Creating gorgeous enhancements that are strong and durable takes time and practice, which is why you need to work on getting y our liquid-to-powder ratio right. If you get this part of the treatment wrong then your client’s acrylic set could be compromised.
Tinu Bello, founder of Colour Riot Nails in London, reveals how you can get your bead consistency just right, knowing from experience how tough this can be to achieve. “This was my number-one problem when I was learning how to do acrylics – it was a nightmare – but with lots of practice it got easier and I became much more confident,” she says.
So, where do you start? Bello advises swotting up on your salon’s acrylic system before you do any practical work. “Different systems will have different ratios you need to follow, so refer back to the manufacturer’s ‘how to’ guidelines for the best advice. Then, when working with your powder-to-monomer ratio, make sure it’s quite dry because if it’s too wet then it’s going to run into the client’s cuticles,” she explains.
“When I’m teaching my nail techs how to do acrylic sets, I make them pick up beads and place them on laminated paper because the texture is similar to the nail plate. If the bead stays taut in one place then it’s got a good ratio, but if it spreads out of its ball then it’s too wet. You really don’t want a runny bead.”
She adds: “The runnier it is, the wetter your brush will be, and the more problems you’ll create because it’ll seep into the cuticles and side walls, creating a mess. Practise picking up your beads regularly and you’ll soon be able to determine your ratio correctly.”
Figuring out how many times to wipe your brush to pick up the perfect bead also depends on the system you’re using, says Bello. “However, a top technique is to dip your brush, wipe one side against the side of your dish, and then use the wet side to pick up the bead. I don’t tap into my acrylic either – I just pick up a ball. You’ll find which method works best for you the more you practise.
“A lot of nail techs think a bigger brush will make doing acrylic easier, but start with a 10 or 12 and then work your way up to a larger brush when you’re quicker at doing sets. Also, start with short sets on clients before moving on to the really long, extravagant ones because these designs will need more beads. It’s about working your way up to that.” PB
common mistakes techs make when doing acrylic nails