When I started out in this business, I spent years trying out different product lines, looking for the magic product that would solve all my problems.
Naturally, at some point I had to suck it up and accept the truth: that the product wasn’t the culprit behind those problems to begin with. There was no “perfect” product that was never going to lift, was never going to yellow, was never going to crack, was never going to show fill lines. These are things that get solved with education and experience.
So I worked hard on getting that education and developing techniques that overcame the lifting and the fill lines. I learned a lot about the million different variables that cause yellowing and cracking and did all I could to overcome those too.
And I still firmly believe that once you have developed your technical skills and learned about product chemistry and all those variables and how they can interact to cause problems, you will be able to work with any product and build a safe, fabulous enhancement.
But I’m still looking for that perfect product.
Now that I’m better able to differentiate between the problems that stem from the client and problems that stem from me, and have worked with a number of different products, I definitely know what I want in a product. And I know those things are possible because I’ve worked with products that offer some of those features — but not a single one that incorporates all of my dream features.
When it comes to acrylic, I want it to stay where I put it till I work it with the brush. No “self-leveling.” I think “self-leveling” is a marketing buzz word that companies use to make “runny” seem like a good thing. I want superior adhesion to the natural nail. I want flexibility in the final cure that allows a thinner enhancement to still have excellent strength. And I want COLORS to choose from — not colors like colored acrylic in strong primaries and secondaries — but a wide palette of natural tones for creating perfect pink-and-whites. Specifically, I want pinker pinks and coverage pinks that don’t look like doll plastic.
When it comes to gels, I want a one-step product that comes in two different viscosities, one thinner for fills, one thicker for sculpting. Not so thick it doesn’t flow — that stuff just sticks to the brush. But it needs to be thick enough that I can sculpt it onto a form and get the client’s hand under the light before it runs down the form. And COLORS. Again with the colors.
Yes. The perfect product exists — but not in the color spectrum I need. Yes, the perfect color spectrum exists, but not with the adhesion and flexibility I need.
Yes. I know I’m going to have to develop my own product line. I don’t have time for that.