We are back with another part of our series on Product Lifting. Time to look into forms, tips, and adhesives.
Incorrect size and fit of artificial nail tips
It is important to choose the right size of tip for the nail of your client. If in doubt, use a flexible nail tip that is straight, and apply it only to the free edge of the nail.
If the tip is too big, you will create a flat C curve; if it’s too small, you will create a ‘staircase’ effect at the lateral nail fold and the free edge.
I’m going to keep this simple – Look for perfection training, all respectable brands have educators that do this.
All tip adhesives are made from or contain ethyl cyanoacrylate or cyano-acrylates.
- Cyanoacrylates are a family of strong, fast-acting adhesives with industrial, medical, and household uses. They are derived from ethyl cyanoacrylate and related esters. The cyanoacrylate group in the monomer rapidly polymerizes in the presence of water to form long, strong chains. They have some minor toxicity.
- Ethyl cyanoacrylates are also used in forensics for lifting fingerprints when traditional fingerprint powder cannot be used, for instance on very delicate items. This happens in an enclosed chamber that is heated to allow the ethyl cyanoacrylate to turn into fumes and so show the hidden fingerprint.
- Additionally, off-the-shelf consumer glues are unsuitable for medical applications, as they are not medical grade. This means that the manufacturer has not evaluated or optimized their solvent and cyanoacrylate formulations to reduce toxicity and prevent foreign body reactions.
Basically, they are all super glues, and all contain allergens – be very careful not to get them on the skin.
Ethyl cyanoacrylate and cyanoacrylates have a limited shelf life. Solvents are added to the mix to help the adhesive solidify quickly. When you open a bottle of nail tip adhesive the solvents are evaporating, and the quality of the adhesive will reduce very quickly. If you don’t use it often, buy smaller bottles of 5ml and that will reduce wastage and frustration.
Nail tip adhesive has a limited shelf life. The older it gets, the less likely it is to form a sufficient bond to hold the nail tip in place. This affects its ‘stickiness’, and your nail tip extension will not last.
It is also important to remember that nail adhesives have a limited lifespan even when they are new. This is the reason why you should apply nail tips only to the free edge of the nail, 2 mm = 2 weeks of growth for the average natural nail.
The structure of your artificial nail product is what will hold your extension enhancement in place.
After applying tips, do not remove the excess dust with alcohol or nail cleanser, as this will accelerate the breakdown of the adhesive and/or weaken the plastic nail tip. It is better just to brush it off.
If you do not prepare the natural nail correctly, you will always experience pocket lifting that will in turn become the perfect breeding ground for resident or transient pathogens such as pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Make sure your client understands that with nail tip extensions they will always need to wear gloves when doing any tasks involving other solvents and/or water. This is why nail tips are not ideal for clients working in bars or other service industries.
Incorrect form placement
Form placement is something you need to practice and perfect. Once you have mastered it, you will never use a nail tip again.
Forms have wings and lines. These are to ensure a perfect fit. Most brands have their own forms, all a little different in shape but all with the same goal in mind. Perfect form fitting creates a stable enhancement that fits the nail and the nail unit of your client. You can then place the artificial nail or extension with perfect alignment and balance.
Problems start when you start with a flat nail and do not adjust your form to match. The form needs to sit perfectly under the free edge of the natural nail, and you should create the C-Curve with the nail product. (See Picture E) If you leave a gap (because you are trying to create the C-Curve with your form) and the nail product leaks through the gap, even water from something simple like your client taking a shower will cause the product to lift in a matter of hours. (See picture D)
If you start with a curved nail and the form does not properly fit, the product will not cure as well as it should. Apply the product in thinner layers, and cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
With practice you will achieve this – see picture E
Form application takes practice. Ask your brand supplier about perfection training and form placement. When you get it right, you will have no problems with product lifting at the nail folds or the free edge.
Read the rest of the series:
Product Lifting – Part 1
Product Lifting – Part 2
Product Lifting – Part 3