Entries Tagged 'Nail Polish Application' ↓

Undercured Gel Polish What and Why

One problem people may have with gel manicure is undercuring. It shows when the polish is still sticky after curing and wiping. Undercuring will increase the risk of service breakdown and may increase the risk of an allergy to any gel product.

Gel polish not cured enough can lead to allergy

Potential Causes & Solutions

  • Improper hand placement –> Hands and nails should be properly placed far enough under UV or LED bulbs
  • Gel has been applied too thickly –> Apply thin layers. Shake nail polish well before application. Cure each layer separately and cure according to the recommended time by the manufacturer.
  • Not using CND UV Lamp –> Shellac was developed to be fully cured using Shellac lamp. Using different lamp may cause Shellac is not fully cured.
  • Bulbs need to be replaced –> Recommended time to replace all bulbs is 6 months or when it shows signs of undercuring.
  • Incorrect removal of tacky layer or use acetone or diluted Isopropyl Alcohol –> Use 99% Isopropyl Alcohol to remove sticky layer.

Do you have any experience with undercured gel or shellac polish? Please share on the comments below. Thank you.

Source: CND

CND Shellac – Your Questions Answered

If you’d like to know how to apply and remove shellac nail polish, we’ve published a step-by-step, easy to follow, photo tutorials on how to apply CND shellac nail polish and how to remove CND Shellac nail polish. The application and removal processes were done by a CND Education Ambassador.

shop cnd shellac nail polish

Since Esther’s Nail Center started offering CND Shellac, a lot of you have been asking about CND Shellac and our store  shipping policy. We try to put together all questions and answers into this post.

I am not an expert in CND Shellac or frequently use it. What I learned from other nail technicians or internet is what I use to answer these question. I’ll include links for references.

Questions and Answers about Shellac Nail Polish

Q: What CND Shellac colors are used for French Manicure?
A: For the white tip, use Shellac Cream Puff (opaque white) or Studio White (off-white).  For the natural pink, you may use Negligee, Clearly Pink or Romantique. Negligee and Cleary Pink are sheer. Romantique is a bit opaque.

Q: What does Shellac color look like?
A: Solessence has tonnes of photo swatches on CND Shellac nail polish and shellac layering. You have to do some searching to find what you want.  Here are some links to the Shellac nail polish swatches :

Q: Can I used normal nail polish thinner for CND Shellac?

A: According to CND, thinning the product is not recommended & thinner cannot be used without affecting the efficacy of the product. The Shellac may seem thicker in viscosity when cooler in the morning, as the room warms up to an average room temp it should go back to its normal preferred consistency. But if product becomes too thick to use, discard and replace with fresh product. Also it’s recommended to shake, shake and shake shellac prior to use for 30 seconds.  Here’s why (excerpt from Shellac blog on “Why do I need to shake the Shellac bottles?”) :

“If the bottle is not shaken prior to use, a disproportionate amount of solvent will be used as the brush is pulled through the top layer of solvent. Additionally, during use, more Solvent can evaporate out of the open bottle.  As more solvent is used, the formula becomes off balance and the thicker ingredients that settle to the bottom of the Shellac bottle are left. Overtime, this make Shellac seem thicker which makes it difficult to apply Shellac in thin layers and can lead to under curing and wrinkling.”

Q: Do you ship CND Shellac outside the US?
A: Yes, we ship CND Shellac products to outside the US except Acetone and Alcohol.

Q: Do I need a license to buy CND Shellac?
A: We don’t need a license to purchase Shellac. We’re open to professionals and consumers.


To read more about CND Shellac, I list some helpful links for references:

  • Shellac Q&A for Consumer, answers to your common question about Shellac.
  • CND Shellac French Manicure application and removal video tutorial

  • Shellac Blog, if the above are not enough.
  • CND Facebook, I am liking it! Pour out your complain and problem here.
  • Some cool videos on FingerNailFixer.com on pretty basic things like tricks how to apply Shellac Base Coat and Top coat, French manicure, how to use remover wraps, etc.
  • Video instruction on how to use CND Shellac UV Lamp



I’d like to quote what CND said in their News Update. I think it’s worth to read because many of us still have problems with Shellac application.

Lastly, allow us to reinforce some keys for successful use of Shellac:

1. Always use Shellac as a SYSTEM. Using Shellac Base Coat, Color Coat and Top Coat along with the CND (or Brisa) UV Lamp will provide perfect synergy for optimum wear.

a. Substituting any part of the system will result in diminished performance.

b. Substituting another lamp will result in insufficient cure, which reduces durability and length of wear. The UV output of the CND lamp is specifically calibrated to the system and Shellac formulas for proper cure.

2. Proper removal using the Shellac Remover Wraps will help keep your client’s nails gorgeous and healthy! Regular soaking in bowls of acetone or utilizing cotton & foil to remove Shellac will dry out and weaken the nail structure and overexpose the surrounding skin. The advantage of using the Shellac Remover Wraps includes the following:

a. The integrated cotton pad on the Wrap isolates the acetone to the nail plate…not the skin.

b. The plastic liner in the Wrap will help to hold in warmth that will accelerate removal.

c. Pulling the Wrap from the nail helps slide away the Shellac pieces for a tidy, meticulous removal.

3. Shake, shake, and shake! Vigorously shake every bottle before use to effectively blend all ingredients.

4. Apply in thin, even coats and seal the edge of the nail for best wear and to prevent wrinkling.

5. Proper cure is critical to your success with Shellac:

a. Don’t let your lamp bulbs run out! To avoid interruption in your Shellac or Brisa Gel services, make sure you regularly check the time remaining on your lamp bulbs. Go to cnd.com to view the CND in minutes Lamp Set-up Video for a reminder of these full instructions. (http://www.cnd.com/Education/Videos/). Not doing so could result in your lamp shutting off during a service! Paying attention to bulb usage will ensure your lamp continues to provide optimum output to cure your Shellac and Brisa products completely.

b. Remove all film from the lamp. Before using your lamp for the first time, remove all blue film from inside the lamp. Including the bottom FOOT TRAY.

c. Place hands properly in the lamp. Make sure nails are positioned in the highest output area, which is below the center of the bulbs.

d. Lay the hand flat on the tray…and be sure the client doesn’t ‘clench’ the tray with their fingers.


All CND Shellac nail polish, shellac uv lamp, wraps and other products are available at  Esthersnc.com. Check us out!

shop cnd shellac nail polish

Sheer Glitter Toppers

Have you ever purchased a glitter polish thinking it looked a little sheer… but that you might be able to get away with wearing three coats, only to discover that it’s really sheer, as in six-coats-to-opacity-sheer and now you don’t know what to do with it?

I buy these sorts of polishes on purpose, and they’re dead useful. I call them “sheer glitter toppers” and the following post will illustrate various ways in which you can use them.

Glitter Nail Polish

I’ve yet to find a sheer glitter topper that doesn’t look awesome layered over black. Almost all sheer glitters with large pieces of glitter in them will change color in the light, but it’s something that’s usually not visible until layered over a dark creme.

Sheer Glitter Polish

Pictured is one coat of black nail polish with one coat of Adorée’s “Riding Hood” over. In the bottle, “Riding Hood” appears orange with golden glitter, but when applied over black it flashes orange to green which is really cool. You certainly aren’t limited to black when applying toppers to get this effect, any dark creme will work. Last fall a lot of “nearly-blacks” were released, those sorts of colors will also work well to bring out the color-changing qualities in most sheer glitter toppers.

Adoree Wild Inkberry #234

In addition to layering sheer glitter toppers over black or nearly-black cremes, you can layer them over other glitter polishes in order to create new combination glitters. By that I mean, the final result will show the two different glitter colors mixed and it will appear as if your polish was initially made up of more than one glitter color. (Doesn’t it look like these two bottles had a little swatch baby?) If you get bored of the glitters you have, this is a simple and interesting way to make a “new” polish.

Pictured above is two coats of Adorée’s “Wild Inkberry” with one coat of Zoya’s “Vegas Freeze” on top.

Likewise, if you have a colored creme that you wish was a glitter, a sheer glitter topper will add shimmer to your polish without changing the creme color itself. Your base color will shine through while your sheer glitter topper adds a bit of interest.

Adoree Sheer Glitter #237

Finally, my favorite way to wear sheer glitter toppers are as French manicure polishes. While a traditional nude-tinted French manicure polish always looks nice, using a sheer glitter topper instead can turn a plain French manicure into something more interesting and fun, especially if you replace your white tips with a bright creme.

Pictured above is two coats of OPI’s “I’m Indi-a Mood for Love” as tips with one coat of Adorée’s “Ice Mist” over.

Whether you layer them over black, use them to transform other polishes into a new glitter variant or use them as French manicure polishes, sheer glitter toppers are extremely useful polishes to have in your collection.

For all Adoree glitter collection visit  EsthersNC.com, your online source for DIY home manicure & pedicure supplies and nail-related information. Featuring Non Toxic, Safer Nail Polish, Nail Art and Nail Treatment, FREE from Formaldehyde, Toluene & DBP.  Design and tutorial are provided by Asami from Nails by Asami blog. Thank you Asami.

Adoree Glamour Pink #228

Dusty carnation pink with green and gold glitters. Really beautiful and one of the more interesting pinks I’ve run across lately. Three coats pictured above. Beautifully sparkly in the sunlight. Reviewed by Flinty from Polish or Perish blog.

Adoree Glamour Pink #228

Adoree Dusty Pink with Glitters

Dusty Pink with Glitters

Adoree Tudar Brown #135

Deep brownish red. Very vampy and jelly but sheer and relatively hard to build. Three coats is pictured below. Reviewed by Flinty from Polish or Perish blog.

Adoree Tudar Brown #135

Adoree Tudar Brown #135

Vampy Burgundy Nail Polish

Adoree nail polish is available at Esther’s Nail Center (www.esthersnc.com)

Review of Adoree Galaxy Black #245

Flinty at Polish or Perish reviewed Adoree Galaxy Black #245 for her readers in October 2009.  Here’s what she said “I really haven’t ever been so disappointed in my camera (and my photography skills) as when I was taking photos of this polish. It’s so glittery and attractive in person but it’s hard to capture photo or video. In these photos, it looks like what it is: silver glitter in black jelly. IRL though, it sparkles like you would imagine a black glitter to sparkle. This was a NOTD and held up very well with Nubar Diamont: much less tipwear than I usually experience. Three coats in the photos”.

Adoree Galaxy Black #245

Adoree Galaxy Black #245

Black Glitter Nail Polish

Black Glitter Nail Polish
You gotta believe me, it looks like it should be made of black glitter.”

Adoree nail polish is available at Esther’s Nail Center (www.esthersnc.com)

Review of Adoree Wild Inkberry

Adoree Wild Inkberry #234.  It’s silver glitter in purple jelly. In October 2009, this nail polish was reviewed by Flinty from Polish or Perish Blog.  Adoree nail polish is available at Esther’s Nail Center (www.esthersnc.com)

Adoree Wild Inkeberry #234

Adoree Wild Inkberry #234

Adoree Wild Inkberry

Adoree Wild Inkberry

Close Up

Close Up

Adoree Purple Glitter

Polish that lasts!

Step One: Clean, Clean, Clean!

Your hands and nails should be nice and clean and dry and ready for the application of Polish That Lasts now. Double check to make absolutely sure your nails are completely free of oils. This is probably the MOST important reason your polish might not wear well. If you have any peely spots on your nail, go over them one more time with your 3 or 4 way buffer, and if you did not buff your nails during your manicure, do so right now, starting with the most abrasive side and finishing with the smoothest side, being sure to cover the whole nail surface lightly. This will make a tremendous difference in the overall look of your polish, I cannot stress it enough.

Make sure you have everything you might need for the polish sitting out (don’t forget your cuticle pusher and acetone to clean up the inevitable mistakes), and anything you might need in the next two hours handy. Yes, two hours. When you are happy with the look of your nails, put some acetone on a gauze square, and go over your nails one time very well, getting into the grooves on each side of your nails, and underneath as well. This will cause any bit of water left in your nails to evaporate, and will clean off any unseen residual oils from your Spa Manicure or Treatments.

Step Two: Base Coat

You should have already chosen your treatment or regular base coat, for dry nails, brittle nails or the elusive normal nails.

Do not shake your base coat bottle, but turn it upside down slowly just a couple of times. Pull the brush out of the bottle, wipe the brush off on the rim of the bottle, making sure there isn’t a lot of polish running down the neck of the brush, then dip the brush back in just to the top of the bristles. Let the drop of polish that will want to come off the brush come on off, but other than that one drop, you want your brush nice and loaded with polish.

Starting with the pinky of your “right” hand (your dominant hand – this could be your left hand, if you are left handed!), paint a coat of medium thickness on your nails, beginning right next to your cuticle, and pulling your brush straight out, all the way off of the end of your nail. Be sure and cover your whole nail, from side to side, and cuticle to end, always going from cuticle to end, never putting “plops” of polish down, then spreading it out. When the top of your nail is covered, take the brush and slide it right across the tip end of your nail, coating the edge with base coat. If you have any spots that want to run, wipe them off and do them over. You will get the hang of this quickly.

Step Three: Color!

Unlike other people that might tell you to let your polish dry between coats, I am going to tell you to put it all on in one fell swoop. Polish is chemically designed to bond together, and as it all dries, it forms a coating that is much more durable if it all dries together. I promise that your nails will be dry enough to function just as quickly this way as they would be if you let your polish dry between coats.

The application of color is slightly different than that of the basecoat. Prepare the bottle by rolling it across the table, or between your palms, turning it upside down a time or two. NEVER shake your polish; this will almost definitely cause bubbles to appear in your polish. Prepare the brush the same way as you did the base coat, wiping the brush well when you first pull it out of the bottle, then redip the brush just to the top of the bristles. This time, rather than just letting that first drop go and then applying the polish, you want to slightly wipe one side of the brush against the rim, leaving just slightly less color on the brush than you did with the base coat. As you might expect, you will be putting thinner coats of color on than you did with the base coat.
Strokes to polish your nails

Starting again with the pinky of your “right” hand, apply the color in three strokes only, the first down the center, and then one more on each side. Again, always start right next to the cuticle and pull the brush straight out, all the way off the end of the nail. After you have your three strokes done, run your brush across the tip end of the nail, just like you did with the base coat. Over my 18 years of doing nails, most of my clients have told me that they have never had polish stay on like mine does, and also that I am the only manicurist they have ever had who polished the tip ends of the nails. See the connection?

Now, the polish is going to look streaky and terrible to you now, and most mistakes in polishing are made right here, when people try to make the first coat look perfect. Just let it go for now. I promise the next coat will make it look much better. Go for that second coat, just as soon as you are done with the first one. Do it exactly the same way, remembering to coat those ends! Doesn’t it look much better now? If you are doing your toenails, STOP HERE! If you are doing your fingernails, then you are ready to immediately carry on to the Top Coat step.

Step Four: Top Coat

With topcoat, you want a nice even coat, applied not so thick that it globs, and not so thin that it leaves streaks and holes. You may have to load your brush a few times to get the hang of how much polish to leave on there, but your aim is to have enough polish on the brush to cover the entire nail without re-dipping, but not so much that it wants to drip before you put the brush to the nail. When you first pull your brush out of the polish, you will want to wipe off the brush on the sides of the rim, just like you did with the base coat and the polish, and then redip your brush to the top of the bristles. If there is a big drip getting ready to come off the brush, let it drip back into the bottle, if not, then go ahead and apply to your nail. You should be able to get your nail coated in the same “three strokes” manner as your color, but if not, that is ok. Be absolutely sure to run the brush across the tip end of your nail, this is the coat that you do NOT want to forget to do that with. (Christina Jones 09/06)

About the author:
Christina Jones is 20-year veteran of the beauty industry. She has worked in full service salons and day spas. She has owned a nail salon, as well as worked for JTV, Jewelry Television (formerly ACN, America’s Collectibles Network) as the nail tech for the show hosts. Was raised in Tennessee, but reside in Texas now, she is a wife and mother of 3. She loves computers and all things geeky, the outdoors, gardening, building things, family, animals and life in general. In all her spare time she also is a channel editor for b5media.com for the Arts & Crafts, Beauty & Style, Home & Dining and Travel & Culture channels. Visit her website at http://www.nailtechsecrets.com.