The Nail School
The professional nail technician needs to know fully the purpose of all the equipment & products they use as well as health & safety/COSH aspect of it.
Sanitizing Spray. For sanitizing equipment i.e. files and work area to avoid cross infection.
Nail De-hydrator. To dyhyrate the nail nail plate after prep. You can use pure Acetone or a special brand for the job.
Primer. Used to prepare the natural nail for the application of acrylic, gel or resin. Primers may be non-acid or Acid.
Cuticle Pusher. For pushing back cuticles and removing cuticle off the nail plate.
Electric Files. This piece of equipment can be really bad to the natural nail when used incorrectly by an un-trained technician. Electric files will speed up your work, making it easier on the technicians joints. For insurance purposes you must do an Accredited course.
Files. are measured in grit sizes, for example 100 grit is a medium file, the grit is how many particles per given area on the files surface. The more particles the finer the file. The most common file is a 100 grit on one side and 180 grit on the other side of the file. This file is used for blending tips and filing down the acrylic. 240 grit is for nail prep and filing out file marks after filing down the acrylic from 100 to 180 to 240 to get a smooth finish. Before using a new file, take another file and run it along each edge of the new file to remove the sharp edge, this will reduce the possibility of cutting your clients skin. All filing must be done with the utmost care and discipline. Files can be washed and must be sanitized between clients.
White Blocks. White blocks 100/180 grit come with two grit sizes on one block, they are used for nail prep and smoothing down the acrylic after using a 100/180 grit file. Before using a new block, twist the block between each hand, this will break up the sharp edges on the block.
Shine Buffers. After all filing is complete you may want to give the acrylic nails a high shine surface. The buffer two sides one side is for preparation and the other to put in the shine. You should retail these to your customer for home use.
Nail Adhesive. I prefer brush on glue in small bottles as nail glue can go off when exposed to air. Commonly called nail glue but it is actually an adhesive.
Nail glue tip applicators. To replace blocked up nozzles.
Tips. They come in many shapes and colours and you use what you prefer to use. Technicians have their favorites, but it is advisable to stick to one make as you will need to replace missing sizes with the same type. They come in full well and cut out. The well is where the glue sits, a full well are easy to blend but take more blending. Cut out tips, the well is a small area and attaches to the edge of the nail. Very accurate blending is required for these tips otherwise they will not be secure as the attachment area is small. The most common tips are Natural, White French & Clear. Natural tips extend the nails and look natural. White French are cut out tips and give an instant french look, these tips must not be blended in, otherwise the smile line will be filed away. When nail art is applied to clear tips it will look like it is floating, very trendy. Clear tips are also better when white gel is applied to the free edge when doing french, the U.V. light can then cure the gel from underneath as well. There many pre-coloured tips and tips with designer tips with patterns already on them with the look of airbrush.
One cut tip cutters. These are for easy trimming of the tips to length.
Dusting Brush. For brushing away file dust from the nail after blending and filing the acrylic.
Orange sticks. Wooden sticks, useful for many things as well as pushing back cuticles.
Dappen dish. Glass receptacles for holding monomer and acrylic powder. Also use for soaking off one nail.
Cotton buds. For removing excess glue, cleaning up around the nail after airbrushing.
Nail Wipes. Lint free pads for wiping the nails to remove nail polish or sanitising the nail plate and for wiping away excess gel, when used with the relevant chemicals. Also have lots of other uses.
Gel Nail Lamp. Do not buy an expensive LED lamp, but 48 watts is recommended, used to cured U.V. gel nails, U.V. top coat, U.V. acrylics. Some come with a built in timer.
Acrylic brush. These come in various sizes and have sable bristles. Some technicians like flat profile brushes and some round. Size 10 to 14 most popular. Very small brushes are for detailed acrylic designs. Never buy a cheap brush.
Nail art brushes. Many sizes and shapes.
Gel Brush. Usually nylon bristles and flat in shape.
Acrylic Powder. Comes in Pink, White and natural as well as many colours. There are special powders i.e. with built in glitter.
Monomer. Acrylic liquid to use with the acrylic powder. Do not use MMA ( see section in course notes.)
U.V. Gel. Mainly clear, pink or white. Many colours available as well as glitter gels.
Nail forms. Used when doing sculptured nails or repairing chipped nails.
Silk/ Fibreglass strip. Used when doing silk nails.
Resin. Used when doing silk nails.
Resin Activator. Spray or brush on used when doing silk nails.
Cuticle oil. Used at the end of the service around the cuticles where chemicals may have caused drying of the skin surrounding the nail.
Safety Glasses. These should be worn when using an electric file, in particular when doing infils as flakes of acrylic can fly up into your eyes.
Masks. Can be used when filing acrylic with an electric file or at anytime to reduce the risk of overexposure to dust.