Sculpting a perfect C-curve takes patience and practice and is one of the most important steps in creating a natural looking set of artificial nails.

According to Patti Blanusa, a nail technician at Spoiled Rotten in Aptos, Calif., selecting a quality form is the first step in creating a flawless C-curve. “If my clients has a nice natural curve, I’ll shorten the free edge of the nail and use an aluminum form, which securely fits under the free edge. I prefer aluminum instead of appear forms because paper trends to give and bend and it’s hard to get the right fit.” Says Blanusa.

Before applying the form, Blanusa places a wooden dowel inside the form and rolls the sides of the form around the dowel to create a saddle shape. Then, holding the client’s finger, she holds the form at 45° and slides it up and underneath the free edge. While still holding the form at a 45° angle, she pinches the side together until the C-curve conforms to the shape of the natural nail. While holding the back of the form in place with two fingers, she squeezes one dart on each side and following it through to the bottom. “This secures the form at the free edge and on the sides of the fingers,” she explains.

To create a perfect C-curve for her clients, Victoria Sozio, owner of the Upper Cut in Washington Township, N.J., favors paper forms, saying, “That’s what I’ve always used, and I’m comfortable working with them. For me, paper form are a lot easier to reposition and manipulate than aluminum forms.”

Before Sozio applies a form, she cuts the back of it in order to open the forms for easier positioning. Then, holding the sides of the form between her index fingers and thumbs, she rolls the form, curving it a little before placing it under the free edge. Says Sozio, “I initially place a little further down than what I need, at a 45° angle under the free edge. If it’s place too high, you can’t get the correct position. Then, when you begin to place the sides of the form down on the finger itself, it brings the free edge of the form up into place.” The form should fit snugly against the free edge, says Sozio.

Next she squeezes the front of the form together at the bottom. Then, she places the end of her sculpting brush into the form to create a tunnel. “If you squeeze the form completely together and don’t create a tunnel, then the C-curve will form into a V-shape,” warns Sozio. When the products is just about dry, she removes the form, and using the back of each thumbnail, she presses both sides of the nail just below the stress area to reinforce the C-curve.

“The form should be placed exactly the same way on each finger regardless of size,” says Sozio. “If the form is too high or too low, it will alter the side view of the nail as well as the C-curve.” After placing the form on the nail, Nguyen pinches both sides of the form together at the free edge. “The barrel of the form should give the C-curve a 45° angle,” she says. “Once you remove the form and start shaping the nail, make sure you go with the C-curve and don’t file down too much on one side or the other.”

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