As a longtime fan of Sandy Borges — her work, her personality, and her nails — it made my day to meet her at the airport in Seattle on our way to the Northwest Nail Tech Retreat on Vashon Island. Sandy is an educator with Hand & Nail Harmony, so while I had her to myself it seemed like a good time to answer some of your questions about PolyGel. I love to get product-related troubleshooting tips from educators so that nail professionals can do a bit of self-diagnosis until they have the chance to get to a class or to add to the information from classes they’ve already taken.
For you PolyGel users, here are Sandy’s top five troubleshooting tips:
1. Do NOT overuse Slip Solution. One sign you are using too much is consistent heat spikes (exothermic reaction). Too much in the brush floods the nail and limits adhesion. Also, Slip Solution can actually cause cracking in poor-quality tips.
2. You will use half the PolyGel you think you need when squeezing it out of the tube. When you eyeball PolyGel before slicing it off, it’s easy for your eyes to overcompensate. If you get too much, cut it off the nail tip or form and place the excess on the next nail.
3. Make sure you build a proper apex for strength. Pressing too heavily on the sides can thin out the stress area, which can lead to cracking.
4. For good adhesion, you need to work with PolyGel using the pressure you are used to having with liquid and powder, versus the soft glide used with most hard gels.
5. When using the reverse French application, make sure to build the pink wall high enough for the white to go snug up against it. Not having them equal will distort the smile line and in some cases alter the arch location.