How do you do a backfill without using a drill?

April 01, 1999

Can you do a proper backfill without an electric file?


The only way I know of to do a backfill without a drill is to thin down the acrylic nearly to the natural nail and then reapply the white free edge and the pink nail bed as if it were a new set. This job will be significantly easier if the existing acrylic is not too thick to start with. -- Mindy Borrego

Since permanent French nails will never go out of style, the labor-intensive backfill will continue to be part of the service menu. it is a challenge to keep nails that have been filled several times thin. The drill is the best tool for this job when used correctly. Rather than sticking to hand filing, take a class on backfilling with a drill and be sure to charge extra for the backfill service. -- Paula Gilmore

Our manager in training has taught me to use a tip blender. Buff the shine off the acrylic nail first, and then apply a tip blender to two or three nails at a time. This will break down the acrylic into a softer surface and makes the job a lot faster. Be careful not to let the tip blender saturate the client's cuticle. This would defeat your goal of a tight seal around the cuticle. When you are doing your finishing work, don't forget the underside of the nail. Then go back with a brush-on glue to seal any edges that might have been loosened with the tip blender. -- Athena Elliott

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How can I prevent lifting when my client's hands are constantly in water?

I have a client who is in the medical field so her hands are constantly in water. She has me keep the length of her acrylic nails short. No matter what I do, she always has at least one nail that comes off, and she always has lifting and gets water under the acrylic. I prep the nails correctly, I have a cuticle bit to clean the cuticle area, and I wipe the nail with alcohol, dehydrate the nail, and prime the nail. What should I do?

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