5 steps to prep your client's nails

Your clients leaving the salon with nails they’re happy with is the end goal. But in order to get there, every step must be perfect in order for you to provide a great service with long-lasting nails for your client.

Prepping the nail is the first and arguably most important step in the whole process - and we're sure you'll agree! Here are our five top tips to remember when preparing your client’s nails so they leave happy and can't wait to return.

Before you begin

Keeping your workstation clean and tidy is definitely rule number one! Ensure you regularly disinfect your tabletop, wash and sanitise any implements you use and keep your hands clean too.

When preparing a client’s nails make sure the first thing you do is sanitise their hands and nails. This will help to remove any germs and bacteria, which could get trapped on the nail if still present when you start their treatment and cause infection.

Don’t be too harsh on the cuticles

When prepping your client’s nail and taking care of the cuticles, remember that you don’t always need to trim them.

Gently push their cuticles back and only use clippers if needed by carefully trimming away any dead skin or loose cuticle. Repeatedly cutting away too much cuticle can encourage it to overgrow and become hard, which won’t be good for you or the client!

Bluesky nail file

Buff more than you file

Overfilling is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Being too rough on the nails, too quick with your strokes or filing too much can cause damage to the nail that will increase the chance of chipping, splitting and breaking.

Gently file in one direction on one side of the nail and repeat the process on the other side. Use your buffer to create a smooth surface for the gel polish to adhere to; again using gentle strokes.

Consider using a primer

Using a primer before applying your base coat helps with adhesion so your client’s gel manicure will last longer. It’s a particularly useful product to use for clients who have issues with gel polish not lasting long enough or peeling away just days after it has been applied.

Apply before the base with a thin coat and leave to air dry – there’s no need to cure as the product will evaporate in the air. Leave on the nails for 60 seconds before continuing with the rest of the manicure.

Bottles: storing and shaking

It’s all too common to hear the sentence ‘my gel polish has gone lumpy’ or ‘the brush for my gel has gone hard.’ This is due to storing the gel polish in direct sunlight, heat or even too close to your nail lamp.

Any one of the above can be enough to begin to cure the gel polish in the bottle, meaning the consistency becomes thick and the gel sticks to the brush. Ensure all gel polish is stored in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. When with a client, keep the bottles away from your nail lamp as exposure to the LED/UV rays can also cause this issue.

When preparing the bottle for your client, try not to shake it too aggressively! Simply roll each bottle between both your hands so that the gel is mixed evenly, and then leave to settle while you prep their nails.

Bluesky gel nail polish

Once you're prepped, you're ready to go. Keep in mind that care and attention should be paramount when you're with each client. Listen to what they want but use your experience to help them with their colour and style choice.

If you need any help or have a burning question about any step in the process, make sure you join our Facebook group! The group is for Bluesky Professionals only and is a space for you to share your knowledge, ask for advice and get some hints and tips.