You learned a lot in school, but once you start working full time with clients you’ll see that minor mishaps with nail enhancements will occasionally pop up to frustrate and challenge you. To help you out when they do, here's some handy troubleshooting advice on fixing the more common acrylic and gel problems.
Solution: Be sure to remove excess cuticle from the nail plate and properly prepare the entire nail surface. Make sure there isn’t any product on the eponychium or sidewalls after application.
Problem: No arch
Solution: Apply a scoop of pink or clear gel to the middle portion of the nail where you want your apex. Lightly taper down to the sidewalls and the eponychium area with your brush at a 45-degree angle. Smooth out to the free edge. Tip (shown): Apply as above and then have the client hold her hand upside down. The gel will smooth out and naturally gravitate to the apex.
Problem: No C-curve
Solution: Fit the form tightly and correctly under the nail. Apply a thin layer of gel and “flash” it under the light for about 10-15 seconds so it cures partially. Pinch the form or lightly squeeze the edges of the gel to the desired curve. Apply a second layer and let it cure for about 20-30 seconds. Make final adjustments to the curve and cure completely.
Problem: Removing gels
Solution: For traditional gels (shown): Use a 100-grit file to take off the bulk of the gel, then use a 180-grit file and gently file down almost to the natural nail. Graduate your files to finer grits to remove product completely, then buff the nail gently. For soak-off gels or gel-polish hybrids: Soak the nails in acetone (or wrap in gel remover wraps), then remove remaining gel with a manicure stick.
Next page: Acrylics Troubleshooter