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Here are some of our most frequently asked questions. Click on the question to see our recommendations.


Why is Nail lacquer Bubbling?

Nail lacquer will bubble due to 3 reasons - either the nail plate has moisture on it prior to painting, the nail lacquer, top coat, base coat is being applied too thickly and too quickly or RapiDry spray is being sprayed too soon after top coat application or too close to the nail. In hot weather lacquer will be more prone to bubbling as it thickens when it is warm.

Bubble free Nail Lacquer Application:

  • Squeak the nail plate with NAS 99 and allow to dry
  • Apply chipskip to the natural nail and allow to dry
  • Nail Envy and ridge filler are thicker in texture than regular base coat - if they have to be used, make the layers thin- use product sparingly and allow to dry for slightly longer before applying lacquer.
  • Apply lacquer in thin layers - don't worry if the nails look streaky - the colour is evened out on the 2 nd coat. It is essential to apply THIN layers - thick lacquer WILL BUBBLE. The hotter it is the thicker lacquer will be - thin layers are necessary to allow the solvents in the lacquer to escape and therefore dry without bubbling.
  • Leave longer between applying the layers of base, lacquer and top coat than usual.
  • Wait for approx 5 mins before applying RapiDry spray. Spray from about 12 inches away from the nails.
  • Store lacquers out of direct sunlight and in a cool cupboard. Putting them in the fridge is not recommended.
  • Do not work in direct sunlight.

How long does the colour gel last?

This will very from client to client but as a general rule we can advise 2-3 weeks depending on the client's lifestyle and their homecare routine. For example if your client intends to do any manual work with their hands then the free edge will wear much quicker and will not be as long lasting. The length of wear can also depend on the type of nails your client has. If a client has dry, flaky nails that are prone to peeling at the free edge you may find the gel will also flake with their nails. Always advise a client on the wear and durability of the gel by carrying out a thorough consultation. This way you can ensure that the clients expectations of the treatment are realistic.

How can my customers prolong the life of their manicure?

The first step to long lasting manicures begins in the salon. Ensure that the nails are always squeaked with NAS 99 (not polish remover as these contain oil) prior to painting. Follow this by applying a layer of OPI Chipskip prior to application of the base coat to ensure maximum adhesion. At home clients can add a layer of topcoat to their nails approximately 2/3 days later to re-new the shine and prolong the wear of the lacquer. Also using Avoplex oil on a daily basis will prevent nails from becoming dry and flaky therefore the lacquer will wear longer as it will not flake with the nail.

How do I get a perfect smile line with a french manicure?

To create a perfect smile line it is best to lie the Pro-wide brush flat on the free edge of the nail and sweep the brush horizontally across the nail in one sweeping arch making sure that you start at the corner point of the free edge and finish in the corner point of the other side of the free edge. Apply the white in one brush stroke to ensure a more even coverage and colour consistency. The consistency of OPI Nail lacquers means that it is usually only necessary to apply one coat of the white. However it can be applied in two thin coats if required. Any mistakes or smudges can be cleaned up using either the, OPI corrector pen or a fine pointed brush dipped in OPI nail polish remover. If you know you will probably be required to tidy up the white smile lines, do not apply base coat to the nail first, apply the base coat after the white application to prevent any base coat being removed in the tidy up process. Applying the base coat after the white has been painted on can help to prolong the life of the white free edge which can be prone to chipping.

Can you mix acrylic products with gel products?

We would never recommend that you mix these products, however they can work together in certain situations. Gel top coats and sealers are quite often applied over the top of an acrylic nail to act as a high shine top coat with a "water proof" seal. Similarly, colour gels can be applied over acrylic nails to give long lasting colour.

Is Sculpting stronger than a tip and overlay?

Comparatively there is no great difference in strength providing the application has been carried out correctly. Has the Apex been built up enough to provide strength in the stress area and have you maintained the correct nail ratio of 1/3 white to 2/3 pink? As always - do a full consultation and ascertain whether sculpting is going to suit the client depending on their lifestyle. Clients who have manual jobs or hobbies may find a tip and overlay would suit them more and last longer than a sculpt.

What is the difference between Gel and Acrylic?

Both gel and acrylic systems are acrylate based products. They do however have different working properties and wear. Gel is a lighter product to wear and is more flexible so will bend and move with a clients nails. It is odourless so is an ideal enhancement system to use in spas and salons that don't want to deal with the odour issues common with acrylic. Gel has to be cured by UV light and is usually removed by manual filing. Acrylic is a harder wearing product and may be a better choice of enhancement for a habitual nail bitter or someone who has a very manual job or hobby that requires a durable and tough nail enhancement. Acrylic cures naturally once the liquid and powder are mixed and it can be soaked off easily.

What are the advantages/disadvantages to using white tips rather than doing a pink and white overlay?

Using a white tip obviously reduces the time of your treatment considerably, as well as creating an instant perfect smile line on every nail. This can make them great for express sets or for those clients only requiring a set of nail enhancements for a special occasion. The disadvantage to using these tips is that once they grow up and the natural begins to show, the enhancement either needs rebalancing, or removing and replacing. For a client looking to have a pink and white enhancement over a prolonged period of time will be better served by either sculpting a pink and white nail or by using a pink and white overlay over a natural blended in tip.

Why is it taking me so long to remove the colour gel?

The first, and most important step in the removal process is filing the surface of the nails thoroughly. All the sealer gel has to be removed, so the nail should look completely dull all over. If there are any shiny patches left on the nail, then there is still sealer gel on the surface of the nail and the remover will not be able to work effectively. Once the sealer gel has been removed, saturate a nail wipe in Expert Touch lacquer remover and apply this to the nail. Once this is done, Wrap foil (shiny side in) around the nail and ensure that it fits snugly. Leave the nails for about 10 minutes, then remove the wraps and use a plastic cuticle stick to slide the gel away from the nail., Heated towels or mitts can be used to speed up the removal process, but by following the steps above, removal should take no longer than 20 minutes from start to finish.

What after care should I be recommending my colour gel clients do?

To help prolong the life of the colour gel clients should be given thorough homecare advice. This should include the use of Avoplex oil daily. Advise clients that OPI products have been tested to ensure that they have not unwanted affects on the colour gel and that they will achieve better results by sticking within the Brand range. Clients that want to top their colour gel up with the corresponding lacquer shade must use acetone free polish remover only during the removal process. It is also important to remind clients that washing up gloves should be used whilst carrying out household chores. Preparing a simple aftercare leaflet to give to you clients is a very effective method of reinforcing the importance of aftercare.

Can I use the Axxium Soak off Lacquer gel and Axxium lamp for pedicures?

Axxium Soak off Lacquer gel is suitable for use on toes and the lamp is ideal for toenail gel application as the hand tray can be removed and the foot comfortably inserted into the lamp. To raise the toes up slightly, it is recommended that a folded towel is placed underneath the foot to raise the toes closer to the bulbs for correct curing.

Why do I need to Train to use OPI Enhancement products?

OPI is the worlds leading nail care brand, used in salons and spas in over 100 countries. Quality products and services are the key to this success and this is achieved through high quality education. Our belief is that it is essential to train all nail technicians in product knowledge and application to ensure the product is being used in the correct manner and the resulting treatment gives the quality finish that only the OPI brand can assure. This ensures the integrity of the OPI brand.