Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Instructors training Germany - 25/11/2013 to 29/11/2013



Iryna Giblett Competition Team takes 6 Gold medals at Nailympics 2012.
Left to right:Lina Nyberg, Iryna Giblett, Lysa Comfort (Organizer and Head Judge), Viktoria Prihodko 
and Katie Cazorla who is the star of the "Nail Files" TV reality show in USA.




Liebe Freunde des Nageldesigns,
in den letzten Monaten habe ich Ihnen einige Nageldesign Beispiele gezeigt, die von den Trainern der Iryna Giblett Nail Academy kreiert wurden. 
Diese Trainer sowie Nailympics Champions sind: Viktoria Prihodoko, Viktoria Kisel, Anna Pobedinskaya, Iryna Giblett und außerdem noch die russische One-Stroke-Meisterin Yana Shistko. 
Diese Ausbilder sowie alle in unserem internationalen Team haben mit harter Arbeit, Talent und Hingabe, seit 2009 mehr als 60 internationale Meisterschafts-medallien gewonnen. Davon waren 2012 alleine schon 8 Gold Medaillen bei der Nailympics.
Mehr denn je braucht die Nagelindustrie sehr gute Lehrer, die Nageldesigner auf ein höheres Niveau bringen um über Billig Studios zu stehen, mehr Geld zu verdienen sowie das Ansehen als Naildesigner zu erhalten – vergessen Sie nicht, das wichtigste Aushängeschild ist nicht das Produkt, sondern Sie!
Da wir die Notwendigkeit für eine sehr gute Bildung erkannt haben, wurde im Jahr 2009 die Iryna Giblett NA gegründet.
Heute sind wir - durch Irynas Erfahrung als Nageldesignerin, Trainerin und Jurorin auf internationalen Meisterschaften sowie unserem Team von exzeptionellen Trainern - einer der wenigen Unternehmen in Europa die dazu in der Lage sind auf Meisterschaftsniveau in jeder Technik und Kategorie zu schulen. 
Wir möchten nun unser Wissen nach Deutschland und in die Niederlande bringen. Deswegen suchen wir nun Nageldesigner, die gerne Ausbilder in unserem Team werden möchten.

Dafür müssen Sie keine Meisterschaften bestritten haben :-) Voraussetzung ist jedoch eine 3-jährige Berufserfahrung als Nageldesigner sowie der  Nachweis von Zertifikaten in Gel und Acryl. Außerdem sollten Sie eine Leidenschaft für Nageldesign haben, das Verlangen Ihre Handwerk zu verbessern und motiviert sein anderen Nageldesignern zu helfen Ihr volles Potenzial zu entwickeln und auszuschöpfen.


Dieses Ausbilder-Training ist nur der Anfang. In den folgenden Monaten und Jahren werden wir  Ihnen eine sehr intensive Ausbildung bieten, um Ihre Fähigkeiten weiter zu entwickeln und auf den höchsten Standard zu bringen. Wie weit Sie gehen wollen entscheiden Sie natürlich dabei selbst.
Als Unternehmen haben wir jedoch einige Prinzipien:
  • Wir arbeiten als Team und teilen unser Wissen.
  • Niemand steht über dem Anderen.
  • Gleiches Recht für alle

Da uns die Harmonie des Teams sehr am Herzen liegt, sind wir sehr vorsichtig wen wir  dazu einladen, ein Teil dessen zu werden und unser Unternehmen, unsere Trainings und unsere Produkte zu repräsentieren.
Sollten Sie Interesse an unserer Firma und dem Ausbilder-Training haben senden Sie uns doch eine E-Mail mit folgenden Informationen:
  • Name, Adresse, Handynummer, Homepage (falls vorhanden), Facebook Seite (falls vorhanden) und Skype Adresse (falls vorhanden)
  • eine Zusammenfassung Ihrer Weiterbildungen, Karriere, Zertifikaten und wann Sie als Nageldesigner begonnen haben
  • und warum Sie Ausbilder werden wollen.

Vielen Dank fürs Ihr Interesse und fürs Lesen. Wir freuen uns jetzt schon auf Ihre E-Mail!
Bitte schicken Sie diese an folgende E-Mail Adresse: iryna@irynagiblett.com
Iryna & Bob Giblett
Iryna Giblett AB
Sweden

Skype: iryna_giblett
www.irynagiblett.com

Instructors training Netherlands - 30/10/2013 to 3/11/2013


Iryna Giblett Competition Team takes 6 Gold medals at Nailympics 2012.
Left to right:Lina Nyberg, Iryna Giblett, Lysa Comfort (Organizer and Head Judge), Viktoria Prihodko 
and Katie Cazorla who is the star of the "Nail Files" TV reality show in USA.

Beste Nagelvrienden,
Gedurende de afgelopen maanden heb ik u enkele nail designs getoond die gemaakt zijn door de Educators van de Iryna Giblett Nail Academy. Waaronder Nailympics kampioenen: Viktoria Prihodko, Viktoria Kisel, Anna Pobedinskaya , Iryna Giblett en ook designs door de Russische One-Stroke kampioen : Yana Shistko . Het zijn deze Educators die, samen met anderen in ons internationale team, door hard werken, talent en inzet sinds 2009 meer dan 60 internationale wedstrijdmedailles hebben gewonnen, waarvan 8 gouden medailles op Nailympics in 2012.


Meer dan op enig ander moment, heeft de nagelindustrie behoefte aan goede Educators die kunnen helpen om nagelstylistes boven middelmatige salons uit te komen, de omzet te verhogen en hun eigen reputatie als nagelstyliste te kunnen uitbouwen - vergeet niet dat het belangrijkste merk niet het product is, maar uzelf! Het is omdat we deze behoefte aan goed onderwijs erkennen dat we ons bedrijf in 2009 in Zweden hebben opgericht. Vandaag de dag, mede dankzij Iryna 's ervaring als een Nail Artist , Educator en internationale jurylid, en ons team van uitzonderlijke Educators, zijn wij een van de weinige bedrijven in Europa die in staat zijn om onderwijs aan te bieden op wedstrijdniveau in elke techniek en categorie.


We zouden nu graag onze kennis ook naar Duitsland en Nederland brengen. Dus zijn we op zoek naar nagelstylistes die graag in ons team willen komen als Instructor. U hoeft geen kampioen te zijn ;-), maar u moet tenminste drie jaar ervaring als nagelstyliste hebben en diploma's hebben in zowel gel en acryl design. U bent ook gepassioneerd over nagels, het verlangen hebben om onze industrie te verbeteren en gemotiveerd zijn om andere nagelstylistes te helpen om hun volledige potentieel te bereiken .


Deze Instructor Training is slechts het begin. In de daaropvolgende maanden en jaren zullen we je meer diepgaand onderwijs aanbieden om je vaardigheden te ontwikkelen tot een uitzonderlijk niveau. Hoe ver u wilt gaan wordt alleen beperkt door uzelf.


Als bedrijf hebben we een aantal belangrijke principes: we werken als een team om kennis te delen, geen persoon is hoger dan de andere, iedereen heeft een gelijke stem. Omdat de harmonie in het team zo belangrijk voor ons is, zijn we heel zorgvuldig wie we uitnodigen tot het team en om ons bedrijf, opleiding en producten te vertegenwoordigen.


Als u geïnteresseerd bent om meer over ons bedrijf en de Instructor Training te weten te komen, stuur ons dan een e-mail met de volgende informatie:

  • Uw naam, adres, mobiele telefoonnummer, website-adres ( indien beschikbaar ), Facebook-pagina (indien beschikbaar), Skype-adres (indien beschikbaar)
  • Een samenvatting van uw opleiding, carrière en nagelopleiding (wanneer u een nagelstyliste bent geworden, eventuele andere diploma's)
  • Waarom u een Instructor wilt worden

Bedankt voor het lezen. We kijken uit naar jullie reactie!


Met vriendelijk groet,


Iryna & Bob Giblett
Iryna Giblett AB
Zweden
Email: iryna@irynagiblett.com

Skype: iryna_giblett
www.irynagiblett.com



Saturday, July 20, 2013

New European Cosmetics Law and Implications for the Nail Industry



New European Cosmetics Law and Implications for the Nail Industry

Smaller distributors and brands may find it too expensive to comply


On July 11th 2013 the new European Cosmetics Directive (EC) 1223 / 2009 came into effect. This updates and extends the previous Directive  76/768/EEC. Unfortunately, at least in Sweden, many manufacturers and distributors were unaware of the new law and it’s consequences until the national authority (Läkmedelsverket) issued a newsletter mid-June. 


Crazy situation - many professional nail products in Sweden may now be illegal
As a consequence of this late notice by Läkmedelsverket (and at the time of writing this article), only two manufacturers in Sweden who produce products for the professional nail industry meet these new regulations and therefore from 11th July are legally permitted to sell their products. According to this new law, the other 50+ manufacturers and distributors are therefore required by law to remove their products immediately from the market, although Läkmedelsverket is likely to allow these companies more time to become compliant. 



So what requirements are new?
No cosmetic products or ingredients can be sold that have been tested on animals and additional substances have been banned due to safety concerns.

However, the major change for manufacturers is the need to provide a Product Information File (PIF) for each product. This replaces the previous Safety and Risk Assessments with a document that now also includes:

  • a detailed toxicology analysis of the product by a qualified person (European based toxicologist or medical qualification)
  • list of ingredients
  • chemical formula
  • manufacturing process

Some of this information is clearly intellectual knowledge and proprietary to the product manufacturer, that in many cases will be the factory that supplies the gel, acylic, gel polish, nail polish, spa product or liquid products to the “manufacturer” who private labels them. A complication can arise where the factory may not be willing to give this information to smaller private labellers.  Companies who have developed their own products with the assistance of an internal or external chemist, would have access to this intellectual property and therefore be able to produce the PIF.



New European database: CPNP

Manufacturers
All European manufacturers and first-importers into Europe for each brand, now need to appoint a Responsible Person who will register all products on a central European database, the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP). The RP can be the company, or a nominated consultant. The RP is also responsible for warning the authorities or any observed negative health effects due to product use, and ensuring that the products continue to meet the European legislation.

The information that the RP has to enter into the database for every product includes:
  • Product name
  • Name of Responsible Person
  • Country of Manufacture
  • Country where first placed on the European market
  • Notification if the product is carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR)
  • Notification if the product contains nano materials
  • Product categories
  • Ingredients and percentages
  • Photograph of the product container
  • Photograph of the product label (in the language of the market where placed for the first time – usually the same country as the RP)

Distributors
The national product distributor also needs to register their company on CPNP. They then have to upload a photograph of the product label (in the language of their country) for every product. Many smaller distributors have not produced local labels in the past, although this has always been a legal requirement. Now the cost of doing this and then applying the labels to every product may force them to reconsider if it is worthwhile to  continue to sell the products. 


Will the new law be effective?
Cynics suggest that the new law is simply an attempt by large cosmetic manufacturers to make it more difficult for smaller manufacturers and private labelling companies to stay in business. The significant costs of toxicology reports, together with the time investment to register hundreds of items on the CPNP database and  produce new product labels, could force smaller companies to leave the cosmetic or professional nail market.

This all depends on the effectiveness of the national authorities to inspect each cosmetic manufacturer and distributor to ensure compliance. The CPNP database will make that easier than ever before, but at the end most authorities have limited number of inspectors and they are not only responsible for all cosmetics but also the pharmaceuticals sold in their countries. Professional nail products may therefore continue to be largely ignored. 

Will this lead to safer products?
During 2010 and 2011, Läkmedelsverket carried out an inspection of the professional nail products in the Swedish market. Unfortunately, many companies and particularly those that had not registered their company with Läkmedelsverket, were not inspected. In the report published 20th April 2012, Läkmedelsverket states that 108 products from 33 manufacturers and distributors were investigated - approximately only 3 products per supplier. Of these a shocking 15% of products had to be voluntarily withdrawn from the market on safety grounds, while one company had two products forcibly removed from the market. 

Let's consider that again for a moment. More than 15% of products inspected of this small sample were unsafe. And this number does not consider those "back door" suppliers who failed to register their products with Läkmedelsberket and who were not inspected or the many thousands of different products on the market. Surely  many more unsafe products would have been found with a wider inspection.

The responsibility of professional manufacturers and distributors
With the introduction of the CPNP database it will be much harder for these "back door" suppliers to remain hidden from the authorities. However, national authorities like Läkmedelsverket have limited resources and therefore it becomes the responsibility for all suppliers who want a clean and safe professional nail market to report companies selling unregistered and potentially dangerous products. 

Companies who are not motivated to register, are usually the same companies who won't make the effort to produce and apply labels in Swedish (or other national language) as required by law. Companies who blatantly disregard the law are also more likely to disregard product safety either through ignorance, laziness or unprofessionalism. 

So if we want a nail industry build upon professional suppliers that provide 

a) serious education which develops professional skills and knowledge to a high standard
b) nail professionals to stop being considered as the "poor" class in the beauty industry 
c) nail salons who are able to charge realistic prices for their services,

..then we must act to stamp out the "back door" suppliers who underline all of our efforts. 

To those manufacturers and distributors who have not yet registered on CPNP, I encourage you to do this as soon as possible. We understand that Läkmedelsverket were slow to notify you of this requirement, but we need all the professional companies to register quickly so that we can all take steps to remove those suppliers that damage our much loved industry. 


Bob Giblett

Joint-Owner 
Iryna Giblett AB

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Some people only eat burgers



This article isn't about food. It's about nail salons and why customers make different choices.

The meal on the left represents the typical low-cost salon. It's fast and convenient but as you add up the options it's not as cheap as you expected. The environment is noisy and there's a good chance you will have to wait in a queue behind people who don't know what they want, misplaced their purse or who think the server is there to provide conversation as well. Although you don't want to know what part of the animal was used to make the burger, you assume that because the authorities didn't close them down that the food is safe. Safe is a relative term. In most cases the authorities won't come until a customer becomes ill. And that customer may be you.

The meal on the right represents a high quality professional nail salon. Perhaps even award-winning and perhaps the chef is the actual owner, not part of a Quik-e-Nails franchise.

The beautifully presented meal is a tuna on watermelon whatsit. You know what the main ingredients are and you also know that the person who made this probably studied their craft for years. You are confident that the kitchen is clean and that the food is prepared safely (if you are not sure, go inspect their washrooms, it's probably a good indication)

As you arrived for your appointment, you were greeted and led to your table. The server presented a menu and was trained to give advice about both the food and wine offered to ensure your total satisfaction. Perhaps they asked if you had specific dietary requirements. The meal is beyond your expectations and the service is discrete but attentive. The restaurant has a nice calming ambiance, so that visiting it became a pleasurable event and perhaps a special memory.

When we travel, we prefer to save money on the hotel but spend more on a good meal and hopefully have a delightful culinary experience. That is our priority and choice.

But some people prefer burgers. Sometimes that's a question of price and affordability or convenience.  Perhaps they don't feel comfortable in restaurants or maybe they simply think a burger tastes better than any chef prepared meal. Another reason could be that they are not educated to understand the difference in quality, education, skill and service that creates a different kind of value.

Whatever. You are not going to change them. So don't waste your time or get frustrated trying to sell a cordon bleu meal created by a passionate professional to the burger eater. They don't want or understand it.




Choosing a UV lamp to make gel nails



Every manufacture recommends that you buy their UV lamp, just as they also recommend that you only use their primer, bonder, etc. But is this because there are good reasons for this advice? Or, is it because the manufacturers simply want to make more money?

In this article I will explain why there are differences between various UV lamps, and I'll explain why CCFL and LED UV lamps are different from the traditional CFL UV lamp that you probably use right now. I'll also talk about the chemistry of gel nails and explain how all of these parts all fit together.  

It's all about the chemistry

Lets use the example of baking a cake. It's chemistry too. If you change the type of ingredients or the amount, or use too much or too little heat, then the cake won't taste like it should from the recipe. Remember that heat is just another form of energy which is used to make a chemical reaction, in the same way that we use UVA light to make a chemical reaction with nail gel. 

Fortunately, we can use ovens that are manufactured by different companies and still expect to bake a nice cake. 200 degrees C at 60 minutes exactly dictates the amount of energy required and will be the same amount of energy whatever brand of oven we use. If we are lucky enough to own a more expensive convection oven that uses a fan to distribute the heat, we know that type of oven is more efficient and we will need to use a shorter cooking time to get a good result. 

Unfortunately, creating a repeatable and good chemical reaction using UV gels and UV lamps is more complicated than baking a cake. That's because :
  • UV lamps are available that generate different amounts of energy
  • Different UV lamps and UV emitting devices have different levels of efficiency
  • Photoinitiators in gels and gel polishes require a specific wavelength and intensity of  UV light energy to work
So unlike the cooking example where 200 degrees at 60 minutes defined the correct amount of energy to bake the cake, if we use the wrong UV lamp to cure our gel then the result has four possibilities:
  • the gel doesn't cure. Not enough UV light is generated to cure the gel, or the generated UV light wavelength does not match the wavelength required by the gel or gel polish. 
  • the gel is not fully cured and may be soft near the nail plate. The nails can be weaker and may have less adhesion to the nail plate to cause earlier lifting problems. Uncured gel that touches the skin increases the risk of allergic reaction. 
  • the gel is cured perfectly to create the most reliable and best looking nails possible for that specific gel product, e.g. the cake may be cooked perfectly, but it may not taste as good as other cake recipes  ;-) 
  • the gel is cured too much. Over curing increases the risk of excess heat that can cause the customer pain. The gels may discolour, have less shine, and may be more brittle so damage easier with wear. 
Lets come back to the cake example. We all know that we can cook most eggs by boiling them in water for 3 minutes to get a perfect result. If the eggs are bigger or smaller, it's common sense that we have to increase or reduce the cooking time. 

But imagine if some eggs took 2 minutes, some 3 minutes and some 6 minutes and we didn't know which type of eggs we had been given. And to make things even more complicated, some eggs only cooked if you added two teaspoons of salt to one litre of water, other eggs needed 10 teaspoons and some eggs would cook with no salt or with a lot of salt. Now if we try to bake a cake using these strange eggs the result is far less predictable and most probably our cake would not be very good. 

Photoinitiators - the crazy eggs in the UV gel cake


Photoinitiators are chemicals are added to gels to start the chemical reaction. When UV energy is applied in sufficient quantity, these photoinitiators break down to create free radicals that then attach themselves to the soft gel oligomers to create longer chains of the cured gel polymer. 

But like those strange eggs, different photo initiators require different levels of UV energy to break down and to make free radicals. Also, different photoinitiators need UV that has a particular UV light wavelength. So to create the most effective chemical reaction the photoinitiators and UV light source need to be compatible.

If you are confused by the word wavelength, it's the different wavelengths of light that make the colors of a rainbow, or make the light visible or invisible to the human eye. Next time you are at the beach, notice that some waves change slowly and have a longer wavelength, but as the sea approaches the beach the wavelength increases and produces those fast little waves before they break on the sand.

Why are different photoinitiators used?


Before gel polishes, nearly all hard and soak-off gels contained photoinitiators that required UVA light having a wavelength between 350 to 370 nm. A nanometer (nm) is a unit of length that is 1 meter divided by 1,000,000,000. Incidentally, all visible light has a wavelength between 400nm to 800 nm and this is important as I'll explain later. 

As traditional UV lamps using Compact Florescent Light (CFL) light bulbs produce a range of light in the UV-A spectrum with wavelengths between 320nm to 400nm. Incidentally, the reason why we can see a purple light from our UV lamps is because 400nm light is within the light range visible to the human eye - we can't see the 350nm UV light that cures the hard gels. Take a look at the diagram below:

Image courtesy of NAILS magazine

So why do most gel polishes contain photoinitiators that need UV light with a wavelength between 400nm to 410 nm? 


The answer to this seems to be connected to the introduction of LED UV lamps. Light Emitting Diodes are semiconductor devices that are more rugged than glass bulbs. Also because they use less energy, work for up to 50,000 hours and don't contain mercury, they are kinder to the environment. 

But, until now it was only possible to buy LED's that created 405nm UVA at a low price. 
Although LED's exist that create UVA at 365 nm are available (and could be used to cure hard gels) - they are too expensive today to be used in UV nail lamps. So the gel polish manufacturers designed their product to work with the available LED UV lamps because these offered a shorter curing time of between 30 to 60 seconds, compared to the traditional CFL UV lamps that still need curing times from 120 to 180 seconds. 

What are LED UV lamps faster?

If you place your finger over the end of a water tap, the jet of water is much more intense than before because you have focused the water energy. It's the same idea with LED's. As these generate light over a much smaller range of wavelengths, the light intensity is greater than a traditional UV CFL lamp that blasts light across a much wider spectrum - much of it unused to cure the nail gel. So a 9W LED UV lamp, is going to cure gel polish much faster than a 9W CFL UV lamp. 

Less shine with LED?

Having tested a significant number of LED UV lamps and different gel polishes, we noticed that the top gel shine was worse on LED cured nails, than nails cured using CFL or CCFL UV lamps. 

CCFL UV lamps

CCFL or Cold Cathode Florescent Lamps are the new kid on the block. Like CFL UV lamps they use an excited gas to generate light inside a glass container. But like LED devices, CCFL have a long lifetime of between 30,000 to 50,000 hours. 

However they have one advantage over LED's; CCFL UV lamps generate UV light over a wide spectrum from 350nm to 400nm - so like CCL can be used to cure both hard gels and gel polishes. But CCFL UV lamps will not cure gel polishes as quickly as the best LED UV lamps. 

CCFL UV light bulbs are available in two shapes depending on UV lamp that is purchased. Notice that the UV lamp on the right also contains LED's:




UV Lamps - design is important

So far we've discussed the different devices that emit UV light, and how the UV wavelengths cures some or all gels and gel polishes. But let's now look at the two main factors that affect the performance of a UV lamp:
  1. the intensity of the UV light that is generated by the CFL, CCFL or LED devices
  2. the intensity of UV light that is produced on the nails

It's obvious that a 9W CFL UV lamp will produce less UVA intensity than a 36W UV lamp. But we also need to remember that 9W refers to the electrical power consumed, and is not a direct indication of the amount of UV produced. 

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for so a more expensive Philips or Sylvester CFL UV bulb is more efficient, maintains it's light output intensity and lasts longer than a low cost Chinese UV bulb. To use a car example, the manufacturer recommends certain tyres because the car was designed for those tyres. Putting poor tyres on a car will not only make the performance worse, it can actually be dangerous. 

But the amount of UV light produced is not the only factor. It's also important how much of that light lands on the nail surface. The distance from the nail to the UV emitting device is important because distance reduces the UV intensity as it travels though air. Closer is therefore a better use of the UV created as more will be useful on the nail gel. 

Another factor that can be important is the quality of the reflectors inside the UV lamp. Both CFL and CCFL UV bulbs radiate light in 360 degrees so the reflectors are used to bounce as much UV light as possible onto the nail surface. 

With LED UV lights, reflectors are less important. That's because LED's project light in front of the device and in a narrow area - like a car headlight. But if the LED's are only mounted on the top of the UV lamp, they are unlikely to cure gel on the the thumb nails. For this reason, higher quality LED UV lamps also have LED's mounted in the side walls. 

Summary

As we now understand, the UV lamp is an important part of the nail chemistry. For that reason, manufacturers recommend UV lamps that they have designed or tested to work with their gels. They want their gel customers to be happy and be able to produce their best work, and avoid potential risks of salon customers developing allergies.

But many nail techs do use other UV lamps. One reason for this is the higher price of a manufacturers UV lamp. But another reason that is especially common these days is that they want to have more gel polish colors than one manufacturer offers. Clearly, they will not be persuaded to buy a UV lamp from each gel polish manufacturer. 

We have tested many different gels and gel polishes with our LED and CCFL + LED UV lamps, and have a good understanding which products are compatible and those that are not. So if you choose to buy a new UV lamp, do ask your supplier if they have tested it with the gels you will use or ask to test the UV lamp yourself. 








Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why do some UV gels produce too much heat?




The Chemistry

Gels consist of oligomors which are short chains of a few thousand monomers, the photoinitator and other additives to give colour, limit yellowing etc. When UVA hits the photoinitiators they break down to become free radicals and generate heat in what chemists call an exothermic reaction (heat producing). It's the heat and those crazy free radicals that helps the oligomers to connect into much longer chains to form polymers. 


Before curing, the oligomers in the gel are unorganised - like a box of dominoes emptied on a table. After curing, the polymers are more organised and the cured gel is smaller - this difference in size is what we call skrinkage. If you imagine making a low wall of dominoes, you can understand that this takes less space on the table. If the dominoes are glued together, you can also appreciate that the wall would be much stronger than the glued unorganised dominoes which don't touch each other very much.

Some gels contain more photoinitators and some contain less. The decision is affected by what curing time is required, the amount of UVA provided to cure, and the chemical efficiency of the exothermic reaction. Using fewer photoinitators means the gel requires a longer curing time, or needs to be used with UV lamps that produce more UVA light on the nail (either by making the UV bulbs closer to the fingernails, or by using more powerful UV bulbs).

Are the chemists trying to kill us?

So we know why heat is produced, but perhaps the most interesting question is why do some gel burn? Did the chemist deliberately produce a material that hurts customers?!

Well know that if the gel is not applied correctly in too thick a layer, that curing will generate more heat. So it makes sense that if the gel is applied in several thin layers the heat will be reduced. But several thin layers of cured gel are also stronger than one thick layer (like rings in a tree, more thin rings produces stronger wood).

We also know that not all customers feel the heat in the same way. Customers with thinner nail plates have less of a barrier and protection against the heat reaching the nerve ends under the nail plate, and feel the heat more.  I also suspect that men are more sensitive to pain than women, from my experience being a guinea-pig for gel tests!

But what about those gels that seem to generate too much heat even when applied correctly on customers who don’t have thin nail plates? An answer for this may be found in an old article by Doug Schoon. In this article, Doug mentioned that most gel lamps used in the USA were 8W, while in Europe it was more common to use 36W.

Now imagine that the chemist developed a gel for an 8W lamp, and put in just enough photoinitiators so the gel cured in a specific time. But then the gel was used in Europe with a 36W UV lamp that generated more than 4 times the amount of UVA light - that would make the chemical reaction faster and generate too much heat!

What this illustrates is the importance of matching the UV lamp to the gel (or developing the gel to match the UV lamp). If this UV lamp and the gel is not matched correctly, either you could suffer under-curing, over-curing and in some cases this would generate excessive heat.

Summary

So in summary, there are several possible reasons why a gel may burn:
1. Gel is applied too thickly
2. Customer has a thin nail plate
3. Customer may be more sensitive to heat
4. A UV lamp with too much UVA power is being used
5. The chemist was not very good, or the product wasn't tested properly ;-)


Footnote

Developing the unique IKON.iQ gels with our chemist helped me to better understand the difficulties to produce the perfect gel. Most low-heat gels in the market have a medium to thin viscosity, and some do yellow during weeks of wear. Trying to produce a higher viscosity gel that was good for sculpting, generated low heat, didn’t yellow and cured in a 36W UV lamp within two minutes was very difficult.

But more difficult still was trying to create a white sculptor gel that could be applied in one layer, would cure in two minutes and that would hold the c-curve shape during and after curing (i.e. very little shrinkage). From our experience, no other manufacturer had created a white gel with all these features.

We did finally succeed with all of our goals, but it took nearly two years and many chemical formulations. We were lucky to work with an exceptional and very patient chemist and also that as the company owners, we were willing and able to wait for as long as it took to create the gels we wanted. 



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

IKON.iQ "Lux" Glitter Gels




Eye-candy! A fantastic collection of beautiful glitter gels with deep luxurious pigments that will add sparkle to any woman's eyes. Make a sophisticated look by applying on the free-edge, or go for the full bling-effect and apply over the complete nail.

The Lux Collection includes ten color glitter gels:

  • Sparkling Stars Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Frozen Pink Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Lavender Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Red Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Neon Pink Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Gold Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Electric Blue Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Violet Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Rosey Pink Glitter Gel, 11g
  • Turquoise Glitter Gel, 11g