Service Recipes

Nails in the Real World: Product Tips & Twists

This column will talk about services and ticks that occur in the “real world” of nail services

Although manufacturers print the intended uses of their products on the label, many nail technicians have come up with additional uses that can benefit us all. This column will talk about services and ticks that occur in the “real world” of nail services, where everything doesn’t go exactly like the service shown on the video. We have to be quick on our feet to make a client happy. Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up in my salon and from other nail technicians. Keep in mind, though, that the manufacturers do not necessarily endorse these uses. Still, you can rest assured that I have used them myself for years with wonderful results.

Creative Nail Design’s Nail Fresh: The 1-oz, size of this cleanser/dehydrant makes a great brush cleaner when you have a hardened lump of acrylic on the brush and need to use the brush right now. (Newbies, students, or easily distracted nail techs will appreciate this tip.) First, put one of those black metal clamps on the handle of the brush so the tip doesn’t rest on the bottom of the bottle. Next, soak the brush a couple of minutes, then lay it on a paper towel and-scrape the lump with the end of a wooden manicure stick. Be careful not to apply so much pressure that the hairs of the brush break off. If necessary, stick it back in the Nail Fresh, but watch it closely. Once it is clean, use a half a dappen dish of your liquid monomer to restore the brush back to its original condition and prevent contamination of your nail application. To re-prime the brush, dip it in the monomer then press the brush gently between the folds of your table towel. Repeat this until all monomer in the dish is gone. Nail Fresh also makes a great tip blender when brushed across the seam of the tip and then filed. This cuts down on your filing time. Scrub Fresh: Although great as a prepping agent, it is also a great way to remove polish from your plastic surfaces such as your acrylic polish tacks, the top of your UV-lamps, or drying stations, with little or no damage. (Be careful not to rub too long or too hard).

French Manicure Colors: We are all looking for that “just right” polish color for our Frenches. Many times I have a color that I wish was just a little more transparent. Try this. Take a color that is “almost it” and pour half of it into an empty bottle, then add whatever you need to make it perfect. For example, add whatever you need to make it perfect. For example, add some clear polish to a color to make it a little more transparent, add a pearlescent shade if you want some shimmer, or add a little fuchsia for a pinker look. Go wild!

Natural Nail Fix: In New York they call them “glue manicures” because they repair wraps this way, but we are using it another way. After the manicure and right before the buffing, take a thin nail glue and coat the natural nail from the stress area to the tip, making sure to encase the free edge. (Any thin nail glue will do, but brush-ons such as Star Nail’s or ibd’s are great.) Apply two to three coast thinly. If you apply the glue in thin coats, it dries almost instantly and takes only a few minutes to complete.

If you are in a humid environment or are having trouble with the glue drying you should have a “spray on” or “brush on” glue activator handy. (I have used activators from Star Nail or Isabel Cristina.) Use your 3-way buffer to smooth the surface and you have instantly and temporarily reinforced the natural nail.

This is a great add-on service to a natural nail manicure. You can charge an additional $5-$8 and call it a Nail Reinforcement. The glue comes off when you soak the nails in acetone or over time as you remove the polish. If it chips, just buff it smooth. Natural-nail clients love this because there is no commitment and no damage at all to the natural nail.

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