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 1034 N 3rd  St., Suite 5b
 Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
208-667-8778 business/cell

#1 What is the difference between "sculpted nails" and "tips"?
#2 What are "pink and whites"?
#3 How do I take care of my artificial nail enhancements?
#4 What is a fill?
#5 How often should I get a fill?
#6 What is the difference between mold and fungus?
#7 Are acrylics safe?
#8 How do you remove enhancements?
#9 Is the Nail Technician licensed?
#10 How do I complain to the state board?
#11 What if the technician uses a mask?
#12 What is the difference between MMA and EMA?
#13 Are drills safe?
#14 What is lifting?
#15 Will my natural nails continue to grow under the acrylics?
#16 How long will it take for my natural nails to return to normal after artificial nails are removed?
#17 What about salon safety and sanitation?
   
What is the difference between "sculpted nails" and "tips"?
Hand Sculpted nails are created by applying a "nail form" under the tip of your natural nail. The nail technician sculpts the nail and free edge, forming the length and shape of an artificial nail.

A tip with an overlay is an application using a "plastic" nail tip, gluing it to your natural nail and applying a nail product over the top of both your natural nail and the tip.

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What are "pink and whites"?
Hand Pink and White" refers to the use of two colors of acrylic applied to the nails to produce a more permanent, natural-looking "French" manicure look. The tips of the nails are sculpted using white acrylic. The base of the nail is then overlayed with pink acrylic.

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How do I take care of my artificial nail enhancements?
Hand If your nails become too long before your next appointment, you can file them using a 100 grit file or larger. NEVER use nail clippers as they may cause your nail enhancements to shatter. Changing the polish is fine, however, you need to use non-acetone polish remover. Cuticle oil applied daily helps prevent your enhancements from becoming brittle. Call your nail technician with any questions or concerns.

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What is a fill?
Hand A fill is the application of product at the base of the nail where the acrylic has grown away from the cuticle. The area is prepped by filing, taking care of any lifting or cracks, re-application of product, filing, buffing and application of polish. This process should be done every two weeks, however, some clients prefer to go longer. It is not recommended that you go longer than 3 weeks. The larger the gap the more likely it is that your nail will become top heavy and breakage can occur. 

A "backfill"
on French nails is the same as a "regular" fill with the addition of filing or drilling off the free edge and reapplying white acrylic on the smile line.


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How often should I get a fill?
Hand Every two weeks is the preferred amount of time between fills. The longer you go between fills, the more likely it is that breakage or lifting will occur. The longer the free edge gets, the more likely the possibility of breaking your natural nail. Some nail technicians charge more if you go three or four weeks, as more work is required for the fill and more time taken.

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What is the difference between mold and fungus?
Hand A fungus is a microorganism derived from the plant family; it is a relative of the mushroom. Fungal infections differ from bacterial and viral infections that can affect the nails in that fungal infections are chronic, not tender, slow-growing, and localized. Bacterial and viral infections, on the other hand, are acute, tender, grow rapidly, and are blood borne, meaning they can affect more than one part of the body. A true fungal infection of the nail is called onychomycosis. The most common type of fungal infection of the nail begins with a small separation between the end of the nail and the nail bed. Many fungus infections start as an innocent bang and separation. It is very important to keep this clean and dry. Do not poke things under your nail to clean it. You should not apply product to a fungal nail until it is healed. Fungal spores are present everywhere in the environment including on the skin. To infect nails they must have a portal of entry. The portal is normally caused by a trauma, injury or allergic reaction to nail products, which causes a small separation of the nail plate from the nail bed and allows fungus to move in under the nail. Fungal infections are not very contagious. They can be transmitted but it is not easily done.

Mold is commonly called nail fungus…but it is not one. Caused by the pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, the infection results in a yellow-green, green or green black stain. Advanced symptoms are pus and separation of the nail plate.

This is a water borne bacteria, which means it is transmitted through water and thrives in a warm moist environment. It occurs so commonly with artificial nails because when artificial product lifts, moisture can seep in between the product and the natural nail bed. On top of the nail this is a primary infection caused by the moist pocket. At other times, it occurs under the natural nail and is considered a secondary infection, which means the bacteria did not cause the separation, it just took advantage of it.

A fungus needs to be treated by a doctor. With mold, the acrylic needs to be removed - the area filed and disinfected, and then acrylic can be reapplied.

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Are acrylics safe?
Hand In and of themselves and when applied properly, acrylic nails are safe. What contributes to the "danger" to clients is repeated exposure to the chemicals on the skin. Most of the chemicals used to create artificial nails are acrylic-based. Certainly they would be dangerous if ingested, but it is not likely that any significant amount of the products can go through the nails into the bloodstream. The danger is when products are applied improperly. It is important for the nail technician to prevent products from touching client's skin.

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How do you remove enhancements?
Hand Removal of nail enhancements should be done by a nail care professional. 
If you do them yourself, I prefer the foil wrap technique. Materials required are foil, acetone (not polish remover with acetone, but pure acetone purchased at a hardware store) or product remover, cotton balls and an orangewood stick. You should use a container that is not plastic and work over an area that won't be damaged by the acetone.

Remove all polish and buff off any shiny surfaces - (will not work on gel nails). Cut 2x3 inch squares of foil. Cut 5 cotton balls in half. Pour acetone into container and one by one, soak a cotton ball in the acetone and place over the nail and wrap tightly with the foil. Do this to all ten nails, then allow to process for at least 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, remove one foil at a time - scrape the softened acrylic off - if any remains, re-apply soaked cotton ball and foil and go to the next nail. Do this to all ten nails until all, or most of the product is removed. You can buff of any remainder product. Wash hands thoroughly, and then apply oil to nails and rub in. Be sure to file the nails short. You can then wash the oils off, and polish with a nail strengthener. Keep strengthener on at all times, reapplying a coat a day and then at the end of the week, take it off with remover, re-shape nails and start the process all over. It will take 2 to 3 months for your nails to completely grow out and at that time, they will be the same as they were prior to acrylic application.

Gel nails must be filed off. Do not allow the nails to just "grow out" with artificial enhancements on them. They will become top heavy and you could break your natural nail. Do not pick them off either, as that will remove layers of your natural nail.

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Is the Nail Technician licensed?
Hand Nail technicians are required to keep their license visibly posted at their work station. Most states require that there be a photo of the license holder on the license. If you do not see a license, including a salon license, ask to see it. If this request is refused, leave the salon and report it to the local regulatory authority. Unlicensed practice is illegal.

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How do I complain to the state board?
Hand If you feel that you have a valid complaint against a salon or technician, you must file a written complaint with the local regulatory Board or commission in your state. All complaints must be in writing and must contain an address and phone number so that you can be contacted. Here is the web page for the complaint form Statement of Complaint.

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What if the technician uses a mask?
Hand Some technicians wear masks to protect themselves from dust and vapors from products used in nail services. Some also have allergies that make it more comfortable to work for long hours in the salon. A mask is not always a sign that a technician is using MMA, but it can be an indicator. Check the other indicators of MMA use if you see the technician wearing a mask. If most of those indicators are visible, you have to decide whether you want to patronize that salon. (I personally must use a mask on occasion because of allergies. It is my personal opinion that all nail technicians should use masks to protect themselves from the dust. Unfortunately, wearing masks is now very much associated with the salons that use MMA, so you must be careful when making your decision. Feel free to ask the technician why they are wearing a mask. The type of masks worn by most technicians would not protect from fumes.) What are the other indicators of MMA use? See the next question on MMA vs EMA.

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What is the difference between MMA and EMA?
Hand The following link best describes the difference. Consumer Alert - MMA - Methylmethacrylate

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Are drills safe?
Hand Yes. As with any type of machine, drills are safe when properly used by trained technicians. It is not the machine that is dangerous, it is the improper use by the operator that creates a potential for damage. Electric file bits should be cleaned and disinfected after use on a single client. If the bit is visibly dirty, make the operator stop and replace it with a clean one. If they refuse, leave the salon. If the operator is using sanding sleeves, these are single-use disposable items and must be discarded after use on any one client

Do not let an operator use a visibly dirty sanding sleeve on you. Sanding sleeves are made of paper and are not able to be disinfected, so if you see someone using a used one on you, ask for a new one. If they won't comply, leave the salon.

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What is lifting?
Hand Lifting is when the acrylic loosens from the nail plate, usually at the base of the nail. This can be caused by several factors. Improper preparation of nail plate prior to acrylic application, hands in water more than normal, or free edge too long causing too much pressure at the base of the nail are a few of the reasons. 

Whatever the cause, it must be taken care of to prevent breakage or mold. Call your nail technician for repair.

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Will my natural nails continue to grow under the acrylics?
Hand Yes, your natural nails will continue to grow under the acrylics. I often describe it as "taking the acrylic along for a ride". Clients are often amazed that their nails now grow "so fast", when in reality, they simply are just not breaking off now. The common goal for most acrylic nail wearers is to have their natural nails with an acrylic overlay - this will occur within a few fills providing you don't break one that needs to be repaired with a tip or a form.

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How long will it take for my natural nails to return to normal after artificial nails are removed?
Hand Your natural nails will return to normal in two to three months after removal. If they are applied and removed correctly, artificial nails do little damage to your nails. Your own nails will always grow back in the same condition they were in before the artificial nails were applied. Be sure to use a good nail strengthener during the growing-out process and plenty of cuticle oil.

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What about salon safety and sanitation?
Hand ASK... if you have any questions or concerns. If the technician or salon owner won't share what her procedures for sanitation are, then leave. All implements and files should be disinfected between clients. They should soak in a disinfectant for at least 10 minutes before being used on the next client. Clean towels should be used, brushes should be sanitized, all bottles and containers should be marked with product brand name and the table should be sanitized between clients. If you are not comfortable with the cleanliness of the salon, inform the owner. If nothing is done, don't go back. Ask to see a copy of their last inspection report. It should be available upon request.

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