Natural Nails

Natural Nails: Back to Basics


Natural nail services are seeing a sizeable upswing in popularity in salons right now, and clever techs can capitalize on this new wave of “back-to-basics” clients with great manicuring fundamentals and some little extra touches.


Getting a smooth, glassy look while polishing takes a little practice, but it’s worth it. One trick is to minimize your actions to get complete coverage in three easy steps. It’s all about control. Hillary Fry of Solessence Spa Nails in Brookfiled, Wis., gives this advice on polish applications. Before you start, assemble all the products you will need.

Always use a base coat and top coat selected for your client’s nail type. Use the following stroke steps for base coat, color coat, and top coat to achieve salon perfection. This nail has already had two color coats applied. A third is being added for layered color.

1. Lay the brush just before the eponychium, and gently push up until it almost reaches, but does not touch, the skin.
2. Swing the brush to the left, in one stroke. Cover all edges on the sides and front without getting polish on the skin. The left side of the nail should be evenly polished.
3. Repeat the same action on the right in one motion.
4. Pull brush across the free edge to create a seal for a longer-lasting manicure.
5. A final swipe down the center of the nail is all that is needed to complete the color portion of the polish.  
Finalize with top coat. Wait two minutes, then finish with drying spray to condition and accelerate dry time.

Use balance-point positioning. Brace the hand that holds the client’s finger on the table, and hold the finger between your forefinger and thumb. Then use the pinkie of your polishing hand to anchor it to the three unused fingers on the holding hand. This lets you pivot and adjust your brush in a smooth and comfortable way. Note that the thumb and forefinger of the holding hand pinches the client’s finger to pull back the soft tissue from the nail plate. This makes the nail bed a little bigger and ensures complete polish coverage.


Next page: Nail Shape, Pricing, and Massage

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