Sunday, October 5, 2014

Artistic Nail Design -- Review

I have now had a chance to try, use, test Artistic Nail Design's LED-cured hard/traditional gel, Rock Hard. I've got to say... I LOVE IT! I'm hoping I can switch all my traditional UV-cured gel clients over to this brand, to cut down on my times... All guinea pigs had the same initial process -- Prepped, applied gel, shaped; all according to instruction. Applied gel polish & art over top (also according to instruction).

Test Subject 1 - My daughter, age 14y: She loved how quickly we were done with her appt; took just about 2 hours to do a full set w/tips (I had removed her other set of gels two days prior) with some simple artwork; saved about an hour. She currently has no lifting, and only broke one nail two days ago; I'm doing her rebalance later today.

Test Subject 2 - SF, mom of 6yo twins: She, too, loves the speed of appts. She was previously wearing CND's Sculpting gel (soak off builder gel), and we had skipped one appt. So, this time was four weeks later and she had lost all but two nails, which I had fully expected & was hoping for. I had to remove those two (e-file as thin as possible, then wrap with remover on a foil wrap; took about 10m), then just did an overlay (no tips), gel polish, and glitter. Her appt took 1 1/2 hours; saved 1/2 hour... but that's including the removal. Her rebalance was last Tuesday; she had very little lifting and had not lost any nails (typically, she loses two each time).

Test Subject 3 - Myself, nail tech and mom of 14yo: I took off my previous nails (I was wearing CND's traditional hard Brisa gel on my left hand and CND's soak off gel Brisa Lite Sculpting on my right hand) two days prior, and gave myself a super-hydrating manicure. It always takes me longer to do my own nails than it does for me to do other people's; simply because I can only work on one hand at a time. Typically (with UV-cured gel), it takes me about 4 hours to do both hands. With this gel, because it's LED-cured, I did both hands in just under 2 1/2 hours. Had to do my rebalance over two different days because I was occupied with my young nieces last weekend, but when I did, I had one broken one (my "problem" fingernail; I busted it in a slammed car door years ago, and it's been a problem ever since).

Obviously, exact time for each client's appointment will vary. It depends on many factors, like how bad your cuticles are, how many (if any) are broken or off, which brand of gel polish you choose (CND Shellac still cures *ONLY* in the traditional UV lamp), and what (if any) artwork you want done. However, on average, I'm estimating 2 hours for a full set with tips (starts at $60), 1 1/2 hours for an overlay (starts at $40), 1 1/2 hours for a rebalance (also starts at $40). Add 15 minutes or so for gel polish (+$10) & glitter/artwork (price varies).

*Note* -- when using Artistic Colour Gloss over Artistic Nail Design's gel, there is no need to apply the hard gel sealer ("Headliner"); you can apply the gel to your preferred thickness, wipe, shape, wipe again, and go right into your gel polish color application. If you're using a different brand of gel polish, I highly suggest using the gel top coat, dry-wiping, then applying your color. When using traditional polish, apply the gel top coat, dry-wipe, then apply your color. I don't know the "why", other than AND's products are all formulated to work together; if you try to use another brand's color over the enhancement products, you need to finish the process, so you're not mixing product lines, which could cause sensitivities or even allergies down the road.

Just as an FYI, Artistic also makes two soak-off/soft gels, both under the "Correction Gel" product line name. The one in the bottle (brush on) is meant as a thin layer of strength under gel polish. I've used this one on a couple of clients who had some trouble getting their gel polish to last the full two weeks; works great. Add $5 to your regular gel polish appointment, an additional 30s in the lamp for this layer, and an additional 3-5m for soak off at each appointment. The one in the jar (uses a separate brush) is meant as a builder gel (thicker, but not for long lengths). I've used this one on myself and hope to switch over clients who are currently using the other brand of soft builder gel that I carry. The cost for this service is the same as traditional/hard gel (see above paragraph), add 30s in the lamp per layer, and double the soak off time (since this is meant as a builder, rebalance at each appt is recommended, but soak off down the road is not difficult or time-consuming).

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