1. No filing of the nail plate is required before application ... although meticulous nail prep is!
2. Most gel polishes are self leveling so no filing is required after application. The result is a more natural looking nail.
3. Gel polishes provide superior strength to traditional polish.
4. Gel polishes provide more "give" than normal gels and will not crack like nail glue fixes.
5. Gel polishes will last with polish changes if non-acetone remover is used or if contact with acetone is brief. However, if you prefer to change polish everyday, this technique may not be for you.
1. There may be a small learning curve and definitely necessary "equipment", but nothing too extravagant and definitely well worth it.
2. If you prefer to change polish everyday, this technique may not be for you since the extra exposure to removers will affect product longevity.
So what do we need and what do we do?
1. A gel polish. For this example I am showing CND's Shellac. I think it is by far the most well know out there at the moment. However, CND was not the first to come out with this fantastic type of product, but their marketing was extraordinary and that's why it's much more well known to non-nail fanatics as well. All you really need is either a base or a top or both. Actually, a light color like Negligee will also work. Using the base however will make the mani last. Other companies have just a base. I have a soak of gel polish "base" by a company called Nouveau Nail and its just as fabulous. Many gel polishes come in a bottle with a brush (like normal polish) while others come in a pot and you will have to provide the brush. I prefer the former because it's much more intuitive to work with, but in general applying these products is as easy as painting your nails ... period.
2. UV light. This is a very crapparoo lamp that I have had since 2003, but hey it works. I got this lamp free with a gel system I bought back in the day. It was a pretty nice gel and currently collecting dust in the closet. In general, most companies want you to use a specific lamp made especially for their soak off gel because it has the correct wattage and light intensity to cure their product properly in x amount of minutes, but ya know what, no thanks. They are expensive and I will keep in mind that their product may not work 100% without it. The main concern is that the product may not cure properly. As an example, CND's specific light for Shellac has a higher wattage and light intensity and as you can see from the picture I finagled my old light with tin foil for more intense reflection and I tried to decrease the surface area the light had to travel. Ewww, I know .... it looks ....
3. 99% isopropyl alcohol. 70% (rubbing alcohol) will not work as well to remove the inhibition layer at the very end of this process, so find the good stuff.
5. 100% Acetone
Stick to 100% acetone, other additives might inhibit proper adhesion of the gel polish.
6. A nail to be fixed. First a little explanation. When my husband saw this pic he said "ewww, whats wrong with your nail." First, I almost cried, then wanted to punch him in the gut. Alas, karma stepped in and a millisecond after that statement he dropped the remote on his foot. Ha ha!. Okay, but really there is nothing wrong with my nail per say. My nail has always been somewhat see through at the side there (on both pointers), but as such it's a little weak there. If you look carefully (click on the pic) you will see there is actually a small tear. Now the fixing this nail needs is almost non-existent, but I really wanted to share this tutorial.
Here is Part II of the Nail Fix Series: Shellac Nail Prep and Application
Would you like to see these posts in VIDEO?! Click here.