I’m a newbie and I’m confused. When applying small wet beads of acrylic in the cuticle area, wouldn’t this make your ratio off and cause lifting because of overly wet beads? Should I use the same ratio for all three beads?
The ratio you are hearing about is the liquid-to-powder ratio. This description is used to help you determine the consistency of the bead. Yes, having too wet of a nail bed would lead to lifting. Although, if you use the same ratio in the cuticle area that you use on the arch, it would be too thick and possibly cause the acrylic to touch the cuticle. On top of this, you would have to file the acrylic too much to achieve a smooth blend with the natural nail. This could cause lifting, not to mention filing of the cuticle. Ideally, this area should only have to be smoothed over. The bead that goes closest to the cuticle area should not be runny. It should be a little wetter than the beads on the arch area (which needs to be thicker for strength). This will enable the bead to flatten almost evenly to the nail without it touching the cuticle, thus keeping the filing in that area to a minimum.
I highly suggest you take a product sponsored class that teaches the “three-ball method.” And play with liquid-to-powder ratios (on a tip or a sheet of aluminum foil). See how dry and big a bead you can pick up and put down and still flatten out. You should watch a bead on the tip of your brush to see the liquid consume the powder. Try controlling the ratio to make the thickness you want — don’t even worry about what area it goes to. Try different size and shape brushes. A trick to try: Count how long the brush is in the liquid and then in the powder. Then try counting to different numbers and seeing what you get. If you find the count you like for the consistency you want, remember that number. — Angie Gross is a nail tech at Soge Hair and Body Care in Atlanta