Hardener Acrylic Powder
Ultraviolet Curing Resin
Wetted Brush Collecting Powder
Tiger Nails 2
Applying Paste to Nail
Left Hand Ready For Polish
Dressing Up the New Nail Material
Sanding Brush Sanding Block
She then puts two layers of nail polish (lacquer) on the nail. There is an ultraviolet nail coating that can be used, but it ends up chipping when put into service.
The nail tech removes dirt and nail polish from each nail with acetone on a paper towel.
She then roughens the nail surface with an 80-100 grit sand cone on a Dremal tool.
80-100 grit sand drum Cleaning brush
She brushes the surface clean with a soft brush on long fibers like animal hair. This brush looks like on an old shaving brush for applying shaving soap or cream.
She then applies a bonding agent (probably an oxysilane compound) and lets it dry for a few seconds. Then she applied a primer on top of the first and lets that dry for a minute of two. You can see these materials propagating throughout the nail surface completely wetting it. My off-the-shelf preparation agent was only a single type and probably less toxic than the professional stuff.
She has a jar of powder that is an acrylic monomer and a bottle of curing agent that is a liquid. She dips a soft paint brush (hairs are about 1/4" in diameter) into the curing agent and then dips it into the powder until a dab of material collects on the brush.
She then spreads the mixture onto the nail making sure it does not touch the skin. I can tell that the mixture is very dry on the surface similar in texture to tooth paste. She made sure it is dry enough to prevent liquid polymer from running under the cuticle/nail boundary. She dabbed the mixture and pushed it within a distance of .5mm or .02 in making sure there was a space between the nail and cuticle. This is to prevent normal skin oils from wicking under the new nail material. I believe that this was my main problem was that thin liquid ran under the nail /cuticle boundary where skin oils got between the artificial nail and the real nail causing debonding and lifting.
I ask the technician to make the material at least twice as thick as she does on normal people. This is for strength and durability. After the materials curing (it's a chemical reaction, it's not drying) she uses a metal grinding tool to even up the contours and thickness of the artificial nail. She then uses an abrasive board and sanding block to finish the surface of the nail. She uses the brush to clear the dust left on the hands and table.
She then brushes cuticle oil around the cuticles and nails. She then sends me to the sink to wash my hands using a brush with hand soap to get excess oil off the nail. (It is my belief that the oil runs underneath the cuticle creating a barrier that prevents polish from getting in).
Right Hand Ready For Polish