Although manufacturers print the intended uses of their products on the label, many creative nail technicians have come up with additional uses that can benefit us all. This column talks about services and ticks that occur in the “real world” of nail services, where everything doesn’t go exactly like the service shown on the video and we have to be quick on our feet to make a client happy. Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up in my salon and from other nail technicians.
This month I will share with you a cool way to give your client nail art in no time at all. In addition to the traditional handpainting or airbrushing that you can do directly on the natural or artificial nail, there is a way to prepare the nail art before the client gets to the salon so it will not require additional appointment time and will apply very quickly.
Everyone at my old salon was nuts for nail art and when we had spare time—between clients or when someone stood us up—we would practice our art on tips. Even better, we found we could also use this time to paint our designs on silk wraps that could be applied to the nails at a later time and potentially turn our spare time into money.
Pre-adhesive silk wraps (made by such manufacturers as Star, Backscratchers, and Becky Lynn) are available in precut strips, precut fingers, or in bulk rolls. Any of these will suit your needs. The precut fingers are great if a client wants all 10 nails done.
The process is quite simple: You just paint the desired picture on the silk and wait for it to dry. Flowers, roses, palm trees, and holiday art were the most popular among clients, so I would paint several of these designs on silk and keep them in a plastic tip case.
When the client came in for her service and said she would like nail art, I would offer her the pre-painted “wrap art” in addition to our handpainting and airbrush services. Once her nail service was completed, I would show her the pre-painted silk designs. She would pick the one she wanted and I would apply it by peeling off the paper backing and lightly pressing it over her dried polish. Once the design was flat and firmly applied, I would apply top coat generously twice, allowing a couple of minutes between coats. The silk fiber disappears and the design is all that you can see.
There are many great advantages to this type of nail art:
- If you get nervous with people watching it is something easier to paint the nail art in privacy when you are not feeling rushed.
- If the design is very intricate and time-consuming it does not make sense to have the client sit there when you could paint it in your spare time.
- The client can take the silk piece home and apply it herself when her polish is completely dry.
- If the client has a special event coming up she can take her nail art silk home and apply it just for the event.
- If the client has natural nails, it adds reinforcement, allowing the polish and therefore the nail art to last longer on the nail.
- The best thing about this is that it is temporary. It removes with polish remover.
- I have found that silk is the best fiber to try this with. It is normally a fine weave and a little practice will help you determine how wet the paints should be. Airbrushing can be done as well.
I have applied UV gels over my “wrap art” and this works very well and nail art remains even when the client removes her polish. You are only limited by your imagination.