One of the biggest complaints that I have heard about nail lacquer is when it gets thick.
Gals who love a color and use it a lot complain that as time goes on, the lacquer gets thicker in the bottle and doesn’t dry as fast. Sometimes, leaving them in a lurch with dings and “rub outs” on their lacquered digits!
Some of us who love and covet certain colors don’t want to have to throw away our favorites.
Solvents in lacquer are what keep it from drying too quickly. This allows us to apply the color in a timely fashion without it hardening on our nails as we are polishing!
When we open a bottle of lacquer, it is being exposed to the air. This lets the process of evaporation begin.
There is really quite a simple fix for thickening and hardening nail lacquer.
Professional Nail Technicians who have a good amount of money invested in lacquers know the trick to keeping them thin and spreadable.
Again, its the solvents in lacquer are what keep them useable. In other words, the solvents keep lacquer at the right consistency to apply quickly and that allows them to dry properly.
One thing we don’t think about after we have painted our fingernails, is the condition of the bottle. If the bottle has polish around the lip of it, the lid will not seal properly and the lacquer will continue to be exposed to the air.
Even though it is a small amount, over time, the solvents disappear and the lacquer thickens up.
Nail technicians know that to keep their investments in tip top shape, they have to keep the neck of the bottle clean and free of lacquer. The simple act of wiping the neck of the bottle with a lint free wipe with some polish remover on it will do the trick.
They may do this after every service or once a week. What ever time frame they use, it keeps the lacquer in a very usable state.
Lacquer colors that have a large amount pigment are susceptible to thickening even quicker that ones with less pigment. Stark white’s such as OPI’s “Alpine Snow” is a example of this.
This color is widely used for french manicures, which requires more precision and takes a little longer, allowing more air into the bottle.
So for this reason, it is a great investment (and a very inexpensive one) to have a bottle of Lacquer Thinner on hand. There are several different brands, but the one I use is from OPI.
It contains the proper amounts of both ethyl and butyl acetate (the solvents that keep lacquer, well, solvent!) to revive your thick and gooey nail colors.
Simply add a few drops of the thinner to your bottle, roll in the palm of your hands to incorporate well and your ready to polish without having to fight a thick bottle of lacquer. If you lacquer is still thick, just add a few more drops, roll again, and check it out.
I would caution you from using too much at once. It’s easy to add more but a lot harder to try and take it away.
A simple solution to a everyday problem.
So nice, especially when you are a busy nail technician. Nothing worse than working with products or tools that aren’t up to snuff!
Memories of Nail Tech school from Milady’s Standard Book of Nail Technology.
The Egyptians (as early as 3000 B.C.) were the first to cultivate beauty in an extravagant fashion.They used cosmetics as part of their personal beautification habits, as well as their religious ceremonies. They also used cosmetics in preparing their deceased for burials.
They used Henna to stain their hair as well as their nails a rich, warm red.
The Shang Dynasty (1600 B.C.)used a tinted mixture of gum arabic, gelatin, beeswax, and egg whites to rub onto their nails to turn them either crimson or ebony.
Queen Nefertiti (1400 B.C.), also used henna to stain her nails a deep red. The also wore lavish makeup designs and custom blended essential oils as signature scents!
Throughout The Chou Dynasty,(1100 B.C.) gold and silver nails were reserved for royalty. Extraordinarily long nails were also a status symbol for the ancient Chinese Elite.
Greek Soldiers, during the Golden era of Greece (beginning in 500 B.C.), would paint their nails and lips red when preparing for battle. The Egyptian and Romans also painted their nails and lips red when making ready for battle.
Both womeen and men in Roman times from 254-184 B.C., would use sheeps blood and and to add color to their nails.
Queen Cleopatra (50 B.C.) liked a rusty red hued nail and she took her dedication to beauty to the extent of erecting cosmetic factories next to the Dead Sea! (See any correclation here???)T
Th middle ages didn’t bode well for extravagant makeup but they did allow themselves towering headdresses, with intricate hairstyles and makeup on their skin and hair, but not on their nails!
During The Renaissance period, elaborate clothing took the place of elaborate makeup and nails. Although the wealthy always maintained good grooming on their nails.
The Victorian age was a mixture of all of history. Men and women wanted to be well groomed but didn’t want to use cosmetics, so they would pinch their cheeks (remember Grandmas words!) and bite their lips to give them color. Nails on the other hand were sometimes tinted with red oil and then buffed with a chamois cloth.
I met a lovely lady the other day and in our conversation, we started talking about nails.
She was wearing a very pretty french manicure with a coppery bronze twist. It was coppery bronze sparkle at her free edge and then a pretty clear to complete the look.
She asked me, why sometimes, when she is getting her gels done and she puts her hand into cure, that there is a “burning” sensation on her nail bed.
I told her that there could be many different reasons. I thought I would share them with you as well.
To begin with she was wearing a structured nail. This is different from the newest craze in nail care, gel polish. Although they both require a uv source to cure them, the chemical make up is different.
One of the reasons for her burning sensation could be that her nail technician accidentally applied too much product at one time. Once you put your hands into the light source to cure, it starts a chemical reaction. UV Cured systems (either structured or gel polish) require a UV light source in conjunction with photo-initiators in the gel that lets them start to cure.
If there is too much product on a nail, then, basically, there is too much action in one spot. This causes the “burning” sensation.
One more reason is if your nail technician is using a new light source or has new bulbs in her existing UV light source. Its kinda like when you put additives in your fuel. It ups the octane level to make your engine run better. New lights=better performance which can equal quicker initiation of curing in gels.
Another reason is if you have sensitive nails. Either naturally sensitive nails, or from some type of internal (health issues) or external damage to your nail bed. If your natural nail has been compromised, then using any type of enhancement may have some level of discomfort. Please don’t be afraid of using enhancements just because of this statement.
If you are going to a licensed nail technician, then they should know if your nails are compromised past the point of being able to enhance them. Make sure your “tech” is licensed in your state or province (where applicable) and up to date on current health, safety and most importantly sanitization standards.
As a professional nail technician, I always welcomed clients inquiries into my sanitization policies, as well and what products I used. If you aren’t getting a straight answer from your prospective nail ‘tech’, MOVE ON!
On this point, please do not continue using any type of treatment on your nails (or hair or skin for that matter) if you are experiencing pain. Especially if you or your nail technician notice changes in your natural nail or the surrounding areas.
Now that I have cloaked this blog in doom and gloom, I want to point out that nail care in general and artificial nail enhancements are a wonderful things.
They can make you feel dressed to the “nines” even when you are in your PJ’s.
They can show a different side of you. Whether you are a closet ” rocker” or just love classically, neat, tidy and well groomed nails.
Or whether it is a mad dash into the salon to get a quick fix up for that important meeting that makes you feel that “Yes, I am ready for this!”
They can make us feel polished and completely put together!
Besides, who doesn’t like spending a hour with someone who is holding your hand and giving you some undivided attention?