Inverted nail moulds vs. Dual form system

Lately I’ve done a bit of research on the inverted nail moulds technique (very popular in the UK, which is why I am spelling mould as I am) as it compares to the dual form system (found in the US). I thought I would share with you a few of my findings as well as some links where you can find more information or buy the systems discussed.

First, dual form systems: I have the ASP Form -A-Nail brand, available at Sally Beauty.  The ProNails dual forms also get good reviews.

I can’t understand why more nail techs don’t use these rather than tediously sculpt acrylic and gel enhancements on forms.  You basically sculpt your nail from the underside and go up, rather than from the topside and down.  Check out this how-to video from ProNails:

You can find the ASP brand of dual forms at Sally, or just search “dual forms” on Amazon or Ebay for other options.

Now the inverted nail moulds, which are like a tip combined with the dual system.  You essentially sculpt your nail into the mould, as you would with the dual forms, but after application it does not pop off. The mould is made to stay on the nail.  (Honestly it seems to me like the mould is basically a full-well clear tip that you add to as desired, then apply more L&P to adhere to the nail.)  This video shows application of the moulds:

The clear advantage of either system is in creating embedded enhancements, in that your rough surface from embedding won’t be on the top side of the nail and therefore doesn’t have to be finished off as carefully, as you would if you were to apply a tip and then build on top of it. These seem like a real time saver!

Many people also ask if you can use gel rather than L&P and the answer is yes, though clearly gel requires more practice to obtain perfection. Air bubbles and lifting at the cuticle are a nuisance when using gel, but can be eliminated with practice, I think.

I’ll be experimenting with these over the next few weeks, so I may have some photos for you in the future!

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4 thoughts on “Inverted nail moulds vs. Dual form system

  1. I live in Canada where can I buy inverted nails. Not dual. I’m looking for the inverted ones that actually stay on your nails

  2. I trained for the ‘inverted’ nails in the early 90’s, I knew them as ‘Canadian Nails’. They were quick, easy, and ideal for nail biters. The form over the top kept the nail nice, and I don’t remember anyone coming back saying they scratched or snapped – usually, you infilled and infilled and infilled however, if knocked you knew about it. Back in the day, you just had basic acrylics white and pink, but now there are so many options, and many can now be applied to these nails – making them quite versatile. The only limiting thing is nail shapes. The forms aren’t long enough to do ballerina and stiletto which are on trend at the moment.

    I now ‘sculpt’ but have recently used the ‘dual’ form although not as seen in the above clip where they go over a tip. In all honesty, if you are going to glue on a tip and then go over with the dual form, you may as well just acrylic or gel over a tip. If you are good at your craft, you should have very little filling! If you have to glue on a tip, acrylic/gel the dual form, then trim and file the sides surely this is time consuming?

    I’ve seen people critique the inverted nails condemning the fact that you are flooding the cuticle however, doesn’t the inverted system do the same?

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