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Nail Care Knows No Bounds

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: October 13, 2008, from the March 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Salon formulations offer a variety of unique benefits for clients. Orly, from Grafton International, for example, began tailor-making products for customers according to their needs. The first Orly product was a liquid fiber wrap, followed by a Ridgefiller, to fill ridges in nails and smooth rough surfaces. Orly added a gripper cap made of soft rubber for easy gripping and control, resulting in a smooth brush stroke. Additionally, the company says its salon formulation nail polish contains a special resin that allows polish to adhere to nails without chipping or peeling, and contains a high pigment ratio to provide complete coverage without streaks. New products include the antiaging Three-Step Handspa, Vital Restorative Masque and Sheer Radiance finishing lotion to leave hands smooth and fragrant. Orly also offers Tough Cookie Nail Strengthener, Cuticle Oil + and a salon-centered 13-piece color stand, designed to fit at the end of the technician’s work station or be displayed in the salon’s retail area.

Formulation Challenges

According to Jan Arnold, co-founder of Creative Nail Design, “Some of the challenges we faced 25 years ago, and still today, involve the development of coatings and laminates for the natural nail. This technology is actually born from aerospace materials designed to coat rocket ships. These polymer coatings are now produced specifically for use on the nail; to protect it, without damage; to allow for moisture and oil to gravitate through the coating, as it would through a natural nail; and to safely adhere with a natural light feel.”

Arnold also notes, “Elimination of lifting of the coating depends not only on the excellence of the technology, but also on the proper preparation of the natural nail, correct application of the material and light finishing at the end of the process. The materials used are high-tech science, requiring an intense understanding of the human nail and how the coatings can beautifully adhere for trouble-free wear. The complexity of the science becomes apparent when you consider there are no two fingernails alike. Each has a unique configuration, different thickness, moisture level and impact level based on lifestyle.” The company’s laboratory has 17 scientists and biologists studying hands and feet, and each product is developed through an understanding of the substrate, which is the nail.

Creative Nail Design has been recognized for its sculpting liquids and powders, particularly Retention + Liquid—a sculpting liquid that forms covalent bonds to the keratin of the nail and requires no primer. “The bonds are permanent,” says Arnold. “And the coating grows out with the nail, only requiring a rebalance every two to three weeks. These coatings are now as thin as two to three coats of nail enamel.”

A nail professional custom blends the powders to complement a client’s skin tone, camouflage a problem or match a favorite color, and then coats the nail with the blend, for a chip-proof manicure lasting up to three weeks before a rebalance is needed.

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