Monday, February 24, 2014

What are you putting on my nails?

Hand and Nail products and uses

When you are getting your nails done, do you ever wonder, "What are you putting on my nails, NOW?". Do you feel like they are just layering products on, one after the other? Or wonder what the actually do for you and if you really need them?

Here is complete list of what I use during natural nail services and why I use them.

 Hand Sanitizer
Swiss Hand Guard - This waterless hand sanitizer eliminates germs and bacteria for safe, sanitary salon services. Use this as any gel hand sanitizer before contact with your hands during a nail service.

This is another quality consistency issue with me. I trust it. And it is a must before I touch you, for my safety and yours. Not all gel hand sanitizers had the same amount of alcohol. I also don't recommend using lotion based sanitizers as they have been linked to resistance in bacterium. The lovely mint scent doesn't hurt, either.

Polish remover
Acetone, Acetone based polish remover or Non-Acetone polish remover used with a cotton ball or lint free pad dissolves and removes polish from the nail plate before the start of a new nail service.

I do this first after sanitation so that I can do a better consultation for your service and make sure the natural nail or extensions are healthy and what services would best serve my client.

Cuticle Remover
CND Cuticle Eraser -An alpha-hydroxy cuticle treatment. Conditioning blend of alpha-hydroxy acids (A.H.A.’s)micro-exfoliates cuticles and moisturizes nail plate and surrounding skin. Allowing for easy remove off excess cuticle from plate and softens and prevents hangnails. Applied around nail plat on cuticle and finger on side of nail.

I love this cuticle remover. It's fast an isn't as irritating like some with AHA. I use the cream on hands and the liquid gel, Cuticle Away, on feet. I feel like the gel is stronger and a bit hard for delicate hands. I will also use the gel on calluses to help exfoliate them, but that is off recommendation use.

Hand Lotion
Hempz Hand and body lotion -  Hand and body moisturizer that provides skin hydration and nourishment to help improve the health and condition of skin.

I use the lotion in manicures and pedicures during the massage.

Water free Cleanser
ScrubFresh - A natural-nail surface cleanser and temporary dehydratorQuickly evaporating solvent that removes oil, moisture and contaminants from the nail surface, This helps remove oils after the use of cremes, and lotions in the manicure. I use this after I have worked on the nails and cuticles and massaged then hand in regular polish manicure, after nail work and cuticle remover in gel polish manicures. Applied to nail plate only

Some nail techs will just use polish remover or straight acetone, but I feel like this does a great job with out ruining the work I did on the cuticles but excess drying.

 pH Balancing Agent
Bondaid - A pH balancing agent that brings your nail back to it's natural ph after cleansing to help with adhesion of polish, tips, acrylic or gel. Applied to nail plate only


I will use this right before basecoat application of both regular and gel
polish. Without this neither polish manicure will last until it's time for your next appt. I will use different basecoats for different clients but they will all get and application of Bondaid. 

Nail Strengthener
 Nail Envy -  Natural Nail Strengthener formulas strengthen with wheat protein and calcium while targeting specific nail needs with additional nourishment and encouragement.Applied to nail plate only before polish if needed.

In the 19 yrs since I attended cosmetology school and ventured into this industry I have never found a nail strengthening product I like more. There are 6 different formulas now, that target specific problems but I honestly stick with the original because it works for all and I don't have room. I will use others if someone has a big issue with a specific problem and send it home with them.

Cuticle oil
CND Solar oil / OPI Avoplex - A Blend of naturally light oils and vitamins, designed to deeply penetrate and protect skin and nails. Creates stronger, healthier nails and more hydrated cuticles. Applied either on cuticle around nail or including nail plate depending on service with either a brush or dropper.

I prefer these to oils to all others but I use Solar Oil more often just because the sweet almond oil base has so much more a pleasant smell for me to use all day then the avocado oil in the OPI product.

I used a lot of brand names and pictures of the products I use in this post. All of the products listed above are made by countless different companies and several price points. I listed the products brand names that I used under the what it was.

I use them in the manufacturers bottles when ever possible because we also sell these products and I don't have to worry about properly labeling them as required by state law if I just leave them in original or refill the original packaging. . Some salon don't have as large a retail side and/or will buy in bulk gallon or liter size packaging so you may see a lot of the same type of flip top or pump liquid containers like this one below. There is nothing wrong with transferring to these types of containers and ofter them make the service a lot easier and kept the product from becoming contaminated if it has to be all the way open to use in it's original packaging. I use them for my acetone, polish remover, and scrubfresh. I just cover the indention with my lint free pad and pump the top for one hand application.

Everyone of these products is needed to provide the best possible service to use. Whether if be to safety and hygiene, beautification, or to insure our services and the look you get lasts I don't put it on your hands and nails unless it I need to. 
If you have question about products, smells, sensations you have while in a salon, please ask! We try to use products that are safe for all but if you have a different experience we need to know to protect and provide better services to you and all of our clients. We prefer our clients to be well informed and we love to talk about nail care. It is what we do, after all!
Have you ever questioned a product used during a service before? What was your experience?

Julep February Birthstone Collection


  1. Nice information. Just wanted to share a small amount with you also. I found a cuticle oil that has been awesome. It is called bliss kiss, from simple nail are tips. She is on Facebook, Instagram, and has a website. She is a very sweet lady and has daily giveaways also. You can see my transformation ony Instagram, it's 707carrie. Well enjoy your day. Thank you again. I need all info I can get. I like to compare items also.

  2. I just want to know what acetone is best to get? Currently I have the pure for glitter and the non acetone for regular polish

  3. I always use a nail strengthener. I never knew about the lotions and the hand sanitizers