When you are starting with nail enhancement and don’t have any training, it may be difficult to understand it all and know which technique of false nails is better for you.
What is Nail Enhancement?
Nail enhancement is a process during which you cover and sometimes extend the nail with different techniques and products. The most popular techniques are UV gel, acrylic, PolyGel and resin. Nail sculpting can be done on natural nails or on false nails (extension), it depends on the lenght you want.
Resin false nails
Resin is a liquid glue which is applied with a brush. Resin is usually used with powder to create a solid and uniform result on the nails. Resin is applied on the nail before dipping the nail into powder and then reapplying resin on top. You can repeat these steps two or three times to make sure the color is opaque and uniform. Resin will not harden on its own, it needs an activator (spray or brush on) to become solid. Powder comes in a large spectrum of colors from many brands so you can use the resin technique for natural or very colorful nails, french manicures and even babyboomers (ombre). This technique cannot be used to extend the nail, if you want longer nails, you have to use false nails that you glue on with resin. One of the biggest pros of the resin technique is that you can disolve it in acetone, unlike acrylic or gel that have to be filed. In France, this technique is called acrylic or ANS technique. To learn more, watch the resin application video.
Acrylic is another technique that requires the mix of a liquid (monomer) and a powder. This mix creates a souple product that you apply and sculpt on the nail. This technique is one with which you can extend the nail without false nails. The extension can be done by using nail forms that you place under the natural nail to scuplt the product. Acrylic becomes solid while airdrying so you cannot take too much time for sculpting. The nails become very hard with this technique but not very souple. You have to file acrylic if you want to remove it.
UV gel is applied on the natural nail, without any mixing. Just like acrylic, you can use UV gel to extend the natural nail with nail forms. Gels are either clear or colored. Just like powders, the possibilities are almost endless! UV gel does not air dry, it has to be cured under a UV lamp, approximately 2 minutes for each layer. Gel is quite souple on the nails, unless you apply a thick layer.
Polygel false nails
PolyGel is a recent technique. It is a hybrid between gel and acrylic so you get best of both worlds: no mixing but a very solid and resistant result. The technique is quite simple, you need a small amount of the gel that you apply on the nail and sculpt with a brush and the slip solution to make the brush glide on the product. You can use PolyGel to extend natural nails with nail forms, PolyGel needs to be cured under a LED or UV lamp. You can watch the Polygel video here.
Applying False Nails
There are different types of false nails tips. Tips, which are also called french or conventional extensions. Those only cover half of the nail and have to be covered by resin to cover the entire nail. The french ones have a curve and the conventional ones have a straight line on the end which is glued to the nail. This type of false nail is used to lenghten the natural nail with the resin technique that makes the end result more solid. This gives a nice curve to the nail and the result is long wearing.
There are also full lenght extension which cover the entire nail. Those are not used as much by professionnal since it is harder to have a rightt fit for each shape of nails that exist. Some people have a bigger curve in their nails, some have flatter nails so it is easier to work with tips.