Natural Nails

The Help Desk

How can I eliminate brush strokes in my nail polish application?


Debbie Krakalovich: The key is to use plenty of polish. First, make sure you have a full or nearly full bottle of Polish (try keeping two of each color on hand so you can top off your bottles). First, dip the brush into the bottle and when pulling it out, press one side against the mouth of the bottle, but make sure to leave a small bead of the color on the tip of the brush. Next, place the bead that’s on the tip of the brush in the middle of the nail plate near, but not on, the cuticle (leave about 1/32” gap). Then, pull the bead on through the center of the nail to the tip. Let your brush glide over the nail. For your second stroke, start again from the cuticle and stroke down the right side of the nail. To finish, use a third stroke down the left side of the nail. Make sure you polish the tip of the free edge.


The important factor in pulling through the polish is to keep the brush flat against the bead. Hold the brush even with the nail plate and glide the polish on, do not brush it. Keeping the client’s wrist down will allow you to keep your wrist firm and stable against the table top. This keeps the brush at just the right angle. Apply a second coat using the same technique and you should have a brushstroke-free polish job.


What’s the best way to clean your dappen dish? Should I rinse it with water, wipe it with a towel, or what?


Nancy King: Wipe the dish clean with either acetone or brush cleaner using a lint-free paper towel or wipe. Be sure to get any residue out of the bottom of the dish. Acrylic liquid will also work well, but it’s too expensive to use for this purpose.


Schoon: The most important thing to consider is safety. When cleaning your dappen dish, you should take care to avoid exposing your fingers to the monomer liquid. All types of nail enhancement products can cause allergy – UV gels, wrap resins, adhesives, as well as liquid monomer. These types of allergies almost always result from prolonged or repeated exposures. So avoid repeated exposure to the liquid monomer or you will increase the risks of developing an allergy to your product. Some other simple rules are: clean the dappen dish between each client, properly dispose of old product, and make sure it’s clean and dry before adding fresh product.


What is the best type of acrylic brush for beginners to use?


Karen Hodges: Acrylic systems are so well researched and designed these days that my best advice would be to use the entire system, as designed, by the manufacturer. Each product works best with a certain liquid-to-powder ratio. All the product manufacturers that I have worked with have designed their own brushes in the shape and size that delivers the proper amount of liquid at the correct time. They have determined the amount of “belly” in the brush, the shape and length of the “flags” (ends) of the brush, and the stiffness of the bristles that will best work with their products, using their instructions for picking up and placing the ball of product. Why reinvent the wheel – especially if you are new and trying to master a new technique? It is always best to follow, as exactly as possible, each step that is recommended.


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