What should you do when a client wants to get a toe enhancement but there’s no nail plate to work with?
An artificial enhancement will not permanently stay on so I prefer to make a prosthetic nail the client can apply with nail resin/glue for special occasions. To make the prosthetic nail, I use a natural colored acrylic on a paper form. (Prosthetic nails can be made with gel or colored gel as well). First, measure the client’s toe. To do this, I take a form, fold it vertically, and use the grid lines to measure. Second, apply the form to a bottle so the prosthetic has a slight contour like that of a natural nail bed. Then apply the acrylic (or gel) in the shape of the toenail, and let it cure. Finally, file, shape, and buff the prosthetic, and polish if desired.
I have a client that I make four or five nails for in different colors, so she has some style options. I measure her nail plate; then I make a sample that I fit to her. I keep this template for future use. — MaeLing Parish is co-owner of Nail Sensation in Columbus, Ohio.