Q&A

Why does the polish bubble on natural nails?

Q.

On some of my natural nail clients my polish tends to bubble. I clean the nail plate with acetone very well before I polish. Then I use base coat, two coats of polish, and top coat. I usually have them hold their fingers in front of a fan between coats, and I spray a rapid dryer on after I finish. Any ideas?

A.

It sounds like you’re following through well on your application, but with polish there are a couple things you have to look out for so you don’t get bubbling. Pay special attention to how you apply each coat. If one of your layers is uneven, it will dry unevenly. This can cause you to think a coat is completely dry when it is not, and then you apply the next coat too soon.

As the underneath wet part continues to dry and evaporate, the gases will bubble up into the coat on top of them and cause bubbles.

Even if a coat is put on evenly, it is often too thick, which takes longer to dry. And if a layer is still wet when the next coat is put on, it will bubble. This happens a lot when using rapid dryers. The final top coat is put on and then rapid dried, but the layers underneath are still wet, so the evaporation causes the bubbles.

Bubbles can also happen if a polish bottle is shaken too much before application — rolling the bottle between your hands is better.

Also, you don’t want to spend a lot of time applying each coat. Fussing with them too much can make them thick or uneven. You want to make each coat a smooth and quick application. — Lois Kuntz is the owner of Trendsetters Salon in Lemoore, Calif.

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An  acid belonging to the alpha hydroxy group of acids (AHA), mainly found in citric fruits, sour milk, and sugar cane; used to slough or exfolia...
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