Whether you're using acrylics or gels to sculpt enhancements, you can save time on finish filing by applying the product accurately. These tips will help you use your brush to save time.

1. Pay attention to the angle of your brush

When you apply product, imagine what you want the finished product to look like in your mind’s eye and angle the brush accordingly.

2. BUILD IN THE TAPER of the nail

We know that the nail should taper toward the extension edge in that front third of the enhancement. If the brush is laid back so that the hairs are parallel to that angle, then the product is placed with the taper built in and the bulk of the product going toward building the arch.

3. DON’T FLATTEN THE ARCH of the nail

Change the angle of the brush to reflect the change in the shape of the nail. The arch is where the strength comes from in an enhancement. Bringing the brush up to be parallel with the arch will keep you from flattening out the product toward one end or the other.


Bring the brush handle up and angle the bristles down to help get a nice angle down from the arch to the nail while remaining in control of the product to keep it from touching the proximal nail fold. Keeping the product off the skin will save you time on repairs in addition to keeping you from cutting the skin while finish filing, which would also slow down the service — not to mention irritate the client!

5. HUG THE SIDES of the nail

Make sure to tuck the brush into the sides when you work down from the arch to the sidewalls. As you can see in the two images, having the brush turn to hug the sides will help taper the product down toward the sidewall, which will improve the chances of a good seal. Holding the brush straight as you move the product to the side will cause the product to be bulky at the sides, which takes more time to file and increases the chance of hitting the skin with product or the file.

These tips were adapted from a longer piece by NAILS contributing editor Holly Schippers. Read Speed Up Your Services — Part 2: Application, Brush Use, and Finish Filing for more sculpting information. Learn how to speed up your natural nail services with Speed Up Your Services — Part 1: Work Habits, Prep, and Natural Nails.

You May Also Like:

7 Ways to Speed up Your Prep Time

5 Steps to Faster Polish and Gel-Polish Application

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