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by Vicki Peters

TIP OF THE WEEK #39 Fiberglass Techniques
By Vicki Peters 

Years ago I had the opportunity to apply a set of fiberglass wraps to a fiberglass manufacturer I was friends with. I made a mess, which is why I am telling this story! I had the fiberglass sticking up thought he glue on the edges, had to apply more glue than I wanted and filed them like an acrylic and guess what? I filed the glue right off.

So I needed to figure out a better way to do this. Shortly after that I did some wrap competition training which helped me figure out a better wan and here is how I now do fiberglass.


First of all I needed to understand the difference. Silk is an actual piece of fine silk material, and fiberglass is just that, a thin piece of fiberglass mesh. Linen is a cotton blend of mesh and is the oldest method of wrapping the nails. It is pretty bulky but it does the job. Fiberglass is the most used because it is marketed the most. All three meshes come with and without a sticky back. The silk is thinner and easier to hide than fiberglass. Linen is whiter looking in color and the threads are thicker than fiberglass and silk. Linen is just as strong but makes the nails milky looking, hard to wear with just a topcoat. Sometimes the sticky back that is applied to the mesh is thick and can make the material more viable once the nail is done. So choose your products wisely.


I have often been asked what is the difference between resin, gel and glue.

Simple, the thickness and what the manufacturer calls it. It comes in all kinds of thicknesses, tubes, squeeze bottles and brush ons. It is all cynoacrylate. I like to work with two styles of glues, one, a thinner brush on and a thicker gel for filling in dips and creating arches. I often use the brush of the thinner brush on glue to spread gel glue.


There are three different styles of activators:

  1. Brush on - To activate the glue you use a brush on – which is usually clear in color. I tend to "wipe out" the glue with the brush is I don’t use a light enough touch. So be careful. A trick to keeping the glue from hardening in the brush is to switch the brushes between a brush saver product and activator bottles.
  2. Liquid Sprays – They come in bottles with a spray cap. I find more pitting with this type of spray.
  3. Aerosols – The most expensive type of activators but they give you the best "set" with very little pitting.

Activators last only a few minutes before they loose their activator power.

Try spraying one hand at a time when you use an activator to apply tips with.


Tip of squeeze bottle of glue clogging up. Using a nozzle will allow you to use a new nozzle when this happens. However if you apply the glue from the side instead of the tip straight down the activator won’t seal the glue on the tip of the bottle because there is no contact..

Little hard balls of glue that form on the top surface of the nail after you have activated the glue is a result of too much glue. Use less glue and more applications.

Heat when activating. Again too much glue and not enough activator. What is happening

here is the glue is looking for more activator and scrambling on the nail causing friction. What I do is once I activate the nails I sit there with the activator in my hand ready to go waiting for the client to tell me the nail is hot. If it is then spray the activator again, and the heat stops immediately because there is enough activator not to harden the nail. When you’re first applying the glue to the natural nails, if they are thin or damaged please be careful. You may even want to not use the activator for the first coat. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the distance you need to hold the spray activator from the nails.


  1. Prep the nails just as you would for an acrylic service, however do not use primer.
  2. Base the natural nails with a thin brush on glue and let dry naturally (no activator).
  3. After the tip application, blending, cutting and shaping, dust the nails with a clean dry nylon nail brush and do not touch the surface of the nails.
  4. Base the entire nail and tip, and let dry naturally.
  5. When you do the tip cutting method I prefer, when you look at the nails sideways there is going to be a gap at the smile line because you didn’t’ blend. (Read Tip Well Cutting Tip). I would apply, across the gap on the nails (inside the smile line) a layer of gel glue to fill it in and build an arch. You may need to do this twice to make an arch. Activate the nails.
  6. After you have built up the gap area and have a decent arch, with your brush on glue apply two layers of glue from the cuticle to tip.
  7. Activate all ten nails.
  8. With a 180 grit file, file and shape all ten nails perfectly & dust them.
  9. Now apply your mesh in a fresh application of brush on glue.
  10. Apply another few layers of brush on glue & activate.
  11. Buff and your done.

I have found if I build the nails and shape them first, then apply the mesh I make less of a mess. You’ve created a smooth surface to apply the mesh on which makes it easier. Another thing to keep in mind is when the mesh is applied and saturated in wet glue it should almost disappear, but not 100%. If you really look deeply you should be able to see the mesh slightly. This is something I tell my nail competition judges because competitor will go through the motion to apply them mesh so they have technically done the mesh part of the rules, but then they file it totally off, which is illegal.

Any products mentioned in the "Tip Of The Week by Vicki Peters" is not an 
endorsement of any kind.

Vicki Peters 
"When you stop learning your career ends and your job begins"
Visit my new web site: 


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