Educational Article useful for nail techs in regards to science, product use, biology etc.

When do I need a New Set of Nails?

This week I was asked (not for the first time) “When do I need to take off my nails and get a new set?” The answer is “Never”. You NEVER “Need” to do a removal & new set, except if you’re going to surgery and the Doctor says so.
New Sets are ‘optional’, and not a necessity. Want and Need are two different things.
A: You may “WANT” a New Set if
  1. Your natural nails don’t grow into what you consider a perfect shape, and you want a new set to create the illusion of perfectly shaped nails (maybe your nails grow into a hooked shape downwards, maybe they don’t have a nice c-curve,etc)
  2. Artistic reasons. Maybe you want some encapsulated nail art (ie: dried flowers, snake skin, scorpion, butterly wings, feathers, etc) and have something ‘inside’ the acrylic/gel. OR you want “Stained Glass” or “Jelly Nails” where the end of your nail is see-through (because your natural nail certainly isn’t see-through. Then you’ll need a new set.
  3. You want to change the shape from Almond to Coffin or Oval to Square, etc. Then to increase the surface area for that required shape, a new set is required.
  4. You want to change systems (ie: from Acrylic natural nail overlay to IBX Boost gel overlay). This is two entirely different services that don’t work together.

Sculpting New Set

B: It has been my experience that salons that frequently require new sets are either one or all of the following:
  1. It’s a Cash Grab (they can charge you for the removal, and more for a new set than for a rebalance)
  2. They use MMA (Illegal & cheap) Acrylic that yellows  horribly with age and the nails look shoddy, so require a new set to make them look nice.
  3. They don’t do the refills/rebalances properly (rushed services), and you can see unattractive fill lines from previous services in your acrylic/gel
  4. The tech is poorly trained and/or inexperienced and not that good at rebalances/refills yet, and finds it easier to start fresh. (fair enough, give her time, she’ll get there)


C: But what about if you’re wearing nails from another nail salon and the tech says “I don’t work on top of anyone elses’ work, have to remove and do a new set”. This is common practice, but not always necessary.
  1. Some do it because they are afraid of bacteria being caught under the product from the old salon and don’t want to be held accountable for any infection that might occur as a result (especially true if your former salon is NSS/discount nail bar that doesn’t do things properly) and they do this in the interest of protecting your nail health, and their business. Fair enough.
  2. Some do it because what is already on your nails may be poorly done and not look good, and doesn’t make a good foundation for what you asked us to make your nails to look like. Sometimes we can’t fix what’s there. Sometimes, it’s such a disaster, that to ensure you leave OUR table happy, we have to & need to start anew.
  3. Other nail techs do it because some products don’t play well with other products and to avoid any issues, will only work on product they have applied themselves. For example: if you had gel applied, and are seeking acrylic services. Acrylic won’t bond to gel, so it is necessary to start afresh. OR you are wearing DIP nails and are switching to traditional Acrylic or UV Gel, then it’s necessary to start anew.
Here, at Victorious Nail Styles, it’s decided on a case-by-case basis. Most of the time, a Removal & New Set is NOT necessary and this includes nails done at another salon. More often than not, I can do what is called a Reconstruction on nails previously done elsewhere.
There is absolutely no benefit to you -the client- to routinely remove your nails for a new set. Removal is harsh on your nail plates due to the necessary soaking in acetone (very drying) and the filing & buffing of the natural nail plate to be 100% certain that all traces of product was removed. So unless you want to change the look for reasons such as discussed in Section A, OR there is visible sign or potential for infection; then just keep getting refilled/rebalanced. If the removal is required such as listed in section B, either change salons OR accept that the novice tech will improve her skills with time and be patient with her as we all start somewhere.
All in all, usually a new set is wanted (by either tech or client), but rarely needed.
(Also found on my Facebook Biz Page in the Notes Tab “When do I need a new set?

Get your Horsey Hands here with IBX Boost!

Howdy ladies and gents!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  It’s been a while since I posted, but I hope that 2018 gets off to a rolling start for all of you.

Now let’s get down to business.  How many of you recall my Feb/2017 blog post about my gal Marie and her Horsey hands? If you don’t, please take a look here “She has Horsey-Hands!”.

It’s been a year since then, and there have been some changes in Marie’s nails.  First of all, there was the launch of Famous Names Products IBX Boost in Vegas last year.  Free free to visit my album on Facebook about that trip. It was quite the event!  Facebook Album- Best Lil Nail Show In Vegas.

IBX Boost was added to the Famous Names Products product line-up in 2017.  First launched in the UK, then the US and now arriving in Canada.  It is a “FLEXIBLE and STRONG over the top universal nail coating that is the perfect compliment to the IBX System”.   In my salon, I use it under Gel Polish services for added strength, like a lightweight armor. It gives that extra ‘boost’ of strength for those clients that struggle with gel polish but don’t quite need or want the strength of traditional Acrylic or UV Gel enhancements.   It’s a soak-off gel, so right there is an added bonus in my eyes. I don’t like to use products that are buff-off.  The less I buff/file the natural nail, the happier I am.   Even under the lightest touch, buffing over time can thin out the nail plate.  Nail plates that are thinned are compromised and weakened; providing a poor foundation for future services and more prone to breaking.  Additional bonus- you do NOT have to soak it off. You can refill it!   So now, for my gel polish services, I opt to file off the color until I reach the thin clear layer of Boost underneath.  Then I refill the Boost, and reapply my color.   This approach is FANTASTIC in two ways.  1-the client’s nails don’t have to soak in acetone which is drying (easily countered by Dadi’Oil, but drying none the less) 2-Less waste (I’m not contributing to landfills with tin foil and acetone saturated cotton  3- It saves me & the client TIME.  Saving time means happier clients and that I can add more services to my schedule.  It’s far quicker to file off than to soak off.  Which is why many techs already file off gel polish for the purpose of saving time.  I heavily frown upon this practice, unless there is IBX Boost or similar underneath because it’s physically & scientifically impossible to remove all the color without buffing the nail plate, which compromises the health of the natural nail which I am DEAD-SET AGAINST.   I am in the business of beautifying natural nails, enhancing natural nails; NOT damaging them.  So moving on, because that’s a whole blog post on it’s own.

When I went to the Best Lil Nail Show In Vegas, the Famous Names Pros’ Educator’s team attended a full day of training at the FNP Headquarters.  We were updated on current products, we learned more about the chemistry behind the product line (ooooohhh  that was my favorite part!), AND we were introduced to IBX Boost.   I had the lovely opportunity to meet an online colleague and friend, Tracy Anne Shelverton, who flew in for the occasion.  She had months of experience using and testing IBX Boost in the UK where it launched first. It was a fantastic afternoon!   Now I need to point out before I continue: IBX Boost is NOT intended for extensions or for making nails longer.  It’s a very soft product that flexes beautifully WITH the natural nail.  It’s intended as a lightweight armor with only the occasional teensy weensy extension to even out an edge of a nail (let’s say a couple of millimeters?).   BUT… (and you knew there was a ‘but’ coming) I like to push the envelope because that’s my way. Big surprise, right?

Once I received my own IBX Boost and brought it home to my salon, I started pushing the envelope right away to see how far I could take it.  As noted in a previous Blog Post,  “She has Horsey-Hands!”,  we discussed the many ways in which Marie works hard with her hands.  In her own words, she is a “Horse-Girl” and “Country Girl”.  She’s not a city girl working in an office, wearing suits and going on business lunches.   She gets down and dirty in the muck and stalls doing horse-stable work.  Marie, as it happens, is my PERFECT test subject.   She works very hard with her hands BUT she also follows my aftercare advice perfectly; using her Dadi’Oil and my Victorious Balm frequently throughout the day. She does NOT use her nails as tools, and wears gloves where appropriate. She is mindful not to bang them against things.

At Christmas, she had busted a nail so I applied a tip under her IBX Boost and Gel Polish so that no one would know and so that her holiday nails would be perfect.  Can you tell which of those nails is not like the other’s?

In our Educator’s class we were taught to extend only marginally.   Please note:  IBX Boost is NOT as hard as traditional Acrylic, nor UV Gel and it’s NOT intended to be.  It’s not intended for tip&overlay services, nor for sculpting typical extensions.  I would equate it’s strength  to a strong natural nail.  Natural nails are between 50 to 100 layers.  Clients at the 50 layer mark have thin, floppy, bendy nails that don’t hold product well.   Clients at the 100 layer mark grow their own nails quite easily and rarely if ever suffer product chipping because they have a strong foundation.  In my humble opinion – IBX Boost is like a nail at the 100 layer mark.

At her appointment after Christmas, she had busted another nail. I was going to apply another tip only to discover that my nail-resin had sealed itself shut. Now what to do?  Well… time to push the envelope.  I had done so previously on another client, but not quite as long as this. We discussed the option together and she agreed to let me experiment.  We did a LONG extension with the IBX Boost. Please note the Index finger. That is IBX BOOST, not hard gel or acrylic!


How are the nails faring?  How is that IBX Boost Extension holding up?

Have a look. What do you think? I spent the afternoon with her in the stables yesterday. I personally witnessed how hard she works, mucking a stall, dealing with tack, cleaning the hooves, etc   Reminder: It’s the index finger of the right hand.

From this happy experiment, I learned that for clients who are mindful of their hands and who usually manage a bit of length quite easily, you CAN extend IBX Boost longer than a few millimeters.  That extension will equate in strength to a strong natural nail (ie: about 75-100 layers).

If you don’t have IBX Boost, maybe it’s time you did so that your clients can have Horsey-Hands too!

PS: Thank you Marie for your Horsey-Hands and Friendship xoxo ❤



Everything old is new again, same old song: Are Tip-n-Dip Nails Better?

It’s all the rage! Artificial nails that are kinder to your nails! Faster to apply, easier to remove! Won’t damage your nails like Acrylic!

Wait. We’ve heard that song before, haven’t we?   Didn’t someone sing that song when UV Gel launched? Didn’t we hear that same song again when Gel Polishes hit the market?  Everyone wants healthy and strong natural nails. This isn’t new. Neither are Tip-n-dips, they’re not new and neither are their marketing tactics.

Tip-n-dips aka ‘Gel Resine” aka “Resine et Poudre”  aka “Acrylic Dip” aka “Powder Dip”. Here on out, I’m calling it T&D in the interest of brevity.

T&D recently is touted by Brand Manufacturers and Distributors as ‘the newest thing’.  I have been using T&D since back in the early 80’s, about 30yrs ago (eeeeks, showing my age!), so first off, it’s NOT so ‘new’.  In Quebec Canada, they have been popular for decades.

All sorts of promises and claims are spouting up everywhere.  I blogged about some of those claims last year  Please take a moment to read that, then come back here.   In short, most of the claims are marketing nonsense.  That should be no surprise.  Most marketing is word-play, to lead you to think a certain way, to influence you to make a purchase.

So what is T&D?  First and foremost, as I explained in the previous blog- it IS an Acrylic product!  It’s the application of Resin adhesive (made from acrylic cynoacrylate.) and Polymer Powder (traditional Acrylic Powder, usually a combination of polyethyl methacrylate/PEMA, Acrylate copolymers, and PolyMethyl Methacrylate/PMMA).  HEY Look at all that ACRYLATE!  Yes folks, that IS Acrylic!

There are brands that wish to mislead you and tell you it’s “silk powder” or “calcium powder” and/or that it’s infused with vitamins and calcium.   Good luck looking for an SDS (Safety Data Sheet) for a T&D powder that doesn’t list acrylates in it’s ingredients.  There is no such thing as calcium nails or silk powder nails.

Sidebar:  Your nail plates have absolutely no use for nail enhancement products that contain vitamins or calcium as they can’t absorb them. Additionally, your nail plates are dead.  The only way vitamins are of any benefit to your nails is through ingestion so that your blood stream can supply the matrix whilst it creates the nail.   (See here to hear what leading Industry Chemists have to say on the subject:

I hear the cries “it’s gentler to the nails”.  I have said it before, and I will say it again – Nail enhancements are inanimate. They do not ‘cause’ damage.   What cause damage are the techniques used to apply and remove them by either the Nail Technician or the Consumer.   Whether it’s Traditional Acrylic, UV Gel, T&D, Gel Polish:  if any of these are NOT applied in the correct fashion and/or removed in the correct fashion, you will have damage. NONE of them are ‘gentler’ to the nail plate.

What causes Damage?  1-Improper prep  2-Improper removal 3-Picking/prying/forcing off enhancements 4-overfilling during any of the other stages.     These issues do not change just because someone changes the product.   These issues happen with ALL systems:  Gel polish and/or Shellac, UV Gel, Traditional Acrylic, T&D, Wraps, etc.  I have seen damage result from the misuse of ALL product lines and brands.  If you google, you will find the same results.   There is no such thing as a ‘less damaging system’.  Only less damaging techniques!

Now I’m sure some have their knickers in a twist and have come to the conclusion that I don’t like T&D.   I suggest that you scroll back up and read my words again.  Here, let me help you.  I said ” I have been using T&D since back in the early 80’s”.   Yes, have been using and still use it today.   Although it’s not my preferred system, it has it’s uses.  There is no such thing as “one size fits all” in life, it’s a fallacy.   Same applies here.    What do I use it for?  I like to use it to create an extension under gel polish for my gel polish clients when they break a nail and don’t want to have an obvious odd finger.  I use it for clients wanting only very temporary nails for short term who prefer to soak off at home (such as high-school graduating students).

Here are some Pros and Cons for your review.


–        Quick to apply

–        Usually, easy to remove

–        Usually, soaks off quicker than traditional acrylic

–        Low odor

–        Usually thinner than traditional acrylic, thicker than gel polish.

–        Stronger than Gel Polish aka Shellac

–        Lower cost


–        Brittle and porous, prone to ‘clouding’ due to micro fissures (miniature cracks).

–        Does not rebalance/refill well, requires frequent soak-offs and new sets to maintain.

–        Takes longer to soak off than Gel Polish aka Shellac.  May even take as long as acrylic depending on how many layers the Technician applied.

–        The frequent soaking off ‘can’ lead to drying out the nail, and the constant blending of nail tips ‘can’ lead to thinning of nail plates.

–        Not as strong as traditional Acrylic or Hard Gels.

–        Can’t repair single nail without removing and starting fresh.

Now to address common myths about T&D.

You can’t create an apex“.  Actually, yes you CAN create an apex via sectioning your layers of application. It’s all in technique.

They can’t be worn long“.  Yes, they CAN be worn long.  As with every other system; be it gel polish, traditional acrylic, uv gel; length is determined by the client. Is the client heavy handed or not? Does she lead an active lifestyle or hold a job that is harsh on her hands?   With T&D, these considerations are no different.

You can’t do a pink and white french“.  Well, this one is somewhat debatable. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.   You can either use a french tip, or use the dipping method. However, it will NEVER look as a proper french should, with a crisp smiling line, no matter how much you practice.  If you’re not fussed over a crisp smiling line, then enjoy.  Personally, I am NOT a fan of the fuzzy french smile. Looks smirky to me and no one likes being smirked at.

You’re limited in art“.  No, you’re not.  You can do glitter fades and color dips, encapsulation, and a bunch of other things.  Just like with other systems, you have to use different techniques to achieve the look you want.

I’m allergic to acrylic, so I can wear T&D“.  WRONG!!! T&D is an acrylic product, so if you have acrylic allergies, do NOT wear T&D either.

For the consumer:  My advice to you is to choose a salon based on safety, hygiene and education.  Do NOT choose a salon based on whatever brand or system they are using, or marketing spiel they are handing to you.  Type of brand or system is no indicator of what kind of salon they are.  Find a salon and/or tech that you can talk to, that is open to answering all of your questions with high standards of hygiene and education. For more information on how to choose a salon, visit here to learn more

Now would someone mind pulling that 45 from the turntable, it’s a broken record – Better for your nails –  and getting on my last nerve.

9 Things to Know Before Your Next Manicure

From:   dated 7March2014

Athena Elliot’s Checklist as featured on ABC 20/20 on March 7th, 2014

BeforeYou Go For That Pedicure, Be Sure Take a Closer Look at Your Nail Salon


March7, 2014—

When it comes to nail salons,it’s not just about the glitter and polish. Before you make that next trip toget a manicure or pedicure, heed this advice from industry insider AthenaElliott.

“There is a lot of money tobe made out there. And unfortunately, there is a lot of money to be made, atyour cost,” Elliott told ABC News’ “20/20.”

Tune into “TrueConfessions” on ABC News’ “20/20” on TONIGHT at 10 p.m. ET

Elliott has been a nailtechnician for 34 years. After realizing how many of her peers ignored theindustry’s sanitation protocol, she said she wants to expose the habitualhorrors that put customer safety and health at risk. So every week, Elliottgoes undercover and reviews salons’ cleanliness for her website,

“What [customers] don’trealize is that there is … really danger lurking everywhere,” Elliottsaid. “The potential for infection is greater than people realize.”

Here are some of Elliott’s tipsfor what to look for in a nail salon.

Nail Salon Know-How: 9 Things to Know Before Your Next Manicure

1. Communicate With Your Technician, Do SomeResearch Online

“Are you communicating with your nail technician? Are they notlistening to you?” Elliott said. “There is more to having a goodservice than just picking out your nail color. If you can’t communicate,chances are you won’t be happy with your service. Miscommunication is a primarycause of nail salon infections and lawsuits from infections.” Check if thesalon has an Internet presence, reviews and if you can find out anything aboutthe salon’s protocol.

2. Ask How They Disinfect Their Tools

When visiting a salon, learn more about how the salon disinfectstheir tools. “Do they use the state’s protocol with liquid disinfection,or do they use an autoclave to sterilize their implements?” Elliott said.These are both acceptable and what you should look for in a safe salon. Anautoclave, according to Elliott, uses steam and pressure to kill all livingpathogens. Don’t be afraid to say, “Can you show me how you disinfect yourpedicure chairs? Can you show me your cleaning log? Are you using single-usefiles on me?” said Elliott.

3. Are the Technicians Wearing Gloves?

A good sign is a technician wearing gloves. A survey by NAILSmagazine revealed only 17% of nail techs wear them regularly. According toElliot, gloves can help reduce the transfer of bacteria to a client.

4. Is the Floor Dirty?

Check out the salon’s floor, and make sure it’s clean.”Because if there are scattered clippings from people’s toenails andfingernails, as if I am the 20th client of the day, that’s the first thingthat’s going to turn me off,” Elliott said. “You should be cleaningup, after every service.”

5. Inspect the Bathroom

“If you walk into a salon and the restroom is not as clean asyou like your restroom to be at home, you should take that as a sign,”Elliott said.

6. Are They Reusing Dirty Tools?

Watch where the salon employees pull their tools from. “Arethey tools that have already been disinfected and that you can tell, or arethey being pulled out of a kitchen, you know, out of your drawer?” Elliottsaid. Depending on the state’s laws, some tools may be single-use items. Besure to check your state’s cosmetology rules and regulations to know what toolsare approved or banned and how they should be cleaned.

7. Know What Chemicals They Use

You should always know what the chemical is that they’re using onyou, Elliott said. “It should always have a clear, defined label,”said Elliott.

8. You Shouldn’t Be in Pain

Pain is absolutely a red flag for Elliott. “It’s about goingto a place that makes you feel comfortable about the service that you arehaving,” Elliott said. “And if you are met with that kind ofresistance, you need to search [for] another salon.”

9 Take This Precaution Before Your Next Pedicure

Never shave before going to the nail salon. “It’s a portal ofentry for the bacteria to go in,” Elliot said.

Copyright © 2014 ABC NewsInternet Ventures

Do Nails Eat and/or absorb vitamins?

Copied from my “Notes” on my Facebook Biz Page: dated 18Feb2013

Nails can absorb water.

But can they absorb and METABOLIZE vitamins and minerals & strengthen the nail?

The story from Nail Talk Radio.

The actual story starts at 44:30 of the recording.

Some comments shared on the show:

AthenA and Naja contacted Industry Scientist- Doug Schoon. Some of the things they report he said were that  that it’s very difficult to penetrate the nail plate with anything but water. That the nail plate contains virtually no calcium & that calcium is NOT a benefit to the nail.  He also states that vitamins may not be added to cosmetics because they have no nutritional value.  If vitamins are added to artificial nail coatings, most will remain trapped inside the nail coating and very little if ANY will be able to penetrate the nail plate. If vitamins did penetrate the nail plate, they would not help except for those that are free-radical scavengers could prevent formation of potentially damaging free-radicals, kind of like vitamin E.

He also states ‘puffery’ is one thing, but companies that make blatantly false claims such as ‘chemical free’ should not get your business. He says the best way to keep nails healthy is to properly apply and remove nail coatings. Improper removal of nail coatings causes a tremendous amount of damage to client’s nails and is easily avoided.

AthenA and Naja also chatted with Industry Chemist – Jim McConnell.   He shared with them “any company that makes a claim that putting calcium or any other additive into a uv nail product is simply selling you more than uv gel (insert humour/sarcasm here).  Don’t take these claims to heart, and think about whether a mineral or oil when added to a uv gel could actually make your nails stronger, OR is it just the gel making the nail stronger (as in not affecting the natural nail at all, but simply PROTECTING it with an armour).


If you want to keep on top of things in the Industry, you can find Nail Talk Radio here on Facebook at

And their online radio station is found here

Athena & Naja give the straight talk on the nail biz! Current trends, interviews w celebrity manicurists, industry leaders & product reviews. Experts nail it right here! WHEN IS NAIL TALK RADIO ON? Monday evenings …

Your Eponychium is showing!

Your Eponychium is showing and what are you going to do about it!

Well…. not a lot because it is supposed to show a little.    It has a job to do.

When a client sits at my table, one thing I always make sure to do while performing PREP is to discuss the eponychium, it’s purpose, and the difference from the cuticle.

ahhhhh haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  The cuticle. You think you know what that is, right?  Ummmm nope, you probably don’t.  In all my years, I have not had one single client sit at my table that KNEW what it really was.

Why is that?

It’s because, in some cases, bad information is passed on from educator to student.  An educator that hasn’t updated their own EDUCATION.  At other times, the tech does know the difference BUT doesn’t explain because she figures you don’t really need to know and you probably don’t care.

I have learned otherwise. My clients do want to know and they DO care.

Soooooooooo what is the conversation I have with my clients?  Well, I direct their attention to the eponychium – that ridge of skin found at the base of the nail plate. I explain that the eponychium is much like rubber on a car window. In simple terms: it keeps crap from getting into the matrix such as dirt and bacteria.  It’s from the matrix that the nail is developed and grows and the last thing you want is an infection in there that can termporarily OR permamently distort the nail plate OR WORSE cause the nail never to grow again.  So in short – NEVER cut the eponychium, never break the skin of the eponychium.  We only gently push it with a ‘cuticle pusher’.


Yeah, I know, it’s a misnomer, but that wasn’t my mistake, so let’s leave bygones as bygones LOL  Anyway, the Eponychium has a job to do. It is the security guard for the Matrix.  So DON’T CUT IT.  Now, the cuticle. What is this cuticle everyone talks about that we have to remove?  I explain that it is a very thin layer of dead/dry skin that remains attached to the nail plate as it grows out and leaves from underneath the eponychium. THAT we can remove.  We can use a cuticle removal solution and pair that with a ‘cuticle pusher’ (there’s that funny name again) and gently scrape the cuticle from the nail plate.

So there you have it, the difference between the Eponychium and Cuticle.

yes, I know that terms ‘cuticle pusher’ and ‘cuticle oil’ are really ridiculous, but what can I say… they’ve been around longer than I have hehehehehe

Please visit these two links for further details and info.

One is a video provided by the lovely HOlly Schippers aka Fingernailfixer and the other is an article by Scientist Doug Schoon featuring diagrams with further explanation.

and video by Doug Schoon


(Original Source for this Blog Post is my “Note” as it is featured on my Facebookk Business Page,

Dadi’Oil VS Solar Oil (Tocopherol VS Tocopheryl Acetate)

Recently there have been several discussions on nail tech boards, groups and forums with regards to which Nail Conditioning Oil (aka “cuticle oil”) is better, and what is the primary difference between the two?

Famous Names Products Dadi’Oil VS  CND Solar Oil?

Nail technicians (myself included) reviewed the MSDS  (Material Safety & Data Sheets) for both products and we found that Dadi’Oil contained Tocopherol, while Solar Oil contained Tocopheryl Acetate.

Jim Nordstrom is the creator of BOTH oils.  When I asked him on the subject, this was his reply.

Tocopherol is NATURAL Vitamin E.  It is a potent anti-oxidant.   The Acetate is SYNTHETIC and it is not a potent anti-oxidant.  I have been told that is has about 1/100th the anti-oxidant activity that the natural version has. 

So, as I’ve said many times on the forums; if YOU were going to do something a second time and recreate it, wouldn’t you IMPROVE upon the original?  Jim Nordstrom did in fact IMPROVE upon the original.  He brought you Dadi’Oil.

Dadi’Oil contains 3 Certified Organic Oils, and 21 Essential Oils. It also contains Natural Vit E (Tocopherol) and NOT the synthetic version (Tocopheryl Acetate).

So for those of you with a great appreciation and preference for Natural and/or Certified Organic Products for Skin Care, you will likely prefer Tocopherol, the Natural form of Vitamin E.

There is a GREAT deal of difference between the two, in my humble opinion.   Further research into the differences provides the following information that was common amongst several resources.

Tocopheryl acetate is derived from Tocopherol, by a process that uses Petroleum. Tocopheryl acetate is the ester form of Tocopherol, meaning it has an alcohol in the structure.

Short Detour: Please be reminded that Petroleum is derived from Crude oil. It sits on the skin’s surface and potentially blocks pores. It can not be absorbed, the molecules are too large. It will trap dirt and bacteria.

The natural Tocopherol is better retained by the body compared to the synthetic form Tocopheryl Acetate. “The bioavailability (available for use by the body) is 2:1 for natural-source Vitamin E over synthetic Vitamin E.”    (In other words, you need twice as much Synthetic Vit E to equal Natural Vit E.)

Borochoff, M.D. of Houston, Texas points out, “When present in nature, vitamin E is found only in the alcoholic form. It oxidizes readily. But when it is extracted in esterified form as an acetate, the vitamin E cannot be oxidized. To act as an anti-oxidant the vitamin supplement has to oxidize itself to prevent the oxidation of something else surrounding it. If it cannot oxidize, the vitamin E form is worthless as an anti-oxidant. In contrast, the primary benefit looked for in vitamin E is its anti-oxidant qualities.” Thus, the tocopheryls (synthetic form) do not serve as anti-oxidants.”

Keeping in mind that when we use Vitamin E in skin care products, the purpose is the ‘anti-oxidant’ properties!

Not only did Jim improve upon the original, but he is also providing a product that provides Nail Technicians and Clients with better value for their money!  It’s well known that when using Natural and Organic ingredients, that a little goes a long way.  Less is MORE.

Despite providing you with a higher end product that uses more costly ingredients, Dadi’Oil is still priced competitively.  How do I know they are more costly?  From my own forays into making natural skin care products such as body balms and such, and purchasing the necessary ingredients to make them.  I can tell you that I found Natural Vitamin E (Tocopherol) to be more expensive than it’s synthetic counterpart Tocopheryl Acetate.

So ask me again why I think Dadi’Oil is better?

Click to read the MSDS.

MSDS CND Solar Oil                   MSDS Dadi Oil



Class is now in session and I’m teaching it!

When you don’t know what it is that you don’t know; how do you know which questions to ask when choosing education? This is a HUGE challenge for aspiring nail techs.  Most of Canada (aside from two provinces) has no standards.  That also means that ‘schools’ aren’t legislated either, and frequently teachers aren’t even qualified.  In most of Canada, it’s perfectly legit to take a one day course and go to work in a salon.  That’s it. Just one day.  Which is VERY interesting since depending on which province you reside in, laws allow a class to be anywhere from 30 to 39.5hrs long.  Yes, while our industry is unregulated, how much we are allowed to teach IS regulated.  That aside, why aren’t educators/schools taking advantage and teaching the maximum allowable as per their province?

In the US, things are a tad better in my humble opinion. Although, not perfect.  Regulations vary state to state from 200 to 600hrs and more for a combination of theory and practical before they can get their license.  Theoretical content in these courses seems to average across the US at approximately 100hrs  Keeping in mind that not all schools are equal and curriculum’s vary.   In Canada, the average time spent on theory for such things as: universal precautions, anatomy of the nail/hands/feet, sanitation, disinfection, diseases, prep and mani/pedi basics is ONLY THIRTY MINUTES.   Considering that Milady’s Standard of Nail Technology Textbook is ‘THE’ Bible for nail techs and 560 pages long, that leaves out a great deal of education.  Herein lies the problem, the Companies offering product specific training are offering the same 1 day course curriculum to Canadian Students as to American Students, without considering our lack of legislation or the fact that the majority of the students haven’t had benefit of a foundation course with any theory.

I was lucky and started off in this industry over 20yrs ago by earning my DEP in Hairdressing & Cosmetology on a 2yr course at a time when there were standards. I spent hours upon hours of theory. When I became serious about nails and no longer treated it as a hobby, I signed up for a couple more product-specific classes to update and expand my knowledge. Depending which class, they were 1 to 3 days in duration but it was all practical.  I was lucky once again because I found a wonderful nail tech forum.  It’s full of educated Nail Techs that were ready to kick my butt into shape and point me to the right resources. Most aren’t that lucky.

Several years, several courses, several books and DVDs later and I’m pursuing an advanced level of Certification.  So I show up for class at a Quebec-Distributors’ expecting to be challenged and tested.  Expecting to be surrounded by techs with as much, if not more, experience than myself.  After all, this is a certification intended for experienced techs with advanced skills that I’m going for. There were a couple. BUT  RINGA-DING-DING it’s my wake-up call.  The class is MOSTLY newbies that have never so much as done a natural mani or applied a nail tip or learned how to hold a nail file.   The Distributor didn’t restrict the class to those with previous education and experience.  It was open to everyone.   Those same newbies walked out with the same diploma as myself at the end of the day. No written exam. No practical test.  The certificate was handed out for ATTENDANCE. Do I need to explain that they could not master the techniques taught?  The word deflated doesn’t begin to describe how I felt about my ‘accomplishment’.

Fast forward another couple of years and I have relocated to Ontario. News is flying all over the web about a online education offered by the same Brand.   I am NOT comfortable with this at all, I stoutly believe it will further cripple the industry and it’s standards in Canada.  Online Education has already been tried and proven to fail (at least as far as Foundation courses go, I am not referring to nail art).  You see it time and again on the forums – techs that take online courses and end up spending more money for one-to-one classes because they can’t cut it. Yes, there are the rare few that manage ok.  Perhaps this method works in the US where there are standards that require BY LAW that techs start with foundation courses. BUT this is NOT the direction suitable for the Canadian market.

To add further insult to injury, I have recently been contacted by a couple of former clients of Quebec. They are complaining about a technician that had attended the same classes as myself, that held the same Certifications HOWEVER  the nails she produced weren’t of the same caliber.  Those are the clients’ words, not my own.  The clients expected me to explain why that technician wasn’t as skilled as myself if she held the SAME Certification.  HOW could I explain?   I then proceeded to reconsider my intended goals of teaching for this Company.  While they offer great products and courses; the lack of regulation in Canada and by the distributors makes these courses inappropriate.

My decision is now final.  I am definitely not pursuing my original goal.  Time to redirect.

My passion is still true.  I want to have an impact on this industry. I want to give back what was given to me by that wonderful nail forum in the UK.   I want to make a difference.  I STILL want to teach.  But who to teach for? I have been approached by a few companies in recent years, but none that ‘fit’. Either they didn’t offer all the products I need, or I didn’t believe in their product, or I didn’t believe in their quality of education OR a combination of all of the above . One school/distributor in Quebec made me an offer that was quite shocking.  When I asked why there was so little theory and why classes were so short, their answer to me was “a good tech doesn’t need to know how to read”.   Obviously I told them NO.

I started doing my research. It didn’t take me long and I didn’t have to go far.  I had considered this company in the past, but they didn’t carry everything I needed.  BUT NOW THEY DO!   The more products I try, the more I fall in love with them.  They’ve grown and they’re growing more every day.   They are Elite Beauty Supplies, located right here in Canada.  Knowing them as I do, I know for a FACT that they believe in standards.  Most importantly, they believe in ongoing education and they believe in TESTING their students to make absolutely sure that they are truly prepared to pursue the art of nail enhancement technology.  Their Foundation courses are 6 days long.  Certification is not a guarantee- the student must prove competence in theory and practical and they will have to take exams.  THIS is how I will make a difference!  I am now an Independent and Private educator of Elite Beauty Supplies products.

I know some of my peers may be surprised and fully expected me to go a different direction- my original direction. But those of my peers that truly know me and understand me will applaud my choice.  They understand my need to fight for standards in Canada, my need to offer quality education, my need to make a difference. EBS is not about satisfying stock holders, but about quality products and quality education. Added to that, EBS steadfastly believes in supporting the entrepreneurship of their nail techs and educators, and in quality products.  These beliefs mirror my own.

So class is now in session and the student is now becoming the Teacher.  I will be offering beginners classes for those interested in the art of technology for a total of 39.5hrs to maximize on the opportunity presented to me and teach as much as possible.  There will also be other courses available in addition to beginners’ classes.  Please keep your eyes open for further details.

I hope I make my mentors proud.


Course details will be uploaded to website and this blog soon.