Just as one tip style doesn’t work on all clients, one tip application method does not work on all tips styles. Here are three application methods for three newer tips.

Having trouble applying various tip styles? It may be that you are using the same application method each style. Tip application depends on the design of the tip one may have a serrated overlap for minimal blending, another may have a built in smile line, while yet other may have a U-shape cutout in the well area to minimize filing. To give you an idea of varying tip applications, we spoke to three technicians about three different tip styles.

LaCinda Headings, a cosmetologist at The Strand in Hutchinson, Kan., and an educator for Creative Nail Design System, discusses the step-by-step application of white ti0ps, such as the Radical French tip, to create a French manicure tip and overlay.

Step 1. Prepare the nail for tip application. To create the perfect smile line, pre-tailor the contact area of the tip to the desired length prior to adhering it. Reduce the length of the contact area filing the tip at a 45-degree angle, using a circular motion, before applying it. This will create a perfect smile line, elongated the nail bed, and eliminate the need for blending. Next, fir the correct-size tip to the width of the nail plate from sidewall to sidewall. If the tip is too small, it will put pressure on the natural nail and may cause the artificial nail to lift or crack vertically. If the tip is too large, the sidewalls will touch the skin; oils in the skin may then cause the tip to lift.

Step 2. Apply adhesive to the contact area of the tip and along the free edge of the natural nail. Applying adhesive to both areas ensures that the free edge is encased in the stop point and won’t pull away from the tip. If you apply too much adhesive it will seep into the sidewalls and cuticle area which can cause lifting. If you don’t apply enough adhesive, you can get air pockets, which will weaken the nail.

Step 3. Hold tip in place until the adhesive is set. This can take from 410 seconds, depending on the adhesive.

Step 4. Trim the tip to the desired length using a tip slicer. If you use curve cuticle scissors or nail clippers, cut the excess off using at least two strokes. Using just one stroke can cause the edges of the tip to spread out and fracture the tip down the center.

Step 5. Shape the free edge of the nails using the file of your choice. (Some technicians prefer to use a non-padded file.) Hold the file perpendicular to the free edge. If you tilt the file underneath the free edge, you may ruin the built-in C-curve.

Step 6. Blend the tip with the natural nail using a medium-coarse file. File the entire contact area, not just the seam area. Keep the file flat on the nail; if you angle the file, you may create a ridge on the natural nail. Blend until the “ghost shadow” (the little bit of white you see where the tips is) disappear. Next, use a tip blender with a pointed brush to make the smile line crisp. Now you can prepare the nail for an overlay.

Trudy Dalton, regional education coordinator for IBD, tells how to apply the Shark Tooth tip, which has a serrated overlap.

Step 1. Prepare the nail for tip application by filing the natural nail in one direction with a 120/180 file.

Step 2. Apply adhesive sparingly to the overlap area of the tip. Because the tips is made with tenite acetate (a strong, durable plastic), it requires a slightly thicker adhesive. If you use an adhesive that’s too thin or apply too much, the tip may not adhere properly to the natural nail.

Step 3. Place the tip on the nail and hold it in place for about 10 seconds, depending on the adhesive you use. Because the tip has serrated overlap, blending is minimal. Use a 120/180-grit file to blend. At this point, you are basically using the file to remove the shine before doing the overlay.

Gayla Archuleta, co-owner of Nail Stuff-N-More in Sacramento, Calif., explains the application of tips with U-shaped cutouts in the well area, such as her company’s Presidential Tip.

Step 1. Prepare the nail for tip application by cleansing the client’s nails with a nail antiseptic. This seals the natural nail and protects it when blending tip.

Step 2. Properly size the nail tip from sidewall to sidewall. Use 240-grit file to lightly file the area where the tip will be placed. This helps the tip bond to the natural nail.

Step 3. Apply a small bead of resin on the free edge and around the outer edge of the nail where it will contact the tip to seal seam. If you don’t seal the outer edge, it can cause the natural nail to peel away as it grows out. (Archuleta recommends using resin because when it is mixed with the catalyst, a non-porous products is created)

Step 4. Because of the tip’s horse shoe shape, it’s applied differently than other tips. Instead of applying the tip to the nail, apply the client’s nail to the tip. Begin by holding the tip at a right angle to your client’s hand horizontally. Tip the client’s nail into the well area of the tip and hold it in place for three seconds. Do not press the tip flat onto the client’s nail because the nail tip will flatten out or flare up. Next, add a small bead of resin to both outer side of the well area to lock the natural nail into the well area. Don’t apply resin on top of the plastic because doing so will require more filing later.

Step 5. Spray the entire nail with the catalyst. The chemical reaction will seal the nail and make it a non-porous product.

Step 6. Cut the tip to the desired length and shape the nail using a 1-grit file.

Step 7. Next, blend the well area using a 100-grit file. There is 75% less filing because the well area has been removed. Now you can begin overlay.

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