Sunday, 11 June 2017

Hearty Nails: My first gel polish experience

*sneaks in pretending she's not late*
Today I bring you a throwback picture, to show you how quickly you can improve when you actually know how to do stuff and to caution you against diving headfirst into experimenting.

how not to do gel polish

This happened to me when I was first buying all the necessary material for my second year of beauty school, back in Summer last year. The necessary material consisted mainly of artificial nail tools and product, since the rest of the course focused on expanding the base knowledge acquired in the first year, and machinery treatments. Obviously we're not expected to buy any machinery, so our new kit material was basically acrylic powder, gels, files in various grits and sizes etc.

And of course to nobody's surprise, the first thing I had to do when my gel polishes arrived, was to experiment. I had seen YouTube tutorials on how to do gel polish, I had a LED lamp, what could possibly go wrong?

A lot, it turns out, unsurprisingly.

I had plans. I even wrote the plans down. I listed what I would do to all 10 fingers, each finger done slightly differently. This finger buffed but not primed, this finger primed but not buffed, this finger buffed and primed, this finger neither buffed not primed, this finger with a base coat, this finger without. Etc, etc.

It was A Mess.

ruined manicure

This was my right hand thumb finger, which was not buffed (mistake #1), had primer, base coat, two coats of black gel polish, some powder pigment rubbed on it (I wanted to try if the chrome technique could be applied to non-chrome pigments, which yes, it can, if the powder is fine enough), and a top coat.
Mistake #2 and the main culprit of this mess, I believe, was that I did not understand just how thin gel polish layers need to be. I think I applied the black on too thick, it didn't cure quite right, and then chipped in strange ways within hours. As you can see from the gaping hole in my nail in that picture, the lift happened in between the two layers of black, which is what led me to think that's where I messed up the most in this nail in particular.

The messes in other nails, which I never took pictures off, included the top coat shrinking and the base/colour/top layers not playing along with each other, which can also be explained by them being applied too thick and not curing properly.

Now, I want to point out that the theory of where I messed up was formed after I learnt how to do it properly in class. After the explanation and everything, I have never had any other problem with gel polish, except for the little bit of shrinking that always happens at the very tip of the nail while you paint the rest of the nails in the hand. This I fix by capping the tips at the last moment before they go into the lamp, as a last check.

star nail art in gel polish

As you can see, my newer gel polish manicures look much much better. And I do keep experimenting, I just don't mess with the basic procedure anymore, it's done like that for a reason.

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