Friday, March 18, 2016

New! Acrylic Dip Step by Step for Colored Powders

Take advantage of these step by step instructions for applying the NEW Acrylic Dip Colored Powders!

  • Prep Nail & cleanse with Hygienic Elegance 
  • Remove shine by buffing with a 600 grit file & remove dust 
  • Apply Base Glaze to natural nail 
  • Spray Glaze Dryer 
    • if applying a tip: Remove shine off the free edge 
    • Apply tip w/ Finish or Base Glase (Finish will set up faster) 
    • Seam Tip by applying Base Glaze to the smile line (where artificial tip meets natural nail) 
    • Spray Glaze Dryer
  • Apply Finish Glaze 
  • Dip into Powder
  • Apply Finish Glaze
  • Some colored powders do need to be double dipped to get a solid color. If so, at this point you can dip into the powder again. Apply Finish Glaze over powder(continue with the below steps)
  • Spray with Glaze Dryer
  • Apply Base Glaze
  • Spray with Glaze Dryer
  • File and Buff: Use a 240 grit around cuticle and a 600 grit over the entire nail. 
  • Apply Extreme Colored Powder Top Coat (this will bring it back to a vibrant color and high shine.
  • Apply Nail Radiance Cuticle Oil
Add caption

Powders available in 18 colors! New colors added often

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Nail Files & Filing 101

A short introduction on the types of nail files available and on the art of nail filing

We asked a few of our top nail technicians to explain the best way to file nails. Below are their tips and tricks for that perfect nail - Every time!

The higher the grit number, the softer the file. The lower the grit, the coarser the file. 80 & 100 files are coarse. Then you have 100, 180 and 240's which are a medium-coarse grit. A 600 grit file is fine. There are also files available for buffing and shining the nail. (Backscratchers white & gray).

The Basics of Filing Shape in Nails
The "trick" with filing shape is how you hold your file (angle) and what perspectives you look at to check the shape. For rounded nails: Hold the file flatter as you file underneath (bevel) the free edge. 
(180 degrees is perfectly flat under the nail)For square: Hold it straight on (perpendicular) to the 
free edge. The "flatter" your file, the rounder the nail. (Straight on, dead square is a 0 degree -i.e.: none! - tilt of the file!) Practice this shaping technique by varying the angle on the file to produce different shapes of nails.Whatever angle you hold the file at in relation to the nail as you shape, just be sure it's the same angle on all 10 nails. This will also help to keep the shape the same on both sides of the nail (left and right). Watch out for "drag" on the side you are handed. You will tend to file heavier on one side than the other, causing lopsided nails. Check this by looking at (and re-filing as needed) the nails from another angle (such as hold the hand up in front of you to see it, see "views.” Make a habit of checking the nail from 7 different vantage points when checking the shaping (identical of course) and the contouring (think almonds here!)

The 7 usual views of the nail to consider are
1) Our usual filing view (overall picture),
2) Left side lateral (landscape contouring and arches),
3) Right side (landscape contouring and arches),
4) Down the barrel ("C" Curve),
5) Held up in front of you forwards (shaping and proportionality),
6) Backwards view or the backside of the hand and nails (evenness and proportionality),
7) Clients view, turn the hand around to see what they see from their perspective (overall picture again!). Consistent and constant use of these 7 steps can eventually train your eye to see "most" common and obvious flaws from just one or two angles instead of needing to see all 7.

Clarification on a few of the angles
#5) Held up in front of you forwards (shaping and proportionality), Hand is held with knuckles facing you (the tech) and palm facing client, fingers pointed skyward.

#6) Backwards view or the backside of the hand and nails (evenness and proportionality), 
This is the reverse of #5;  Palm toward tech, knuckle side to client, fingers still pointing skyward 
(clients elbow resting on table)

#7) Clients view: turn the hand around to see what they see from their perspective (overall picture again!). This is similar to #5 except it's like looking down the barrel of the nails from the cuticle end, not the free edge end. Palm is toward table, knuckle side up, nails pointing toward client, client elbow and wrist turned around toward tech. This is the lying down or flat view of #5 (while 5 is the standing up or vertical view.)

Choosing Nail Shape
Choosing a shape is a compromise between many factors. Client preference is just one of them. Clients many times will unknowingly ask for shapes that may be incompatible with their lifestyles or not flattering to their hands. It is our job as the professional to educate clients on other factors that will affect the final decision on shape, such as lifestyle, habits, hobbies, nail health, length the client wants to wear nails, her nail and finger width, length, etc. Generally the most flattering shape for fingernails will be shape or free edge that somewhat mirrors their lanula (moon), which will tend to be somewhat squoval for most (some rounder, some squarer). But of course, squarer tends to be stronger. Length can be a factor too, as some clients see shaping of the free edge to include all the sidewalls in the free edge, too. Let them know that "pointy" tapered nails are not durable. Rounded nails get rounded at the free edge only. By educating clients on what shapes will flatter their hands and be the most durable, you can generally compromise on a shape that works out well for them. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Marketing Your Salon with Social Media

Social media posts should entice your customers to crave more interaction and communication. Your content needs to be engaging and interesting to those who are going to read it and should provide them with some new source of information.

Post facts, information or photos that your target audience would find appealing and that are in line with your brand image. For example, if your hair salon has a young, fun, modern feel, your posts should match this tone. On the other hand if your brand has more of a vintage, old school theme you may consider posting pictures that follow this idea or tweet about how your business is for the woman that loves classic beauty.

Sample of  engaging photo using products of interest

You should post pictures that your demographic will respond to and react to in a positive way. All pictures, captions or tweets should match the tone of your brand and be in line with your target age group. Before you post anything on social media, make sure it is something you feel your customer would want to talk about or be interested in.

Nail salons should post content such as nail health and beauty tips or the latest how-to guides or engaging content related to your business that is available in a short, easy to read format. Examples would be an intriguing photo with a simple caption, a short list of beauty tips, a fun beauty vine video or an infographic. These types of content are interactive and appealing to your target audience.

Facebook provides the perfect way for you to share your services, post photos of your unique nail art or create contests or giveaways to promote brand loyalty and spread awareness of your brand.

In today’s Facebook era, it is rare that you would find a customer who isn’t a member of the social media site. Therefore, it is the perfect medium to communicate with customers. Here are two tips for marketing your nail salon on Facebook:

1. Write relevant posts that engage consumers - Write posts that customers want to respond to and will enjoy giving their opinion on. An example of this would be to ask questions like “Summer has officially begun! What will be your nail style cut of choice?” This type of conversation starter is relevant, personalized, and something that majority of salon-goers would enjoy discussing.

2. Post pictures, and lots of them! - One of the best ways businesses can use Facebook is as a visual medium. Your nail salon should be showcasing the work that it is most proud of. Whether that be fun holiday-themed manicures or gorgeous bridal party nail looks. Pictures provide an outlet to show what you can do. As a bonus, pictures are engaged with more than text-only posts, in fact 120% more , therefore these can also help to bring new referrals through your front doors as your current customers share the photo with their
own personal networks.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Test Your Salon Sanitation Knowledge with this Quiz

Take the short quiz below to see where you stand

True or False?

1. All bacteria are dangerous and we should aim to kill all of them around us in the salon.

2. A written cleaning log should be kept for each pedicure station.

3. EPA-registered means that a product has Extra Protective Action in killing germs.

4. Hand-washing will kill all the germs on your hands before a service.

5. Fungal spores can easily be killed with white vinegar.

Multiple Choice

6. The most comprehensive guidelines for sanitation requirements for your state may be found-

a.  In your cosmetology textbook from school.

b. On the manicure governing board’s website for your state.

c. On disinfectant packaging.

d. From coworkers in the salon.

7. If an implement is dropped on the floor during a service-

a. Blow off any dust before continuing with the service.

b. It must be fully disinfected before being put back into service again.

c. Check it to see if it got dirty before continuing.

d. Hope the client didn’t notice.

8. Failure to comply with sanitation guidelines set by the state board may-

a. Put your health and your clients’ health at risk.

b. Put the salon at risk for fines, revocation of licenses, or salon closure.

c. Put the salon at risk of lawsuits.

d. All of the above.

9. Disinfection is-

a. Something you should do to your hands before working on a client.

b. Something you should do to the client’s nail before applying an enhancement.

c. A chemical procedure that eliminates virtually all pathogenic microorganisms but not all microbial     forms.

d. A process that destroys all microbial life on a surface.

10. The kill time for a disinfectant is-

a. The exposure time required to be effective in killing pathogens.

b. The time before a disinfectant goes flat or needs to be replaced.

c. The time in which it is toxic to humans who are exposed.

d. None of the above.

11. Ventilation is an important part of sanitation because-

a. It keeps you from sweating during the summer.

b. It is a way to remove particulates and vapors from the indoor air.

c. It makes things smell clean.

d. All of the above.

12. The best way to handle sanitation is to-

a. Make every member of the salon an informed participant.

b. Have written guidelines and regular employee trainings on procedures.

c. Let clients see the process going on in the salon.

d. All of the above.

13. Quaternary ammonium solution used for immersion disinfection-

a. Must be fresh to be effective.

b. Will stay fresh for days or weeks at a time allowing you to disinfect many implements before
    changing it.

c. Allows users to forgo the pre-cleaning requirement and saves time.

d. None of the above.

14. If implements cannot be sanitized-

a. They can be gifted to the client at the end of her service.

b. They should be disposed of in a properly labeled trash receptacle.

c. Both a and b.

d. None of the above.

Answer Key

1. False. Some bacteria are beneficial and even help with things such as digestion.

2. True. Clients or inspectors may ask to see the log as evidence that proper cleaning is taking place.       Be ready to answer any questions they may have about the process.

3. False. EPA-registered means the product has been registered with the Environmental Protection        Agency.

4. False. Hand-washing will remove many, but not all, disease-causing pathogens when done
    properly. It is one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs in the salon.

5. False. Spores are difficult to kill. Never attempt to treat a suspected disease in the salon.

6. b. Most states now post regulations online.

7. b. Accidents happen. It’s always a good idea to have backups of disinfected implements in case           one malfunctions or is dropped.

8.  d. Just keep it clean. It’s not worth the risks.

9.  c. Disinfection is used on implements and equipment to eliminate virtually all pathogenic
     microorganisms. Sanitization must take place before disinfection in the form of pre-cleaning to rid      the items of soil and debris. Living human tissue is not disinfected.

10. a. Items must be pre-cleaned and then remain wet or submerged in disinfectant for a specified
      period of time to work effectively. Check labels for the specific kill time required.

11. b. Ventilation removes some of the contaminants from the salon air by exhausting it to the
      outside air.

12. d. Go ahead, make a production of sanitation. Clients and employees should be well informed.

13. a. Always mix up fresh “quats” solution according to the label instructions and dispose at the first       sign of contamination or visible debris, or when it has expired. Label containers with the
      date/time mixed to track it. And, yes, pre-cleaning is required.

14. c. As long as the item is appropriate for home use there is nothing wrong with gifting it to the
      client instead of throwing it away. Under no circumstances should it be reused.

Quiz and answer key courtesy of Nails Magazine

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Proper Way to Sanitize

Following Proper Procedures
A successful and responsible salon needs to do all it can to prevent fungal, skin, and nail infections in the course of their business routines. When we think of effective methods for controlling the spread of potentially infectious organisms, we often focus on sanitizing, disinfection and sterilization. The fact is that thorough cleaning procedures can have a huge impact on an effective infection control program. Chemically eliminating infectious organisms is an important goal, but cleaning and rinsing can create a safer environment by removing organisms from items, reducing their population to below infectious levels, or exposing them to the efficacious effects of the biocides you are using. Effective infection prevention requires that each component of the process must be thorough.

Nail Technicians - Hand Washing
Hand washing is essential before and after each service. The use of soap and water before appointments is one of the most common techniques for preventing infections during salon treatments. Washing hands in front of customers is optional, but may assist with forming positive impressions by allowing customers to see the methods being used to ensure proper cleanliness. Some nail technicians prefer to use gloves during service, which is not required in most states, but creates and additional barrier of safety.

Cleaning Implements 
Cleanliness of equipment and implements is the most important step to preventing nail infections and cross contamination.  Tools/implements such as nail clippers, cuticle cutters, files, etc. should be cleaned and disinfected using an EPA Registered Hospital Level Disinfectant that is effective against Hepatitis B or is Tuberculocidal.  Backscratchers Salon Aseptic System with Cavicide is E. P. A registered and is a convenient, ready-to-use disinfectant that is effective against  TB, HBV, HCV, viruses (hydrophilic and lilophilic), bacteria (including MSRA and VRE) and fungi.

Foot spas should be cleaned and disinfected by also using an EPA Registered Hospital Level Disinfectant after each client.

In All Circumstances
Any employee who has contact with any tools or equipment in any way should be thoroughly trained on the proper cleaning and care of the tools with which they will interact. Any employee who is not sufficiently trained in the care of the tools should avoid interacting with them unless supervised to reduce the potential for infectious material to be transmitted. Before any clean item is handled by an employee, they should sanitize their hands  following the instructions above to ensure that no new infectious material is applied to the tool after its cleaning. All tools should be stored in appropriate containers away from contaminants that can cause a nail infection or cross contamination.

For Guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting manicuring and enhancement equipment, download information from the INTA (International Nail Technician Association) and PBA/NMC (Nail Manufacturers Council), HERE

See the entire Salon Aseptic line HERE

Information taken from Guidelines on Cleaning and Disinfecting Manicuring and Enhancement Equipment.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Salon Sanitation and Guidelines - Continuing the Conversation

Heading into 2016 we continue to focus on how important salon sanitation has become in our industry.

Over the years, we have read stories of nail salons that have used unclean implements or have a dirty salon. Not only can salons be fined for these violations, but they are also putting their clients at risk. A nail station, pedicure chair, and implements must be sanitized, disinfected or sterilized before each client. It is important to follow your stat's law regarding salon sanitation. If you are unsure of the law or are curious if there have been any changes in 2016, CLICK HERE.

Can't Keep the differences between the three straight? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) these are the definitions:

Sanitation*: To wash with soap and water and to remove dirt and debris and to reduce the levels of microorganisms to a safe, acceptable level. Before implements or equipment can be disinfected, they must first be sanitized.
*Generally accepted definition

Disinfection: The use of a chemical procedure that eliminates virtually all recognized pathogenic microorganisms but not necessarily all microbial forms (e.g., endospores). (Microorganisms are living organisms - good and bad - that are invisible to the naked eye.) All implements and equipment used on clients must be disinfected before each use.

Sterilization: The use of physical or chemical procedure to destroy all microbial life, including highly resistant bacterial endospores (Endospores are thick-walled bodies formed within the vegetative cells of certain bacteria. They are able to withstand adverse environmental conditions for prolonged periods.) Sterilization is not required in the salon.

Click on the link provided HERE to a PDF Guideline for Cleaning and Disinfecting Manicuring and Enhancement Equipment. This guide was written by Doug Schoon of Schoon Scientific and sponsored by Professional Beauty Association (PBA), the National Cosmetology Association (NCA), and the Nail Manufacturers Council (NMC).

Visit for the full Salon Aseptic Line

Definitions and more information found at

Doug Schoon is an internationally recognized scientist, author and educator with over 30 years experience in the cosmetic, beauty and personal care industry. He is a leading industry authority and is known for his technical and regulatory work that has helped shape the beauty industry.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Quick Quiz

Salon Safety & Sanitation 

Test your knowledge of general salon safety and sanitation rules with this quiz from Nails Magazine. Keep in mind that each state has its own specific rules and regulations covering these areas. Always follow your state's rules and all product manufacturer's instructions. 

1. What is an autoclave?
     a. A machine that uses steam pressure to sterilize metal implements.
     b. A type of self-cleaning UV lamp? 

2. Porous tools are: 
     a. Tools that are either one-use (disposable) or require specific cleaning protocols 
     b. Tools that cost less, but are of inferior quality 
     c. Tools that can be disinfected and are generally reusable 

3. True or false? Some porous items that have been used on healthy nails can be re-used. 
     a. True 
     b. False 

4. Which of the following statements is not true concerning non-porous items? 
     a. Non-porous items are multi-use tools made of hard materials like metal, plastic, or glass. 
     b. Non-porous tools should be rinsed and dried. They only have to be disinfected if they contact    
         blood or unhealthy conditions. 

5. True or false? If a client brings in her own manicure implements from home, there is no need for you to disinfect them before use. 
     a. True 
     b. False 1

6. In case of an accidental cut, what should you do? 
     a. If it’s minor, you may ignore it and continue with the service. 
     b. Clean with an antiseptic and bandage the cut. 

7. Why is proper ventilation in the salon important? 
     a. It’s not really very important. It simply reduces product odor. 
     b. It reduces exposure to airborne particles and bacteria, and reduces inhalation of vapors. 
     c. It’s important so that clients who smoke can do so inside the salon. 

8. True or false? Spray disinfectants are adequate for disinfecting tools and pedicure equipment. 
     a. True 
     b. False 

9. What is a SDS? 
     a. Secondary Disposal Site. Off-premise sites that accept hazardous products for disposal. 
     b. Salon Safety Data Sheet. Includes information on spills, ingredients, and chemical disposal.   

10. Whirlpool foot spas and air-jet pedicure basins must be cleaned how often? 
     a. After every client 
     b. When they appear visibly soiled 
     c. Once per month, thoroughly

Answer Key

1. B. An autoclave is an apparatus that uses superheated steam under high pressure to sterilize instruments. 

2. A. Porous items are made of cloth, wood, or other absorbent materials. Porous items include most nail files, manicure sticks, cotton, paper mats, towels, and buffer blocks. Porous items that would be damaged or destroyed by cleaning or have been contaminated by broken skin, blood, or other bodily fluids or infections must be disposed of. See answer number three for cleaning guidelines for porous items that can be saved. 

3. A. Porous items used on healthy nails can be cleaned by manually brushing and removing all debris after each use, then disinfected by immersing in 70% or higher isopropyl or ethyl alcohol or 10% bleach solution. Towels, chamois, buffing bits, and similar items can be cleaned in a washing machine with regular detergent. 

4. B. Non-porous items must always be disinfected. To clean a non-porous item, clean all visible debris then completely immerse the tool for 10 minutes in an EPA-registered disinfectant, bleach solution,( 1 part bleach to 9 parts water), or 70% or higher isopropyl or ethyl alcohol. 

5. B. False. All implements (including those that a client brings or leaves in the salon), equipment, and materials that come into contact with a client must be sanitized and disinfected prior to service. 

6. C. Clean with an antiseptic and bandage the cut. If blood or body fluid comes in contact with any salon surface, put on protective disposable gloves and clean it with an EPA-registered hospital liquid disinfectant or 10% bleach solution. 

7. B. Proper ventilation is essential for client and worker safety and comfort. A local source capture ventilation system will eliminate vapors and dust in your breathing zone, and it also helps to wear an N-95-certified dust mask. Never light candles where nail products are used and do not permit smoking inside the salon. 

8. B. False. Spray disinfectants are for cleaning surfaces only and are not adequate for disinfecting tools and pedicure equipment in the salon. Tools require complete immersion in liquid disinfectant for 10 minutes. 

9. B. Most states require Salon Safety Data sheets to be available upon request by an inspector; a fine may be issued to salons that do not have them. 

10. A. Whirlpool foot spas and air-jet pedicure basins must be cleaned after every client.