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Sculpting with Gel
#1
I'm just learning to sculpt with gel and it's not curing properly in my LED lamp with the forms I currently use, which are OPI Free Forms. Does it matter that I'm using a translucent forms? I've seen other techs use the same forms they sculpt acrylic nails with and not have any problems, so I'm guessing I'm doing something wrong. Should I invest in clear forms?

I'm using ibd builder gel, which can be cured in a UV or LED lamp. After I sculpt the nail, I put the finger in the lamp to cure, but I don't let the wings touch the base of the lamp so the form won't flatten or lose its shape. Am I doing something wrong? Please help!

Chrissy
http://www.lovethosetoes.com
Bowie, MD
 Reply
#2
When using forms and gel, yes, to get a correct cure, you should be using clear forms.

Are you positive the gel you are using is made to be cured in LED?
Some people just assume that a gel will cure in both but it's not like that at all.
 Reply
#3
Thanks wooshka. I will check again, because maybe it can only be cured in a uv lamp. That would make sense as to why it didn't cure....

What brand of clear forms do you use?

Chrissy
http://www.lovethosetoes.com
Bowie, MD
 Reply
#4
I know that Young Nails traditional gels won't cure in LED, so I second the vote that that might be your problem!

I use regular forms (not clear) and the gel cures just fine if you're using the right light. Big Grin
Candice
Nail Tech/Owner
http://www.PanacheNailStudio.com
 Reply
#5
Here is an an article that went out in our newsletter yesterday. If you want to subscribe go to http://www.gelousy.com and click on sign up.

Get the LED out
By Erick Westcott

I have been getting some questions recently about LED lamps. We have been working with LED technology since 2006. Yet we still have not come out with an LED lamp. Unfortunately there is much misinformation about LED lamps, perpetuated by good meaning sales people.

First of all LED is a type of emitter. Just like any light bulb emits light, so does an LED. However it works differently than the old incandescent or the newer compact fluorescent lamps.

Compact fluorescent bulbs contain gas. When the gas gets excited by electricity, it produces ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light is absorbed by a coating on the inside of the bulb. As it absorbs the energy, it emits light. LED's light up by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material.

As far as curing nails is concerned, both compact fluorescents and LED's produce UV energy. One is not any safer than the other. They are both safe.

Compact fluorescents produce a range of UV, whereas LED's produce just one frequency. So a compact fluorescent lamp might produce between 350 and 370 nanometers, with a peak at 365. The LED will produce 410nm, only. This means that a manufacturer must design a product for use with a specific LED lamp. If you use more than one product line, you must have a LED lamp for each product line. If you use three lines, you need three different LED lamps. There isn't a standard yet. Plus LED lamps will only cure LED gels. Compact fluorescent lamps will cure both regular and LED gels.

With compact fluorescents the industry has a standard that most manufacturers use, that is why most lamps will cure most gels, with a few exceptions. With LED's there is really no standard. The problem lies in both cost and usage. 410nm LED's are inexpensive, with 390nm LED's costing slightly more. 365nm LED's are quite expensive when compared to the others. Most gel cures around 365nm.

Most regular light bulbs begin at about 390nm. What this means is that most gel formulated for use in most LED lamps will cure with a regular light bulb. That poses a problem with usage and packaging. Gel formulated for use in a LED lamp must be protected from light all the time. If you leave the bottle open and it is exposed to any light, it will cure in the bottle. Traditional gel formulated at 365nm, won't cure with regular light, so it is much more stable for use.

Next we come to the LED lamps themselves. They are supposed to last forever, costing less in the long run. However now that they have been out for a few years we are learning that a LED lamp really has only about two years of life in a regular salon environment. Normal wear and tear take their toll as well as the fact that if just one LED fails, the entire lamp will not cure properly any more. Then they need to be thrown away or recycled and a new lamp needs to be purchased. You can't replace the bulbs.

Another reported advantage of LED lamps is fast curing. But when put into practical use, curing times for compact fluorescents are not disruptive to a normal service. In other words it is very rare to wait on a lamp where you have nothing to do but stair at the client.

Overall the promise of LED lamps are great. But those promises have not really come true.

I believe the technology needs to come down in price and become a bit more developed before LED lamps will have any advantage over the standard 9w compact fluorescent bulb. As soon as we can make a 365nm LED lamp with a useful life of at least five years for under $200, we will. But it is not going to be this year.
Erick Westcott, CEO
Gelousy Gel Nail Systems
http://gelousy.com
 Reply
#6
@ CandiceAE Thanks Candace! :-) You're right, my gel should be cured in a uv lamp...I assumed it was a dual-cure gel, which I should not have done. Shame on me! Lol...

@ Erick - thank you sooo much!! I really appreciate your post. This info is extremely helpful and provides insight to what I thought I knew about LED technology. Thank you for sharing.

Chrissy
http://www.lovethosetoes.com
Bowie. MD
 Reply
#7
Erick, I agree with much of what you write but you neglected to mention one important point. LED and the new CCFL UVA lights maintain an almost constant level of light output over their lifetime, and that significantly reduces the risk of under curing the gels.

The cost of LED UV lamps can be partly offset by the savings of replacing traditional UV bulbs.

From our experience and tests, LED by itself does not seem produce the same level of shine on gel polishes that you can get from traditional UV lamps.

We now have a CCFL + 365nm LED UV lamp and will sell it in Europe for less than $200 ;-) And yes, it rocks! The CCFL adds the shine to the gel polishes and the LED increases the cure speed. Our new Ikon.iQ Clear hard gel cures in 30 seconds, and the Whites gels (the Champion White is the brightest in the market), cures in 60 seconds. Like you I've been waiting two years for this technology to arrive! ;-)

Bob
Iryna Giblett Nail Products Inc., Sweden
http://www.irynagiblett.com
 Reply
#8
Yeah, if that's the gel I sold you it cures only in a uv lamp!
 Reply
#9
(03-07-2013, 04:59 PM)Bob Wrote: Erick, I agree with much of what you write but you neglected to mention one important point. LED and the new CCFL UVA lights maintain an almost constant level of light output over their lifetime, and that significantly reduces the risk of under curing the gels.

The cost of LED UV lamps can be partly offset by the savings of replacing traditional UV bulbs.

From our experience and tests, LED by itself does not seem produce the same level of shine on gel polishes that you can get from traditional UV lamps.

We now have a CCFL + 365nm LED UV lamp and will sell it in Europe for less than $200 ;-) And yes, it rocks! The CCFL adds the shine to the gel polishes and the LED increases the cure speed. Our new Ikon.iQ Clear hard gel cures in 30 seconds, and the Whites gels (the Champion White is the brightest in the market), cures in 60 seconds. Like you I've been waiting two years for this technology to arrive! ;-)

Bob


Bob, will the lamp be available in the U.S.? I'm pretty excited at the thought of the lamp curing hard gel.
 Reply
#10
(03-05-2013, 12:54 AM)wooshka Wrote: When using forms and gel, yes, to get a correct cure, you should be using clear forms.

Are you positive the gel you are using is made to be cured in LED?
Some people just assume that a gel will cure in both but it's not like that at all.


I use NSI Balance (clear) forms.
 Reply
#11
@ eleonora - yes, I figured it was UV - thanks so much. And BTW, I really like that gel.

@ wooshka - thanks Wooshka! I just started using NSI Attraction and love their products. I'll look into their clear forms.

Chrissy
 Reply
#12
Hi I am new here. only been a gel tech since Sept. I use en Vogue and one of the best IMO around. I have tried Fuzion and CND both good but not for me. I think alot of the issues other have as did I is that not using the system as a whole... from forms tips connector or bond to the gel itself.
 Reply
#13
Welcome, welcome, welcome! Thanks for chiming in on this post. I agree, any product works better when you use the entire system/line. There are a few products you can swap out and use with other systems, but I always try to use an entire line. You get better results that way.

I haven't used any of the en Vogue products...I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

Chrissy
http://www.lovethosetoes.com
Bowie, MD
 Reply
#14
Bob,

I disagree with much of what you write.

LED's do not significantly reduce the risk of under curing gels. Properly trained nail techs do.

Our LED gel shines the same in both LED and CCLF lights.

I have seen the CCFL + LED lamps coming out of China recently and I am not impressed.

I have not seen your "Champion White", and you have not seen my Xtreme White, so you might not want to go around saying "brightest in the market".

Are your LED's producing 365nm or just your CCFL?

The lamp you are promoting uses both, meaning you need to replace the CCFL every six months plus the LED part is good for two years +/-, so your lamp has a greater cost of ownership then either CCFL or LED alone.

-Erick

P.S. All of you manufacturers saying you have Organic, Healthy, Vitamin, or any other Bull Pucky gel marketing, how do you sleep at night? Sorry, I am in a mood.

(03-07-2013, 04:59 PM)Bob Wrote: Erick, I agree with much of what you write but you neglected to mention one important point. LED and the new CCFL UVA lights maintain an almost constant level of light output over their lifetime, and that significantly reduces the risk of under curing the gels.

The cost of LED UV lamps can be partly offset by the savings of replacing traditional UV bulbs.

From our experience and tests, LED by itself does not seem produce the same level of shine on gel polishes that you can get from traditional UV lamps.

We now have a CCFL + 365nm LED UV lamp and will sell it in Europe for less than $200 ;-) And yes, it rocks! The CCFL adds the shine to the gel polishes and the LED increases the cure speed. Our new Ikon.iQ Clear hard gel cures in 30 seconds, and the Whites gels (the Champion White is the brightest in the market), cures in 60 seconds. Like you I've been waiting two years for this technology to arrive! ;-)

Bob


Erick Westcott, CEO
Gelousy Gel Nail Systems
http://gelousy.com
 Reply
#15
I know most of what is being referred to in this thread is about hard gels but I wanted to just say, I use Polish pro from NSI (I love it by the way) and the new colors are formulated to cure in both UV or LED and I have cured in both.
I can honestly say that the only difference I notice is cure time, the shine is the same on both cures, the durability is the same and if you take the cure time difference out of the equation, you can't tell which has been cured with which light as they shine the sameSmile
But in saying this, I still use UV most of the time as I have 2 UV lamps and only 1 LED lamp and my clients don't like to do the cross arm thingSmile
 Reply
#16
Wooshka,

It is not about hard gels. Most Gel polish is formulated to work in both LED and CCFL. This is the problem, people think LED is not UV, when it is.
Erick Westcott, CEO
Gelousy Gel Nail Systems
http://gelousy.com
 Reply
#17
Well it started with hard gels cause the OP was asking about forms and gel polishes can't be used to sculpt on forms.
I hear you Erick, I hear youSmile I don't know where the myth ever came from that LED is not a form of UV and if techs wish to not educate themselves as to the lights they use, then so be it....as the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drinkSmile

 Reply
#18
I sculpt nails using traditional forms (not clear) by essentially creating a "tip" first with a natural-colored gel. This soft beige color from Light Elegance is ideal because it matches the natural color of the free edge. Once applied, I can either either cure it completely and then layer with a starker white, etc. or just cure for 20-30 seconds and then overlay the entire nail plate with a sheer pink/clear gel for a nail that looks incredibly real.

P.S. I'll be teaching this technique at IBS New York, Premiere Orlando, IBS Las Vegas, etc.
Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D. (yes, it's real)
http://www.precisionnails.com
http://shop.precisionnails.com
 Reply
#19
@ Precision Nails - thank you Jamie! I'll be seeing you in Orlando! I thought I needed to get clear forms, but I was certain there was a way to sculpt on regular forms....I see so many pros do it. I just need to learn how to do it the right way. ;-)

Chrissy
http://www.lovethosetoes.com
Bowie, MD
 Reply

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