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Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Out with the Old: Getting to first base with your modern day manicures

Are your manicure techniques frozen in time?

When CND Shellac blew onto the scene, it really threw nail techs for a loop because the prep is so different from gel or liquid & powder (acrylics, aka fake nails).  Shellac is formulated to adhere to the natural nail plate, and any removal can cause interference or possible nail damage.  Instead of filing/buffing/removing the shine, people had to learn to keep their mitts off those natural nails and let them just be.  In truth, Shellac is not the only service where it behooves you to keep things status quo.  Nail polish manicures benefit most from natural nail plate preparation without the aid of buffers, and the right base coat selection for the client.

Somewhere along the line, most everyone has had a buffer thrust into their hands to prep nails.  Used correctly and with proper grit, a buffer can super shine the nail, or gently smooth out surface. Used incorrectly, you can thin the surface that will lead to nail damage, or over- smooth the surface so product can’t correctly adhere.

Selecting a Buffer

Before using a buffer on your client, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I need to achieve with this buffer?
  • Do I have the right buffer for the job?
  • Am I doing this out of habit?

DON’T use a buffer:

  • If you have no idea what grit you need: 240 is the grit for the standard Polar Block.  My favorite file is the CND Koala, which has a 240 side and 1200 grit flip side for edge refinement, smoothing and finishing.  It is an amazing experience to file with this perfectly sized, natural nail tool.
    • Never use a heavier grit than 240 for natural nails
    • Use 2400 and above to achieve high shine on nails
    • 4000 grit buffer will create super shine w/out oils
  • If you have no idea what you need it for: See that shine on the nail? Yep, you can keep it.  Just temporarily dehydrate with a product like ScrubFresh after you clean the cuticle area.
  • Just because there are ridges: Ridges occur naturally as we age, and sometimes not so naturally.  Unless there are pieces that look like they will come off, prep and use an appropriate base coat (see below).
  • Just because you think it will make polish last longer:  Unfortunately, the “buffer” is the safety net for too many nail techs. Instead of properly prepping the nail, the thought is that removing the shine will make polish last longer.  A rough surface can help with adhesion, but can lead to issues down the line.  Achieve better results with thorough preparation and proper base coat. 


Selecting a Base Coat

You’ve got cuticles cleaned, nails filed and everything ScrubFresh’d and ready to roll.  Instead of getting twitchy because you aren’t buffing, let’s replace that old bad habit with a fresh, beneficial one.  Base coat.  It’s what every set of nails needs.

Why use base coat every manicure, every time?

  • It protects the nail from discoloration by the polish
  • It acts as an anchor to hold color longer
  • It can be formulated to address specific nail issues to improve nail health


Let’s look at three options for common nail types:


The Holy Grail of Base Coats…but wait, there’s more!

CND’s Stickey is like the Holy Grail of base coats.  Easily identifiable by the soft green color, Stickey acts as a mild dehydrator and is just as the name implies.  Stickey’s sticky base creates a strong barrier that protects against discoloration and grasps and holds color for fabulous wear.

The Encourager

CND’s Toughen Up base coat “cross-links keratin” to strengthen natural nails.  If nails are splitting/peeling, weak and thin, this is the option to build up strength.  CND products are 3 and 4 free, and formaldehyde is important to stay away from if your nails suffer from this condition.

 Level the Playing Field

Forget everything you learned about filing down ridges.  Float them to flat with this milky base coat that self-levels ridges to smooth working surfaces.

Remember, all base coats need to be protected with a color or top coat.  Never apply a base coat alone.  It won’t be pretty, and it won’t last.

Are you practicing old manicure methods?  Try updating and compare the results!



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Posted by on Jun 17, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

CND Additives: Examples on Shellac AND correction

If you’ve been following me on Facebook here or here, you’ve probably seen these photos lately.  I thought I’d share a few more examples of what you can do with CND Shellac and the new pigment Additives:

Pigments can enhance a design (before encapsulating with topcoat)

After top coating ring finger (this pretty combo of Purple Purple, Violet Pearl and Titanium Pearl courtesy Kimberly Jones)

This is a simple, irregular band that looks a bit like radio frequency (voilet over Black Pool)

My client was going to Africa and this seemed appropriate!

A little yellow over matte Asphalt with a raindrop effect = Slippery When Wet

The yellow can be achieved with lacquer for a temporary effect, or use CND Additives to be all the (road) rage!

Have you pre-ordered your CND Additives yet? CND Additives are pre-selling now for professionals at distributors in a beautiful silver 6 pack, with an additional 6 colors available.  Take note if you’ve seen these gorgeous ads – there is a small typo about using them with Shellac. Cure your color and apply the Additives over the top of the cured shellac. Then topcoat. Voila!


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