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I am just starting out in my first salon. I really like the gel polishes. The other nail tech has been at the salon for 16 yrs and she is very patient with me. She loves Gelac and has had me practice on a few people and I really don't care for it. It's hard to handle and I'd rather use Gelish or Mani-Q although I haven't actually used these products, they seem more even coming out of the bottle, more like nail polish. Don't know if you can understand this or not. My question is,for someone just starting out, and not wanting to wait til OPI comes out with gel, what are the best to start with? Shellac would be ok too. Thanks!
When I first started out I used Shellac. I then tried Gelish and prefer that. I do find that I can mix and match shellac and gelish with the base and top coats.
Thanks for letting me know about being able to mix/match base and top coats. I think I'll start with Gelish and see how that works out. We only have about 5 colors in the salon so I'll go shopping soon to see what other colors they have.

Guest

I LOVE Shellac. Greatest thing to come out in the nail industry. Easy to apply and easy to soak off.

There is a difference between gel polishes. Some are strictly gel, which means the gel will keep moisture trapped on to the nail and will weaken the nail, just like wearing an enhancement. Shellac, and a few others, are a combination of gel and polish components. This allows the moisture to evaporate off the nail, leaving the nail in the same condition is started with. IMO this is a big difference and should be considered when deciding which line you want. HTH!!

I do have one question though. How can you say you prefer something if you haven't tried them?? Just wondering, as that didn't make sense to me.

Oh, and welcome to the board!! :wink:
I have Shellac on my nails that my nail tech uses on me. The reason I said I prefer Gelish is that it looks more like nail polish. Shellac looks about the same. Didn't mean to seem like I prefer any one over the other. I have no idea how they work on nails. I have to start somewhere right? The owner of the salon said I need more practice on polishing and and finishing before they actually let me work on paying clients. So trying to get friends to come in to practice on. Some clients have agreed to help out, free of charge of course. That hurt my feelings when she said that tho. I understand I've just been out of school since June and it didn't really teach any polish techniques or gel for that matter. I tried not to take it personally but it still hurt.
Sweetie I went to the same school you did and was told the same exact thing. I could sculpt a gel nail perfectly but couldn't polish to save my life. So, in my down time, 8 hrs a day, I polished on my nail trainer. I used up about all of the polish from my student kit and about a gallon of remover. Its seems strange that polishing would be something to work on, but I've even read on here that salon owners have had their established techs come in for in house polish practice days. What salon are you working? I work in CH and am in desperate need of a pedi and would love to come see you Big Grin

Guest

reesenails :
> I have Shellac on my nails that my nail tech uses on me. The reason I said
> I prefer Gelish is that it looks more like nail polish. Shellac looks about
> the same. Didn't mean to seem like I prefer any one over the other. I have
> no idea how they work on nails. I have to start somewhere right? The owner
> of the salon said I need more practice on polishing and and finishing before
> they actually let me work on paying clients. So trying to get friends to come
> in to practice on. Some clients have agreed to help out, free of charge of
> course. That hurt my feelings when she said that tho. I understand I've just
> been out of school since June and it didn't really teach any polish techniques
> or gel for that matter. I tried not to take it personally but it still hurt.


It's ok, not to worry. I was just asking. I already gave you some information and to add to that Gelish is a "gel" that can be applied like polish. Shellac is combination of gel and polish. Now you can make a somewhat informed decision when deciding which you will offer to your clients.

I got marked off on my polish technique in my exam, but it was because I don't do only three strokes. IMO you have to have a lot polish on the nail to only do three strokes and I don't like using that much polish. The owner may just think that since you aren't doing the way she does you need more practice. Schools don't teach us everything we need to know to go right out and make tons of money. Just know that you aren't the only one, do lots of practice and it will pay off in the long run.
Hi foxydiva! I remember meeting you - don't know if you remember thatSmile It was one of the baby board days. I'm glad everyone seems to understand where I am coming from. I am going to get my little fingers out and practice, practice, practice!! I am working at Mane Productions in Lincoln. Would love it if you would come out for a pediSmile
I learn alot on these boards, just like I didn't know that Gelish was a 'gel' and that Shellac was a hybrid. I will work on both and see what works for me. I just know that Gelac isn't what I am comfortable with. If I do Shellac, can I mix base/top coats or should I stay with the whole line?
idonls :
> >
> There is a difference between gel polishes. Some are strictly gel, which means
> the gel will keep moisture trapped on to the nail and will weaken the nail,
> just like wearing an enhancement. Shellac, and a few others, are a combination
> of gel and polish components. This allows the moisture to evaporate off the
> nail, leaving the nail in the same condition is started with. IMO this is
> a big difference and should be considered when deciding which line you want.
> HTH!!

I am confused as to where this information comes from... I use mani-Q and Eco as well as acrylics and hard gels, and there is no indication of moisture being trapped on the nail and my clients nails are in the same (or better) condition as when they started wearing thes products... if that were the case (trapped moisture) people wearing these products would be experiencing greenies from the bacteria that would thrive on this trapped moisture. It's great that you love Shellac, but this idea of trapped moisture is misleading IMO.

Guest

Not referring to that type of trapped moisture. This is moisture from their body. After wearing these "gels" for an extended period of time their nails will become weak just like when wearing artificial nails. This information came from Doug Schoon when I asked why nails weaken from wearing artificial nails and not from wearing regular polish.
Reese, yes i totally remember meeting you...Our salon tried gelac, shellac, axxium and gelish. Gelac was the worse, but I did continue to use it for practice to get my technique down. Shellac was ok, but I didnt have the best luck with staying, had a lot of wrinkling, pooling and other issues I could not alleviate no matter how many tips and tricks I tried from the fingernailfixer and others.

I thought it was just me but others in my salon w YEARS more experience were having the same issue. The only one of the 3 that worked for me has been gelish. My client complaints with gelish are almost nil and while they are now coming back every 3-4 weeks instead of 2, they ARE coming back. I think you just have to try out what system works best for you.

I have a stylist in the salon that is hard on her nails. We started w the shellac base/top over gelish and that worked ok, but geliish foundation, color and top was the best combo for her. I have even been able to convert some acrylic and hard gel wearers to gelish using their structure gel.

ABS out in roseville carries the full gelish line even the new colors and they are very helpful, just be warned she will try to push axxium a bit as they are an OPI education partner. But its a nice, nails only supply shop, very helpful and informative, clean and will order anything you need and not pass the shipping cost on to you.

Guest

Foxy, if you are having issues with Shellac wrinkling and pooling it's because you are using too much of it. It takes very little to apply to the nail. That could also be a good reason why it didn't stay on. The thinner the better with Shellac. Even though you said you are using something else I wanted to clarify on here so that others will know that these issues can be fixed by not using very much of the Shellac. I barely have any on the tip of my brush. THIN is better with Shellac.
Hey now, seems like all 3 of us graduated in June and I had the same "curse": I could sculpt gels and acrylics but for some Reason I had to re-learn polishing according to my Trainer at my new Job I started this Week. But luckily, I picked up the new Technique quickly. I was also re-taught Gels a different way. Don't feel bad if someone is telling you to practice a bit. I thought I could write the Book on Gels until my Trainer looked at me, grabbed a cuticle pusher and nipper, and went back over the nail plate I had just prepped and found a crapload of cuticle left over. It's so amazing how just a little help here and there, can really open your eyes..so welcome! You'll be fine. I can do gel polish now the RIGHT way, and I feel really empowered and am actually gonna start taking private clients soon on the side for that.
Ok, here is my two cents on moisture and nail coating Regardless of what you put on a nail they expand and contract due to water... when a nail is exposed to water the nail expands and then slowly dehydrates it self .. this happens naturally...

When you talk about bacteria... that is when moisture gets between the product.. acrylic or hard gel and the natural nai...this occurs when there is lifting... moisture gets in and gets trapped for a better word.

Soak off UV Gel Polish products do not ruin a clients nail... if your clients nails are not in great shape after removing a Soak off UV Gel Polish product, check your prep, your removal process and make sure the client understands the importance of cuticle oil.

I'd like to have Doug revisit this issue and clarify it for everyone. Acrylic or gels of any type, any enhancement for that matter, should not weaken the nails. Its my understanding that the nails will "initally" appear weaker when these products are removed, and will regain their natural moisture level within a day or so. Is that what you were talking about?

Guest

We are not talking about the same thing. Ruined/damaged nails are not the same as weakened nails. One gel polish I used awhile back weakened my clients strong, healthy nails. With Shellac on those same clients there isn't that issue. I haven't done anything different except use a different product. And with the explanation I got from Doug that explains why. So from my experience and an explanation from an expert that is allocated I need.

sobeit

I personally don't think the nails are left in the same condition as the starting nail. There is a dryness factor a lot of techs see on clients from soaking shellac and other brands off. I also found shellac to not be that easy to remove, its just different. Polish Pro is a mix of several chemicals and soaks off the easiest but compared to the condition of soaking off shellac, eco, and gelish, so far all the nails have that temporary soft feeling to them. For me. I dont know about anyone else as I am not there.
Great tips everyone!! Please keep them comingSmile I tried Gelish yesterday and made a total mess of it. The other nail tech wasn't sure how to use it either, she prefers Gelac. I probably need to get on YouTube and find a video showing how to apply the gels. Should gelish be applied very thin, instead of just like polish? I am trying to get the polish technique down. Not comfortable yet but still practicing at it! I will see if my daughter wants to try Shellac tomorrow. Is that also applied pretty thin? Need to go buy more Shellac colors, a little at a time since they are pretty expensive compared to other gels.

Guest

sobeit :
> I personally don't think the nails are left in the same condition as the starting
> nail. There is a dryness factor a lot of techs see on clients from soaking
> shellac and other brands off. I also found shellac to not be that easy to remove,
> its just different. Polish Pro is a mix of several chemicals and soaks off
> the easiest but compared to the condition of soaking off shellac, eco, and
> gelish, so far all the nails have that temporary soft feeling to them. For
> me. I dont know about anyone else as I am not there.


Peggy, how is Shellac different soaking off for you? Between 5-10 mins. for me and it's off of my clients. Have no issues with Shellac soaking off. The temporary soft feeling you will get anytime a person's hands are in anything wet. This goes away after the nails have had time to dry.
My golden rule? Do thin coats. If you put gels on too thickly, they won't cure right. It is totally acceptable to do 3 thin coats, nothing says you can't.
Something else that I like to do personally because I prefer "potted" SOG's versus "bottled" SOG's...I sometimes will prime a smaller gel brush with the bottled SOG and use it to apply the SOG, it gives me much more control over where the gel is going on the nail plate. Try a flat #4 gel brush for that, or a #4 oval. No bigger until you get more comfortable with technique, smaller will enable you to have more control over your surface area, and always have a clean gel brush for nail fold cleanup. Smile

Good luck!
I've seen the gel pots and when I was in school, a nail tech came and showed us the technique using them. I never really thought much about them since then because it just seems so easy to use the bottled ones. Using the gel pots might be something to look into. Thanks for the idea!
Potted SOG has a tendency to be a little thicker, and let's be honest, it "looks" harder to "do" the client, it seems like too many clients think gel polishes are just like polish. : )

Plus some of the most durable systems out there come in pots (axxium (for now) and Eco).

: )
idonls :
> Foxy, if you are having issues with Shellac wrinkling and pooling it's because
> you are using too much of it. It takes very little to apply to the nail.
> That could also be a good reason why it didn't stay on. The thinner the better
> with Shellac. Even though you said you are using something else I wanted to
> clarify on here so that others will know that these issues can be fixed by
> not using very much of the Shellac. I barely have any on the tip of my brush.
> THIN is better with Shellac.

Ms Idonls, I tried every trick w shellac, ultra thin, super dry brush, shaking it until my arm darn near fell off, plugging my lamp into the wall, new bulbs, new lamps, new colors, different brushes, curettes, sealing edges, stalking beauty tech and holly's blog.. but Shellac just didnt like me or my clients. I really wanted to like it but for some reason, our relationship was not meant to be. Sad

It could be that I started cheating on Shellac with Gelish and Gelish was a much kinder mistress for me. But I thank you again for your helpful hints.. You lovelies here have made things so much easier for me and other here. Ya'll are my sHEROES!!!!

Guest

foxydiva :
>
> Ms Idonls, I tried every trick w shellac, ultra thin, super dry brush, shaking
> it until my arm darn near fell off, plugging my lamp into the wall, new bulbs,
> new lamps, new colors, different brushes, curettes, sealing edges, stalking
> beauty tech and holly's blog.. but Shellac just didnt like me or my clients.
> I really wanted to like it but for some reason, our relationship was not meant
> to be. Sad
>
> It could be that I started cheating on Shellac with Gelish and Gelish was a
> much kinder mistress for me. But I thank you again for your helpful hints..
> You lovelies here have made things so much easier for me and other here. Ya'll
> are my sHEROES!!!!



Not sure what to tell you. I've been using it since it came out and have no issues with it. Need to use what works for you!!
Reese! Congratulations on your first salon job!

Just starting out actually gives you an advantage! Many technicians who are proficient at hard or soak off gels have a more difficult time applying UV Nail Color.

I have tried several of the polish bottle brands and really prefer eco UV Soak Off Nail Color because it is in a pot not a bottle. There are a few assorted reasons:
I believe I get more control over the application, getting the base ultra thin and the color layers as thin as they should be.
The perception to the client "I can do this myself" is almost completely removed.

>Shellac was ok, but I didnt have the best luck with staying, had a lot of wrinkling, pooling and other issues I could not alleviate no matter how many tips and tricks I tried from the fingernailfixer and others.

Pooling is a clear indication of too much base AND maybe too much color.

>Should gelish be applied very thin, instead of just like polish?

yes, yes & yes! All the UVGP products should be applied very thin.

Too thick a base layer, when cured, will leave too much dispersion/sticky layer. I know several technicians who have started to apply the base of the bottle brands with a gel brush rather than the polish brushes. Some use eco Soak Off UV Nail Color base with other brands of UVGP color.

Using a regular nylon gel brush, get a little dab of the base on the brush and tap all 5 nails in the center with that one dab of base gel. "Scrub" the base coat onto the entire nail plate, then pull it down to the free edge, almost as if you were wiping it off. It will feel dry, and like your fighting the brush from sticking to the nail plate. Once cured, it is shiny, but it is not to much product, causing color to float on top of the dispersion layer and no dry wiping should be needed. This is plenty of base coat, trust me. Then you can apply your color coats as needed.

>Potted SOG has a tendency to be a little thicker, and let's be honest, it "looks" harder to "do" the client, it seems like too many clients think gel polishes are just like polish. : )

I agree here Erin, but remember there are Soak Off's and UVGP that come in pots! eco Soak Off UV Nail Color is a true gel with pigments and will be thick in the pot just as traditional hard and soak off gels. Because the application is very thin, it is no thicker than traditional nail polish when the application is complete!

To completely understand the differences between the type of gel products on the market, read this article:
Gel Types - Descriptions
Are you confused about the different types of gels available? A guide to the different type of professional gels

While you are at the site, fill out the form for a free sample of eco Soak Off UV Nail Color - the link is below in my signature. This will give you an opportunity to see for yourself how our pot UVGP's work! With 50 colors including glitters, I personally prefer the brand over the other because of the fact it is in pots not polish bottle, as well as the application method. I have gone more than 6 weeks with no lifting, peeling or chipping with eco on my own nails.
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