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OPI Gelcolor shrinkage, help!

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amy elizabeth

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hey geeks
ive recently bought the new opi gel color kit, of which in general i am loving:) the color lasts really well doesnt chip and its very shiney and removal is a dream. my only gripe is that there does seem to be shrinkage from both the tips and the cuticles, how much can varies dependant on the color. i really want to get started on clients and charging full price but feel i cant at the moment because of the shrinkage. i cap on every layer of gel application.i shake the bottles very well. does anyone else have this problem? dont know what im doing wrong?:sad:
 

K-Nails

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Hi Hun

Try this. Firstly really make sure you have removed cuticle. Really scrub the nail with NAS99. Use bond aid generously it says to dip the brush in the bottle for every nail. Wait a couple of minutes form the nail to completely dry after the bond aid.

Apply the base coat right up to the cuticle but not touching and then swipe the base coat along the free edge.

See if this helps. Xx
 

amy elizabeth

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thanks so much. shall give it a go tomorrow and see if that helps.
 

Jbeauty couture

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Hi I have been doing exactly as said above but still get bad shrinkage with the pink colour in the kit no matter who I apply that colour to, I have shaken the bottle capped free edge even given 3 coats still shrinking :sad:
 

K-Nails

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I did a set on Saturday and after using scrub fresh and bon aid I put the base coat on straight away. In the light I noticed the sidewalls were still wet and so the gel shrunk slightly. Next time I'm definitely going to give them a couple of minutes to dry.

Will report my findings xx
 

amy elizabeth

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hey guys, did as suggested and still shrinkage. spoke to some one at wholesalers and they said to maybe cure 2 fingers at a time but i kinda feel this defeats the object of it being much quicker and tbh a little annoying. will keep you guys informed if i have any success.
 

MaisyMouse

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I also get this especially with the dark colours, its putting me off gelcolor :sad:
 

Tommo

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Don't lose hope. I had the same problems when I first started using the gelcolor, and gels shrink. However after committing myself to practice practice practice,I now have no problems whatsoever.

I know everyone says it but really really ensure you prep the nail to the extreme!! Lol. I go crazy with the nas 99, and bond aid the nails generously (I bond aid the nails twice too to be thorough especially if the client has very oily nails.

The base coat is so important too, ensure you apply it over the entire nail, really making sure you get right up to the skin without touching. And of course capping your edges.

I know this has been said time and time again and I thought I was doing all this and then I really knuckled down on my prep, paying it a lot more attention and I think as a result of that, and improving my application techniques, my gel manicures are much better and I am finally happy with them.

Don't give up!
 

MaisyMouse

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Don't lose hope. I had the same problems when I first started using the gelcolor, and gels shrink. However after committing myself to practice practice practice,I now have no problems whatsoever.

I know everyone says it but really really ensure you prep the nail to the extreme!! Lol. I go crazy with the nas 99, and bond aid the nails generously (I bond aid the nails twice too to be thorough especially if the client has very oily nails.

The base coat is so important too, ensure you apply it over the entire nail, really making sure you get right up to the skin without touching. And of course capping your edges.

I know this has been said time and time again and I thought I was doing all this and then I really knuckled down on my prep, paying it a lot more attention and I think as a result of that, and improving my application techniques, my gel manicures are much better and I am finally happy with them.

Don't give up!
Thanks for the advice, I havent had this problem with shellac or gelish, in fact tonight I tried the opi base and top coat with a gelish colour (on myself not a client) and the colour didnt shrink at all?

But when I tried the opi colour again it shrunk back from the free edge again :Scared:

do you cure five fingers at a time or two?
 

K-Nails

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I also find that you really have to shake the bottles well especially the darker colours.

Sometimes we say we shake or prep well but like tommo said when you really watch what you are doing you realise perhaps you could do it better.

I findmthe first coat does shrink very slightly the second coat covers fine.

Keep going Hun xxx:hug:
 

sunrize55

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I also find that you really have to shake the bottles well especially the darker colours.

Sometimes we say we shake or prep well but like tommo said when you really watch what you are doing you realise perhaps you could do it better.

I findmthe first coat does shrink very slightly the second coat covers fine.

Keep going Hun xxx:hug:
i'm glad this problem has been brought up. The salon where I work uses OPI Gel color exclusively. I had previously used Gelish for two years and never experienced shrinkage, even on dark colors such as black shadow or bella's vamp.
The first OPI Gel manicure I did was big apple red - as soon as I applied the first thin coat I saw it creep back from the tip. I made sure to cap the free edge first with color before doing the whole nail as well. It made no difference. I thought, ok, I'll cure it and perhaps the second coat won't shrink back. It did. I also apply my coats very thin and will usually end up applying three to four coats color. I also noticed that the streakiness you get from the first thin coat was hard to cover with additional coats, if that makes sense. I could still see darker parts and lighter parts of color on the nail.
Now with the gelish system you can dry brush the foundation or base coat which helps any shrinkage (however even if I didn't dry brush the base, I never got shrink back with gelish)... with the OPI Gel Base coat, it doesn't dry tacky, so you can't even try dry brushing.
I tried Vampsterdam on another client. I watched it shrink back before my eyes. The shrinking is occuring prior to cure, by the way. We use the OPI Gel lamp. It is supposed to take 30 seconds to cure each coat of color. Well, it wasn't curing in 30 seconds.. so OPI told our salon chain to cure each coat for 60 seconds, not 30.
Yesterday I did an OPI Gel wine color, muluga wine or something like that. I prepped the nail extremely well (in fact I had to do a gel color removal - which removed like a dream on client first. The client was returning after 5 days due to lifting and peeling, she had been done by another staff member of our salon.
I gently buffed off any shine from the nail plate (gently!). I scrubbed with 99, applied bond aid.. let it dry for about 30 seconds. applied base coat, careful to cap tips and get close to sides without going on skin. All appeared well after cure. Unfortunately when I applied the color coat... it shrunk back! The only way I can explain the way it looks, it was as if the client were wearing nail tips and the tips had not been buffed, so the color wasn't adhering correctly.
I see above that someone mentioned using gelish base and still shrinkage with OPI color. I was getting ready to try that myself. Our salon manager is hard to convince, so I'm thinking of showing her what happens when you apply gelish & gelish color.. and OPI base with OPI color, so she can see the difference for herself. And yes, my clients are noticing that their tips are not being covered. I mean, it's a very very small part..that's shrinking back.. as if you were getting a bit of wear on the tips..
So, I'm not a happy camper right now since we're stuck only using OPI Gel for the manicures. After writing all this, the only thing I can think of, that I have not tried.. is taking a real good look at the tips after the base is cured. It could be the tips are shrinking back w the base coat as well. I wonder if buffing the tips gently.. wiping with alcohol.. and either going ahead with color, or.. putting more base on the tips and curing before the color might help???
I also have problems with the OPI cure times, which is a different topic all together, so if someone can direct me to a link for that, I would appreciate it. I didn't feel the colors were curing (LED) in 30 seconds, so then we were told use 60 seconds for each coat. I did four coats of color, curing each for 60 seconds (or more since I just left the client's hand under the LED light while I did the other hand. I know it was more than 60 seconds since I was able to glance at the digital countdown on top of the lamp...
When I applied the top coat, the brush turned to the color of the polish.. which to me meant.. color coat not cured. I also leave the top coat on for 2 min instead of 60 or 30 seconds, as when I wipe the tacky of the top coat.. the nail is dull.. until I rub in some cuticle oil.
Thanks for reading my agony of the nails, any suggestions would be appreciated - oh and I shake those bottles like crazy.
 

Katy:)

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Sometimes the colour will come off on the topcoat brush but this doesn't mean it's not cured according to the Lena White workshop I went on. X
 

shelldavis

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On the training they teach u to cap it back on the edge to stop shrinking? It does work? The problem of shrinking is down to the base not being applied properly? I stuck with shellac as find its simply the best x
 

K-Nails

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Hi Hun

I will try to tell you what I do.

I use scrub fresh sorry but I prefer it you only need very very little and it leaves the nail,plate looking lovely and dehydrated and clean. Btw are you removing ALL THE CUTCLE properly and when scrubbing the nail plate you need your pad to be almost dry. Any moisture lurking along the cuticle or sidewalls will cause the base coat not to adhere properly, same as it would cause lifting in acrylic. Lots of people don't think about this.

Base coat - ok whilst we need to work thinly we do need to actually put some base coat on lol. I tend to put on a decent layer really scrub it into the. Ail plate then wipe off excess. Lastly make sure the base coat goes right along the free edge obviously not thickly but make sure it's there I tend to go a little under the free edge but I mean a very little this helps with shrinkage.


Colour coat - ok before starting my treatment I get my client to choose their colour and I turn it upside down. Ok we can all say that others don't need shaking but the simple fact is OPI does!!! once ready to shake hold the bottle on it's side. I place the lid between my index and middle finger and shake sideways and count for thirty seconds. Then open the bottle and check that the gel looks sort of thick ish. As soon as you start to apply if you get shrinkage it is not shaken enough.

Top coat. - again put enough on and check those sidewalls under your light. ANY dullness means you have not top coated enough!!!! I very rarely get colour transfer either these days and I only ever cure for the recommended 30 secs ever.

Perhaps you lamp needs checking. 2 minutes under led seems a very long time.

Yes at the beginning I had issues as with the shellac I also use, but practise really does help.

Good luck Hun and feel free to pm me if you have any other queries. Also perhaps try doing a friend and really over exaggerate each step and see if that helps :hug: xxx
 

sunrize55

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I use scrub fresh sorry but I prefer it you only need very very little and it leaves the nail,plate looking lovely and dehydrated and clean.

I have not tried scrub fresh! we just use the ISP 99, followed by bond aid.

Btw are you removing ALL THE CUTCLE properly and when scrubbing the nail plate you need your pad to be almost dry.

I feel I am removing all cuticle, I use the 'pusher plus' and also a curette. I do not trim cuticles, only push them back. I may trim any obvious loose skin. However when I scrub it's using a pad pretty well saturated with the 99%. So I will try an almost dry pad instead..

Base coat - ok whilst we need to work thinly we do need to actually put some base coat on lol. I tend to put on a decent layer really scrub it into the. Ail plate then wipe off excess. Lastly make sure the base coat goes right along the free edge obviously not thickly but make sure it's there I tend to go a little under the free edge but I mean a very little this helps with shrinkage.

I'm so used to thin thin thin with the base coat, it could very well be that I'm not applying enough of it! Since the OPI base coat is so different than gelish...I will also give more attention to the tips and slightly under free edge. Gets tricky when client's nails are not that long and their free edge is almost non existent. I guess I could use the disposable shields to help w that.

Colour coat - ok before starting my treatment I get my client to choose their colour and I turn it upside down. Ok we can all say that others don't need shaking but the simple fact is OPI does!!! once ready to shake hold the bottle on it's side. I place the lid between my index and middle finger and shake sideways and count for thirty seconds. Then open the bottle and check that the gel looks sort of thick ish. As soon as you start to apply if you get shrinkage it is not shaken enough.

Could be that I'm not shaking enough, and I never check if it looks thickish when I'm done shaking.. good tip.

Top coat. - again put enough on and check those sidewalls under your light. ANY dullness means you have not top coated enough!!!! I very rarely get colour transfer either these days and I only ever cure for the recommended 30 secs ever.

I may be putting on the top coat too thin...

Perhaps you lamp needs checking. 2 minutes under led seems a very long time.

It sure is a long time.. so much for LED speed. I noticed on a Nova LED that I use at home, if I don't plug it directly into a wall socket, but use a power strip (surge protector) the lamp will flicker. LED lights are tricky, maybe I can switch out OPI lamps with one we have on the shelf to see if there's any differences.
I use gelish on myself, but i'll try the opi gel for my own next manicure.. and over exaggerate as you mention.
Thanks again to everyone for your advice! I just started at the salon 2 weeks ago, I'm a stylist but we all are asked to do manicures that walk in as well.
 

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