Saturday, 2 August 2014

Adding pigment to Gel...damn it is not curing?

WARNING! - this is not a scientific post. This post is written in basic terms...! 

I have just replied to an email from someone who is having problems with curing their gel once they have added pigment to it. This is not the first email I  have gotten about this so I thought I should  address this little "school boy error" here on my blog, mainly to save me time re typing the same  thing over again, but I also think it is a common mistake we can make....because we just don't think about it with our left brain. 

Using your left brain  means you have a more analytic, rational and logical style of thinking, but if we are remotely creative or curious, which I think most artistic people are...we are dominated by the right brain. That doesn't mean we don't switch sides when we need to...but come on be honest when faced with bright beautiful colours and glitters.... don't you just keep adding more regardless... I know I could. 
So why is your gel not curing? Well there are a few things which could be going wrong.....
1. lamp needs to be stronger or new bulbs
2. your adding too much pigment to the gel
3. your applying your gel too thick

Lets start with No 2, because most of you will of course know your lamp is fine, your bulbs are correct (did you know even LED have different strengths) and you don't need to get a new one.

Adding pigment to gel ;
There is a whole range of different you tube videos, instructions and advice out there on the world wide web about how to mix pigment, make up and additives to your gel polish...I can't and won't  comment on those, or even tell you if they work successfully or not....I can only tell you about our pigments from the Be Creative range. 
Lets start with the basics,  When you add another source to gel, hard gel, gel polish or soft gel it doesn't are disturbing the chemical make up of the gel, you are adding an additional product which will inhibit the UV/Led light to penetrate and cure. So we need to be mindful on the amount you add.  The Be Creative pigments, lets use the primary ones as an example, are 'pure'. I am not saying this as a sales point, I really mean it, there is NOTHING else in it to bulk out the pigment. That is why we only have tiny little pots of the stuff. So when you start mixing it into gel, you only need the smallest crumb. 
Now I know from experience...I start mixing the red nothing happened...this little crumb might stain the gel...but it looks rubbish and I want to add more.... 
Keep mixing, eventually the red will break down and you will find it will get stronger. If you find it is not strong enough...add another crumb...but no more! Remember the LIGHT penetration dilemma we have. 
So now you have a looks a bit wishy washy...and you think...'this is not looking like a gel polish colour to me, why have I done this?'

.....hmmmmm yes why have you done this? 
Let me come back to that point in a minute.......

So now we are at issue 3 application...

As a rule with any gel polish application, the thicker the application the less efficient the cure.  This also applies with regular takes longer to dry the thicker layers. It is a false economy to imagine 2 thick coats will be better than 3 or 4 thin ones, for a start you will get more lifting sooner and it won't be as hard wearing.  


Because the Thinner coats allow more light to penetrate the layer. So now we have our wishy washy looking colour and we want to apply an all over polish is going to take a few more layers to get the vibrant red look we are lets add more pigment.....NO! 

More pigment...less light penetration - less curing! 

Get the picture? Just in case you don't...imagine these blinds on the window is the extra pigment you add to the gel, turn the blind (add more pigment) and we block the light......! 

Although it might say on your instructions to mix the gel and pigment together, I didn't mean for you to create full cover nails with it,  I do mix pigment and gel when I am creating designs or doing art work, but for a full coverage...I will go with what is meant to be hard wearing and long lasting and pick up a gel polish colour. 
So let me tell you how to create full cover colour with pigment in half the time. 
Lately I have been  creating full colour nails with the pigments....taking me very little time to do so as well. I also mainly use White or Black gel polish to achieve this look and this is my suggestion for you to save time, effort and stressing over non curing issues. 

The gel polish leaves a sticky layer once in the pigment to this layer....there is no mixing, no worrying and it is much quicker to apply.  The bonus you have control over the application s do't have to chase the gel over the nail. You can create a blend, layer the pigment colours and glitters, you can even scratch off the pigment to create a pattern and the colour shows up underneath. 

I hope this has been helpful advice don't try and cut corners and make your own colours for gel them..they are designed for that job......use the pigments for art and creating back grounds. 

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