Too wet? Ratio Query..

I have been doing nails for four years, and I use creative nail products. I have trouble with lifting, and after reading I have learned that I am probably using my product too wet! Although I also have some clients who "chip" the corners of their nails off too! Any idea what I'm doing? Misty 04/05

Hi Misty!

Improper mix ratio will definitely effect adhesion. In cases where working too wet is the issue, you have an excess of liquid and not enough powder. Once the liquid dissipates (24 to 48 hours), there was never any powder there to begin with so lifting is sure to follow. Working too dry will also effect adhesion. In this case, you have too much powder and not enough liquid creating a rigid enhancement. And since it's the liquid that makes the bond, not enough liquid means you're not going to achieve adhesion.

No matter what CND Liquid and Powder combination you're using, the mix ratio is always 1 1/2 parts liquid to 1 part powder and should be recalibrated with each season. To check your mix ratio, place (do not press) a pink bead on a non-absorbent surface (like the back of a form). Wait about 10 seconds and look at it from a side view. The bead should not have melted down more than half and should be "domed" with no liquid ring around it. If the bead goes flat, you're working too wet (this is the most common). If the bead holds its shape and does not dome, you're working too dry. Use this bead test each season to keep yourself within the recommended mix ratio guidelines. Working within the proper mix ratio will ensure ultimate performance from your Liquids and Powders.

Once you've achieved the correct mix ratio, it is also recommended you use a "press and guide" application technique as opposed to a 'pat and wipe' technique. Pressing and guiding is more similar to how polish is applied. None of us pat and wipe polish onto the nail. However, most of us were taught to pat-pat-pat the product, wipe the brush on the table towel, then pat-pat-pat and so on. Each time you wipe your brush on the table towel, you remove liquid from the brush. This liquid is needed to complete product placement. Let's say you have the correct mix ratio and use a pat and wipe method. Upon initial bead placement in the center of the nail, your mix ratio is correct. The more you wipe your brush on the table towel, the drier the bead becomes. By the time you've worked the bead to the outer perimeters of the nail, the bead is now dry and more rigid......exactly where you don't want a rigid enhancement. Also remember, as the bead becomes drier, the liquid needed for adhesion is not there as well. This could be the cause of chipping corners.

So the two things to check are 1) you're mix ratio and 2) your application technique. We cover both of these topics during the Creative Beginnings class and The Two Day Enhancement Master Class. Check with your local Creative Nail Design distributor for an upcoming education schedule.

Hope this helps!
Nikki Birch
Education Ambassador
Creative Nail Design


Misty, my best advice is to watch the ball. If the ball moves on the nail bed it is a sign that it is too wet. You have to put the ball where you want it, not where it wants to go. Each time you pick a ball up look at it on your brush before you place it on the nail. We all get into a hurry and forget to look. If it is too shiny and dripping, then too wet.

Also, are you wiping your side walls with your finger nail or a tool? Sign that it is running. Also, if the ratio is correct, you can actually push that ball into the nail bed. The ball will stop moving when you lift your brush up.

And you can always go back to the basics. Pick up balls over and over till ya get your groove back. We all go thru it one time or the other.
Good Luck.
Diana Bonn, Indiana


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