I love this little lesson!! It is such an eye opener when I sit with a student or nail tech struggling to get the structure, shape and apex they want.
I know you know what shape and structure a nail enhancement should be, (If you don’t then give my other blog posts a read as there will be something in there to help you out.) so the hot topic today is how to get the product where you want it and its all in the angle of your brush.
If you have been reading my blog recently you may have seen the mix ratio post and now have a better handle on your mix ratio (If you need a class, check out the Nails and Co Education pages for upskilling classes that come up)
The area’s that need help the most are zone 3 (cuticle area) and the apex, so this is where I’m going to give you my top tips.
- The angle of your brush at each zone
- Press out then tuck in
- Feel the product under your brush
- Press, Press, Press, Smooth
So to delve a little deeper into each of my top tips, I truly believe there are just 3 things that will ensure your nail enhancements look good and stay on..they are:
PREP | Mix Ratio | The Angle of your Brush
So, you can go ahead and read my blogs about Prepping nails and Mix Ratio by clicking the links above, so this is the last piece of the puzzle.
If you you have a clean, cuticle free and dehydrated nail plate, then you have the perfect base. Then the mix ratio of your L&P means you will get the perfect adhesion, so moving on to the shape and structure of the nail, you can drastically reduce the filing needed and ensure your coloured acrylic including your white smile line doesn’t lose colour as you file…
I was teaching an acrylic design class last week and one of the students asked why her red coloured acrylic tip was becoming transparent while she was filing it to shape at the side walls…the answer was she has overloaded the colour at the sides, obviously because she was learning a new technique, but none the less, she had got used to applying the clear acrylic then filing it to shape, however if you do this with coloured acrylics, even the most pigmented of acrylic colours will become less opaque as you file it thinner.
The trick to this is to apply the L&P / coloured powder only as thick as you need it paying attention to the angle of your brush to get the product where you need it.
- The angle of your brush to get the best results should be:
- Zone 1 – Angled level or handle slightly low
- Zone 2 – Handle of your brush at around 30degrees
- Zone 3 – Handle of your brush lifts to 45degrees or more! The tip of your brush then presses the cuticle area flush with the natural nail – hey presto less filing!
- As you apply your L&P, press the bead directly in the middle so you get an even distribution of product on the left and the right – now you have the same amount of product for both sides of the nail. For zone 1 especially, press the product out to one side with 1-2 presses then re-position your brush over the side of the product to tuck it back in forming the side of the enhancement.
- It is really important to ‘feel’ the product under your brush, then you can press firmer or ease off the pressure depending on your mix ratio, how warm the room is and how quickly you are working.
- At zone 2 and 3 i have a great system of ‘press, press, press, smooth. So you start with your bead of L&P at zone 3, leaving a couple of millimetres space so you don’t touch the soft tissue of the eponychium, then raise the handle of your brush to the minimum 45degrees so the flags of your brush can press the product nicely flush to the nail, then press the bead in the middle ensuring that even side to side distribution. Choosing which side to move first, press it to that side 3 times, then the 4th movement you smooth the product gently down to the last zone…go back to the middle and press, press, press to the other side then smooth down.
Remember to get a great mix ratio, or you will struggle to control the bead from the start, and ‘feel’ the bead under your brush so you can gauge the pressure that bead requires.
I have grabbed an old video i gave to my NVQ students to see if I can demonstrate this in practical terms for you…don’t judge the state of my nails…I was trialling a new product range at the time – I didn’t like it
Don’t forget I’m here if you have any questions,