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Hard gel / gel polish
Thanks Barb and Donna!

Since you use Young Nails can you please tell me if my steps are correct. I am new to YN and therefore still learning what the product is capable of. Do I need to put any product such as Finish over the Flex Gel....remove the inhibition layer as well as remove shine from the surface before preceeding with SOG or is it OK to simply continue layering from the Flex layer.
Thank you for your insight and personal experience working with the product.
If using a hard gel as a "base" or "buffer" for just a bit of additional strength- do you still need the SOGP's base coat applied on top of hard gel?
Would you wipe hard gel inhibition layer first- then proceed with SOGP base or SOGP color?
Thanks :-)
I was the one who wrote the article with Nails Mag about this technique. I've been doing it for about 4 years - before Shellac was even on the market. Back then, those of use who did gel manicures with pot-gels, typically solvent free colored gels. The typical rule of gels in pots is that if they soak off they are flexible, if they don't soak off they are hard. What I was finding with clients that went 3-4 weeks, as many do since their color still looks perfect, is that they would get stress cracks on their natural nails. They didn't like the feel of the flexibility of their natural nails, the soak off colors didn't add any hardness, which is what people love. So, I started adding a layer of classic hard gel (Akzentz Natural). NO stress arch at all. The flexibility of the colored soft gel and the hard gel works in perfect balance to give clients the feel that they have hard natural nails, and prevents any breaking.

I efile off the color easily with a sanding band right down to the clear layer. Reapply a nice thin layer of hard gel and redo their color (I do NOT wipe the dispersion layer off at all). This is my Gel Manicure service. I don't soak anyone off. I DO offer traditional base, color and top using Luxio 100% gel polish on a customer who will not be returning to the salon, give them removal pads and a file and teach them how to properly soak off in 3-4 weeks when they desire. The hard gel base is a "benefit" for regular clients. The price is the same - $60. For clients who had to go 2 times a month to get gel manicures for $30-40, now they can come in once a month and many say it saves them money and time. This service built my book from starting at a new salon to booked in about a year.

The reason why I stated that it doesn't work with all products, is that it doesn't. Donna had mentioned earlier in this post that she gets cracks if she doesn't apply an arch. Some talk about cracks in the gel color. It doesn't work with all products, that balance of flexible gel and hard gel needs to be there if you ARE NOT creating an arch and you are dealing with very thin hard gel applications. It works like a charm with Akzentz and its 80% of my salon business.
Jessica Hoel
Nail Professional
Akzentz Distributor & Educator
I also use Young Nails hard gels, and have used it as a hard gel base under gel polish without cracking. I've done it with their build gel and flex gel and both worked, but I prefer to use Build for putting on straight and reserve Flex for when I'm mixing in glitters.

Like Jess, I don't wipe off the dispersion layer before applying gel polish. One thing, make sure you aren't over curing the gel - since you're only putting down a thin layer with the hard gel it only takes about 90 seconds to cure. Probably less, but I aim for around the 90.

My steps- file off color, prep nail growth area, cleanse, apply protein bond, {YN synergy} base gel, {YN Synergy build} hard gel, color gel polish and {gel polish} top coat.

That said, I am finding great success with an all gel polish service by using two coats of base coat. I used to always use the Mani-Q base coat and top coat regardless of whether I used Gelish or Mani-Q (or other gp's I've tried) color coats. Since Cuccio came out, I only use their top coat and the few people I had who were still chipping a bit pretty much stopped.

My gel polish mani steps- file off color, prep nail growth area, cleanse, apply protein bond, two coats of {gel polish} base (cure in between), color gel polish and {gel polish} top coat. I've found that my clients can wear their nails fairly long with this service - long enough for most. If someone wants to go even longer (past what I think of as "salon length") then I will do three or even four layers of base coat. For myself I can wear my nails VERY long with four coats of base, all in sog.

Any time the hard gel is used, then yes, I do charge my hard gel prices - because as soon as you start using that the clients can start wearing their nails even longer and it's an easy switch up to bling nails. Smile Technically I should charge more once I'm using three or four layers of base, but I don't. Generally these ladies with longer nails also wear nail art (which I do charge for) and I still finish within my service time so for now I'm not charging extra for it.

**edited to clarify which products used
Nail Tech/Owner
Thank you! Excellent, informative. responses! I thank you so much. One disadvantage of being the only nail tech in a salon is the lack of being able to share each others techniques. I thank you for sharing your methods so thoroughly so I am able to understand each step. Smile
Sounds like a great idea. What are you using to file off the gel polish? I don't use an e-file. Also, what do you tell people when they want the hard gel off, just buff it off? Thanks so much. Does Star Nail have a hard gel you can use for this?
Candice - I'm sorry- I'm confused ;-)
Between All Gel polish service & your steps-can you clarify?
Is it 2 base costs or a base & hard- would you mind clarifying again?
I have young nails products- you are using the synergy line in "gels" ? And gel polish/ or SOGP as the colors in between?
Thanks as always!!
I'm confused too, not sure I understand your question/confusion, so I'll just list my steps.

Hard gel with gel polish on top - (this is different from a full service set of gel nails, which are sculpted with added length and an arch, and require filing to shape after builder gel application - this service is just an overlay for SOME added protection from chipping with a fairly thin layer of build gel)

1. prep, cleanse, protein bond
2. Synergy base gel
3. Synergy build gel (thin layer, no arch)
4. 2 layers of Gel polish, cure each -either Mani-Q, Cuccio Veneer or Gelish (which I'm phasing out)
5. Cuccio Veneer top coat

All gel polish service

1. same as above
2. 2 layers of gp base coat
3. 2 layers of Gel polish
4. Cuccio Veneer top coat

-Basically if I'm using hard gel on the bottom, then I use the hard gel base gel.
-If I'm using gel polish (whether on natural nails or over an enhancement) I use the Cuccio gel polish top coat.
-I used to use YN Finish gel over the top of gel polish that was applied on acrylic/hard gel nails, but have found that it doesn't stay as shiny as using the gel polish top coat. I'm sure there's a chemical reason behind this.
-I used to always use the mani-Q base & top coat regardless of what Gel polish color I was using, but have found that the Cuccio Veneer top coat seems stronger and it has all but eliminated chipping except those who would chip no matter what product they are wearing.

I hope that clarifies things.
Nail Tech/Owner
Awesome- THANK YOU! Appreciate your response!
You're welcome!
Nail Tech/Owner
I'm wondering about pricing on this too, If I add a base layer of hard gel then they are getting gel nails correct? When they come back in you remove the sog & fill in the hard gel then re-apply the's no longer a gel polish manicure.
CND Master
young nails
light elegance
(06-22-2013, 12:04 AM)Cindee Wrote: I'm wondering about pricing on this too, If I add a base layer of hard gel then they are getting gel nails correct? When they come back in you remove the sog & fill in the hard gel then re-apply the's no longer a gel polish manicure.

This is why I NEVER combine the words "gel" and "manicure."
Jaime Schrabeck, Ph.D. (yes, it's real)

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