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Full Version: Returning to Nails and need product recommendations
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Hi all! I'm thinking about becoming an active nail tech in the near future. Here's a little background. I will turn 60 years old in November. At the age of 50 I went to school, got my nail license and went to work in a retirement community where I had a small but faithful following of clients ages 65 - 103. Due to illness I stopped 3 years ago but now I feel like I want to return to the business. At that time I only provided services on natural nails, manicures and pedicures. If I return I would follow the same plan and work only on natural nails. (No acrylic or gels)

I used OPI products and polishes. Thinking I wouldn't need my supplies and most equipment, I donated to a locate Nail Salon. So now I would have to get all new products. This is where you can help. I would like to know what products you use and would recommend to me. I'm interested in the gel nail polish but know nothing, so information on that would be extremely helpful. I like the idea that the gel doesn't chip and would last until their next visit. Also if you could tell me what brand/and colors are popular. I probably gave away over 250 bottles of polish which I acquired over time, but out of all the variety, my clients still chose the same dozen. So hopefully, if I follow what is working for you then I can start out with a good variety that will be used.

I would really appreciate your taking time and providing me with feedback.

Julia Lyles
Good Luck to you!
There's so many choices & so many opinions & options!
I started asking companies for free samples or Trial kit sizes-
I like Masterworks by Amy Becker hard gel, Sheba nails, Light Elegance & gelish.
But there's so many GREAT ONES Young Nails, Akzents, Nailite, TEN.....
Then you get so many trial sizes & its crazy !
Good Luck!
Hi Julia, when I came back from hiatus I was reading things about gel polish and seeing words like miraculous and revolutionary. I thought those are pretty strong words to describe a product so I had to try it for myself. I came from a background where I specialized in hard gels in the past. So the whole soak off thing seemed a little too good to be true to me.
Long story short, I think they are truly amazing and a very nice bridge between natural nails and full on hard gel enhancements.
A thought on natural nails, consider using Vinylux. It's used just like normal polish without any soaking off. You will get better wear then normal polish. Be sure to follow manufacture directions for best results. I have tried it myself and my clients like it too.
I too was skeptical about soak off gel polishes - but I am a total convert and have converted almost all of my acrylic clients over to it.

Since cost of supplies is a consideration for you - I would recommend trying out the IBD Just Gel Polish. I use it with the gelish base and top coat however - because I didn't have good luck with the IBD brand base and top. Many of the local distributors (I use Ed Wyse) sell it for about 8.95 a bottle and sales go on for 7ish all the time.

Other people here might be able to recommend a light that's inexpensive for you to get... but if you have the funds at all buy the LED light... it will shorten the cure times for you and your older clientele might appreciate the quicker (at least by a few minutes) service.

I also recommend the Vinylux polish by CND. It's not that expensive at 4.95 a bottle, and you only need to buy top coat. No base coat. I find it stays on at least a week or more (some of my older clients get two weeks). I find that it's dry in about 7 min.... so again, older clients who aren't comfortable sitting for prolonger periods of time will appreciate it.

Good Luck... and you are more than welcome to email me anytime if you want to trouble shoot your soak off gel application.

I'm a fan of Young Nails gels (both hard and soft) and Star Nails eco soak off, and Cuccio's gel colours.

As for what colours are popular, I recently had this problem and what I did was emailed a copy to a colour card for the gels I was looking to purchase, and asked probably 3-4 friends/family members all of different ages to tell me at first glance what they would pick Smile I find this helps. Alot of them picked the same colours so I knew those would be a great idea
I think clarebecca is spot on with how she chose her colours! 10 or 12 cols are plenty to start with, you can always add new ones when and if you need to.
Gel polish is definitely the way to go for you, Gelish is the brand I prefer as it lasts 21 days or more on most people.Simple to apply and done in about 30 mins. There are lots of good gel polishes available, so you have a great choice.
One thing I would have to say,lots of people mix and match lamps and gel polishes, some successfully,some have lots of issues and tend to blame application/product/client etc-do the smart thing and get the lamp light that your chosen gel polish manufacturer recommends.
You can't afford to mess around with a new clientele , you can't go wrong with a good gel polish.