Monday, 22 November 2010

Most Commonly asked Questions about Gel

Q1. How can I prevent lifting with my gel.
There are a few things you can do to prevent lifting; firstly as with acrylic preparation is the key, make sure that the natural nails are completely dehydrated, all the non living tissue is removed and you have a rough surface to apply your gel to. If you are using a tip, you need to take off the shiny surface otherwise the gel will not be able to cling to the tip and this will leave you with little shiny mirror pockets. This applies to white tips, clear or natural ones.  Another way to prevent lifting when you apply gel for the first time is to apply a very very thin layer over the whole surface of your nail; ‘rub’ or ‘brush’ this into the surface of your nail.  When I say thin I am talking thinner than polish.  You will need to freeze cure this for a few seconds so the first layer will shrink onto the nail and leave you with a tight hold.  Continue to apply your gel as normal.   Finally if your still getting lifting check that you have the correct strength UV bulbs, remember the bulbs have a shelf life and if they are old they won’t be as effective.  

Q2. I struggle to get a good shape with my gel nails, I just can’t seem to keep it in one place. 
Be gentle with gel; you have to guide it, not shove it with your brush.  You should be able to apply gel using just a tooth pick and ‘show your gel the way’.  Your gel (assuming it is good quality, self levelling building gel) is intelligent enough to do most of your job for you, so let it! The more you play with your gel the thinner the viscosity….in other words it will get runnier and less controllable. After applying your final gel layer place the finger into the lamp up side down for the first few seconds. Gel will ‘relax’ when it goes under the light and by drawing it down it won’t settle on either side of the nails making them look heavy and fat.

Q3. I just can’t seem to get a clean crisp smile line with my gel.
When doing pink and whites or creating detail with colour, it is easier if you have a second clean gel brush.  Wipe along the applied gel to give you a clean sharp line. It sometimes helps to dip this brush in some cleaner.   Apply the brakes! If you don’t want your gel to go in a certain place on the nail, for example; the free edge if creating a reverse smile line, then don’t apply that first thin layer in this area.  The rough surface, will act like a natural stop sign for the gel.

Q4. When is the best time to pinch your Gel nail.

Pinch about a minute after you place it under the lamp, remember if you’re doing a design and placing it under the lamp a number of times to freeze cure, you will find it harder to pinch. I would do the base of your design and then pinch after a minutes cure; you only need to pinch for another min and it will keep its shape. I use transparent pinching clamps, now available from

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Road shows....the benefits

Sam Biddle Demoing Gel Design
Last Sunday I was in Manchester at the 2nd annual IBD road show. After a very busy day, many demo's and plenty of visitors, I ask Amber Gibbons Brand Manager for IBD why these days were so important.

She told me that with such a huge demand for IBD in the North, this is a popular day. "We wanted to give something back to our customers and Show case new products from colour gels, artistic design and Gelac." she also told me that Grafton's will be holding more IBD open days nationwide in 2011. The next one will be the south east, so watch this space!

Gel Design Demos
 It is interesting that these events are so popular, Jo Shirley has had a massive success with her Ez Flow Road shows in the North.  Red 10 is holding their 4th roadshow and competition at the end of the month on Sunday 28th.

I think they are a valued addition to the industry, supporting the shows and offering nail technicians with a passion to learn an opportunity to get a look at new ideas, be inspired by the great product lines and of course mingle with fellow techs. You have to agree this can be a lonely profession at times.

Generally free to attend and held on a Sunday they couldn't be made easier for you to join in;  So please go and support your local road show, accept the invitation because you never know what you might take home with you.

Laura Hughes National education co ordinator
Gelac demo's & Amber Gibbons Brand Manager 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

SPECIAL OFFERS and Pinching Clips

I just wanted to let you know about the great Christmas offer I have running at the moment. I have to warn you stock is limited....

I wanted to celebrate Christmas this year with this great little package. Everything you will need to help you create those perfect pinkies this Christmas for just £40. Not just these goodies but free post & packaging anywhere. Now available, limited stock ....


    Let me tell you little about these fantasic Pinching Clips. Some of you who have been on my workshops have seen me use these amazing little clips when demoing my gel and acrylic designs. These nifty little clamps are perfect to get the perfect C curve in your gel nails; pinch and then place under the UV lamp, the clear plastic will allow the sides to cure. The clamps are curved so sit neatly on the free edge of the nail and they are also perfect to get the pinch in acrylic nails, they will hold the free edge into shape.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Its Astonishing .......

Oh I have been a busy girl over the last few weeks and I wanted to introduce to some interesting people I  met last week in Holland.

So I am writing this on the train back to Amsterdam airport,  traveling home from the Educators training in Eindhoven, Holland. (actually I am now home, but didn’t get to upload this before jetting off again to Manchester at the weekend….)  I was invited over by Peggy Spill, to help out at her Educators training event. 

Peggy Spill
This educator training was held by the Beauty Factory  one of the largest distributors in Europe.  Leading distribution in both nail and beauty products they provide nail technicians with an array of different brands from Ez Flow, IBD, Nail Perfect, So Easy nails, China glaze and Astonishing to name but a few.   This training was for their newer brand;   Astonishing Nails a brand which has been developed by Peggy Spill,  director of the Beauty Factory and Beauty international,  and her team.  With over 25 years of research and development, Peggy tells me she wanted to bring a new brand to the industry which is innovative. 
Wim, Me & Patricia

 This event was the 2nd annual educators event and was attended by  39 nail technicians and distributors  from all over the world,  Astonishing nails UK;  Ela Loszczyk came with her husband, she is 2010 UK Nail Champion, and now master educator for Astonishing.  ASU beauty supplies in Dublin  Suzanne Alcock brought a team of 12 girls all of which helped with the friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Greece, Russia and Spain where all represented along with many more….

The training kicked off with an introduction and distributor meeting held by Peggy Spill. Then the girls set up ready for some training after lunch. To the tune of the A team the international educators;  Tracey Vreven-Lee,  Wim Umans and Patricia van Loon came jogging on stage, ready to start the first class of the day; which was mine covering Gel and acrylic design. I hasten to add I was not one of the ‘joggers’…. yes call me a coward, I did declined that particular invitation to join in.

I was a guest educator along with David Fowler who was going to show the lucky girls pink and whites and competition nails the following day.

It was a fantastic training, covering 4 different nails we covered a lot of new applications and techniques,  along with inspiration and ideas. 

Wim, Patricia, Tracey & Kelly Lyn


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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New nail design

I am wearing these nails today! and I thought I would post a photo, I have used colour drops, acrylic and gel, I will show you how I made these at the Cardiff and Birmingham workshops

Birmingham - 11th November - last few places available
Cardiff - 29th November - only 3 places left
book your place today, call Rebecca on 01299841009