Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Falling in Love with Gel

Let me tell you why I fell in love with gel and shares with you some of my secrets to working with it.

 Nail technicians often ask me which I prefer gel or acrylic, for me in the past gel has had its limitations when it comes to design and wasn't my first choice.  However over the last few years I have had a chance to look at gel in a new way.   Producing my new gel DVD's-  Pure gel & Something Different with Gel  has helped me see its qualities, and I have developed some great designs to show you how to fall in love with gel too.

The main thing to remember with gel is don’t try to make it into something it is not… if I want to create complicated flowers I can use acrylic, but if I want movement and flow to show through my design…gel would be the best man for the job.  Instead of comparing the two against each other I prefer to use them together … and get the best of both worlds.  So in answer to this much asked question, I don’t prefer one from the other; they are both equally useful in their own way.

Let me share with you some of my top tips of ‘working smart’ with gel.
  • Preparation is the key, make sure that the natural nails are completely dehydrated.  All the non living tissue is removed and you have a rough surface to apply your gel to.
  • If you are using a tip, you need to take off the shiny surface, otherwise the gel will not be able to cling to the tip, and this will leave you with little shiny mirror pockets. This applies to white tips and clear or natural ones.
  • To prevent lifting; When you apply gel for the first time, apply a very thin layer over the whole surface of your nail, ‘rub’ or ‘brush’ this into the surface of your nail..  when I say thin I am talking thinner than polish…..then you will need to freeze cure this for a few seconds, this first layer will shrink onto the nail and leave you with a tight hold, now continue to apply your gel as normal.
  • Have you got the correct strength lamp bulbs, remember the bulbs have a shelf life, and if they are old they won’t be as effective.  You won’t get your gel to cure at the right speed, and this may cause lifting.
  • Be gentle with gel, you have to guide it…not shove it with your brush, you should be able to apply gel using just a tooth pick……use your brush to ‘show your gel the way’.  Your gel (assuming it is a god quality, self levelling building gel) is intelligent enough to do most of your job for you….let it!
  • The more you play with your gel, the thinner the viscosity….in other words it will get runnier and less controllable.
  • After applying your final gel layer, place the finger into the lamp up side down for the first few seconds, gel will ‘relax’ when it goes under the light, and by drawing it down, it won’t settle on either side of the nails…making the nails look heavy and fat.
  • When doing pink and whites, or creating detail with colour, it is easier if you have a second clean gel brush.  Wipe along the applied gel to give you a clean sharp line. It sometimes helps to dip this brush in some cleaner.
  • Apply the brakes! If you don’t want your gel to go in a certain place on the nail, for example; the free edge if creating a reverse smile line, then don’t apply that first thin layer in this area.  The rough surface, will act like a natural stop sign for the gel.
  • You can add anything to gel to colour it, bling it up or even tint it, from polish, pigments, acrylics, glass paints, glitter and foils.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  • it is now even easier to apply gel design with the introduction of Gel paints, this is a thick viscosity gel which seems to hold its shape without self levelling, but forgive me for sounding un-professional, has a more slippy feel, so to use it is a pleasure. I have to admit I surprised my self with the flowers I created, which I could only have previously created with paint.  Check out the step by step of the Poppies I created using the new Gel paints now available from Be Creative
If you, like me want to fall in love with gel, and make the most of it visit my website www.sambiddle.co.uk for more inspiration, check out my blog for more step by steps and purchase my DVD's.  But better still why not join me, and let me show you why I love gel so much. Visit this page to find out which workshop might suit you. 

Covering a wide range of different techniques, such as extended nail bed, flowers, marbling, and encapsulation and using a range of different products I show you how far you can push gel. My classes promise to  takes Gel design application to the next level.  It brings you idea's and concepts which are outside the box, showing how you can work smart with your materials and produce amazing results, which are quick to apply in salon viable nails.

In January we have 2 workshops; 
10th January Birmingham - working with Gel polish design. this is ideal for those who just want to work with natural nail applications and incorporate some exciting techniques with gel polish. 
16th January - London - this is an exciting class jammed with NEW techniques perfect for your salon and clients. 

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