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Technique

Gel Nails Prevent Musical Mishap

by Judy Lessin | February 22, 2016

When nail tech Vickie Meador received a call from a guitar-player named Ryan who wanted gel reinforcements on his strumming hand, she was, of course, anxious to help. She just wasn’t sure exactly how. “He explained that his nails were weak and would break while he played the guitar,” says Meador, owner of European Body Wraps in Olive Branch, Miss. “Since I had never done this type of service on a guitar player I did some research. I spent hours lost in YouTube land! I discovered that the shape of a fingernail can change the tone of the string. At this point, I became a little nervous. I was afraid I would ruin his sound if I didn’t get the shape right.”

Since Meador was planning to use Masterworks Gel, she reached out to Masterworks founder Amy Becker to get a few tips. “I wanted to make sure Master Fill would be the correct product to use. I also asked if I could buff the nails to a matte finish without compromising the gel,” she says. “The answer was yes on both questions.”

Vickie Meador (right) turned to Amy Becker for advice on her guitarist client’s nails. The two are seen here at a class Becker offered at the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies.

Vickie Meador (right) turned to Amy Becker for advice on her guitarist client’s nails. The two are seen here at a class Becker offered at the Nail Tech Event of the Smokies.

When Ryan came for his appointment, he brought his guitar along so Meador could see exactly how his fingers picked the strings. Ultimately they opted for “ramp” nails on two fingers, using hard gels. The ramp nails, she explains, can come to a higher point on the right or left side depending on how a guitarist plays. “Ryan wanted his thumb and pinkie a little longer than sports length. We left the other nails on that hand right at sports length,” she notes. On his other hand, she just manicured the nails and buffed them to a shine.

More than satisfied with the outcome, Meador’s musical client is booking appointments every three weeks. She charges $20 to $25 for the service, depending on whether she has to add length to a nail.

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