A regular polish manicure first involves prepping and cleaning the nail area. This includes trimming nails, removing old polish, pushing cuticles, and shaping the nail. To complete any manicure, it’s essential to have the skills for efficient nail prep, which is touched upon through our nail tech classes. This way, the nail polish application can go more smoothly, and the results can be even more stunning. After prepping the nails, regular polish is applied. Clients must wait for their polish to fully dry before leaving.
Before starting a gel manicure, nail technicians must also complete prep and cleaning practices. However, gel polish is different from regular polish in that it takes away the drying step. Throughout the gel manicure, the polish must be placed under a UV light. This works to set the polish, ensuring it dries and creates a shell-like coating over the natural nail. Because of this, gel manicures can strengthen natural nails and make manicures last longer, which is a large factor in their popularity.
Removal of gel nails differs from the process of removing regular polish. With a regular manicure, the polish can simply be removed by swiping nail polish remover over the nail. But with gel manicures, you must allow acetone to soak into the polish to soften and remove it.
Gel-X manicures are a method of application that extends the nail using pre-made nail extensions made from soft gel. The extension is placed over the entire nail to provide durability and longevity in the manicure. Gel-X nails also use UV light to dry and create a hard coating on natural nails.
After applying the nail, nails simply need to be shaped and completed with a coat of polish. Prepping for Gel-X nail application is similar to prepping for a regular manicure. This option has become more popular in recent years because of its nail health benefits and easy application.
Acrylic is another trendy nail style that uses powders and liquids to create a hard coat over nails and nail extensions. Different from Gel-X nails, acrylic nails only apply extensions to the tip of the nail versus the entire nail. After applying the tips, nail technicians dip a brush into the acrylic powder and apply it over the nail.
Once they’re dry, nails are filed and drilled down to create a thinner, more natural appearance. Any type of nail polish can be applied on top of acrylics, like regular polish, gel polish, or dip powder.
Prep for applying acrylic nails is more complicated than a regular manicure. This is because you must use a drill device to remove existing acrylic and polish to cut down nails. It’s essential to know proper safety measures when handling drilling equipment. This ensures you can keep clients safe.