The Coaching Chronicles

Foil Nails Are a Hit for the Holidays

by NAILS Magazine | October 29, 2012 | Bookmark +

Here’s the first technique in our “Practice Now, Shine Later” series. This tutorial presents step-by-step instructions on how to create Foil Nails. I have done this with Shellac gel-polish by CND. I think the same techniques could work, but I have not tested them with Gelish, OPI Gel Color, or any other popular lines. There are other transfer foils available, however the Martha Stewart brand is the only kind I have tried. These are the products I have used and tested together to get the perfect foil nail.


To wow your clients with these holiday nails you will need:


> CND Shellac Base Coat


> CND Shellac Top Coat


> CND Shellac color of your choice


> CND UV lamp


> CND Scrubfresh


> HandsDown pad


> Alcohol (to remove tacky residue)


> Martha Stewart Transfer Foil Sheets


> Scissors


1. Have your client begin the service by washing her hands with warm water and soap, scrubbing underneath the nails and at the cuticle with a nail brush. Dry hands. Be sure to wash your hands too.


2. Start with a basic manicure. File and shape the nails.


3. Perform cuticle work. Push back cuticles, nip if necessary. I don’t use a cuticle remover/treatment.


4. Lightly buff the nails with a fine buffer block. This is just to make the surface a nice canvas for polishing.


5. Cleanse the nails with ScrubFresh and a HandsDown pad. The product is called ScrubFresh not WipeFresh, so be sure to scrub the nail surface making it free of oils and contaminants.


6. Apply CND Shellac Base Coat and cure for 10 seconds.


7. Repeat on the other hand.


8. Apply the first layer of CND Shellac gel-polish in the color of your choice and cure for the full two minutes.


9. Repeat on other hand.


10. Apply a second layer of CND Shellac gel-polish color and cure for the full two minutes.


11. Do NOT remove the tacky residue; this is what is going to help the foil to stick.


12. Cut a piece of foil from the foil sheet. I generally cut a 1” x 2” inch piece. You can use one, two, or three colors. I love the look and dimension that three colors gives!


13. Make sure the color is facing up and the silver side is the side that touches the nail. This will deposit the color onto the nail. Lightly press/touch a small area of the nail with the foil piece. Only touch the nail where you want to deposit the foil color. The first foil color will be your dominant color and the color you will see most.


14. Place the second colored foil on small areas of the nail to deposit the color.


15. Repeat with the third color if desired and touch the foil to the rest of the exposed areas.


16. Apply CND Shellac Top Coat and cure for the full two minutes.


17. Scrub nails with a HandsDown pad and alcohol to remove the tacky residue.


18.The nails will look mosaic and show as much of the Shellac color as you allow. The Foil Nails soak off the same way the CND Shellac does without adding additional time.


The Martha Stewart Transfer Foils sheets come in packs of three colors, with two sheets of each color. I have purchased them at Michaels craft stores. Be sure to check your Sunday paper for their weekly 40%-off coupon. You can also print them off online. I have purchased the foil packs for $9.99 per pack.


> The Martha Stewart Mediterranean Foil pack comes with lime green, turquoise, and orange.


> The Martha Stewart Metallic Foil pack comes with gold, silver, and copper.


> The Martha Stewart Tropical Foil pack comes with magenta, light pink, and red.


Some clients will want you to foil their ring fingers only and some may want you do all of their fingers. This also looks awesome on toes.  Be sure to charge extra for this service and your time. This really only adds minutes to your service. At my salon, Shellac gel-polish is an additional $15 charge with a manicure. If we do Foil Nails it’s $20. You will get faster at this process with repetition. So “practice now and shine later” with Foil Nails — one more way to help you stand out above the rest and become the BEST!


— Jill

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