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Saturday, November 12, 2011

NailTech:: Re: Looking for info about UV Polishes

Oh gel polishes, the saga continues. So here is what I know about gel
polishes, and why. As many know, I work with Akzentz. It's based out
of Canada and makes every jar of gel themselves (as opposed to buying
from a manufacturer and re-labeling as SO many do). Because of this,
they are a bit behind in the release of their gel polish, Luxio, which
came out a few months ago. The reason they are behind and its taken
years in product development is because they were determined to make a
solvent-free (or hybrid) gel polish. The problem was many of the
factors that make solvent gel polishes desirable is that they soak off
quickly and the consistency is nice and thin. If you pick up a bottle
of gel polish, and it has a polish smell, it is what we call a hybrid
and that smell is the solvents it contains. Solvents in general are
the cause of a few of the problems *some* people seem have, like
thickening in the jar, drying out, free edge chips due to brittleness
and white spots on the natural nail which is why some techs are having
to force their clients to always put oil on the nail constantly. The
biggest problem for Akzentz was that by putting solvents into a
bottle, that bottle must be shipped as a "dangerous good" - which
means for distributors like myself, we pay a butt load for shipping
costs and fees and its even worse across the ocean getting it to
Europe and Asia. Because they tested all of the gel polishes on the
market against Luxio, they know which were solvent free and which were
not, since they too have to pay fees receiving dangerous goods to get
the test bottles. The benefit was that by waiting until everyone else
launched their product, they could see where and if Luxio was not as
efficient (like making sure it was soaking off in 10 minutes or less
and remaining chip free for 3 weeks). At this point I believe they
said Young Nails was the only other 100% gel in a bottle but if you
think another is I can find out. Its crazy how many things are
effected by shipping around the world, for instance they can't use
certain pigments (like Red #7) because it might be illegal in Italy.
Some companies may sell a different similar color or just not a
certain color in that area if it is illegal. Akzentz wants to keep
the entire line consistent throughout the world so every product is
created to be able to do this, and that had to include their gel
polish, which is why they developed it for years before launching,
they wanted to make sure it was perfect and the price very good, which
is currently $16.95 for .5oz (twice as much as in a shellac bottle).
The down side was that certain pigments don't work well *without*
solvents, like the neons - so I'll probably pick up the Gelish Neons
next summer unless they can figure out a trick for it to work
otherwise by then. The other factors they have mastered without
having to add solvents.

As far as charging for removal, I don't. I feel like if a client
picks their gel off to save a few bucks and does some damage to their
natural nail (for instance if it sticks VERY well they may end up
tearing whatever free edge off that was there), then they may not come
in for a few weeks to re-grow their nails or if they feel like they
did damage doing that. If you don't charge, you have more of a chance
of them coming on time and consistently. This is deceptive however
since in the end they ARE being charged since my prices are based on
time and my gel polish price is based on removal plus re-application -
this also allows me to book a new client in using a promotion and not
lose any money (I can give them $5 off, but it will only take me about
30 minutes so I'll book that as opposed to 40-45 minutes so I'm not
losing money by offering the promotion, just getting a new client in
the chair). If a service generally takes 45 minutes to complete, they
will be charged between $45-60. Right now I've been doing all my
clients with my 30 day manicure technique, which is providing a thin
base of hard gel, it allows clients to go 30 days without a chip, a
break or anything. I zip em off with an efile. Akzentz has over 140
gel colors in a pot that soak off, but as most pot gels it takes 20
minutes to soak off and I'm not going to do that so I've done this
technique for years, putting the hard gel base prevents the heat that
porous gels get when you e-file them. However now that I have Luxio
and I'm about to have 40 colors of it (16 more are being launched this
week), I will offer Luxio only soak-off manicures, which I know can be
done from start to finish including soak off in 45 minutes. I charge
$55 for the 30 day manicure and I give it an hour (though I've done it
in as little as 30 minutes before when in a time crunch) - I'll be
changing the name to "strengthening gel manicure" and they will know I
e-file off the color and they can use any gel color I have, which
includes over 140 in the pot and the new luxio colors. I'll charge
$50 for only Luxio, and just call it a "Luxio Soak off gel manicure"
and I won't e-file off the color, which should bring in some clients
who are e-file phobic. Per minute, I'll make more doing Luxio.

Anyway I hope some of that ads clarity to the whole gel polish mess.
Its been a tricky thing in the industry but its really very chemistry
based. Luxio was launched later than most others but I believe in the
end it has a huge benefit since they were able to test against all of
the other formulas. Akzentz doesn't spend millions on marketing and
likely never will, they put the money back into product development.
But whether you use Shellac, Gelish, Gelava, Gelaquer, Geleration or
one of the many others, you'll be able to spot the hybrids and test
them out for yourself. Its hard when it costs us money to test
products, but I'd rather test 6-7 and find my favorite that I'll use
for many years than invest in one and wonder if there is something
better (which is how I found Akzentz).

Have fun gelling ladies! Make lots of money ;)

> > Anyway... I'm looking for a little more info that can help me properly compare the major lines of UV polish. Like, which ones are considered "hybrids" and which ones are "all gel" etc.
> > Maggie Franklin:
> > Owner & Artist, The Art of Nailz, Visalia CA
> >  "Visionary rebel dreamer; obviously way ahead of my time."
> > Maggie Rants [and Raves]@Nails Magazine
> > Facebook

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