Clear tips have become a great canvas to express artistic creativity with acrylics and gels. Whether you use full- or half-well tips is entirely your preference. I personally prefer to use half-well clear tips. As with all tips, clear tips should, as a rule, be blended. There are times, however, when I don’t blend depending on the type of product or artwork I am creating over the tips. I may opt not to blend when time is a factor and I am creating encased artwork that will cover the seam area, or when a client prefers a thicker nail. I also don’t blend clear tips when I use gel.
When blending clear tips, you will want to start with a 100-grit abrasive and begin to evenly remove the bulk from the entire tip. Next, refine the entire surface with a 180-grit abrasive. Finally, with a 240-grit buffer, fine tune the entire tip, making sure the surface is thin, blended, and translucent. This should eliminate any ghost shadowing or scratches. You are now ready to proceed with your product application. If you are still seeing scratches after product application, next time you may want to continue to further refine the surface with an even higher grit. — Patricia Yankee Williams is the owner of Pattie’s Place in Baldwin, N.Y.