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Nearly nailed it…..

False nails, overlays, gel, gel polish, acrylic, sculpture, tips, polish, lacquer ,manicure, paraffin wax…


When you call your salon for a nail appointment, do you really know what you need and what the salon offers ? There are so many ways of caring and improving your nails in 2018 that it’s worth doing a little read up first.

A nail appointment is a necessity for some of my clients. It’s a way to feel finished and groomed. It’s a quick and simple way to add to an outfit or boost your confidence for an interview. It can be a once in a while treat or a regular 2/3 week appointment for maintenance, but which ever you choose it’s important to know what system or treatment you are being offered.

One of the most regular problems I have in salon is nail based.

A client booked in for a nail appointment for a nail that has been completed by another technician.


As a beauty therapist I never have a problem giving a treatment to a new client. However, if that client does not know what nail system they currently have it’s incredibly difficult for me to assess what I need to offer. For example, a client has a file and polish on holiday. As they are chatting away they don’t realise that the polish is a thin gel that had been set very quickly in a UV light. This becomes a completely different appointment.

Before you book a nail appointment consider a few questions first …

Would you like your nails to look longer ?


If so you’ll need an extension, which can be performed in a few different ways.

Acrylic has been around in the beauty industry since the 70s. It can be sculpted directly onto the natural nail or applied over a pre formed plastic tip. Acrylic nails are a blend of acrylic powder and liquid, expertly blended by the nail tech to create a very strong and long lasting nail.

Acrylic nails have come and gone from fashion over the last few years as they are deemed to cause more damage than gel or gel polish. They are ideal for heavy handed clients or those wanting more creative nails.

Gel is a little newer to the industry and can be split into 2 categories.

Hard gel can also be sculpted or applied to a tip. It’s every bit as strong as acrylic and has the benefit of less fumes while using the products. Gel is less likely to discolour in the sun.

Soft Gel cannot normally be sculpted ( there are a few exceptions ) It must be applied either to a pre formed tip or over a previously created acrylic sculpture.

Do you want a nail system or to improve and care for your natural nail ?

Let’s talk gel polish, UV polish, nail lacquer and strengtheners.

When you call to book your appointment 9 conversations out of 10 will go …

Can I book my nails please ? Of course you can, what would you like to book ?

As we’ve discussed, there’s loads of options available in the beauty industry today. The most confusing to decipher is the whole Gel Polish situation. Is it a gel ? Is it a polish?

There’s a really simple way to solve the conundrum. If you have to put your hand in a UV lamp, it’s a gel. If you have to sit and wait, however short a time, for your colour to dry, it’s a polish or lacquer.

An appointment for a gel polish or extension comprises..

  1. A tidy of the cuticle and nail shape

  2. A slight abrasion of the nail plate

  3. A wipe over to remove oil and slightly dehydrate the nail

  4. Application of gel polish or hard gel to an extended tip, which is set in a UV lamp

  5. The nail is dry and complete.

An appointment for a file and polish or manicure comprises..

  1. A tidy of cuticles with or without soaking in warm water

  2. Shaping the nail

  3. Hand and nail massage

  4. A wipe to remove oil

  5. Application of lacquer

  6. The nail needs to be left to dry.


What time and money are you happy to dedicate to your nails ?

Time wise, nail appointments can range from a speedy 15 minutes to a lengthy 2 hours completely dependant on which system you choose.

As a rule, and using average prices for the area

A file and polish 30mins £12

A manicure 45 mins £24

A deluxe manicure 60mins £29

A gel overlay/ polish 60mins £27

A full set of extensions 90mins £40

As you can see, if you make an appointment for a file and polish without asking for it to be a gel, your therapist is immediately 30minutes short of time and you’ve been quoted less than half of the appointment price !

A manicure or file and polish can be done as often or as sporadically as you like. There’s no upkeep besides the shape and cuticle care. An overlay or set of extensions will require 2/3 weeks appointments that will take around 60/75 minutes. Big, big differences in price and time.

Brand power…

Many of the systems on the market now are offered under their trademark names so it’s even harder to select the one you need. I’m sure you’ll recognise a good few of these and I’ve tried to break them into groups.

BIOSCULPTURE offer a gel polish and lacquers.

OPI offer lacquers, a longwear nail polish called Infinite Shine, Gel Polish, and Acrylic

CND offer SHELLAC and VINYLUX, a gel polish and long wear polish respectively. Acrylic and hard gel.

NSI offer a gel polish, Acrylic, hard gel

JESSICA offer lacquers and Geleration, a Gel Polish.

There’s loads of brands on the market so before you book your appointment, educate yourself. Look at the price list of the salon you’d like to visit. Ask yourself the 3 questions above and make your nail appointment with confidence.

❤️ Thanks for reading xx

#styling #Nails #Photography #OPI #salon #biosculpture #nailextensions #Beauty #therapists #BeautyTherapy

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