Acrylic Nails

Ask Vicki: Vicki Peters Answers Your Technical Questions

Nail technician and NAILS Magazine show manager Vicki Peters answers readers' technical questions.

I would like to know why my nail polish is starting to bubble on my clients’ nails - it maked bumps all over. Also, can you thin polish with acetone, and can you clean your brushes with acetone?

Rebecca Bush

Yellow Springs, Ohio

Polish bubbling occurs when the bottle has been shaken. The agitation traps air bubbles in the polish, which mars the dry polish on the nail. Instead of shaking the bottle vigorously, roll it gently between your hands about and hour before application. Applying polish too fast, too slow, or too thick may make polish dry unevenly, which can cause bubbles. Also, not allowing each layer to dry adequately before applying another layer can create bubbles.

Polish should be thinned with polish thinner because acetone breaks down polish ingredients.

Brushes are often cleaned in acetone, but because it is quite harsh, it’s best to use a brush cleaner. You can also clean your brush by dipping it in your liquid monomer and wiping the tip to a point on your table towel just before putting it away.

Can I Recycle Those Leftover Tips?

I really enjoy your wonderful magazine! Thanks so much for being there for us. My concern is about tips.

I don’t believe in wasting, so I use the leftover part of the tips on myself. It’s been working for me for a while now.

I was wondering if there’s something we can do to avoid waste. Would it be possible to send the unused portions of tips somewhere and have them recycled? Almost all of my clients want an active length, so almost half the nail tip is left over. I have a huge jar of them!

Laura San Miguel

Clute, Texas

Reusing tips is economical, but because there is no well on the leftover tip material, you would have to do a lot of preliminary filling to fit the tip to the nail. If it works, great!

Recycling tips is an idea that you might want to suggest to tip manufacturers. They might be able to melt the unused tips and reuse the material. Many manufacturers do offer active length tips with a shorter length. This means less cutting, filling, and waste. Another thought is to use them as nail art. Look in the October 1991 issue of NAILS, where nail technician Jo Livingston describes how she creates mosaic-like nail art with painted pieces of nail tips.

What’s the Proper Silk Wrap Technique?

I am interested in the proper technique for applying a silk wrap to nails. I have looked for a book on the technique, but have had no success finding one. Also, I have gone to different nail and beauty distributors looking for a complete silk wrap student kit, but have had no success on finding that either. Could you please offer some information? Thank you for your time and help.

Valerie J. Harris

Philadelphia, Pa.

Proper technique for applying silk wraps or other wrap systems varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the basic technique is similar for all applications.

Step 1: Nail preparation is very important. Push the cuticle back and remove all moisture and oils from the nail plate. Lightly buff the nail plate to remove oil and debris and carefully wipe away all dust.

Step 2: Size the silk material and place on the nail at least 1/16-inch from the cuticle and sidewalls. Cover the rest of the nail. Trim the edges with sharp scissors. If the silk is not self-adhesive, apply a base coat of resin beneath the fabric.

Step 3: Apply adhesive to the silk until the material is saturated. Several coats may be needed to thoroughly saturate the silk. It’s important to have a layer of adhesive over the silk so when you file the nail smooth you do not file through the wrap.

Step 4: A full minute after you apply the adhesive, apply the activator. The short waiting time will actually reduce the burning sensation a client can sometimes feel. The wrap should completely dry in one to two minutes.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 at least once to make sure the silk is completely coated with resin.

Step 6: File excess material and resin from the cuticle area, sidewalls and free edge. Smooth the edges and buff the surface to a high-gloss shine.

Refer to the December 1990 issue of NAILS for a much more in-depth discussion of wrap techniques and a complete buyer’s guide to wrap systems.                


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