Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm A Mad Scientist - Part Two

Experiment Two -- Can I make a regular polish into a soak-off?

Answer -- YES!

Details -- Shannon wanted me to apply one of the new Minnie Mouse polishes over her gel polish, but she wanted to make sure it would last through her trip to Disneyland (which started a week after her appt, and was 3-4 days long). I had some initial concerns, but then remembered that someone told me that back when Shellac was having a major shortage on some of their colors, they used Shellac base & top with a regular CND polish... and it worked. So, what I ended up doing was this: I used OPI GelColor's base coat, then two layers of GelColor "Black Onyx", then sealed with Axxium's (both OPI UV systems can successfully be used together) Soak Off Gel Sealer (this one is NOT acetone-permeable). I did not wipe off the dispersion layer (although, I probably could have...?), and just applied "Nothin’ Mousie ’bout It" directly over it. I then applied GelColor's top coat, wiped the dispersion layer, oiled her cuticles, and sent her on her way. She was scheduled for a pedi three days later (still before her trip) so that if there was a problem, I could fix it without ruining the black underneath (which is why I used the Sealer over the black).

Why It Worked -- Soak off gel colors are made with microscopic holes (like little tunnels) so that the acetone in any remover will be able to soak through; making it lift off the nail plate easily (but some of the top coats aren't, which is why instructions for some of them say to scuff the top coat before wrapping). Shellac and GelColor both have these "tunnels", so layering either of these base & top (make sure you're using the base & top coats from ONE brand; do not use Shellac for one and GelColor for the other) with a basic polish still allows for the polish's solvents to completely disperse (which takes 24hours!!). If you attempted this process with a full sealer (like CND's UV Gloss, Axxium's Soak Off Gel Sealer, etc), your polish would peel off with in a day or two.

Future Use -- Over any type of nail; natural or enhancement.

For the record -- if applying Shellac, specifically, over Brisa gel, you MUST use their UV Gloss instead of their Base Coat. Within this system, the base coat is formulated to bond to the keratin in your natural nail, and therefore won't adhere properly to your enhancement. All other systems I use (GelColor, Axxium, and Gelish), you can apply the system's base coat directly over the shaped gel.

End Result:

Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm A Mad Scientist -- Part One

Experiment One -- Can I make glitter gel soak off?

Answer -- No.

Details -- Light Elegance Glitter Gels are meant to file off. In my quest to not damage anyone's natural nails, I decided that the one I had (got it in a SWAG BAG from the Willamette Valley Nail Event last April) needed to be applied over enhancements (gels, acrylic, etc). Then, I started to think, "I wonder if I layered it with soak off base & top coat, if it would actually soak off?" I had my friend, Jessica, come to the salon to test out my theory. I prepped, as if I was doing a regular gel polish manicure, then applied OPI's GelColor base coat, and cured as directed. I applied LE's Glitter Gel in "Peacock" (the only one I currently own) -- two layers, curing in between. I applied GelColor's top coat, and cured as directed. I wiped the dispersion layer, applied cuticle oil, reminded her of home care (she has Solar Oil at home), and sent her on her way. Fast forward to 15 days later. Grow-out was crazy (she looked like she had grown out about THREE weeks), and she had lost a couple of them... admitting to not using her cuticle oil as directed. :( I wrapped her in OPI's Remover Wraps, let them sit for 15m, then twisted & pulled, as I'm supposed to... nothing happened. GelColor, Shellac, and Gelish (the three polish versions I use of UV-cured color) all remove easily this way (Shellac is 10m or less), so I knew then that my experiment didn't work. I ended up gently filing the glitter gel off of the remainder of her nails, buffing them smooth, and applying cuticle oil to all ten nails. She was disappointed my experiment didn't work, but happy her nails were still in great condition (as they should be when a PROFESSIONAL nail tech - one who takes her job seriously - removes any product from your nails) and that she got almost two weeks of wear with a beautiful, glittery teal!

Why It Didn't Work -- All soak off gel colors are made with microscopic holes (like little tunnels) so that the acetone in any remover will be able to soak through; making it lift off the nail plate easily. LE's Glitter Gels do not have these "tunnels".

Future Use -- Over any enhancement or a full-coverage (glue-on) nail (like Prescriptions) used for a temporary "party" nail.

End Result --


Friday, September 14, 2012

Never Enough Time

As many of you know, I revamped my work space over the summer. I was basically shut down for six days. But, apparently, that wasn't enough. While I *did* put my room back to working order, I don't have anything up on the walls except my coat rack, menu, state certifications, and the new polish rack (which doesn't even have regular polish on it; it's holding my gel polishes right now).

I had a "super irritated" moment last week when I just decided that, since I need Ace's help to get more of the stuff up (class certifications, a mirror, two gel polish racks, etc), and we're focused on the bathroom remodel at home, I just would give up the idea of doing anything in my studio other that work until the bathroom is done.

The sense of relief I felt after that decision made me realize that I was honestly stressing out a little... simply because my project wasn't done! It's like I had to give myself permission to take a break, so I could focus on something else.

If you haven't looked at the last few pics (so far) of the album on my FB page, here's a couple shots of my (empty walls) studio.