FAQ and my advice
Updated: Aug 3
I’ve been receiving many questions (private messages/DMs) regarding mixing gel polish lines (base coat from one brand, colour coat from other, etc.), using generic lamps (will Shellac cure in a 48-watt lamp?), DIY's asking advice on professional lines and messages asking specific, detailed questions.
Please understand that I cannot offer advice through emails, answer detailed questions in YT comments and DMs.
If you are interested in detailed professional advice please consider booking a 1-on-1 consultation with me. Just send me an email to thesalonlife @ gmail.com and we can set something up.
When it comes to giving advice, please know that legally I can only tell you to follow the manufacturer’s advice.
So if a company tells you to use their colour with their base and their top, as a professional, I can only legally tell you to follow their advice.
If I tell you otherwise and you develop a lifelong allergy, I could be held liable.
If you are a DIY kind of person asking how to use professional gel polish lines I can only tell you what I would do if I was DIY.
And I would not use them.
I’m not here judging people for not being pros and using pro products. As they say “you do you”, I’m here on YouTube sharing my experience showing you what I do and what works for me and what I would do but I cannot legally tell you or advise you what to do, you know what I mean?
I know that it's hard to find a good salon and a good nail tech. Trust me, I know and I feel your frustration. I'm not telling you all this to"hog all the business to myself" I'm saying this because I simply don't think these products are safe for the general public.
Have you noticed that many of these products come with labels “professional use only”? Companies do that to cover their butts. People using these products have to have special training to be able to use the products safely and correctly.
Many of those products contain potentially harmful chemicals if not used correctly many gel polishes, acrylics, etc. can cause serious and lifelong allergies that I do not wish upon anyone.
I have been seeing allergies more and more lately. Many nail techs develop them even though they wear gloves and many nail techs had to permanently quit their careers because of that.
Professional, hypoallergenic products that I tend to recommend like CND Shellac and Light Elegance are for professional use only. Hypoallergenic means- less likely to cause an allergic reaction when used according to the manufacturer’s advice.
Please take the time to read the labels and as a professional please invest in brand-specific education to protect yourself and your clients.
As a DIY-er, be careful. If you use a pro product and you develop an allergic reaction the company might not be liable for any damages because you didn’t use the product according to their instructions.
Lamps/ curing gel polishes and gels.
Just because the product “looks” cured doesn’t mean that it’s *properly* cured.
Just like the tools, I use in my salon might “look” clean but have bacteria on them or viruses not visible to the naked eye. So I have to disinfect them properly (according to instructions) before use.
Respectable companies invest a lot of money in creating safe products. They test specific lamps and “tweak” products to ensure that their product cures efficiently and properly in recommended lamps. *more on UV curing here
And then you have some companies that purchase cheap, private label products from irresponsible factories (with sometimes fake Safety Data Sheets) and tell you any lamp will cure them.
And no, the companies do not try to sell you lamps to make money. There is no money (profit) in selling lamps. I know that because I used to distribute professional products. You often lose money on lamps. But you do that to ensure that the gel you sell cures well, is effective and it’s safe.
The wattage of the lamp (like 48 watts) does not tell you anything about the quality of UV it’s producing. It only tells you how much energy is using.
Under-curing (not curing properly) can lead to permanent and lifelong allergies and soft and peeling products.
Over-curing (curing too fast, in a lamp that is “too strong” for the product) can lead to “heat spikes”, painful burns of the nail bed (the portion under the nail plate), separation of the nail from the nail bed (onycholysis) and brittle products that chip easily.
Companies that tell you that their product cures in any lamp are not telling you the whole truth (there are some exceptions) and companies that tell you that they make “universal lamps” usually just try to sell you lamps.
Again, there are some exceptions and you have to really educate yourself, dig deeper, talk to chemists and product developers to find your answers.
Personally, I currently do not recommend any gel polish, gel or acrylic for non-pros.
If a manufacturer does that, the responsibility is on them.
Where to buy?
If you are a pro I can only recommend you buy from an authorized distributor or directly from the company.
Please contact the company directly to find a list of their distributors. Sometimes they list them on their official website.
eBay, etc. is not a place to buy professional products from and the products might be expired or simply fake.
I hope this information helps, thank you for reading!
All the best,