For these nails I started by applying Star Nail Deep Smile Well Less Tips, which I’ve had sitting around for a couple years and never used. I wasn’t sure I would like the deep smile line. They applied nicely, though it took some finesse to get the tip to lay flat (parallel to my short free edges). Then I shortened the length and filed the shine off so I could apply the Gelish Pink Builder Gel. I have enjoyed using my ASP Form-A-Nail nail forms in the past, so I decided to give those a try again. As you can see, they did a great job forming the nail over the tips. It takes a bit of practice when using these with gel because you have to press and hold them still on the nail while they cure to prevent air bubbles. It’s a bit of a pain, but less so than sculpting and filing.
Side note: I don’t have a photo of it, but a few days later I did a fill using the nail forms. First I filed in the cuticle area that needed to be filled, and removed the shine. Then, I used the nail forms to do the fill, this time using Gelish Clear Builder Gel, since I planned to paint over them with Gelish gel polish.
So there you have it – a quick and easy, perfect French manicure. Honestly, it might have been too easy using these products! I felt lazy not having to sculpt the pink and whites!
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.
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!
This snazzy combination is Gelish Let’s Hit the Bunny Slopes (gray) and Race You to the Bottom (teal). I love how the colors in each Gelish collection mesh well together, and these colors are no exception. The photo doesn’t do justice to Race You to the Bottom – it’s a stunner in person!