The Nail School
Everyone wants to have long, beautiful nails, and the perfect finish is a beautifully applied coating of colored enamel. Whether your natural nails are short or long, the perfect polish is the finishing compliment to your manicure.
The advice below refers to normal nail polish. Gel Polish (ie. Shellac) has now become so popular that many technicians will not use anything else. It is so easy to use and saves time waiting for it to dry and eliminates the client snagging their nails after the service. It is highly recomeneded that you include gel polish in you menu of services. Gel Polish course
To begin with, always be sure your polish is fresh. Enamel that has been allowed to thicken will not apply evenly or thinly and will tend to bubble, streak and not 'cure' or adhere properly. Polish will thicken because it is 'volatile'. This simply means that the solvents in the enamel that keep it in a fluid state will quickly evaporate when exposed to air. The longer the bottle remains open during application, or if it is exposed to a heat source, the solvents will quickly evaporate and the enamel will become thick, gooey, stringy and make a perfect application impossible. Store your enamels/polishes in a cool, dark place and away from sources of heat.
Begin your application by turning the bottle upside down and 'rolling' each bottle of enamel between the palms of your hands. Never 'shake' the bottle as this method will form bubbles of air in the enamel which will transmit to the finished surface after application.
The Perfect Polish is applied by first stroking down the centre of the nail plate from cuticle to free edge, then stroking each side in turn. Three to four strokes on each nail is sufficient to evenly distribute the coating. Additional stroking will only lift and move the enamel leaving behind streaks and/or bare spots on the nail surface. Leave a tiny margin all around the cuticle and sides of each nail to ensure that the polish does not touch your skin and that it adheres properly to the nail plate. Remember, oil is a separating medium and your skin contains oils and moisture.
Apply the coloured enamel in the same manner, allowing enough time for each coating to dry between layers. Always apply each layer very thin. If the pigments in the enamel are not 'even' after the second coating of colour, allow an extra minute, then apply a third coat. The pigments in some red or metallic enamels tend to separate during application and may require a third coating for even colour distribution. Allow from one to three minutes after this third coating before applying your top coat or sealer. Nail enamel will dry from the first coat up to the last, and the solvents in the enamel must evaporate before the coatings are hardened. Pausing as long as you can between coatings will produce a smoother, more brilliant surface. Applying coatings that are too thick, too close together, or with enamel that has thickened with time will smudge, dent or may peel from the nail plate entirely. Applying the coatings too quickly is a major reason for the 'orange peel' texture. This is especially pronounced in times of high temperatures and humidity,
Waiting for polish to dry can be tiresome, but the slower it dries the better! Slower evaporating solvents produce brighter colours. Forcing the polish to quickly dry by using heat or chemical dryers will actually result in excessive shrinkage and cracking. Formulations that use rapidly evaporating solvents tend to bubble and pit more or produce uneven surfaces. Blowing on the polish will lower adhesion and gloss.