Friday, 20 April 2012

Materclass - Nails Extensions

What we are going to be talking about this week is artificial extensions that go onto the nail, rather than the latest gel varnishes (that's going to be next week, when I'm back).

Extensions are used on natural nails to enhance and/or disguise what is there already, the earliest use was in the Ming dysentery where richer woman wore them to prove they were wealthier and didn't need to do manual labour to provide for their families. Then in early 19th century Greece, higher class ladies wore pistachio nut shells to also prove their wealth. It wasn't until 1954 when dentist, Fred Slack broke his nail at work and was inspired to find a solution, that he joined with his brother to patanted the first artificial nail enhancement.
There are 2 basic type of enhancements: Tips and forms. With all systems, you will need to ensure that the techniction is competant and confident with the best quality of product they can provide you. The cheapest isn't neccessary the best one to go for, and investing that time to find that techiction can save you money and heartache in the long run. All after care must be adhere to as gospel, you don't want to ruin something that you've invested in.


These are made of a plastic that is then glued onto the nail edge to produce a longer tip. Acrylic is then applied over the nail and tip to re-enforce the tip.


These are fitted over the nail and then an artificial nail is molded out of acrylic.The form is removed and then properly shaped and buffed to a shine.

With enhacnements there are different systems that can be used to make either of the above (as well as acrylic).


This is a mixture of a powder (polymer) and liquid (monomer), which is then painted onto the nail and dried without using a lamp. They can be very strong as well as flexible, and are widely avaialble in salons for an affordable price. However, there is a higher risk of damage to the natural nail plate and if not applied and removed in the correct way can thin the nail plate in the long run. Most enhacement nail art work I've seen has been done using this system as you it's more plyable to use. Word of warning: the smell is very strong!

UV Gel

Gels don't need to be mixed as it is applied straight from a pot, it is built up in 3 thin layers which is then set under a UV light for 2 minutess each time. They have more flex to them than acrylic nails and will have more of a natural finish. The damage to the actually nail is less than the acrylics as well. The cost is much more and can chip easier if not properaly looked after (no gardening or heavy lifting in these!). Starting to become more esier to find since the introduction of gel varnishes.

Fibreglass and Silk

These both are done in the same way, the techniction will stick a nail shaped fibreglass or china silk piece onto the nail and apply a resin to keep in place. This is then sprayed with an activator and left to set for 45 minutes. This is the most natural finish of the systems, looking very close to a nautrual nail itelf. A full set will cost around the same as the acrylics and will be done up to an hour. Some people find the finish of the silk to not to their suiting which the fibreglass has little bend to it. Can be used to also be repair to natural that have split.

Next week - What is gel varnish?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave messages, suggestions and general musings on life below. All comments are moderated before posting. Thank you