Maggie Rants [and Raves]

More Trials of Mastering Gel-Polish

by Maggie Franklin | November 21, 2014
photo courtesy of IBD

photo courtesy of IBD

I’m tellin’ ya, I am about OVER this stuff. Yeah, yeah, revolutionizing the manicure and all that mumbo jumbo. Clients love it — till they don’t understand why they can’t just take it off with polish remover at home in 30 seconds…but that’s another story.

What is it now, you ask?

It has taken me far too long to figure out the secrets of gel-polish over acrylic. This is the sort of thing manufacturers could give a little more attention to in their instructions for use.

You really need to use the base coat. (Even with no-base-coat-necessary brands, a base helps.)

I spent weeks in nail school having it drummed into my head that every time you apply polish, you need to use a base coat. Base coat has a purpose. Base coats are specifically formulated for that purpose. They help the color coat adhere to the surface of the nail.

Then, down the line, along comes the wisdom of the sages who pointed out that polish sticks to acrylic. Done deal. ’Nuff said. What’s the point of wasting time and product on an unnecessary step by applying base coat over an acrylic nail when it’s not really making the color stick any better?

So I spent some time unlearning my dependency on base coats when it came to acrylic.

Fast forward a couple decades and now I’ve got 200 bottles of gel-polishes and all the rules are different again!

I had not been using the gel-polish base coats when applying gel polish over acrylic. Aside from years of not using base coats over enhancements, it made sense — It’s gel! Gel sticks to acrylic. Right?

I have been working through a long list of variables for the last few years to figure out just why it is that some clients come back with their gel-polish perfect over their acrylics, while others come back with the gel just plain peeling in sheets off of the acrylic.

It’s gotta be them, right? It’s gotta be something they do when they aren’t in front of me.

But I set about eliminating variables and finally just gave up and tried using the gel base coat.

Voila! (Notice that does not say “viola” — totally different words, folks.)

Would you look at that? Perfect polish two, three, even four weeks later on everyone. Go figure.

I might be getting the hang of this.

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