Nail Care


There is no single formula for nail polish. However, a number of the same ingredient types are used in all nail polish. The basic components include: film forming agents, resins and plasticizers, solvents, and coloring agents. Different nail polish manufacturers’ formulation depends on the choices made by chemists and chemical engineers.

The primary ingredient in nail polish is nitrocellulose cotton, a flammable and explosive ingredient also used in making dynamite. Nitrocellulose is a liquid mixed with tiny, near-microscopic cotton fibers. In the manufacturing process, the cotton fibers are ground even smaller and do not need to be removed. Nitrocellulose is a film forming agent. In order for nail polish to set properly, a hard film must form on the exposed surface of the nail, but it also cannot form too quickly that it prevents material underneath from drying.

Plasticizers and synthetic resins improve flexibility, is resistant to soap, water and others. Some resins and plasticizers used are castor oil, amyl and butyl stearate, mixes of glycerol, fatty acids and acetic acids. In many cases the solvent such as butyl stearate and acetate compounds can also act as a plasticizer. Early polishes used soluble dyes, but today’s products contain pigments of one type or another. The right pigment and its ability to mix with the solvent and other ingredients are essential in producing a good quality nail polish. Nail polish is a “suspension” product, which means that the particles of color can only be held by the solvent for a limited amount of time, rarely over 2 or 3 years. Shaking the bottle before use helps to restore settled particles to the suspension. This issue of settling is one of the most difficult problems to be addressed in the manufacturing process.

In addition to the usual coloring pigments, other color tones can be added to the polish. Micas (tiny reflective minerals) are a common additive as well as “pearl” or “fish scale”. Guanine can also be mixed with gold, silver and bronze tones. Pigment choices are restricted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The FDA’s lists of acceptable and unacceptable pigments change with new findings and re-examinations of colors, and because of this, manufacturers occasionally have to reformulate polish formulas. Nail polish ingredients often include toluene, which has been linked to cancer. Formaldehyde, another ingredient that is in some nail polish, may cause allergic reactions and is unsafe for use by asthmatic people, it is also a carcinogen. Nail polish manufacturers are under pressure to reduce or eliminate toxic ingredients in their products.



Gel nails are meant to be a permanent solution for the nails, and not a temporary quick-fix. It offers a strong, bonded base coat to protect the natural nail underneath from cracking, splitting, peeling, and chipping. Gels are odorless, thin, flexible, crystal clear, light weight, natural looking, natural feeling, they do not lift, and are nonporous. Gel nails are similar to acrylic nails as they are both made from a combination of a monomer liquid and polymer powder. The monomer liquid reacts with the polymer powder to form long polymer strands. When these strands are dried (by curing under UV light, or using a special gel activator), it forms a hard resin resembling a fingernail. Gel nails contain additional short chain monomers known as oligomers which allow more flexibility. Silk or fiberglass may be added to gels when needed, for extra strength or repairs.

Gels are available in two types: light cured and no-light gels. Light cured gels are hardened by placing the fingers under ultra-violet light. No light gel acrylic nails are cured by applying a special gel activator that can either be brushed or sprayed onto the nails. There are also no-light gels which can be cured by dipping the nails in water. UV gel nails harden in about 15-30 seconds and cure in about 2 minutes because they are simple one-component gels.


Gel systems are much thinner than acrylic nails. They are better than acrylic because acrylic nails can cause odors, lifting and nail damage while gels do not. Gels are easier to maintain than ‘natural nails’ because it does not chip. Gel nails reveal natural beauty in combination with strength and durability.

Gel nails are similar to standard acrylic nails in a sense that one can paint, wear French tips, and airbrush designs on them. Gel nails can be filed into square, round or pearl shapes according to clients desires. The mixture used to make the resin is completely odorless, making it safe for pregnant women to wear artificial nails. It typically lasts for up to one month after application.


Leukonychia Striata/Transverse Leukonychia or the ‘true’ leukonychia. Just like any other variety of artificial nails, there is a risk of developing a fungal infection during the application process. Therefore the nail bed must be cleansed with isopropyl alcohol before application of the gel. Gel nails may be taken care of by moisturizing your cuticles and getting your nails filled regularly.

The application of gels cost more than other artificial nail systems. A professional nail technician needs to fill-in the gel nail where it has grown out (near the cuticle) or file them down and redo the whole gel nails all over again. The nail technician should be careful not to file the natural nail when taking the gel off. For technicians, gels may be easy to learn but hard to master.



Artificial nails can be pasted onto the real nail. They can be whole or partial, used over the entire nail or simply as tips. A typical nail application service takes about an hour. They need to be maintained at least every two weeks. Acrylic nails come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Avoid exposure to water for an extended period time, because the water can seep in between the acrylic and the natural nail, causing damage and possible infection. Acrylic nails are made by mixing a particular powder and liquid.

A mixture of liquid acrylic (monomer) and acrylic powder (polymer) is applied to the nail. Acrylics contain cross-linking monomers. A chemical reaction called cross-links can also join many other layers of cross-linked nets. Cross links are like rungs on a ladder; creating strong net-like structures. The result is a three-dimensional structure of great strength and flexibility. The vapors produced from the combination of the acrylic nail powder with the monomer liquid are extremely toxic. Pregnant women should refrain from having acrylic nails applied until after childbirth. Nail technicians are required to wear dust masks to prevent inhaling the dust particles.

Nail technicians paint and shape the nails into place using the mixture. The best liquid that can do no harm should contain Ethyl Methacrylate (EMA). The cheaper option is the Methyl Methacrylate (MMA), but this is known to have certain harmful effects such as skin reactions and deformities in natural nail growth. Artificial nail should not be treated any differently from a natural nail, because any damage could lead to unwanted problems for natural growth of nails.


If you break an acrylic nail you can almost always fix it temporarily and rather easily by yourself. The removal process is simple and straightforward if done by a professional for the nails can be soaked rather than filed off. Acrylics are very strong. When done correctly and with proper nail care, they can last a long time.

A nail tech that uses a file or drill that is too coarse for the natural nail, this removes layers of the nail plate resulting in a sensitive and thin natural nail. A nail tech that misuses 'primer' - a bonding agent used with acrylics, this can cause sensitivity if exposed to the surrounding skin (burning sensations) and possibly allergic reactions. A salon that uses MMA liquid monomer instead of approved EMA liquid monomer when doing acrylics, this can cause several possible complications. When a nail tech removes the artificial product by mechanically forcing it from the natural nail using a pair of acrylic nippers, this unnecessarily removes layers of the nail plate, leaving the natural nail sensitive and thin.


Can cause odors, lifting, and nail damage. They can damage your real nails in a harsher manner than gel nails can. Acrylics tend to look less natural than gel nails, especially if done incorrectly. It can be hard to grow out acrylic nails. Comparing Gel nails to acrylic nails: gel nails provide a more natural look than acrylic nails. They will also cause less damage to your natural fingernails. Gel nails also bring forth a shiny and clear finish. They do not emit any odor unlike the acrylic nails. Gel nails require more maintenance than the acrylic counterpart. They do not chip off.

Often when you get acrylic nails your natural nail is filed down. After months, years or even weeks of acrylic nail application, your original nails will become weak. Many women try to take off their acrylic nails independently, which can completely damage the nail bed. Always have a professional do this. When acrylics are put on to correct a problem, such as nail biting, it doesn’t always solve the problem and can damage already worn nails significantly.



Silk wrap nails are a type of artificial nail reinforcement that is made from silk material pieces. The nails must first be cleaned to ensure that all dirt and impurities are cleared away. Then the nails are buffed to smooth out the nail so the wrap will adhere properly. A small piece of silken material is cut to the size and shape of the fingernail and applied using a small amount of glue.

Once the glue is dry, the silk wrap is buffed to smooth out the surface and the process is complete. Lastly, a color is brushed on top of the wrap to ensure that the wrap will not lift up. Silk wrap nails are usually applied directly over the natural nail. If it is too early to remove the other type of damaged synthetic material from the nail, silk wrap may be used to reinforce the artificial nail until the problem can be fixed. Silk wrap nails should be removed by placing hands in a plastic bag with cotton balls or pads that contain a small amount of acetone. After a few minutes, the hands are removed from the bag, the nails are rubbed with a generous amount of cuticle oil, and the silk wrap nails can be gently pulled off when the glue is broken down.

Although nail polish may be used over silk wrap gels, it defeats the purpose of the ‘natural-looking’ silk nail wraps. Cuticle oils or creams should be used to maintain the health of the cuticle and surrounding skin. Many salons offer silk wrap as a service or you can attempt to do it at home with a store bought kit. For best results, you may want to leave it to the professionals who have better understanding of how to apply it for the best results. for natural growth of nails.


Silk wrap is added to the fingernail to strengthen, lengthen or repair the nail. It can be used to protect the natural nails that have been weakened, damaged or cracked by acting as a brace for damaged nails or bind together damaged artificial nails such as plastic tips that have been cracked. It is very flexible, and looks most like a natural nail. They are healthier since the fibers allow the nail to breathe. Silk wrapping is all natural and even the adhesive can be non-toxic.


It is thinner and more fragile than acrylic or gel nails; therefore it is not usually appropriate for those with an active lifestyle requiring a lot of hand activities or calls for their hands to be submerged in water for long periods of time. Silk nail wraps are not designed to withstand these types of exposure and will come loose and fall off. Silk wrap nails are usually stronger than natural nails therefore it can damage the natural nail depending on the skill of the nail technician, and whether the wrap is applied, maintained and removed correctly. If the nail technician is too aggressive with pre-application filing of the nail or uses too much glue, this can weaken the natural nail. Nail technicians should not lift the natural nail up, which separates it from the nail bed and the risk of fungus growth under the nail increases.



Soak-off Gel Polish is painted on with a brush and each layer is “cured” under a UV light to dry. They come in a wide range of colors and finishes and can be mixed to create new colors. Usually a gel brush is used to paint an even layer of the soak off UV gel that starts at the cuticle and gradually moves towards the tip of the nail. It is important to cover the entire nail except for the cuticle area. Once applied, it needs to be cured under the UV lamp and then the sticky ayer needs to be removed with a wiping solution. Then you soak off your nails in acetone to remove the gel.

Fundamental/Principle Ingredients
The base urethane acrylate oligomers chosen to create these gels had a tight molecular structure, resulting in a lower molecular weight. This made gels highly resistant to solvents (Acetone).
One gel can be soaked off and not another depending on the base urethane acrylate oligomer that is chosen for the gel. Soak-off gels are a specifically designed and formulated Modified Urethane Acrylate with a higher molecular weight which results in an elongated molecular structure. This creates space between the cross-linking agents and the oligomers allowing penetration of solvents which break down the gel.


- Dry time- The UV light dries the polish within minutes which
means no dry time, no smudging,no dents.
- Long lasting- Lasts from 2-3 weeks with no chipping.
- Less damaging- no drills or filing down of your nails.
- Works on natural nails- While you can add length if you choose,
can be used over a natural nail like traditional polish.

You can layer polish on top- you can paint right over Soak-Off Gel with regular nail polish and remove it with non-acetone remover.


Nail growth is visible- If you choose a dark, solid color, by week two, growth will be very apparent. Acetone has a dehydrating effect on skin and nail. So you should not forget to apply a good moisturizing cream or Vaseline after removing acrylic nails.



Many manicures with nail art are done on long nails because the longer nail gives a larger canvas for painting and designs, however nail art can be created on short nails also.

Depending on the lifestyle and personal tastes of the client, there are endless possibilities of nail art from something very simple to something intriguing and wild.
There are themed nail art which are generally very colorful and noticeable. Themed art include holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day, and even the client’s favorite cartoon character.

French manicure on the other hand, is for a classier, reserved client. This clean and polished look is always stylish and appropriate no matter the occasion. French manicure is believed to have originated in the 18th century.

It is a pale or very sheer nail polish with a white tip. Nail designs should reflect one’s ideas and thought using colors that suits the nails. Designs may be airbrushed or glued on and typically will last until it is removed.

Gemstones may be placed on the nail also, which is covered by a clear coat of polish for protection. Decorative items used to complete nail designs are sparkles, glitters, nail stickers, nail tattoos, and nail piercings.