”
Colors Set The Mood
When choosing an acrylic product, durability and workability are essential. Choose colors to match the clients skin tone. Says Peters, “On a darker-complected client a stark pink and a real white look great, but for a client with a very fair complexion, I might do something a bit softer. If a client wants the most natural-looking nails I’ll use the softer colours, but if she wants something really pretty and outstanding, I might go with a stark white and a deeper pink or peach, depending on her skin tone.”
The first step to creating pink and white nails is, as always, proper preparation.
Step 1. Prepare the nail plate by removing natural oils from the nail with a gentle file. The nail plate should be clean and free of foreign matter. Push back the cuticles and shape the free edge. Use a nail de- hydrator to make sure there’s no moisture on the nail.
Step 2. Apply two coats of primer to the nail plate. Allow each coat to dry after application.
Step 3. Next, youneed to fit the form. The form should fit snugly and line up perfectly with the free edge so that no gap exists between the free edge and the form.
Step 4. To create the white tip, first dip your brush into the liquid, then into the white powder Apply a large ball of product to the end of the nail on the form. A one-ball method is preferable. When you put two balls of white product together you can often see the swirling action on the underside of the nail where the two balls have come together.
The consistency of the product ball is important. Peters recommends that you mix the product for the white tip into a dry ball. “The drier the product, the whiter the white and the tighter the linkage and the more strength it has,” explains Peters. The product should be mixed slightly wetter for use on the middle of the nail, and even wetter for the cuticle area. This provides greater flexibility.
After you drop the white ball onto the form, wipe your brush to make sure that there’s no acrylic left on it Then pat the ball of product into place from sidewall to side- wall, all the way up to the free edge of the natural nail.
Step 5. Take a smaller ball of product with the same dry consistency and add it to the top of the smile line at each sidewall. Before the product is completely dry, take a clean brush and wipe the smile line completely smooth, beginning at the top corner of the nail groove where the smile line begins. The perfect smile line should mirror the shape of the cuticle.
Take care to make sure the size of the white product on each tip matches from nail to nail. You may find one nail with a shorter, or longer natural nail bed. You can compensate for any irregularities by making each white tip match the tip next to it, keeping it in perspective.
Let the white tip you’re working on dry before you apply the pink product. You will probably want to go to the next nail and do that tip. By the time you’ve finished, the first nail tip should be dry.
Step 6. Next, apply one to two balls of pink product (in a slightly wetter consistency than the white) directly above the smile line on the natural nail plate. Pull the pink product just over the white tip.
You may get air bubbles at this stage in the procedure. You can press your brush in the liquid to get the air bubbles out or use enough liquid so the product is wet enough to reduce the number of bubbles.
Step 7. The cuticle area requires smaller and much wetter balls of pink product. Apply the product below the cuticle line and let it flow up so you create a smooth graduation right into the cuticle area
Step 8. Check the nail from the side profile to make sure you don’t have a dip in the surface. Also check to see if you need to add any product over the stress area The stress area should be the highest point of the profile.
If you feel that either the tip or the pink portion of the nail is too thin, add product. To avoid disturbing the smile line, use clear acrylic to correct the problem. Apply a ball of clear product and let it run over the entire nail. (A competitor using this shortcut would get marked down for this in competition, but in the salon it’s the easiest way to fix uneven product.)
Step 9. Finish as you would a normal nail. Begin with a 100-grit file and graduate down with two or three different files or buffers to get a smooth finish. Buff the nails to a high shine with a three-sided shiny buffer. Cuticle oil will enhance the buffing process. There is no need to apply polish. You may also apply a standard or UV finishing top coat.
If you do choose to polish the nails, use a base coat so the polish colour doesn’t absorb into the acrylic. When you later remove the polish, you will need to buff the nails back to a high shine.
To nail technicians who believe this technique is too difficult or time-consuming, Peters counters, “I firmly believe that with practice it does not take any more effort than standard acrylics. One-tone nails usually require a three-ball technique. Pink and white nails use the same method; it’s just when you do the tip you’re using white. Basically the only difference is that you have two containers of product instead of one.”
Clients who opt for pink and white nails will require a backfill about once a month. (See NAILS’ June 1993 issue for step-by-step instructions on this technique.)
Two-toned nails may require a little time and practice to master, but will enhance your range of services, benefiting both your clients and your pocketbook.