Retention + - Chipping On Edges - What Am I Doing Wrong?? Help!!!


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Nails at Home

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2003
Reaction score
Hampstead, London
Hi everyone

Now I might have passed my exam last week on my course with Creative but I'm now having problems with the Retention + :sad:

I've not done many nails cos I usually use Bio Sculpture gel but last week Wednesday I did a set on 2 friends and my daughter. Now they all had their own nails apart from the odd tips on their short nails. One friend doesn't seem to be having too much problems except I did notice that I was obviously working too wet (which is what my tutor had been pointing out to me from the start) as the white wasn't very white - if you know what I mean! Anyway, she was the first of the three so I tried to make sure I wasn't so wet with my ratios on the other 2. I was quite pleased with the end result and thought hey I've got it at last until ...

The next day and not even 24 hours later my second friend told me (and I witnessed myself) that hers had started chipping at the free edges quite a bit and by the next couple of days she had at least 5 chipping! She had no tips at all and all were her natural nails. Now, last night my daughter came home apologising that she had been picking at some of hers because they'd been chipping! However, the one tip on her thumb still looked perfect as well as a few others which were her real nails but 2 of these included her little finger which always seems to stay longer anyway!

What am I doing wrong please? I just can't seem to get my ratios right at all! Beginning to hate L&P and wish everyone was suited to gel :sad: :cry:

Don't know what to do - have another client booked in for tomorrow who usually has gel but she's very heavy handed so I advised her to go for the L&P instead, now I'm scared I'm going to mess up!!

And one other thing could I ask you - the first friend had a couple of nails which had split at the edges and I was told on the course to just put L&P on top of these and they should hold and grow out - now I've been trying to do it really thin to make it look as natural as possible but my friend keeps saying shouldn't they be thicker so as to hold better? I didn't want to do it thicker cos too many people already have the perception that L&P is thicker and not so natural looking because of "certain salons" who use it - I wanted to prove that it can look as natural as any other system. So, help on this would be much appreciated too - oh, don't I go on???? :sad:

Thanks girls - Love Michelle x
Oh Michelle, take a deep breath LOL

When doing gels I presume you wrap the gel round the free edge. You need to do this also with L&P - Geeg posted a thread a while ago about doing natural nail overlays with L&P. It is good to use a form and let the product encase the free edge very slightly. The chipping you are getting is probably caused by the product being blunt at the end - as you would get with gel if you did not wrap it. I hope that makes sense LOL.

Also are your clients using SolarOil regularly every day? This could also contribute to cracking and brittleness.

To your friend who assumes thickness equals strength - explain to her that the strength is in the structure of the overlay rather than just pure thickness - good quality products are very strong and can be very thin - as long as the stress area is thick enough.

Go back to your tutor for the Next step class and they will be able to help iron out any problems you have encountered with the product after you have been using it for a little while. If you are doing lots of natural nail overlays then take a model with her own nails rather than one who needs tips or sculptures.

Hope this helps a little.

Don't give up and think it is the product you cant get on with - it is just your techniques you need to tweak a bit.
This can be a common pitfall when doing natural nail overlays.
It is imperative that you 'clamp' around the free edge with the application so that when it cures, it 'shrinks' to the nail instead of 'shrinking' away from the edge.

Another thing you have to be mindful of is to not get you ratio overly wet in this area (which is very common on natural nail overlays).

That should sort it straight out.

Hope this helps
thanks for your help it's sooo appreciated and my two friends have been using the solar oil (or so they say!) but I know for sure my daughter hadn't been without even asking her - I know just how lazy she is!! I understand what you say about wrapping the edges which is what I do with my gel definitely or it can easily pull away but how do you manage to get your L&P smooth on the edges without having to file it afterwards to neaten it out? I thought that was all part of the tidying up process afterwards which we were taught in the class? Obviously I was wrong :cry:
Its not too big of a deal if you neaten up afterward. Most shrinkage happens suring set time.
The wrapping process is more important with gels as they shrink more, however as you can see it is still somewhat important with l&p

Good luck
Think I'm being really blonde today but I'm reading that I can file the free edge after the product has set but it's still important not to ... sorry I must be sounding so dumb now but I'm desperate to get this right!

Thanx xx
:D You shouldn't need to file, only neaten with a 240 grit or higher. The grit or sand on a Koala buffer is rounded so it will smooth and neaten the edges, not tear into them and cause microscopic cracks. You are really only refining the edges and sealing them. You can also use your three way buffer and take the edges to a high gloss shine, so there is no chance of a rough edge for them to catch. Hope this helps.
As long as you hold your abrasive at a 45degree angle, the product will always be slightly longer than the natural free edge of the nail! This will keep the edge protected.
Thank you so much for your help - I actually was using a harsher abrasive (180) on the free edge and I remember filing them quite a bit on some nails when I realised the length needed to be shortened! So now I'll try to make sure the nails are definitely the correct length before overlay and using a 240 or more grit abrasive at a 45 degree angle - hopefully you've solved my problem ladies (and nail geek) - thanks ever so much - will be trying this tomorrow.

Sorry, one other thing, do I not have to worry about being so careful if I'm applying over a tip? Is it not likely to chip (as seems to be the case so far) on a tip?

Thanks again

Michelle x
If you are still having trouble with your ratio a good tip l got from my creative class for;

Pink - when you pick up the powder on your brush say - going, going, gone - by which time all of the powder should have soaked up the liquid - thus a smooth shiny bead. If after saying the 3 g's there is still powder around the edge or on the bead - discard and start again.

White - This is a bit different as the bead is not so easy to watch as the pink. Pick up the powder on your brush and look at it (with good light) it should be shiny with cellulite or pitts (im not taking the mick and for thighs avon do a great cellusculpt cream to help this prob)

A previous thread about ratios explained by Geeg was excellent l will try and find it for you.
Yeah I was also taught how to tell if my ratios were right but was thinking that maybe it's the white which I'm getting wrong as it's chipping from the free edge and not the cuticle edge! It had been harder to tell if the white is exactly right but I'll definitely have a look at the Geek's hints - thanks again x
I will say now that i have had the smae problem you are having. It's very true that overlaying a natural nail is harder than overlaying a tip. With a tip you know the product will adhere to it so you can keep it nice and thin and smooth. When doing a natural overlay you do have to cap the edge so it doesn't pull away when curing, and if you work wet this will cause more shrinkage.

Just make sure you let it naturally go over the edge of the nail and smooth it down with a fine grit file to make it feel lovely.

thanks talented talons it's nice to know others have had the same problem and it's not just me! :rolleyes:

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