Last week, I talked about the current industry debate regarding “pinching” the C-curve. To follow up, I’d like to offer a new term — molding the C-curve — and explain how best to mold it.
If you pinch your natural nail by itself at the sidewalls, you’ll get a certain amount of flex naturally that won’t cause any pain or damage. That’s the beauty of live skin, it flexes without breaking. But, of course, if you continue to apply pressure at an increasing rate, you eventually cause damage, with the level being directly proportionate to the amount of pressure you applied. And as I said before, each person is different and can withstand different amounts of pressure.
This is not to say that damage doesn’t happen. It does and I’ve seen it first hand. Many of you may know that one of my models also does ad work for manufacturers. Which is great and I’m not trying to say bad things about anyone in particular. But I removed her nails once after she modeled for an educational video and I found disturbing evidence of a lack of education on the part of a the manicurist.
My model’s nails had been pinched so hard that every one of her nails showed a white bruise that followed the free edge of her nail bed. She had the nails on for more than a week so I can just imagine what they looked like when it happened. Fortunately, my model is a tough cookie and didn’t complain or suffer any long term damage from the event.
But it leads to the question of education or the lack thereof, because somewhere along the line someone taught this manicurist it was OK to do this kind of severe pinching (and it was for an educational video no less — something that will be sold to countless other manicurists and teaching them that this is the correct way).
The model was out of work for six weeks until the nails healed — and that’s just uncalled for. So here is the technique the way it should be performed. I recommend you do this on your own finger a few times before you put it into practice on a client/model.
Acrylic takes three to five minutes to set completely. Once the nail has set enough to mold (one or two minutes), use the top surface of your thumb nails to gently apply pressure to both sides of the nail at the point where the white meets the pink. Do this until you see the center of the nail bed turn a dark pink color from the moon to the free edge. The outside part of the nail (where you are applying pressure), should turn a whitish color. And that is as far as you can go without causing a bruise. Ask your client/model how it feels? It should be fine; but if it is causing her any discomfort, then release the pressure a bit until it is comfortable for her. The model is the end-all here; you should not be causing any discomfort at all. And because acrylic has a tendency to flatten, you must hold that acrylic nail until it has completely set. Remember the exercise from last week?
So in conclusion, I believe that molding C-curves is a good thing as long as it’s done right. It takes a bit of finesse, but once you learn to do it correctly, your nail enhancements will take on a beauty and strength that is unmatched.