In my salon I have also used different manufacturers products over the years. Mostly I create gel nails, but I also create acrylic nails for some customers. Normally it's not possible to use only one manufacturers products because I usually find that there is one item in their range that I don't like.
Finding good salon products isn't easy, as first it's necessary to take some form of cross-over training to learn the specific preparation steps and then it takes months of testing before you get to trust and know how a product works.
When I'm choosing a product for my salon it has to meet the following requirements:
- the finished nails must look excellent
- be strong enough for my customers lifestyle - my salon nails are the thickness of a credit card
- nails don't lift, even after many infills
- don't yellow
- quick to apply with practice
So if you are thinking about changing products, here's a few things that I've learned:
1. Always take the manufacturers cross-over training to learn the correct preparation and application.
2. Test the products on friends, not customers. This sounds obvious but when I first moved to Sweden and couldn't buy the gel I used in Kiev, I bought a Kit from one of the big names and did a cross-over training. Three months later many of my clients nails started to lift after they have been infilled a few times. I spoke to the supplier but never got to the bottom of this. The supplier claimed it was my faulty application - but couldn't offer other suggestions (funnily enough, I later heard from a number of techs who had the same problem - which kind of suggests the product is not forgiving). Fortunately, I only had a handful of clients at the time and they stuck with me through this. But the moral of the story is never trust a product until you've done your own testing and test a variety of products before committing to use a new product on all your clients. Also have a Plan B if you find months later the product is not what you expected.
3. Decide what you want of the product and manufacturer. Are you only looking for a product you can buy from various sources, or do you want a deeper relationship with the manufacturer or supplier?
- Some manufacturers don't employ full time educators so while you can get cross-over training easily enough, if you want to advance to educator or global educator etc - it might be difficult as they may only run courses once a year or less.
- Do they offer the kind of training you want? If you are thinking about competing - do they offer competition classes? Or if you are interested in nail art - do they have good educators for this?
- What's their reputation for support if you have questions? Is there someone local you can call or go visit?