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Full Version: Need help! Cuccio gel soak-off impossible!
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We are having major issues with soaking off Cuccio gel polish. Even with buffing the top coat and soaking in both pure acetone and even the Cuccio remover (which is just acetone and safflower oil) we are still having to do major scraping to get the product off. Does anyone have any tips to share for a more efficient soak-off? e-file is not an option.
Plumgirl, are you talking about Veneer? If so, did you use FUZE? Not every client needs FUZE.. The FUZE really does it job on many people and refuses to let go! Be a little more aggressive on breaking the seal.. wrap their hands in a towel to keep warmth in after you wrap all the fingers.. avoid peeking ..
Why is an e-file not an option?
Not that it isn't an option, but as far as I am concerned it should be a last resort.. gel polish, all brands not just this one, are thinner than a hard gel.. it will come off very quick, you should be very proficient at the use of an efile before going that route . Damage to the natural nail can happen in a heartbeat..
We will try a few clients without Fuse and see how it goes. We had a client yesterday that we spent 45 minutes removing veneer - that is just not good service nor is it good for my bottom line!

Gelpro - efile is not an option because we are are a natural nails only salon and do not use efiles for any of our services.
here i was thinking it's only me that had this problem. If they're coming in for mani and pedi, i usually wrap their finger, do the entire pedi then take off the wraps and sometimes I still have to file! it's ridiculous but clients rather its stays than lift
I file off, which is super quick, so bummer that it's not an option! One of the reason that I started early on using a file-off technique is because when you do the service so the product stays on even for four weeks, it's then really tough to soak off!
for removal "insurance" try using a very thin coat of real nail polish base coat. Something like CND Sticky or a strengthening base coat (no ridge filling as they are too thick). Let dry completely and proceed with gel base coat.

Upon removal, when the acetone hits the real nail polish on the bottom of the gel layers, the rest lifts off easily.

While this is not a official protocol for SOG application. The method has been recommended by Young Nails (Mani Q) and Harmony (Gelish) as an alternative for hard to remove clients.
Wow I haven't heard that before- interesting!
Well, now I don't feel so dumb.... I don't do gel polish but I've had clients come in wanting them removed, me thinking, anyone can soak them off, right?
a little acetone, a little foil.....
manicurist I work with says she often uses a heavy file to scratch the surface before soaking (she does do gel polish), and says sometimes people come in and she has to e-file them off....

I hate to do that to a "natural" nail....

Wendy, it really depends on the brand they are wearing.. and sometimes there is something underneath like hard or soak off gel or acrylic.. I know you hate to efile it off, but I might do one to see whats under if the client is not sure.. CND Shellac doesnt need to have the seal broken (if my brain is working this AM) most others do to some degree and again, depending on whats under or what base/primer was used is how much you need to break the seal for a cotton/foil soak to work efficiently. When I used Fuze with the Cuccio Veneer on me, I needed to efile it off, it was crazy.. without it, it soaked off in a short time after breaking the seal..

I just had a cuccio gel color on and had to file it off. I soaked and to my suprise it didnt budge.
I was having a hard time also. Now I just use CND Shellac base coat and have no issues. Still have to break the seal. Also, with problem clients, I use the Veneer base with Fuse just on the free edge. I use the Gelish LED 18g lamp. I only cure base for 10 seconds. Color 20 seconds for light, 30 seconds for dark. It comes off a lot easier now.....
I M working in greek salon. They removing polish gel with warm acetone. I hate, but work.
I was e-filing most all the gel layers off and finished gently with a hand-file. This does not damage the nail if you are a professional and know how to do this. But all that said - it takes FOREVER. I do it for the clients that don't mind and only want the filing. Now this said . . . after much research on my end, it does depend on several of the steps and the products. It is best to use pure acetone as this will make the time shorter. FYI: non-acetone is STILL an acetone. Non-acetones will have your client sitting longer. Use a small cotton ball or pad, not a big one as the acetone needs to be concentrated on nail bed vs getting soaked up into big cotton ball. Heavier pigmented gel polishes are going to take longer, again that is why I e-file as much as I can, then soak off. There is still the issue with the gel colors that bond with the base layers whether you are putting a base, then a hard gel (strength) and then if we, the nail techs, have done a good job in nail prep - it is taking much longer than most of the information given to us. I am extremely disappointed in all the false advertising going on. We buy the products, assure the clients and then this 'soaking-off' forever issue going on. I have most of my clients that I am helping heal their nails and the issue is 'peeling, etc.' - so I NEED gels to stay on, but then the issue of getting them changed in a decent amount of time. I haven't tried every brand yet, but I have noticed that when a new client comes in from another salon . . . . their Shellac or OPI always soaks off so easily. Then after my service, which they are so impressed with as they can even go longer than 2 weeks (if they don't mind the grow-out look) - does not come off as easy. So I ask . . . what is the difference? So I visited a discount salon and I watched how they performed a gel mani - they did the wet mani first! Big NO-NO, but as I think . . . I wonder . . . maybe if they dehydrate the nail well before gel polish applicaton . . . it could be that the gel polish stays on because gels do need moisture in the nail to bond, not just protein, etc. Just a thought in that may be a reason for the easy removal. So think about this . . . when a nail bed is extremely dry, any gel is going to be sucked in hard 'just like a sponge-effect' as the gels are made to 'bond' with one another and they are a liquid form, so it makes sense they would soak in more so than a regular nail polish. Hence, maybe, we should customize each client in how much we dehydrate according to their nails. Or, I have been planning on trying the regular polish base as the first layer, then proceed with the gel base. i am just concerned that this regular polish base is not going to adhere well to some of my client's nails . . . and the gel base layer won't adhere well to polish base layer . . . then service could turn out with peeling or chipping off . . . guess I will try. There is a suggestion out there to avoid the gel base, but this is not a good idea as the gel colors will peel or chip off for sure - you have to have a gel base layer. I even tried a hard gel as a base layer, being told by a nail-brand distributor that this would not file off and I could e-file the color off and the hard gel would still be there. WRONG. I tried this on many different clients and the gel colors always fuse into even the hard gels (and I tried several hard gels). I am very tired of 'using' my clients. They are wonderful and they know I will not stop until I am an expert in all this and I do what is best for them. But I don't want it to look like I am making excuses. Before I finish here, bake to the soaking off . . . I have tried the foils, I am using the clips now and I put clients hands then in baggies so maybe there isn't much evaporation and I have used heating pad over the top before, but not with the plastic bags in where solvents can't get air to evaporate. I think warming mitts might be a good idea also. But see, look at all we are having to do, just to try and get service time down and be as healthy as we can. So far, I feel Shellac is the easiest, but Shellac must have a super strong solvent in it as client's that use only Shellac . . . their peeling, brittle nails do not get much healthier. I have all my clients use a superior healing oil and when used each night - it works awesome. I even have my clients use the oil, put on a good lotion, then have them wear cotton gloves - another good step for those with very dry nails - even for those that do. If anyone has any feedback on using the first base layer with a regular base polish and has tried it many times and can give us results - be great and I will do the same. I also find that OPI colors are notorious for retracting from cured gel base layer and having to flash cure each finger is a pain. I love Akzentz gel polishes in the pots, but they are thick, pigment is high, but colors are gorgeous on nails - but . . . . SO time-consuming in e-filing, soaking and I still have to finish off with hand-file. And I do put thin, thin layers on . . . so that is not the problem. I do not like their soak-off base gels whether in the pots or the bottle - they all pit, retract or something no matter what I try. We need to somehow stand together and get these companies to better-check their products and stop false advertising. One last tip . . . I do add an extra quick, flash cure as the first coat in that I put a very thin layer on the nail tip, then follow with 2 color coats - this stops color from retracting. I am now just trying Vitagel Strength and Recovery as base coats - will post more when I see how they do - will they absorb too much of the color coats and be the same problem as they are very thick gels, even though you apply thin - they are meant to heal and so far all the ads PROMISE they don't chip or peel off . . . we will see. Julie
Forgot . . . one more thing that might work =need to try. I was going to put on a soak off top coat right before the color coats to stop the color from blending with the gel base coat and/or added hard gel. But again, this might put a weak link in all the bonding and the color may peel or chip off as it is obviously not a product meant for middle gel layering/bonding . . . I can try. Julie
Julienails can you edit your post and add some paragraphs? I'm sorry but my eyes can't read it all together like that and since you put so much effort into typing all of that out I'd really like to read it. Thanks Smile
I am glad I'm not the only person having issues with removal- my salon owner thinks I should do gel polish in 30 minutes- Lol! 20 minutes to remove - then 10 minutes to prep & fight with OPI shrinking?
why dont you try to use shellac base coat and top that it doesn't need to file it before soaking?
Julie, Its funny, why you say they're "discount" salon then got yourself out there to see their work? Oh please, I do not see much different when you guys compare the cheap salon and yours when you guys have same nail license, do use same products, or just because they do different steps?

Plumgirl, you may try this method to see if it help anything. It takes me only 10 to 15 mins to remove gel, cut, & shape the nails. I buy a few sand bags, put them in the towel warmer machine or microwave them to make them warm.
Each client, i use 2 different bowls, the 1st bowl i put a warm sand bag on it, then put the 2nd bowl with acetone (just 1 or 2 inch enough cover the finger nails) over the 1st bowl, then have client soak ONE hand. I use a clean towel to cover the bowl because of the smell. I start to buff the other hand with nail file, then switch. I rebuff again one more time for both hands (or 3 times as needed). But i ask client want to trim down and shape she like.
So the 3rd time, i get one hand out, i push the gel off little bit w/ cuticle pusher when gel still wet. After that i start to cut then have hand back to the bowl, do same thing to other hand . you keep going to another step, push first then reshape the nails.
Well, have both hands back in the bowl. I get my other stuff out like base ,top, color, light... When things are ready. I take out the hand which i started at beginning, push the gel off. I for sure that the warm sand bag helps alot to warm up acetone and speed melting time for gel polish. Because sometime i am out of the bag, it take me at least 30 mins to remove gel.