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Signs of a good gel? (long post, sorry!!)

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bimbogeri

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First off, before I start, I am in no way advocating Rio UV Nails or any Rio products at all. I personally think that companies that put products on the market, try to call them 'professional' and try to tell anyone and everyone that they can do anything a professional does just by buying stuff from Argos is at best breaching trading standards and playing off people, but there you go... Just so people don't shout at me for using/talking about their stuff.. ;)
Anyway, at earlier-mentioned girlie night, one friend brought round one of those Rio UV Nail kits. I think it was an unwanted gift to a friend of a friend's uncle's counsin's dog or whatever :) and had been passed around unused until it reached my friend. Either way, she brought it round and asked did I want to try it out. Of course I was dubious about the whole thing but decided to give it a go 'as an experience' hoping that at worst I'd end up with some awful looking extensions that I'd soak off straight away. I'd like to think that I'd know enough, or at least more than most 'normal' (y'know what I mean) people not to end up overfiling my nails are ruining them. But I digress.
I watched the vid and the book, familiarised myself with the equipment, and sat down once everyone had left to give them a try.
I wouldn't say the results were fantastic - they're really quite thick, and I didn't blend the tips in that well on the first nails I did (I just did my left hand.. they do get better as I go from thumb to pinkie), but the gel seemed to cure OK and they lasted through me washing my hair this morning, although I intend to soak them off in a minute. For a start I'm not convinced that I got a 100% flat bond between the nail tip and my nail plate (I think I saw air bubbles in the middle although the glue was solid round the edges), and I don't want to end up with anything lurking under my nails.
Where this long story is going is that I wondered, what is the sign of a good gel? I'm assuming that the Rio products are pretty cheap, and, although I'm not saying my application was blameless by any means, I found it very hard to get a thin application as the gel was very thick and the brush very cheap. The gel itself was the consistency of un-heated Imaac warm wax - very solid, very stringy ('wipe one side of the brush against the pot to keep it clean' my ar*e, it was like trying to get solid golden syrup off a spoon!). Is this the consitency of all gels, or should they be more liquid and easier to manipulate? I was thinking of getting a few trial packs from companies and comparing, simply for my own use. I know a lot of people like Brisa gels, but as I'm not Creative trained am I right in assuming that I can't use them? I've also looked at The Edge and Millennium Nails. This is just for doing tip and overlays by the way, I don't intend to try scuplting.. I think I'd end up looking like Edward Scissorhands :D And what is the best sized brush? The Rio one is about 50-60mm wide, flat edged.
Anyway, very long post over...!
Lol x
 

dee

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hi i cant really comment as i dont do gels, i have heard akzentz are good, but i think if i was gonna do gels i would do the brisa training (just wish i had the money !! ) i trained with creative in l&p and cant fault the training , but my advice would be to go with one of the main educators i am sure you wont be dissapointed , :biggrin: , sorry dont suppose i have helped much lol
 

angel fingers

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i'm a newcomer to gels, and i've been using akzentz options soak off gels with no problems. no lifting ,no yellowing no cracking.no peeling. i would recomend them to anyone. by the way, i find i get on best with a very small flat brush[ about 5mm wide ]. :)
 

geeg

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Your question at the end of the day was what is the sign of a good gel?

Well if it were I doing the looking I would look for:

1. A recognised brand name
2. the most advanced system technologically
3. One that had won in competition (cause the best techs usually use the best products)
4. One that is easy to apply
5. One that is beautiful so my clients will love me for using it.
 

bimbogeri

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Well, over an hour later I'm now soaking my hands in moituriser in cotton gloves. I can't actually get all of the gel off... It didn't really dissolve in the acetone solution at all, either the tips or the gel.. softened slightly (whereby it then started sticking to my fingers.....), but in the end I had to commit the cardinal sin of trying to prise it off as gently as possible with an orange stick. If I knew who the kit belonged to I'd tell them to take it back right away under the grounds of being damaging, but I'm getting the feeling as it's been passed around the whole world and his dog already, no-one wants it :D
 

JackieMc

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Hi Lol, does the Rio kit say it's a soak off gel as the majority (not all) are buff off.

Also, some gels thicken when it's cold and you can 'loosen' them a little by holding the pot in your hand for a few minutes.

Having said that - I advise anyone not to touch the Rio products with a barge pole! ;)
 

Aphrodite

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So the Rio gel is a "hard gel" as opposed to a "soft gel" Hard gels cannot be soaked off, they must be filed and then buffed off (obviously as carefully as possible) whereas soft gels are soakable.

You can get different consistencies of gel, a base gel is usually quite runny, a sculpting gel is usually thick and top gels are a lot more runny than the base gels!

What you also have to consider is your room temperature and age of the gel. When it's quite nippy my gels tend to get thicker and harder to manage, and when it's hot they're a lot more runny etc. Also when I’m getting to the bottom of my pot of gel or if I have had it for quite a while (I don't know whether it's because it’s oxidised slightly etc) but it tends to get thicker…

To be honest, in my 8 years of using gel I would say the ONLY way to tell if a gel is worth it’s salt is to TRY it (as you have :green: ) some gels crack after just a day or two, others go yellow, others go dull and loose their shine, others become brittle and snap off at just a light tap… Just as good ones keep their glossy see-through appearance and are hard enough to last with just enough give in them to stop them being brittle…
 

bimbogeri

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Yes, the Rio instructions say that they should soak off in acetone in 20-30 minutes.. in that time the tips hadn't even dissolved, let alone the UV gel, but that might be understandable if it isn't really meant to soak off.
There are still a few lumps on that I might tackle again in a day or two, but I think my nails need a rest for now :)
I'm going to give The Edge a try - any other brands people would recommend? My friend said I could keep the UV box.. it doen't have reflectors inside (am I right in saying that a good UV box should be reflective inside so that the light bounces all the way round and gets the nails from all angles - and the thumb too, rather than just shining from the single bulb point?) but my dad works with lights a lot (can you believe it - he works in the computer & oil industry and they actually buy flashing and UV lights to put inside their huge computer arrays so that they look more impressive to clients!!) and was going to see if he could improve it in any way. Well, can't complain at a light box I spose! And I did get some tip nippers and bits too, so there you go :)
Lol x
 

Trudi

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Hi i have the rio gel kit and i think its a load of crap! i had mine for christmas last year and did my nails but the gel was peeling off and also put my hand in lamp to cure and when i came to wipe the gel off with the wipe off stuff it took all the gel off as well! i think the uv lamp is wrong as its a funny purple colour and does not cure the gel.I went and got new millenium white tips that you dont have to buff down with tip blender and millenium pink gel its quiet runny and a new brush and a new lamp!and now my nails are ok not perfect yet as i have not had any training on nails but go to college sep to do advanced nails and manicure&pedicure and nail art.The only problem i have with my nails is that the gel is lifting off a few days later and i dont know why?Maybe im going wrong somewhere.:confused: could some one tell me why is my gel lifting off please.Thanks from Trudi:biggrin:
 

emmad

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Im really interested in this as I'm about to try out another gel myself. I trawled this site for some advice earlier this week and found lots of useful stuff and opinions. In the end I decided to go for Brisa and get an overlay kit to give me a taster. I was horrified when I called to order it to be told that I had to fork out for creative training if I wanted to use it and that this was because it was such a new product (strange reason!). I was aware that you couldn't get L&P from creative without their training but this was a shock to me. .I've been using gel for a while, have had formal training with Star and would be quite a good customer for them to have if they'd let me! Rant over.....
I have a client whose a gel lover and I'm seeing her on friday for a fresh set, I really wanted to give her something super duper so was willing to pay for a new kit and work frantically until then to make sure my application was good. Going out this afternoon to get some IBD which comes highly recommened if you search this site and they sell it at my no hassle local wholesalers, can be ordered online too.

Creative still got an order from me because there were other things I wanted to try but its such a shame that they don't give experienced Nail Technicians the benefit of the doubt when it comes to selling their proucts. Its not like I'm going to go out there and give everyone awful gel nails and blame it all on creative!!!

I'll let you know how I get on with IBD.
 

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Emma

Hi there, I too use IBD and can't fault it. Have tried several other brands and finally I am happy with my choice. Make sure that you purchase the Bonder too, as IBD needs this stage to adhere well to the nail. If not using an IBD lamp don't forget to duble up your cure times.

Kind Regards
 

Sassy Hassy

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Like most things there are good and bad products out there, and price isn't always the best indication. Also, doesn't matter how good the product is if your application technique isn't up to scratch - which is why companies who value their product won't sell it to you unless you've done THEIR training (bit like a beauty therapist can go into Sally's and buy xyz brand - but you'd never find the likes of Decleor there!).


What I would say is one of the most important things to consider when making your investment in a product is the Company's customer support - when you're out there on your own you need someone you can go to for advice and moral support. I have been with LCN for over 2 years now and I couldn't see me ever changing - they have a gel for every nail situation you will ever come across (nail biters, overlays, normal nails, thin nails, bendy nails and so on), yes they are expensive but their customer support is the best - they know you by name - you never feel like "just another customer" - you feel special and important to them, your success is their success and they will do whatever they can to support, help and guide you.

Lastly, any foundation course you take is purely that. Don't think that you can become a good nail technician with a few days training and that's it, you need to refresh and update as often as possible, especially in the early days, so make sure you can afford not only the initial investment but plan ahead for further training.
Sorry I didn't mean this to come over as the lecture it appears to have done, wasn't my intention but I hope it has given you another angle to think about.
 

geeg

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emmad said:
I was horrified when I called to order it to be told that I had to fork out for creative training if I wanted to use it and that this was because it was such a new product (strange reason!). .
This is really not a strange reason.

If you had been driving for 10 years in a normal car and suddenly a new car with different gears and layout came on the market, wouldn't you want to be shown how to drive it by the people who made it or someone who new how already?

I cannot for the life of me ever understand why any technician would not want this. Brisa is new technology ... no other gel on the market exists that has anything like the same type of chemical formulation. It has so many different attributes that are more advanced than that which you are used to. It works a bit differently but is easy to apply.

I personally would want to know all about that before I used it so I could then explain the benefits to my clients. The class isn't expensive, and the Brisa UV lamp is free ( worth 119.00) so actually you are not out a penny you are probably saving something.

Why do people think it is so bad that Creative want you to well with their products so they want to teach you how to use them best??
 

Sassy Hassy

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Gigi, it's not just Creative, LCN are the same, as I', sure you know having been a trainer for them - and I feel more confident by having the training so I know I am giving my client the best application I can
geeg said:
Why do people think it is so bad that Creative want you to well with their products so they want to teach you how to use them best??
 

geeg

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sarah haslam said:
Gigi, it's not just Creative, LCN are the same, as I', sure you know having been a trainer for them - and I feel more confident by having the training so I know I am giving my client the best application I can
Of course Sarah :biggrin: I respect that LCN have the same policy. It is a rarity however and there are only a very few companies who insist on in-house training before selling. It is a long term approach and a commitment to the technician to help partner them to future success. One of the many reasons why CND is so respected actually. But some just think they can pick up any product, watch a video and voila!
Well I have allot of experience and would never pick up a product and use it without a class, because I would know nothing about it or how it worked. I just couldn't use a product that I knew nothing about. And I respect that all the years of R&D that go into some products do not go into them to produce something that is the same as what everyone else has. What would be the point? R&D is to make improvements.
 

bimbogeri

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I appreciate that companies wouldn't want any Tom, Dick or Harry regularly using their products and putting on their literature that they use their products, using them as a selling point when they're not neccessarily doing good work.
However, I think that if an experienced nail tech was looking to change products, maybe they should be allowed to purchase a small trial pack - only really enough to do a few sets and start to get a feel for the product rather than to use it on customers. Maybe this could be done by producing some proof of qualification if it would reassure the companies more. Then, if you took an instant liking or disliking to it you could opt to train to be allowed to continue to use it.
But if everyone who wanted to change products had to pay for training before even being allowed a sniff at them, surely no-one could ever afford to change? Now I don't know how much the Brisa training costs, and I'm not debating the value of the course (an £120 UV lamp for free- sounds like a good deal to me!), but if each course cost say £50, and you wanted to try 5 products before you picked a new one... £250 is a fair amount just to have to be able to spend when you might end up only like one or none of the new products you try.
Personally I'd love to be Creative trained and try their products as I hear such great things about them, but currently I have to go with my nearest training centre, which is EZ Flow (and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that's a bad thing at all, I hear EZ Flow is very good, and Jess has been great), and could not say with any certainty when or if I'd have the money to convert all my training to Creative.
 

emmad

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geeg said:
This is really not a strange reason.

If you had been driving for 10 years in a normal car and suddenly a new car with different gears and layout came on the market, wouldn't you want to be shown how to drive it by the people who made it or someone who new how already?

I cannot for the life of me ever understand why any technician would not want this. Brisa is new technology ... no other gel on the market exists that has anything like the same type of chemical formulation. It has so many different attributes that are more advanced than that which you are used to. It works a bit differently but is easy to apply.

I personally would want to know all about that before I used it so I could then explain the benefits to my clients. The class isn't expensive, and the Brisa UV lamp is free ( worth 119.00) so actually you are not out a penny you are probably saving something.

Why do people think it is so bad that Creative want you to well with their products so they want to teach you how to use them best??
Gigi,
I feel alienated by your comments - I am not 'people', I am the same as everyone else on this forum and feel estranged (as I know lots of other people do) by creatives method of selling.
The reason that they wouldn't sell it to me was because I hadn't trained with them not because it was a new product - thats all I'm saying.
I genuinely have great respect for creative and other manufacturers who present good products and clearly their marketing works so they must be doing something right. I personally cant afford the time and the expense however of another full-on training course (it certainly is not inexpensive!!!).

The product brochure gives step by step instructions on Brisa, I'm an intelligent sort so I figured that it looked achievable to me. I do/did want to learn all I can about it but the bare honest facts are I don't want to pay for the privilage - sorry its just a personal view.
I feel as a professional that manufacturers need to do more for me than say well unless you pay for training you can't buy our products. I was dissapointed not to be able to buy it hence my earlier rant. The guy who may have sold me the car you refer to above would not expect me to pay him generously for a test drive but he would expect to have to persuade me to buy his car and if neccessary offer me an incentive.
 

emmad

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thenaillounge said:
Emma

Hi there, I too use IBD and can't fault it. Have tried several other brands and finally I am happy with my choice. Make sure that you purchase the Bonder too, as IBD needs this stage to adhere well to the nail. If not using an IBD lamp don't forget to duble up your cure times.

Kind Regards
Thanks Gina,
I'm now the proud owner of pink and clear pots of builder gel, bonder and xtreme white. Saw all the glitter gels etc as well and am very excited.
I might just have to pick your brains a bit later on....
 

geeg

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emmad said:
Gigi,
I feel alienated by your comments - I am not 'people', I am the same as everyone else on this forum and feel estranged (as I know lots of other people do) by creatives method of selling.
The reason that they wouldn't sell it to me was because I hadn't trained with them not because it was a new product - thats all I'm saying.
I genuinely have great respect for creative and other manufacturers who present good products and clearly their marketing works so they must be doing something right. I personally cant afford the time and the expense however of another full-on training course (it certainly is not inexpensive!!!).

The product brochure gives step by step instructions on Brisa, I'm an intelligent sort so I figured that it looked achievable to me. I do/did want to learn all I can about it but the bare honest facts are I don't want to pay for the privilage - sorry its just a personal view.
I feel as a professional that manufacturers need to do more for me than say well unless you pay for training you can't buy our products. I was dissapointed not to be able to buy it hence my earlier rant. The guy who may have sold me the car you refer to above would not expect me to pay him generously for a test drive but he would expect to have to persuade me to buy his car and if neccessary offer me an incentive.
If you are already a trained gel user,l then as far as I am aware, it is only a conversion class. Not a full on foundation training. Has someone got their wires crossed here. A one day training is not expensive and the uv lamp as I say is free. Maybe you'd better pm me and lets see what is happening. the last thing cnd would want is to alienate good potential clients.
 

emmad

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Gigi,
The most recent brochure I have has no course details on Brisa but the Faze conversion class is/was £75 + vat. I also have the cost of putting 2 children in nursery (obviously no one elses problem but my own!) which costs me £80 per day. One saving grace is that I wouldn't have to pay a model as they dont seem to mind you bringing a nail trainer. I have spent over £1000 on a combination of foundation and advanced training and products this year, I need to update my skills and progress to products I feel happier with but this has to be at minimal cost until I get more client pay back. I still have to pay for some NVQ final assessments coming up later this year too.
I've bought a few IBD bits this afternoon totalling less than half that and have just completed a couple of hours practice with pink and whites using my own Daylight lamp with no problems at all. Thier web site has a simple step by step instructions page which helped. They look great, I've given myself a couple on my nat nail to see how it wears over the next week or so, I'll continue to practice this week and probably do a full set over tips on Friday for a booking I have. This certainly satisfies me for the time being and the products are a little quicker for me to get hold of than creative.
I'd consider going creative in the future once I'm earning more and can afford further training. I have my eye on the creative Fabric system too.
 

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