Nail FAQ with Nailed it NZ

My friend Jessie is not just a nail art star on her youtube channel Nailed It NZ, but she is also a qualified nail technician. I’ve interviewed her with frequently asked questions about nail health, and general nail and nail polish queries. I found it really interesting, and I hope you will too!

Pastel Owl Nail Art - With Gel Polish
An example of Jessie’s awesome nail art
Do nails need to breathe?
Not at all, the nail plate is made up of many layers of keratin, which is basically a bunch of dead cells. This means that your nails are dead, so giving them a “break to let them breathe” isn’t necessary. However, you can give your nails a break from nail polish if you want old stains to stains fade. (Note – I’ve got a video about this here)


Are acrylics/gel extensions/gel polish bad for your nails?

Not if they’re done correctly! An experienced, qualified nail tech who uses proper application and removal methods will leave your natural nails healthy and undamaged. It’s important to check the knowledge of those doing your nails and make sure that they’re not using acrylic liquid (monomer) that has MMA, rather than EMA in it. MMA sets extremely hard, and if you have a quick google you can see the horrendous injuries that can be caused by the false nail being stronger than the natural one. MMA also requires more etching of the nail before applying the product – damaging your nail.
Note from Lena: MMA is vastly cheaper than EMA, so if you’re getting your acrylics done very cheaply at somewhere like a mall nail bar, they are extremely likely to be using this. For this, and many other reasons, I avoid those places like the plague!

Never pick off your acrylics or gel polish – they must be soaked off. If the only way a tech says they can remove the product is by pulling it off, they are likely to be using MMA. And just to repeat, NEVER pick off your acrylics or gel polish!! It pulls off layers of keratin, damaging and thinning the nail plate.

Is acetone bad for your nails?

Nope, acetone naturally occurs in our body in small amounts and is safe. Because of this I prefer it over normal nail polish remover – followed by some hydrating cuticle oil. However, acetone can be an irritant to some people, so it’s good to have acetone-free alternatives for this reason.

Do strengthening topcoats help?
I am yet to find a shred of evidence to prove that they are anything but a glorified clear polish. As I mentioned before, nails are dead, and you cannot change them once they are out. What you can do as a short-term fix to minimise breakage is keep them covered – this extra layer adds strength simply by making the nail thicker. Nail polish, base coats, clear coats, top coats and “strengthening” products would all work for this. However, it’s just a short-term fix and it’s much better to get into a long-term care regime that will help your nails to grow out healthy and strong in the future. Cuticle oil is the key ingredient here! I’ve actually just filmed a video about this, it’ll be a few weeks away but I’ll let Lena know when it’s up. In the meantime, here’s my video about how to grow your nails long and strong.

 

How to spot a good nail salon – any recommendations for places to go?

Qualification and cleanliness are the two most important things, yet they can easily be overlooked. Nail tools don’t need to be sterilized – we don’t (or shouldn’t) draw blood so a strong cleaning and sanitisation process is more than sufficient. Of course, a good salon also means you get along with the tech and like their work. Bear in mine that you want to be a good client as well!
I’m still relatively new to Auckland so I don’t know everyone yet, so I find it hard to be fair when recommending someone! From memory, Monaco Nails and Beauty have a couple of techs who for them, and I couldn’t recommend them higher. Katie at the Glossary has some great work. Pop nails, by Imogene Bevan is also great, as is Vanilla Pink Nails with Lesley. Also check out Katey at Embellished Nails & Beauty… I could go on, there are so many more!
Note from Lena: I’ve had my nails done at Monaco, and they were great. I’ve also had my nails done by Katie at The Glossary (Whangaparaoa), Blush Baby (Pakuranga) and I would totally recommend both of them!
Do you see clients?
No, I’ll occasionally do a one-off for a friend or follower but I keep it very minimal. I’m focusing more on my online nail work right now, as well as studying so I don’t have a lot of free time!
I was lucky enough to have Jessie do my nails a while ago, and they looked so great!
I don’t have favourite brands, really. Most brands are great, just make sure they’re 3-free (made without Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde and Toluene – for more on this read here). Cheap brands such as Jordana are great, but so are the more pricey ones. The brands I use most often are OPI, Picture Polish, Madam Glam, Essie, Jordana, Sinful Colors, Sally Hansen and China Glaze. Also, a fun fact; when polish chips it’s usually due to the application of the polish or rough treatment of the hands, not the polish itself. I’ve got a video all about how to make your polish last longer that will help with that. (click here to view it)
Hope this info was helpful to you, and happy nailing!
Thank you so much Jessie! This was very informative to me, and I’m sure to readers too.

To keep up with Jessie and her amazing nail art, subscribe and follow Nailed it NZ on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and her blog.

To end this post, I want to show my favourite nail art that Jessie has done – Frozen nails!!! The video where she does it is just amazing, I was in awe watching her paint their tiny faces, you can watch it by clicking this link.

nailed it nz frozen nail art
How incredible is this Frozen Nail Art

lena

Comments

comments

  • Christel Hansen

    Nail goals right here! Reading this made me want to get back into nail art. Back when I was at the pharmacy I wore crazy nail art on an everyday basis, and I absolutely loved taking the time to do it as I found it so relaxing. Jessie’s work is amazing! SO impressed oxoxo

    • You should! I love nail art, I’ve been getting into it a bit more lately – have stripes at the moment and my next challenge is going to be a sponge gradient.

  • Super interesting post, thanks guys! I had no idea about the two different types of acrylics, so that’s good to be aware of. Also, those nautical nails of yours Lena were so incredible, nail goals for sure!! xx

    • I wasn’t aware either – goes to show that you get what you pay for with cheap (and nasty) nails. I saw a 20/20 that went inside nail salons at malls and ugh the hygiene was disgusting! The nautical nails were so great, I kept them on for soooo long/

  • I have *no* idea about nails, so this was fascinating. Also, that ‘Frozen’ manicure is just phenomenal!

  • m/

    Oh my togs my kid would freakin love the Frozen nails!

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