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I Suck....kinda
#1
Im new to the industry and find myself often frustrated with "my gel situation"

Ive been looking for a mentor and even posting on craigslist for one.

My salon doesnt do acrylic however I am introduing gel nail full sets. My goal is to perfect this and rock it...however there is only so much I can do on my own.

I have a gal that I used axxium on and we did a full set with tips, have had little to no issues and they look great.

I attempted a set on horribly bitten nubby nails and they came RIGHT OFF! I knew personally that the proper way to do her nails was buildable gel with a form, but due to time constraint we went ahead and tried with tips. BIG mistake... I had to glue the tips so far back because her nails beds were almost non exsistent. I hated the way they turned out and they came off in the shower the next day. I assume it was because I used tips that they fell off, either to far back, too much product on the skin, etc..

I was so disgusted with my work and just pissed, please someone guide me!!!
 Reply
#2
I hate to say it, but often the best thing to do with horribly bitten short nails is to sculpt an acrylic set and then later transition to gel. It seems that gel really only likes healthy nails, and acrylic is harder, and IMO you can do a stronger sculpt. Alternatively, try to get them to start with an overlay and grow into their length - that keeps them from banging suddenly longer nails, too. I'm now prepared to get blasted by the gel only techs. :roll:
Candice
Nail Tech/Owner
http://www.PanacheNailStudio.com
 Reply
#3
bad nail biters aren't easy, and for someone like yourself, just getting started with gels, it's kinda like a 6th grader trying to take a college math course.
The one thing I can offer you is that your tips most likely weren't fitted properly, and that's why they lifted off. Also, biters usually have a HUGE amount of skin growth on their nails, you THINK you've gotten it off, but if you were to take a magnifying glass and look at their cuticles after you'd prepped, you might be surprised at what's still on the nail. The skin bulge, (if the client has it) at the end of the nail can represent a problem working around that because it keeps you from fitting the tip on properly. As you said, sculpting is usually the best thing. I know there's vids out showing how to do this and someone's going to post that info for you.
One last thing, if you DO decided to tip again, make sure the fit of the tip is right on, make sure the ears of the tip aren't on the skin, and that the tip goes completely from side to side. You really have to pull the side walls back to check for that.
 Reply
#4
In addition to all the helpful advice already given, if there was more tip than nail, there was nothing there to support the tip if you know what I mean? The rule of thumb for extensions is 2/3 nail bed to 1/3 tip. Unless you want chicklet nails :lol:

I think you just proved to yourself that you were right - you should have sculpted them instead. Sometimes you just have to make those errors to believe you really do know what to do. Next time you'll listen to your instincts.

I know there are some great gel techs in WA and they should be chiming in soon! Keep at it, and keep asking us for help in the meantime Smile
Laura Merzetti
http://www.scratchmyback.ca
CND Education Ambassador
Toronto, Ontario Canada
 Reply
#5
I really appreciate everyones guidance on this...part of me wanted to tell my friend/client that I would like her to come in for say two weeks in a row for manicures , even maybe just shellac and then go from there with a better canvas to start from...is this a cop out? I know if she walked into a "discount" salon they would happily slap a set of acrylics on, but like I said, we dont offer it where im at.
 Reply
#6
StellaAmante :
> I really appreciate everyones guidance on this...part of me wanted to tell
> my friend/client that I would like her to come in for say two weeks in a row
> for manicures , even maybe just shellac and then go from there with a better
> canvas to start from...is this a cop out? I know if she walked into a "discount"
> salon they would happily slap a set of acrylics on, but like I said, we dont
> offer it where im at.

No, it's not a cop out. You are demonstrating that you actually care about the health of her nails instead of some fast cash like the discount salons. If I run into this situation where I really think they just need an overlay as opposed to an extension, I tell them in 3 weeks their nails will be longer anyway, they can get used to the added length as they grow, and their nails will be in a lot better shape under whatever product we've decided to use. I also recommend the use of cuticle oil at the same time. You need to set yourself apart from discount places, and this is one way to do it Smile
Laura Merzetti
http://www.scratchmyback.ca
CND Education Ambassador
Toronto, Ontario Canada
 Reply
#7
thank you so much for that advice!! I feel personally like my suggestion is the "right thing to do" but so many people are used to the discount method, I almost feel as Id be looked at as just not as good or as capable of nail tech, even tho my gut instinct tells me to take care of her nails for a few weeks...*sigh*
 Reply
#8
Hi Stella !
I feel your pain ! :-) ...
I specialize in those who have seriously damaged nails , including nail biters.
Personally, I say sculpting is THE best way to go.
That said, the way I do it can be time consuming.
I'll try to explain.
1st you need to "raise up" the nail plate so that you can get a form in a position where you can give your clients some length.
The way I do this is ...
1. prep the nails
2. Apply builder in somewhat of a mound , on the natural nail - cure. This will cause an abundance of product in a raised fashion to be on top of the natural nail, allowing you to butt a form up to it and be able to create length.
3. Apply more builder creating length and strength at the stress point area- cure.
4. Shape and follow through with whatever you are going to do...whit tip, color, Rockstar ...whatever you choose, then top with your final layer of product and do whatever you do in the final phase before completion of your service.
BTW...I never give the option of going longer than the tip of the finger to a nail biter client ONLY because I want to have complete success in the process of their nails growing out with no breaking and no problems.
I sure hope this helps :-) ...
 Reply
#9
StellaAmante :
> Im new to the industry and find myself often frustrated with "my gel situation"
>
> Ive been looking for a mentor and even posting on craigslist for one.
>
> My salon doesnt do acrylic however I am introduing gel nail full sets. My goal
> is to perfect this and rock it...however there is only so much I can do on
> my own.
>
> I have a gal that I used axxium on and we did a full set with tips, have had
> little to no issues and they look great.
>
> I attempted a set on horribly bitten nubby nails and they came RIGHT OFF! I
> knew personally that the proper way to do her nails was buildable gel with
> a form, but due to time constraint we went ahead and tried with tips. BIG mistake.
> .. I had to glue the tips so far back because her nails beds were almost non
> exsistent. I hated the way they turned out and they came off in the shower
> the next day. I assume it was because I used tips that they fell off, either
> to far back, too much product on the skin, etc..
>
> I was so disgusted with my work and just pissed, please someone guide me!!!

Nail Biters are the worst when you're just starting out. They ruin your work with their own bad habit and destroy your confidence in the meantime. I would stay away from them until you get more sets under your belt.

Were you able to find out how they came off? I wouldn't immediately swear off tips. They can be a life saver for 'average' nail biters.

Now presented with nasty, sliver of a nail bed and puff of skin surrounding the nail bed, I agree with Donna and Lisa, build out a nail bed first and then fit the form and sculpt your extension.

The secret with nail biters is immaculate prep and application. No ways around it. You have to beat their habit and leave them with nothing to pick at.
 Reply
#10
loving all of these answers!! Im not swearing off tips yet, but as far as perfecting my "gel full set" I am loving just building with forms, and clearly its going to be the only way to go with nail biters!! I totally agree that nail biters are the most difficult for a newbie like myself. She literally had the worst nails Ive EVER worked on. I will try your method next time Lisa.

As far as buliding up in the nail bed, and then using a form, are u essentially building the gel to where the clients natural nail stops, and then butting the form/gel up to that ??
 Reply
#11
have you posted on facebook for mentor? friend me i can help you find someone up there
Kathie Kirkpatrick get a grip on reality and choke it to death
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and
well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally
worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
 Reply
#12
Thanks Kathie, just friened you..I havent posted anything on FB, but I have on clist...
 Reply
#13
StellaAmante :
> As far as buliding up in the nail bed, and then using a form, are u essentially
> building the gel to where the clients natural nail stops, and then butting
> the form/gel up to that ??

I have to say I've never done it with gel. But with a thick viscocity gel, I'm sure it's possible. Actually you build the product until their finger stops. After curing, just pull the skin down and it should separate from the product. Now you'll have a place to fit your form.
 Reply
#14
StellaAmante :
> Thanks Kathie, just friened you..I havent posted anything on FB, but I have
> on clist...

Feel free to friend me too. One of my collegues at Harmony, Sandy Combs, lives in Washington. Maybe I can set you two up for some training. She's a great 'femtor' LOL
 Reply
#15
Unfortunately you just missed the best event to find a mentor- 60 techs attended the NW Nailtech event a few weeks ago near Seattle! Your almost in Portland, I'd like to give you Nicole's info. She is a nail tech and educator, extremely patient and will be happy to help you out! Shoot me an email. [email protected]
Jessica Hoel
Nail Professional
Akzentz Distributor & Educator
http://www.luvnailz.com
 Reply

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