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Full Version: My "Big City" Shellac Pedicure Experience
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I don't often do much pedicure benchmarking - going into other salons/spas to have a pedicure to check out other's techniques and protocols as a regular paying client - because I have to feel confident that the salon or spa is clean enough with their pedicure procedures and their nail department isn't just an afterthought. But I did have a pedicure this weekend in the big city at a very, very will known and respected spa. I was very interested to experience how the "high end" is handling these types of gel services.

The total price tag for my Shellac pedicure service was (including gratuity) $150.00. Wow. (This pedicure was my XMAS present to myself.) And the learning experience was priceless in many ways, but I will only discuss one topic in this post - soaking before a gel nail service.

The technician was good, the staff was very kind, but my pedicure bubbled very badly on my big toe. I did not notice it until I was putting my socks and shoes on to leave and everyone was cleaned up to go home as I was the last person in the spa. I certainly did not want to say anything and make the technician stay another half hour to fix it - I can do that myself at home. But any other client could not do this.

I wondered how this pedicure was going to work out as the technician had me soaking for 20 minutes and had slathered cuticle oil all over my nails to work on them. She also did a callus treatment on my feet as well. All this was done before the Shellac application, with my feet soaking the entire time.

We never let our clients soak before any gel polish service. We always do a dry prep of the nails and cuticle area. I am wondering how many other technicians are doing some kind of soak before you begin your gel polish services on the feet - and if you have had any issues doing so?? It would be nice to have cleaner, fresher feet to work on, but we usually just use an antibacterial spray, towel dry and get busy with the dry prep. We do the soak, callus reduction, scrub and massage after the gel polish is completed. This also evidently gives us time to see if there are going to be any issues with the polish application. It didn't seem that the polish bubbled right away after curing the top coat. It seemed to take a few minutes - after the parafin wax application. Hmmm.
Wow...thats very very expensive !!!
I usually do a very quick 'mini' before my gel/shellac toes service. That includes a quick soak, cuticles and a scrub....but literally it only takes like 10 mins....I dont want them in the water that long.
And, I can say that Ive never had any problems at all. I have one girl that goes like 3 months before she comes back to me...and they are all on still..but long as all getout!!! lol Smile

But you have to do what is comfortable with you. If you dont think a soak is good...dont do it.
We all have our own ways of doing things, and as long as the finished product is good..I dont see why it matters what one does or doesnt do...

That is what makes us unique...and stand out...which you definitely want to do !!!

Was that in NYC? i see you are from PA...
I do my full pedi (soak, cuticles, callus) minus the lotion and oils. i then clean the nails really well with alcohol and then apply shellac. after that I do the lotion and oils. Never had any issues and my clients go 2-3 months between services.
I let the client soak for about five minutes before I take both feet out, file nails, do cuticle work (including cuticle eliminator), and then very thoroughly wipe down nails with alcohol before applying Shellac. After that's done, I let them place their feet back in befroe I do all the exfoliation and massage and oil Smile. No problems here!
I NEVER soak first. I spray the feet with disinfectant spray, perform the shellac/gel polish service at my manicure station, and then go to the pedicure station and finish with the soak/callus/scrub/massage treatments.
Thanks for your reply Tracy. If you would like to know more about my spa experience, just email me privately...

Jan
no i never soak before nails or toe product application, either gel or acrylic.. you cant and have it do right.. as you found out.. i would suggest to that gal maybe in an email that for what you paid for that service she might want to rethink her procedure. she may not know.
Quote:I certainly did not want to say anything and make the technician stay another half hour to fix it - I can do that myself at home. But any other client could not do this.
for what you paid for that service, whether you can do it at home or not, she should have fixed it. The fact that she actually sent you on your way with a bubbly toe on a $150 pedicure is crazy! If I charged someone that amount for a pedicure and shellac toes, I'm including drinks, snacks, a live band(joke) and perfect feet! lol
I know you are asking for input from techs who soak prior to the gel polish application, but I don't, and this is exactly why I don't. I do a dry prep, then polish, then soak the feet. It works for me this way and I don't need to be worrying if the polish is going to peel, or bubble as in your case, because the nails weren't completely dry. If the soak prior is working for most people then that's great - I just know for me, I would constantly be wondering if something happened.

And as propeditech posted - she did not mention this to the spa, or follow up with them to let them know what happened - and how many clients would do exactly the same thing - just fade away - never to be heard from again, leaving you wondering? No thanks - I will continue to do mine dry. Kudos to all of you who can do it with no problems though Smile
I do a full pedi minus oils and lotions, then do the gel polish application. I really like to have a clean, cuticle-free surface to work with. Never had any problems with bubbling or lifting or adhesion issues. But yeah, for $150 you bet your butt that tech would be staying to fix that pedi!
hi laura.. i have a few clients that want to start doing gel color and i am curious houw you do your pedi with gel color?? also when all done with the gel color app.. do you soak or just rinse product off?? thanks!!!
I do a 5 minute soak. I like working on feet.. in fact I love doing pedicures but I do get grossed out by smelly feet. There is no way I would work on feet without a quick soak.
Right now I use Footlogix soak but I like Gehwol blue soak (it comes in a form of powder) much better. It's very deodorising.
My Shellac and polish last no problem.

PS. I don't use cuticle oil till the end of the service. I only use cuticle softener before detailing the cuticles.
(03-18-2012, 04:44 PM)wldhrtd1 Wrote: [ -> ]hi laura.. i have a few clients that want to start doing gel color and i am curious houw you do your pedi with gel color?? also when all done with the gel color app.. do you soak or just rinse product off?? thanks!!!

Here are my steps Smile

Sanitize feet
Remove existing polish
Detail cuticles with efile / sciver bit
File/cut/shape nails
Follow manufacturer's instructions of whatever brand of gel polish I am using.
Wipe inhibition layer when finished final cure
Immerse feet into footbath (I use footlogix products)
Continue on with the pedicure.

You could also do the rest of the pedi dry if you wished.
Here is my question, why would we do a pedicure that lasts 2-3 months. That seems only advantageous to clients not to our pocketbook plus the very long nails which only takes us more time to get back into shape
I am having trouble finding a "place" to perform a gel polish service on the toes without a pedicure. I have a spa pedi chair, but even if I don't need it for the pedicure aspect, and only would like to have the client sit in it because it puts them in the right position for me to do their toes, I haven't figured out how to position the UV light because it's not in the right location if it's in the empty pedi tub, and it won't sit flat anywhere else.
Suggestions??
(03-19-2012, 06:21 PM)scratchmyback Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-18-2012, 04:44 PM)wldhrtd1 Wrote: [ -> ]hi laura.. i have a few clients that want to start doing gel color and i am curious houw you do your pedi with gel color?? also when all done with the gel color app.. do you soak or just rinse product off?? thanks!!!

Here are my steps Smile

Sanitize feet
Remove existing polish
Detail cuticles with efile / sciver bit
File/cut/shape nails
Follow manufacturer's instructions of whatever brand of gel polish I am using.
Wipe inhibition layer when finished final cure
Immerse feet into footbath (I use footlogix products)
Continue on with the pedicure.

You could also do the rest of the pedi dry if you wished.

I do what Laura does, though more and more, I am going to an entire dry pedicure.
What are your stepa for a completely dry pedicure? I feel like my clients would feel jipped if they didn't get a good soak. And thanks for all the info ladies Smile
Personally I like to do the pedicure before the gel polish and dehydrate before polish. However I do the polish first, on my clients who have flimsy toenails. If the toenails bends, with pressure, in any way, that qualifies. Those nails tend to soak up the moisture. If they have thick, rock hard toenails, soaking before tends to have no effect. It's a case by case scenario for me. Of course this isn't a scientific opinion Wink
I dont think Ive ever had anyone have problems with soaking first, then shellac. The sheer thought of feet that havent soaked grosses me out completly.
A $150 pedicure should have been fixed. I would have been embarrassed to let a client walk out paying that much and not looking perfect.