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Question
Can you tell me just how much filing of my nails should be done prior to getting artificial nails done.  Should they be doing more than just removing the shine?  Is it the primer or the prep that makes the biggest difference?  Thanks

Answer
There should be minimal filing on the natural nail prior to any service. Just a light buffing to remove shine. It's best to file the natural nail in a vertical direction-- up and down from the tip to the cuticle. This is the direction the nail grows in and etching in this manner is less damaging to the natural texture of the nail.

Filing can be done with a hand file, a electric file, or a soft buffer-- it can be a course or soft grit, but should be done very gently.

Good preparation of the natural nail will go much further to final product performance than primer. When done properly, prep technique and primer together make a superior bond. Primers can be MAP (Methacrylic Acid# or protein type. Most people tend to refer only to MAPs as "primer" even though protein bonders are also, technically, primers. MAP #old school primer that stinks like gym socks and burns if it gets on your skin) is highly acidic and can cause chemical burns to skin. It should be used extremely sparingly, in very light coats. It should not be allowed to contact your skin! And more coats will not result in better adhesion of product.

MAPs will NOT "eat away" or "dissolve" your nails. They will dehydrate them though. But when used properly, they remain a safe and very effective bonding agent.

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Maggie Franklin

Expertise

Professional Nailcare: nail enhancement chemistry and technique, mancuring and pedicuring. I am not qualified to give medical advice or make medical diagnoses.

Experience

I am a professional nail technician with 17 years experience in the professional beauty industry. I am licensed in the states of California (license #M120766) and Colorado (license #8611.) I have been an active member of the online mailing list at Beautytech.com since 1999 where I network with 100s of nail industry professionals around the world. Over the last 15 years I have accumulated several advanced training certificates, including the coveted Creative Nail Designs Master Nail Technician status, and personal training by Tammy Taylor, Tom Bachik, and Tom Holcomb. I briefly joined the competition circuit in 2002, taking first place in the second annual Strut Your Stuff Online competition in the Enhancement 2 category. In 2009 I have decided to make time in my schedule to get back into competition by joining "Team Pink," the competition team captained by current world champion nail technician, Lynn Lammers. I boast several contributions to articles that have appeared in both Nails and Nailpro magazines, including a brief stint as a Nails Magazine Help Desk contributor and now I write a semi-weekly blog for Nails Magazine while continuing to attend tradeshows and continuing education events.

Organizations
Nail Tech mailist list at Beautytech.com

Publications
Nails Magazine. Nailpro Magazine. Blogging for Nails Magazine since September, 2008: http://blogs.nailsmag.com/maggie/

Education/Credentials
CA license #M120766. CO license #8611. CND Master Nail Technician. Tom Holcomb Academy. Personal training with Tom Bachik. Two day advanced training with Tammy Taylor. AEFM certified for use of electric file. HRTE (High Road to Education) in San Jose, CA 2009.

Awards and Honors
2nd Annual Strut Your Stuff Online competition, 1st place in Enhancement 2. Member of "Team Pink" competition team 2009. 3rd place, Novice tip-and-overlay relay at IBS Las Vegas, 2009.

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