College Week 14 – UV Hard Gel with Cover Pink

Tonight was my turn to do a set of UV Hard Gel and tonight I was partnered up with my classmate from last week.

It was the first time I had to work on a set of nails that had become as thin & weak as my were a few months back – before IBX came to the rescue. She’d just had a set of acrylics applied before Christmas & admitted the Tech at the time wasn’t keen on applying a set – but they are family, it was only for Christmas & my classmate was willing to take responsibility of them, so on they went.

I wouldn’t like to say bad things about my course but education wise it’s been very minimal, my classmate went on to say I’ve had acrylics for years and that’s what happens it’s normal…. Well thank god for the knowledge I recieved on my level 2 course, the year experience and continuing to read my text books & the works of the fabulous Doug Schoon, (not to mention the four years I had my nails done by an amazing nail tech) because no it’s not normal I’m afraid. For any one in training or those who currently have your nails done keep reading…

Thin, weak nails is damaged nails I’m afraid, yep sorry about that. Every classmate I’ve seen this year has had the same nails, most common reason being, buffing the nails too much and with the wrong grit file, anything less then a 180 & you risk some serious damage. Although a very informative YouTube video by Doug Schoon informs us the desired effect can be achieved by a 240 grit file, a 180 should be used really for the most troubled nails, usually those of the oily type. Filing the nail is too remove the shine only, not to ‘grit’ the surface or any other similar reason, it’s too remove shine, for the simple reason nothing ever stuck to anything that was shiney. You go too hard you are not only removing shine you risk thinning the nail plate. It can result in making it weak & then lifting which my classmates nails had started to do 😱 

Her nails also showed signs of trauma damage, flaking, peeling etc. Turns out she had started to soak her nails off but got impatient & from the signs on her nails started scraping & picking at them. Again anyone with acrylics/Hard Gel or Gel polish… Don’t! Just Don’t! You’ll thin your nails doing this and I’m afraid there’s nothing you can to repair it but let it grow out. Oils & top coats may curb the peeling & splitting but for your nail to be at 100% the damage has to grow out.

If she was a client I’d have recommended a manicure to get the blood circulating increasing cell renewal, and too allow all those lovely creams to moisturise and provide a barrier against water and heat damage.  A course of IBX (sorry for the second mention, but it really is a fantastic product) would provide an excellent solution too, but as it was class, it was onto practicing a set of UV Hard Gel.

I am so so impressed with myself for the set I accomplished this evening. This was my classmates nails to begin with.

I ended up having to file pretty much the majority of the free edge away, it was so thin & brittle it would have provided no support at all to a nail tip. What that meant was I was left with a smaller surface area to work from.

I must mention this was the only prep to the nail I did. I barely blended the nails either once they were glued on, I filed as much of the tip as I could off the nails. They were so thin too I didn’t even attempt to remove the shine I just moved straight to primer, I’ll be quite interested to see how long they last because of this. Although morally I shouldn’t have touched them I’m just hoping she has been taught enough in class to be able to look after them and know what to do in the event of a contra-action. 

One thing we haven’t been taught this year is filing out tip wells and on occasions like this it’s a must. If I’d applied an average tip as directed almost 1/2 to 2/3 of the nail would have been covered in tip. It means no strength would have come from the applied acrylic and mainly from the nail glue. Have you ever applied a tip with nail glue and measured how long it lasts? Not very long… 

After filing the wells and applying the tips I encounter my next problem, too be fair I anticipated it and got ready the product for it. What was my issue… Well having filed the vast majority of the free edge away and then applying tips my classmate looked to have off balanced nails. The welled out tips still covered a third of her nails and if I applied a white gel, following the contour of the tip I’d have ended up with nails like this… Well worse as the tip is quite clearly visible in the picture 😮

I’m not ashamed to say these are nails done by me and it’s because of these nails I discovered all my errors. As you can see the white covers far too much of the nail, I attempted to not follow the contour of the tip but then ended up with it being visible. ☹️

So lessons learnt then meant this time round the product at my rescue was a cover pink. It quite literally does what it says it’s a pink that covers. I’ve never used such a product before but I’m seriously considering converting to the NSI brand because of the range of Gel & Acrylic base colours they provide. One thing is it may not be suitable for a sensitised technician – like me! I normally wear gloves because I’m so sensitive to acrylic dust & after reading my textbook it would appear most ‘cover’ Gel products are just as volitile, I barely slept after college due to the reaction I had & just wish I’d been told so I could have prepared. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a reaction to a Gel product, because a cover pink was not provided in my IBD kit (for my level 2 course) it was never mentioned but reactions to acrylic were, so I knew immediately after the first time what is was and been prepared ever since. 

It was a little annoying as I was so proud of these nails. Having applied a cover pink first in zones 2 & 3 first & kind of figuring out the most flattering shape for my classmate I then applied my white. I must admit I spent the vast majority of my time on the right hand and for me I’m so so happy with the outcome, I’ve realised too I have a certain style. My class mates nails tonight look identical to my other classmate from a few weeks back but yet the hand & nail shapes are completely different.

The other thing I realised is I’ll never win awards for speed, I’m far too much of a protectionist but it is one reason I want to get into competitions, to push myself to complete a set of nails in a timed enviourment. Unfortunately it meant tonight the right hand looked lovely but the left hand not so much. Here is my finished set.

And to save you having to find the before picture here they are both together.


I can’t wait to use the cover pink more in the future especially because I have to start working on clients with bitten nails it’s going to make such a difference to the final look.

So that’s week 14 & what I feel as been my most knowledgable week. I’ve loved using my experience & trying out new ways to do things, it makes me much more confident as a Nail Technician, I can’t wait for next week.



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