Take a Tip From Amy Gustafson: Pre-lighting Gels

by NLS Staff | October 19, 2017
Amy Gustafson

Amy Gustafson

Nail tech, Elite Design educator, and NTNA competitor Amy Gustafson has developed a pre-lighting technique to prevent heat spikes. “You can slowly insert the hand into the UV lamp starting about 6 inches away,” she explains. “This allows you to control the heat and helps slow the reaction down.”

Gels vary in how long they take to cure and the amount of heat they produce, and different lamps affect cure times too, so there isn’t a set amount of time to pre-light for. “I always do a slow pre-light when applying the initial base layer,” says Gustafson. “After that first layer, there tends to be less heat, so you can continue to pre-light, but you’ll find the movement towards the lamp is very quick (better to be safe than sorry.)”

After applying the first layer of gel, Gustafson gradually moves the nails toward the light. If the client experiences any warm or tightening sensations, she holds the position and waits until the feeling passes. Once the client’s hand is in the lamp, the cure time is started. “Every client is different so this method is great because you are in control,” says Gustafson. “Take your time walking your client through it for the first time — it makes it easier for them to guide their hand in on their own in the future.” For clients with more sensitive nail beds, Gustafson has another, quicker method used mostly for applying a top coat. She removes the bottom of the lamp and raises it slightly above the hand, moving downward and holding her place if the client feels any sensation.

“I’ve heard so many horror stories of clients scared to get their nails done because of the heat they’ve felt. It’s 100% avoidable, and it’s our job as professionals to ensure our clients are comfortable,” says Gustafson.

Read more about
Nail tech Melba Mosley demonstrates reflexology techniques on colleague Apryl Moore, while...


Foot Forward Summit 2019

by Staff

NAILS' second Foot Forward Summit was held in Atlanta August 11-13. Nail techs gathered for speaker presentations, advanced education, and networking.

Nails by Tracey Lee


Up Your Acrylic Skills: Mix Ratio

by Tracey Lee

Even though mix ratio is fundamental to learning about liquid-and-powder acrylic application, it’s still one of the biggest challenges for nail professionals in the salon. The performance and longevity of our product is hugely affected by an incorrect mix ratio.

Find out why over 400,000 subscribers love our newsletters

What's The Difference? Clarifying Commonly Confused Nail Terms


What's The Difference? Clarifying Commonly Confused Nail Terms

by Holly Schippers

You probably know the essential differences between the products and nails terms you use in the salon every day — like soft gel versus hard or LED light versus UV. But could you provide a clear explanation to a curious client? And what about those fuzzy terms that can mean different things to different people? Here's a terminology "cheat sheet" we hope will help keep us all on the same page.


In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

Load More