Nail Art

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Family at Your Fingertips?

Sandra Deem has developed a technique, called portrait nail creation, in which a picture of a loved one (or two) is affixed to a fingernail.

Clients can keep a family member or close friend close at heart with a portrait nail creation. 
<p>Clients can keep a family member or close friend close at heart with a portrait nail creation.&nbsp;</p>
Even while she’s at work, nail technician Sandra Deem has her daughters Brandy and Megan close at hand, or, more accurately, on her fingertip. Deem, who works at Maude’s Beauty Salon in Lenoir City, Tenn., has developed a technique, called portrait nail creation, in which a picture of a loved one (or two) is affixed to a fingernail.

If you’re feeling creative and want to offer a new dimension of nail art to your clients, here are Deem’s step-by-step instructions for her photo nails, which can last up to five months.

Step I. Begin by preparing the natural nails as you would for tips with an acrylic overlay. On the nail where you’ll put the portrait inlay, apply a thin layer of Alpha 9’s clear powder. Allow to set, but do not buff.

Step 2. Trim a charm-sized portrait to the desired shape. Colored copies do not work on the nail because the ink runs. Next, apply a thin layer of IBD’s 5-Second Nail Glue on the nail and adhere the portrait carefully using your fingers. Make sure the edges of the portrait are tracked down. Now, apply a thin layer of glue on the portrait face to protect it from the monomer. Let dry. (Nail wrap glues should not be used because when the nail dries, it can be cloudy)

Step 3. Apply a thick layer of Alpha’s glass powder on the entire portrait nail, completely sealing it in. File the nail with a zebra file, then use a buffing block to finish the nail.

Step 4. After buffing the nail, apply clear top coat to the portrait only. Next, polish the nail around the photo, decorate, and apply a layer of top coat to the entire nail.

“I save each frame and add more designs to it each year,” says Clancy, whose displays have paid off. Now, other clients in the salon come to her for their nail art.

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