On these pages, we will cover the maintenance
procedures for the various types of products, beginning with the most
common type: Liquid and Powder Acrylic. Please keep in mind that
these procedures are non-product specific and are only meant as a generic
guideline -- always read, understand and follow the preparation,
application and finishing instructions included with your product
purchase. For more detailed hands-on instruction, contact your
professional distributor for a listing of continuing education workshops
in your area.
Single Color Maintenance
Should you prefer this method, or your client
consistently wears colored enamel, follow these generic guidelines:
Remove all traces of nail enamel with a lint-free
Perform a manicure, push back and remove excess
'true' cuticle. Do not nip or clip live skin; cutting live
skin can lead to infection.
Using a 180 or 240 grit file, remove the shine
from the existing product and reduce the level of thickness by
1/3rd. During this filing process, all areas of lift should be
filed away and blended to the natural nail.
Remove the shine from the natural nail using a
240-grit buffer or file. Hold your file flat to the surface to
reduce the possibility of 'trenching' the natural nail by removing
too many vital nail plate layers.
This photo shows all areas of lift filed away,
the product reduced by 1/3rd, and the prep product applied.
Wash hands and scrub nails with a soft nail brush
or toothbrush, rinse and dry.
Apply prep to the natural nail only.
Apply one thin coat of primer to all 10 nails
being sure to apply only to the natural nail plate. (If primer
is allowed to touch existing product, it can cause the product to
yellow.) Allow the primer to dry to a chalky white.
If filling in only the re-growth area, pick up a
small, medium consistency bead and place it off center on the
natural nail. Flatten the bead by pressing it into the nail
plate; this will spread the bead toward the sidewall line, then
stroke to blend with the existing product.
Pick up a second small, medium consistency bead,
and place it immediately next to the previous application.
Press to flatten, then stroke to blend into the previous application
and to the already applied fresh product.
Complete this application on all 10 nails.
To finish, follow the finishing procedures for a new
Pink & White Maintenance
For the perfect acrylic French Manicure, follow these
generic maintenance procedures:
Follow the previously listed preparation steps of
1 - 7; however, reduce the existing product by 2/3rds, and flatten the existing arch (stress area).
You may also choose to trench out the stress area arch (smile line) by
holding your board
at a 45° angle to the stress area and filing a trench across the nail
from sidewall to sidewall. Be sure not to file so deeply into
the stress area as to trench the natural nail.
Wash hands and nails with a soft nail brush or
toothbrush, being sure to remove all traces of dust, then rinse and
dry the hands and nails.
Apply prep to the natural nail only.
Apply a thin coat of primer to the natural nail
only and allow to dry to a chalky white.
Allow primer to dry to a chalky
white. If the system you are using does not require a
primer, you may skip this step.
Pick up a medium size, medium consistency bead of
white tip powder. Place it immediately at the natural nail
smile line. Flatten and spread this bead to both sides of the
extension, then stroke to the existing free edge. Use the tip
of the brush to perfect the smile line to a smooth, even form.
The stress area arch should be the highest (or thickest)
part of the nail.
Pick up a medium size, medium consistency bead of
pink, clear or natural and place it immediately behind but touching
the smile line of section 1. (Use the height of the arch to
swipe the product from the brush onto the nail plate.) Press to
flatten the bead into the nail plate. Press and stroke each side
of the bead up to, but not touching, the sidewall line. Stroke
to blend with section 1.
The section 2 application should be thickest
where it touches the arch, and thinner toward the cuticle.
Pick up from 1 to 3 tiny medium consistency beads
and place them, one at a time, in the center and to each side of
section 3. Press to flatten and stroke to blend with section
2. Leave a tiny margin all around the cuticle and sidewall free
of product. This margin will reduce the chance of lifting from
skin oils and allow the product to properly shrink when cured and
create an air-tight seal to the nail plate.
Many technicians have told me that in leaving
this margin, the client feels they have not received their
money's worth. Explain to them that this practice leads to
allergic reaction due to overexposure, and/or lifting problems.
Note: You may wish to apply the white tip product to all
ten nails prior to applying sections 2 and 3. This will allow
section 1 to set-up and prevent the possibility of compromising the
crispness of your newly created smile line.
It is during the finishing steps that one perfects
the shape, form and dimension of the completed application. If you
have practiced precise placement of each section and maintained the
dimension of the product in each section, filing time is greatly
Using a 240-grit file, begin by perfecting the
extension edge, then the sidewall lines to the desired form: square,
rounded square, oval or pointed.
If you perfect a technique where you
perform the steps in the same sequence nail to nail and finger
to finger, the finished nails will be uniform in shape, form
Perfect the overlay surface with the 240-grit file
beginning at the extension edge and work back toward the cuticle
Hold your file flat to the surface of the overlay
and file from the center of the nail outward toward the edges.
All edges should be thin and beveled.
Filing in this manner will allow the arch to
remain thickest down the vertical center and across the stress
area with all edges thin and beveled.
Use a 240-grit soft, padded buffer (I like the
Koala Buffer by Creative) to smooth and perfect the surface and to
remove any deep scratches.
Remove all traces of dust filings. Apply a
drop of cuticle oil (I prefer Solar Oil) to each nail and massage into
the cuticle and overlay.
Use the 1200-grit side of the Koala Buffer to buff
the oil into the overlay. Oil buffing will plasticize the
surface of the overlay and begin the sealing process.
Buff to a high shine with a 3-way buffer:
Black to Refine, White to Shine and Gray to Super Shine.
The surface is buffed to a high shine.
The arch placement is correct, all edges are thin and beveled, and the
length is concurrent with the clients active lifestyle.
You may prefer to apply a coat of acrylic sealer rather
than buff with the 3-way buffer. If you prefer to do this, it is
still advisable to oil buff the surface. Buffing with oil performs
the same as waxing your car. It removes tiny, invisible scratches,
allows light to reflect from the surface, and aids in rendering the
surface impervious to solvents.
For best polishing results, never shake the bottle;
turn it upside down and gently roll between the palms of your hands.
Shaking will allow bubbles to form in the polish and will transfer these
bubbles to the nail surface.
Always apply thin coatings, allowing a full minute
between coatings for each to properly dry (cure).
After nail enamel has cured, apply a drop of nail and
cuticle oil to each finger and massage into the cuticle and enamel
coating. This will help to prevent cracking and chipping of the
polish, and will lubricate the molecules of the overlay to prevent service
Instruct your client to apply cuticle oil to the
cuticles and overlay at least twice daily; more if her hands are in water
a lot or she works with paper or textiles. Water, paper and other
textiles can remove vital oil and moisture from the nail plate, the
surrounding cuticle and from the overlay. Reduced moisture levels
will allow the natural nail plate to curl away from the product at the
Disclaimer: While Hooked on Nails
has attempted to make the information in these pages as accurate and
informative as possible, it is for educational purposes only and is
provided in good faith without any express or implied warranty or
guarantees on the final results of nail enhancement product applications
performed by untrained or non-professional users. We also make no
representations or warranties as to the suitability of this information in
your own setting; you do so at your own risk. In no event will
Hooked on Nails be liable for any damages whatsoever, whether direct or
indirect, consequential, incidental, special, or any claim for attorney
fees, arising out of the use of or inability to use the information
provided. We strongly recommend that the manufacturers instructions
be followed for
the product system you have chosen for your personal or
professional salon use. H.O.N. 2000