STEP-BY-STEP GEL NAIL LESSONS - Lesson #3) Fill-In Procedures/Maintenance of gel Nails

STEP-BY-STEP GEL NAIL LESSONS - Lesson #3) Fill-In Procedures/Maintenance of gel Nails

Lesson #3) Fill-In Procedures/Maintenance of gel Nails....

Gel Nails Fill-In: Basic Procedure.

No breaks or repairs needed, not with "pink and white" (or permanent French Manicure as I call it). Those fill-in lessons to come soon! (These procedures best when used with thin viscosity or 1-component type gels. For thicker viscosity or builder type gels, you will need to make some adaptations.) Remember, these are GENERIC instructions for you to use and adapt to your own personal style and product line. See your manufacturers guide for product specific application instructions and other pertinent info.

1) Standard Prep: Wash hands, sanitize, remove polish, push back cuticles, etc......

2) Shorten nails; with tip cutter (my method, straight across square for now, shaping of nail comes later), by hand file, or drill. Nails should be maintained at a steady and consistent length. Clients should be encouraged to pick their ideal length and then stick with it. That requires that the nails be shortened the amount that they grew between fill appointments.

3) Preliminary shaping of nails: Put preliminary shape into nails so that the rebalance filing done in the next step reflects the proper shape. I use my drill to quickly go through the nails and "round" them for those clients who wear them rounded or ‘squoval’, or any shape not squared (or do this step with a hand file if you don't use a drill)

4) Re-balance nail. File the entire top of the nail either by hand or with a drill (I prefer a drill). Arches need to be moved BACK so gel needs to be thinned and beveled at the free edge to accommodate the new arch -placement. Entire gel surface needs to be thinned (and shine removed for new gel to adhere), to keep nail from becoming too thick with application of additional gel. If using a drill use a medium diamond bit or sanding band on a mandrel. Carbides are overkill with gels!
5) Blend cuticle area. I use a diamond football bit (med) to help blend the outgrowth of the old gel. (Do NOT drill on the natural nail outgrowth with the drill)

6) If using a drill (electric file), I still go back through the cuticle area with a file to hand file and bevel the cuticle area, and remove shine from the natural nail outgrowth (because the drill is NOT used on the natural nail), be sure all cuticle and contaminants are removed to ensure good adhesion.

7) Final shaping of nail: Tailor and taper (as needed) the sidewalls and put the final shape into the free-edge. Hold client's hand facing you, vertically, to really see the shaping.

8) Dust nail thoroughly (I use a surgical scrub brush, see hints and tips and FAQ's for more info about this.)

9) Pre-prime and prime as necessary or needed. (i.e. pH balancers, or scrub fresh, or wiping with alcohol.... then primers such as MAP, BX, or primer gels). If using a separate liquid primer (MAP or BX), apply to new nail growth only and let it dry. If using a primer gel, apply to new growth area and cure in U-V light as recommended by your manufacturer. (See full-set lesson and acrylics page for instructions, and more detailed info on types of primers, how to choose, and how to use.)

10) Apply 1 thin coat of gel to nail. Concentrate on new growth area, and "scrub" the gel in. Then pull gel out over entire nail. This coat is very thin. CURE in U-V light.

11) Apply 2nd (and last) coat of gel* more generously than 1st. Add arches** with this coat of gel. Cure.*Let gel brush float the gel on and be sure to seal end of nails by letting brush "fall off" the end of the nail as you apply. Be sure when applying this coat of gel to set your brush down just short of the cuticle, then push gel toward cuticle and pull back without ever lifting your brush. This will help to eliminate a ridge at the cuticle. **For more on how to add arches to gel see the full-set lesson.

12) Examine nails for flaws and re-apply any gel NOW if needed, otherwise, CLEANSE with cleanser or alcohol (99%). Set down lint-free wipe saturated with cleanser at the cuticle and pull away from cuticle, dropping off the free-edge.

13) Sidewall finishing: Lay the file in the grove, and pull out to be sure there is not gel in the groove and to taper the sidewalls for thickness as needed (very little if any!), and re-check free-edge shape.

14) Cuticle beveling: Gently bevel the cuticle area.

15) Check contour of top of nail, and file as needed.

16) Buff out nail to remove shine and do final contouring. (Polish sticks better to a "dull" surface than it does to the super high-gloss of a gel nail). Oily or wet buff at this time if that is your normal finishing procedure.

17) Send client to wash-up! Take her payment, book her next appointment, then polish her and send her to the dryers.

18) DONE! Total time: Super Pro=30 to 45 mins (not every tech achieves this time frame), Experienced= 45 to 60 mins, Intermediate= 50 mins to 1 hr 10 mins, Novice/Beginner= 60 minutes to 90 minutes! Regularly under 30 minutes? You are not doing a complete rebalance and you will pay the price later in total service break down!!!! (Also known as a "fluff fill-in”, basically nothing more than a buff and polish change. A disservice to the client and our industry!)

Look for more info to be added to this section soon!


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