Q&A

How do you do a backfill without using a drill?

Q.

Can you do a proper backfill without an electric file?

A.

The only way I know of to do a backfill without a drill is to thin down the acrylic nearly to the natural nail and then reapply the white free edge and the pink nail bed as if it were a new set. This job will be significantly easier if the existing acrylic is not too thick to start with. -- Mindy Borrego

Since permanent French nails will never go out of style, the labor-intensive backfill will continue to be part of the service menu. it is a challenge to keep nails that have been filled several times thin. The drill is the best tool for this job when used correctly. Rather than sticking to hand filing, take a class on backfilling with a drill and be sure to charge extra for the backfill service. -- Paula Gilmore

Our manager in training has taught me to use a tip blender. Buff the shine off the acrylic nail first, and then apply a tip blender to two or three nails at a time. This will break down the acrylic into a softer surface and makes the job a lot faster. Be careful not to let the tip blender saturate the client's cuticle. This would defeat your goal of a tight seal around the cuticle. When you are doing your finishing work, don't forget the underside of the nail. Then go back with a brush-on glue to seal any edges that might have been loosened with the tip blender. -- Athena Elliott

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Encyclopedia

An ingredient used to increase the opacity or “coverage” of nail enamel; often used as a white pigment.
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