Nail techs are artists. They create images on the tiny canvas of an individual nail, using their own unique brush. Sometimes they use actual brushes, but more often they wield a tool that looks like a tiny drill (but isn’t).
Now they’re using that tool to create a new kind of art: nail art. Nail techs are turning nails into works of art, with designs ranging from the abstract to the geometric, from the floral to the religious.
Nail art is taking off in salons all over the world.
Nail art is the hip new trend that’s sweeping the nation. Nail art can be found on the fingers of everyone from toddlers to senior citizens. The most popular nail art designs are often those inspired by current events, such as the World Cup or summer blockbuster movies.
Nail artists specialize in creating amazing works of nail art with a variety of tools. These include airbrushing kits, which use a compressor to blow paint onto nails; stencils, which are pieces of plastic that have been cut into certain designs; and glitter and rhinestones to create sparkling effects. Professional quality nail art can take hours to complete and cost hundreds of dollars if it is done at a salon. For this reason, many people prefer to do their own nail art at home using kits that can be purchased at drugstores and beauty supply stores.
While it’s not as easy to do nails on yourself at home, I think it’s a great option for people who want a professional look without actually getting them done in a salon.
New technology is transforming the beauty industry.
This summer, nail salons will be introducing a new service called Gel Overlay Nails. Similar to acrylics, gel overlay nails use a liquid synthetic resin that is applied to the natural nail, then cured under ultraviolet light. Unlike acrylics, gel overlay nails produce no fumes, last two weeks and are virtually indestructible.
Gel overlay nails were invented in Japan in the mid-1980s. In recent years they have gained popularity in Europe and Australia. The technology has recently been introduced in the United States by Creative Nail Design of Vista, Calif., which supplies products to 20,000 salons nationwide.
For years, acrylics have been the most popular artificial nails because they are durable and relatively inexpensive. But many women experience allergic reactions to the ingredient used to cure acrylics, known as MMA (methyl methacrylate).
“Chemicals from MMA are absorbed through the skin and can cause asthma,” said Christine Valmy of New York City’s International Institute for Esthetics. “MMA has been banned in Canada.”
If you’ve been to a nail salon lately, you might have come across something called a “gel overlay.”
Gel overlays are essentially fake nails made of gel that are applied on top of your natural nails. Sounds just like acrylics, right? Well, the way they’re applied and the materials used make them different from a traditional acrylic set.
Gel overlays are applied in much the same way as acrylics, with a liquid monomer and powdered polymer. But gel is more flexible than acrylic and is cured under an LED or UV lamp. Gel can also be applied without adding length to the natural nail, unlike acrylics. The results look fresher and more natural.
According to Elle magazine, gel polishes are more durable than regular nail polish with some brands promising 14 days of chip-free wear. And since they’re supposed to be cured under a UV light, they dry almost instantly when you leave the salon, which means no more ruining your manicure while rummaging around in your purse.
When it comes to personal style, there’s nothing like a set of nails. Well-kept, well-manicured nails scream “I am together!” They look great when you’re shaking hands at work or catching up with friends over cocktails. But with so many different types of nail options out there, from acrylics to wraps to hard gels and beyond, it can be difficult (and time consuming) to navigate what your best option is.
One of the most popular and exciting new trends in nail art is gel overlay nails. Gel overlay nails, also known as gel extensions or gel enhancements, are similar to acrylics because they both use a mixture of chemicals that harden when exposed to air. However, unlike acrylics, gel overlay products don’t contain any harsh chemicals, which means they are kinder to the natural nails than other nail extensions and can actually help the natural nail grow stronger and healthier.
Today’s gel overlays are technically called “hard gels,” but most people just call them gels for short. Gels are available in optical clear or neutral shades as well as in a variety of colors and finishes including matte, semi-matte, or high-gloss. And since they’re applied with a brush in much the same
“How long does it take for acrylics to dry?”
This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from my clients. It’s a fair question, too. After all, you just spent an hour getting your nails done and now you have to wait 45 minutes before you can even move your hands?
As my clients probably know, I always tell them that they have to wait at least a half hour before doing anything with their hands. Yes, even if it means not scratching your nose or flipping through a magazine. (If you can’t stand it, then bring a book to read.)
You see, right after the acrylic is applied on your nails, it’s still wet and has not yet bonded together. In those 45 minutes, it’s hardening—not drying—and forming into a solid piece of nail art. The reason why we put the powder on top of the liquid is so that the acrylic will bond properly and form into a hard piece of nail art. If we were to just put the powder on with no liquid, it would be impossible for us to make actual designs on your nails because the powder wouldn’t stick to each other. So in order for this process to work, you must allow both compounds to harden together before