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You can pay more. In fact, you can pay A LOT MORE! When you buy name brand products you give away your hard earned bucks to support the distributor's mark-up and the manufacturer's marketing budget. What you are not getting for that extra expense is a better product! At The Supply Source we deliver the high quality professional products you want and need. WE SAVE YOU MONEY by selling direct! We have the same cutting edge chemistry that the big name guys have with out the big prices.

Hey, we've been in business for over 13 years! We have served over 1.5 million orders for nail technicians all over the globe. If you haven't done business with us yet... what are you waiting for?

Supply Source - We wouldn't put our name on it IF IT WASN'T THE BEST

Supply Source Monomer
This low odour, Violet, advanced retention, no crystallization, non yellowing, color stable liquid is our best seller.

Use it with our Supply Source Powders for a standard set or our MEGA Powders for a slightly faster set. With either powder you will get a "Creamy" feel of application.

This liquid is designed to be used with a "medium consistency" application technique throughout the entire nail. That means you will use less liquid in your powder to liquid ratio.

Available in 8 oz., 16 oz. 32 oz. and Gallons.

Supply Source Powders
Our Supply Source Powders works with any brand and any type of acrylic liquid. These Co-Polymer powders are self Levelling and have a low peroxide content for non yellowing color stability.

Available in 4 oz & 8 oz.

Choose from Clear, Blush Pink, Milky Pink, Natural and our wonderfully White White.

Mega powders
Mega Powders are a faster setting Co-Polymer version of our standard setting Supply Source Powders.

Available in 4 oz. and 8 oz. sizes.

Choose from Clear, Blush Pink and Mega White.

Primerless Liquid
Our Primerless Liquid will deliver amazing retention without the use of primer. But unlike other brands of no-primer-needed liquids, if you choose to use primer you can!

Designed to used with a not too wet, not too dry consistency, Primerless will perform for you! We strongly suggest you match it up with either our Supply Source Powders or our Mega Powders. You will love the easy application, lower odour, non-yellowing color stability, reduced need for filing and of course... the low cost!

Liquid is available in 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz. and Gallons.

Acrylic Basics
Acrylic Basics is our straight forward, standard setting formulation. Basics liquid is color stable, highly retentive and very, very inexpensive. It is an absolutely a tried and true product enjoyed and loved by thousands and thousands of technicians who have been swearing by it for years!

Liquid is available in 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz. and Gallons.
Basics powders are available in 4 oz. and 8 oz. sizes.

Choose from Clear, Pink, Super Pink, Natural and White. (Yes, Basics White Powder is, like all of our white powders... very white!)

Form Fast with Silica Fast Set
Form Fast is our 100% Homo-Polymer System.

It is our fastest setting formulation!

Perfect for you technicians that like to "pinch" your sculptures when they are still on the form. Or for those of you who like a faster system when making those perfect smile lines!

Form Fast Liquid is PINK! It lends a fabulous tone to all the nails you do, especially your pink and whites!

Liquid is available in 8 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz. and Gallons.

Powder are available in 4 oz. and 8 oz.

Choose from Clear, Naked Pink, Pinkest Pink, Natural and Competition White

Extreme Glitters
Create your own colors and intensity

Scoop included. Mix and Match, Ultra Fine. For use with the Backscratchers Extreme System. Can be used with all powder and liquid systems as well.

9 colors, 5 ml. (.15 oz) each

Anti-Fungal Agent - Kills Fungus
1 oz.

Pure Primer
Chemically Enhance The Surface of Natural Nails 1 oz.

100% PURE Methacrylic Acid for the best possible bond a primer can deliver!

Available in a 1/4 oz. and 1 oz size. Cap with a built in brush is standard!

It's Magic

Monomer Enhancer
Use to boost ANY brand of nail liquid!

Not just ours but all the other ones out there too!

This very cool product will make a big difference in the nails you do!

Monomer Enhancer not only stops crystallization, but it also
Reduces Lifting
Reduces Set-up Time
Reduces Dust
Makes Filing easier
Increases overlay and sculpture strength!
Gives your application a higher level of control.

Use it by simply squeezing 3, 4 or 5 drops into your dappen dish of liquid. A dropper top is included with the 2 oz. size. If you use a pump then simply add one half full dropper to your liquid for every 2 oz. of liquid. Available in 2 oz., 8 oz., 16. oz and 32 oz.

That's the name of our NEW Adhesion Promoter for all U.V. Cured Gels.
Simply brush "Something Wonderful" onto the natural nail just prior to application of your first layer of gel.
Allow it to dry for 20 seconds.
It will dry to a glossy finish.
Think of it as a primer formulated especially for gel (but without the harsh, burning acid)

Create an unbelievable bond between natural nail and gel overlays.
Eliminate lifting.
Get better, longer lasting results.
Try "Something Wonderful" today!


2 oz.
32 oz.
8 oz.

Brush On Resin
A tad thicker than our "Resin" makes this product easy to use ... just brush over your wrap, natural nail, or tip. Applies just like polish.

Triple Distilled Formulation For Absolute Purity
1 oz. and 1/2 oz

NEW!! Manicure Bubble Spa
Soothing sounds of soft bubbles forming and aroma therapy this machine offers is unsurpassed! why settle with a manicure bowl when you can offer a true spa experience with little investment. Your clients will thank you.
We highly recommend purchasing the effervescent manicure balls available in sea grass, cream of milk, and passion fruit for the true manicure spa experience.

Would you like to give your clients a spa pedicure experience without the high cost of name brand pedicure supplies? Now you can! Our NEW AHA

PEDICURE Alpha Hydroxy Line will allow you to offer the highest quality service and products without spending a fortune. ENRICHED WITH WONDERFUL NATURAL INGREDIENTS ... OILS, AROMAS, TEXTURES AND TREATMENTS. A complete line for your salon or day spa!

Your Prescription for Beautiful Nails
Nail care professionals can now do more for their clients than simply selling them a bottle of nail hardener. Now professionals can PRESCRIBE a cure. Toluene free "Are Those your Nails" makes strong, healthy nails a reality.

"Are Those Your Nails" will STRENGTHEN
After only one week nails will be stronger. In just a few weeks nails will have grown and a visible lengthening will have taken place.
"Are Those Your Nails" will PROTECT
Unlike most other nail hardeners, "Are Those Your Nails" will not make nails dry, brittle, or rigid.
"Are Those Your Nails" will BEAUTIFY
Nails will look radiantly healthy. Free edges will appear clean and white.
"Are Those Your Nails" is a CHIP PROOF BASE COAT
Polish will last longer because it is applied over a base coat that just won't quit! Your clients will love the staying power their polish will get from using "Are Those Your Nails"
"Are Those Your Nails" is a HIGH GLOSS TOP COAT
Get the shiniest finish you have ever seen from a crystal clear top coat. And the shine lasts and lasts.
"Are Those Your Nails" DRIES IN MINUTES
You and your clients will love the way it FAST-DRIES!
"Are Those Your Nails" IS PROFITABLE

One coat of "Are Those Your Nails" is applied to the natural nail every day for one week. After the first week it is applied once every seven days as a base coat and top coat. That's it! Simple! If the client's nails are not as strong as she desires after the first weeks initial therapy she may repeat the process of applying every day for an additional week.


3 Tier Gel System 
  • Our newest system!
  • To get that PERFECT gel system we decided to take a "Gel Specific" approach.
  • One gel formulated specifically for ADHESION
  • One gel formulated specifically for building a strong OVERLAY
  • One gel formulated for a brilliant SHINE and lasting SEAL
  • The results? The best gel system we have ever worked with! And not just us but other technicians too. We have received RAVE REVIEWS from nail technicians all over North America, Europe, Australia and Asia!

Our 3 Tier system is:
  • Adhesive Base Gel
    • A crystal clear, low viscosity gel that is applied as a thin base layer.
    • It cures leaving a sticky layer. Use as a first step prior to applying Overlay Builder Gel.
  • Overlay Builder Gel
    • A slightly pink, high viscosity, no run gel for creating a strong and resilient nail. Apply one or two layers depending upon your style of application. It cures to a slightly dull but incredibly hard finish. Wipe and file to perfect the shape of your nail.
    • File but do not buff!
    • No need to.
    • You will now follow with a thin application of Shine and Seal Glossing Gel to smooth over, seal and gloss your nails.
  • Shine and Seal Glossing Gel
    • A pink, medium viscosity gel to apply as a final coat on top of your sculptures and overlays. It cures with the most glossy, brilliant and durable finish available. Compare this to any gel, any where and you will see something amazing! Shine and Seal Glossing Gel will not only seal and shine your gels but it can also be used on top of acrylics as well!
    • Just apply, cure and wipe. Its that simple.
    • With our 3 Tier Gel System you will be able to build strong, beautiful nails without the hassle of primers, odors or excessive dust.
  • Reflex Gel
    • The first gel that you can SOAK OFF with Acetone!
    • Yup, that's right, SOAKS OFF IN ACETONE!
    • Reflex Gel is a clear, medium viscosity gel that is PERFECT for natural nail and tip extension overlays.
    • Reflex Gel is also PERFECT for a program of natural nail growth.
Here's how it works...
  • Apply and cure a few very thin layers to the natural nail.
  • You can even use a brush as small as a nail polish brush so you get even and smooth coverage.
  • As the nails grow out you can periodically, about every 2 - 3 weeks, apply a new layer of Reflex Gel.
  • After several client visits you can safely remove Reflex Gel, manicure and send your client away with longer, healthy, professionally cared for nails.
We suggest you retail a bottle of "Are Those Your Nails" to further strengthen the natural nails and to keep polish staying on.
You will look like a miracle worker! And hey, you just might be. After all, it's not easy to grow nails!

Have you gotten your nails into EURO•GEL YET?
  • You have NEVER experienced a gel like this before.
  • Euro Gel is the ultimate in a thick, no run gel!
  • Turn the jar of Euro Gel upside down or on it's side. Euro Gel stays put! It does not budge. It is perfect for building and sculpting. It is a strong, resilient gel formulated to do things no other gel can do.
  • Place Euro Gel on the nail or form exactly where you want it and it stays there. Cure and file! You have total control.
  • Use Euro Gel along with our 3 tier system to artistically create that perfectly shaped nail! Or use it with just Adhesive Base Gel and Shine and Seal Glossing Gel for a system with an Extra Thick Builder gel. You can even use Euro Gel to fill in chips and cracks and do fast repairs. It's like a spackle putty for nails! Amazing!


  • Our original, all in one formula. Honey like consistency, extra hard formulation, crystal clear gel.
  • Use alone or add Adhesive Base Gel for a bit of extra retention.

  • New French White Gel

  • The easy to use, extra white gel for pink and whites and
  • effortless back-fills. Applies just like polish!
  • Apply THIN, cure, wipe and overlay with the gel or gel system of your choice. Makes Pink and White back fills a snap!
  •  French white gel is a builder gel. It is a medium/thick consistency.
    the way pink and white application should be done is as follows:
    • step 1   base gel thin application ..cure  apox. 120sec.
    • step 2   pink builder gel   thin application..cure  apox.120sec.
    • step 3   mix your white gel thouroughly to disperse the white pigment through out. apply thin like a nail polish..cure apox.120sec.
    • step 4   apply another thin layer of white gel like nail polish ...cure apox.120sec.
    • step 5  remove sticky layer.
    • step 6  final  fintito capping gel ..cure aprox.180 sec. and your all done.


  • Brush on Sealing Gel
  • This very thin, "apply like top coat", U.V. cured gel is perfect for adding a quick seal to acrylics, wraps and gels. Just polish over the nail, cure and wipe.
  • Seal-It comes in a half ounce bottle with brush cap. Just like a bottle of polish! Easy!!!

  • Glimmerize

    Glimmerize Hologram Gel great for application over polish, acrylic nails, gel nails, wraped nails and even natural nails for added strength and Hologram beauty!

    Custom Palettes

    Custom Color Palette
    • 10 different pigments to custom color U.V. Cured gels
    • Easy to use. 
    • Place a bit of Overlay Sealer Gel into a dappen dish. Then, just wet your brush with a bit of gel. Dip the brush into the pigment color of your choice and stir into the gel. Add more for denser color coverage. Add different pigments to create a wide array of custom colors.
    • Now you can have colored gels without having to commit to the expense of an entire array of different gels. Color just what you need, when you need it. No more, no less. Delight your clients with customized shades JUST FOR THEM. Make permanent nail art designs out of gels. You'll love it and so will your clients.

    Custom Glitter Palette  
    • 12 different glitter additives to customize U.V. Cured gels.
    • Use with Shine and Seal Glossing Gel. Add to clear gel or to gels that have been custom colored with our Custom Color Palette.



  • "Light Seal" is the top coat drying system that costs a whole lot less than the name brands that do the exact same thing!
  • No matter what U.V. cured, fast drying top coat you are using now, "Light Seal" will perform just as well or better! and cost you a lot less.
  • "Light Seal" dries polish to the touch in 60 seconds.
  • Seals and protects with a rock-hard, long-lasting glass in just minutes.
  • "Light Seal" is GREAT on all AIRBRUSH DESIGNS.
  • It will never drag or crack your finished designs.
  • It will seal and protect them with a long lasting, high gloss shine.
  • "Light Seal" will also air dry all by itself! So it's the perfect retail top coat!

    Does not contain any



    Thanks for visiting us here at " TECH HELP" !

        We have a list of some commonly experienced challenges faced by nail technicians. Some of the solutions for these challenges are very simple. Some of the solutions are a bit technical so we will try and give you some details as background info to help you. We have tried to make things as simple and easy as possible. We hope this web page will be of benefit to you. If you have any questions that we have not addressed or if you still want additional assistance send your e-mail to: help@supplyspurcecanada.com We will publish your questions when we receive them. You will be instrumental in helping us build an informative web page that will benefit our industry.

    Lifting   Preparation   Priming   Powder/Liquid ratio   Medications
       Crystallization   Wraps   Gels   Chemical Sensitivity

    Lifting is the most talked about problem! First, you must remember that many things can cause lifting. Usually it is not any one thing that is causing the problem but a combination. They include but are not limited to:

    1) Bad preparation of the nail prior to application of the overlay or sculpture

    A) Always have client wash and dry hands prior to sitting down at your table!

    This is for your protection as well as there's. After all, you don't want them to give you any germs that can cause illness!

    B) Make sure you push back the cuticle and remove any excess pterygium.

    Pterygium is the thin, almost invisible layer of cuticle that grows attached to the nail plate.

    To remove it use a sterilized metal pusher. If any stubborn pterygium remains remove it with an abrasive when you gently buff the nail plate.

    Note: Skin that remains on the nail may be trapped between the overlay and the natural nail. This will prevent the overlay from ever bonding to the very surface you are trying to adhere it to and result in a separation or lift.

    C ) Gently buff the surface of the nail.

    Do not use anything coarser than a 180-grit abrasive. Buffing gives a texture to the surface of the nail. This enables better gripping. It creates tiny nooks and crannies for the overlay to lock onto.

    MYTH: You need to etch the nail with a coarse file to make things stick. THIS IS FALSE! Be gentle. The natural nail is the foundation you are building upon. The more healthy, strong nail you leave in tact the better the foundation. The better the foundation, the better the building. Besides, your clients do not want you do destroy their nails. They want you to enhance them!

    D) Remove all dust, oils and moisture from the surface.

    To do this brush on or wipe down with a nail prep. Oils left on the nail will physically get in the way of the overlay as it tries to grip the nail and result in lifting. Moisture will do the same however moisture will also retard or prevent the chemical process of polymerization. That means that the overlay will be prevented from ever setting up as hard or as retentive as it could have been.

    MYTH: You must use "Nail Prep" to safely do this. THIS IS FALSE! While it is true that we recommend a Prep specifically formulated to 1) Kill Germs, 2) Remove Oils, 3) Remove Moisture, 4) Promote Adhesion through chemical treatment of the nail surface. If this is not available 100% Pure Acetone will do the trick! Acetone does not have any acknowledged antiseptic abilities but it will remove oil and moisture, the two main causes for lifting that we deal with during the preparation process. Do not use alcohol as a prep. It can leave a residue that may actually cause lifting! A 50% / 50% mix of the two make a very good prep but does not chemically enhance the nail. Use a prep if and when possible. But in a pinch the above can be very helpful.

    2) Not priming or not priming enough

    (this applies only to acrylics unless you are using a gel system that needs primer. All of The Supply Source Gels are "No Primer Needed".)

    A) Always prime the natural nail. Let primer dry.

    To do this apply a tiny amount of primer to the natural nail only. AVOID SKIN CONTACT! Primer is an acid and will burn. Be careful. Suggestion: Remove brush from bottle, wipe on inside of bottle opening to remove excess primer: Touch brush to a clean tissue to release additional excess. Apply primer to as many nails as possible with just that small amount of primer still in the brush.

    B) On clients that have proven themselves to be problem lifters you should prime twice.

    1) Prime once, let the primer dry thoroughly.

    2) Prime a second time, let the primer dry thoroughly.

    Note: Ever wonder why so many companies say that you should let primer dry? Here are the reasons: First, primer is an acid. That means that it is a corrosive. If you apply your wet acrylic on top of a wet acid the acid will seep into the acrylic. When the acrylic sets up it will have a Foreign, corrosive ingredient mixed into it that causes premature product break down. In time the break down will present itself as yellowing, brittleness and eventually lifting. There is another reason why you should allow primer to dry Read on...
    MYTH: Primer etches the natural nail. THIS IS FALSE! While primer is an acid it does not etch the natural nail. What primer does is to permeate or travel into the natural nail. Once there it needs time to dry and leave behind a chemical residue. This residue will then act as a chemical magnet to attract the molecules of the acrylic overlay and pull it tight against the nail. If you do not let it dry you have not allowed it the time it needs to deposit itself into the nail. This will work against you in the long run. LET YOUR PRIMER DRY!
    MYTH: You should apply primer to a tip. THIS IS FALSE! Primer is used to enhance the natural nail only Plastic nail tips do not need primer: In fact, primer can cause some nail tips to "craze". This is a chemical reaction that makes the tip shatter with lots of tiny cracks.

    3) Temperature too cold

    4) Filing too soon

    (this applies only to acrylics)

    Climate control your environment and your clients hands.

    Cold slows down the polymerization (set up) process. If your overlay is not set up within the time frame you are accustomed to, you may accidentally file too soon. By doing this you can actually pull the acrylic away from the nail because it has not had enough time to adhere properly. Make sure your salon is warm enough. Have your client wash hands in warm water. Even offer a hot beverage to warm systemically from within.


    5) Wearing nails too long

    Make nails appropriate length.

    Face it, long nails just do not hold up as well on most people. A reasonable length is gauged by following what we call the "5/3rd's rule": The length of the free edge should not be any longer than 2/3rd's of the length of the nail bed.

    Example: If the nail bed measures 1 inch (That's 3/3rd's) Then the total length of the nail from cuticle to free edge will be 1 inch and 2/3rd's long. (3/3 + 2/3 = 5/3rd's)

    If the client really wants longer nails than go a maximum of two times the length of the nail bed.

    Remember: Be proportionate. Be reasonable. The less lifting and breaking the happier the client will be and the less work you will have during fill-in maintenance!

    6) Bad powder to liquid ratio

    (this applies only to acrylics)

    Use the correct ratio to achieve the best chemical performance.

    Chemical performance will be the most significant single factor in getting good results. It will effect lifting, cracking, breaking and longevity of the overlay. You must remember that:

    A) depending on which powder and liquid combination you are using and

    B) whether you are doing a tip overlay, sculptured nail or a fill-in

    you will have to tailor your ratios accordingly. Usually, if you use a lot of liquid the nail will not lift but may not be strong enough. if you use too little liquid the nail will be very dense and strong but may lift. There is a balance that will deliver good results. Here is how you find that balance:

    Always start your assessment with the liquid you are using. Here are 3 examples:

    The Supply Source Violet Acrylic Liquid Monomer is a Low Odor; Low Evaporation, Non Crystallizing, High Retention nail liquid. It is to be used with enough powder to get a true MEDIUM consistency ratio no matter what you are doing. You can use this liquid with ANY powder. If you are using this liquid to sculpt, overlay or fill in make sure that the ball of powder and liquid you pick up and place on the nail does not run or move on its own. It should yield easily under the hairs of your brush but it should not move or run on its own. This will give you a controlled application with enough strength and retention for awesome results. The reason you must not work too wet with this liquid is related to its low evaporation rate. Less liquid leaves the mix through evaporation during set up. That means more of the liquid stays in the mix. Once you understand this you realize that you should not use too much liquid. Too much liquid can also lead to chemical sensitivity. This is when you or your client develops an irritation from the nail liquid. It is characterized by itchy, puffy, swollen cuticles. The intensity of this reaction increases each time you expose yourself or your client to the liquid. We talk more about this under "Chemical Sensitivity"

    Form Fast Liquid is a fast setting monomer. It should be used with Form Fast Powders. You should work in a MEDIUM consistency at the FREE EDGE for a mix that delivers strength combined with flex for a resilient extension. You should use a MEDIUM consistency at the ARCH for a mix that delivers strength, flex (and in this area, retention to the natural nail). You should use a WET consistency at the cuticle area for a mix that will be very retentive and flexible (and thin in the area that should be flush to the nail)

    Acrylic Basics Liquid is a standard setting monomer. It should be used with Acrylic Basics Powders. You should work in a

    MEDIUM DRY consistency at the FREE EDGE for a mix that delivers strength combined with flex for a resilient extension. Use a

    MEDIUM consistency at the ARCH for a mix that delivers strength, flex (and in this area, retention to the natural nail). You should use a

    WET consistency at the cuticle area for a mix that will be very retentive and flexible (and thin in the area that should be flush to the natural nail.

    7) Allowing overlay material to touch cuticle

    A) Apply to the natural nail only. Avoid skin contact.

    Overlays applied and allowed to overlap onto the skin is in fact already lifted. It is not in contact with the natural nail so it is already coming away from it! Picture the coating as you would nail polish... Up to the cuticle but not touching it. Leave a thin margin of space between the two.

    B) Make the overlay flush with the natural nail.

    File the overlay ultra thin and completely flush with the natural nail. By leaving a space between the cuticle and free edge you have the room to get between the two and file the overlay completely flush and paper thin where it meets the natural nail. You should not be able to feel any lip or line. This lip, if left can catch and start a lift that will spread.

    8) Client Abuse

    9) Client on medication

    Educate your clients

    A) Your nails are jewels not tools. You are a beautician not a magician. We have all heard those cute little sayings. They're true! No matter what you do, if your client is a monster with her nails she will have monstrous nails! Educate your clients regarding at home care. (Retail some "Light Seal" fast drying top coat - polish dryer, an orangewood cuticle stick, Peach Oil, and a 4 way buffer) Get them involved and they are more likely to take better care and come back in for fill-in maintenance with fewer problems.

    B) Some medications can severely effect artificial nails and the ability to retain against the natural nail plate. These same medications are also known to cause hair color and permanent waves to fail. Try everything you can to safely provide a successful experience. (Try wraps vs. gels vs. acrylic. More thoroughly examine different products and product mixes) However, remember that there are some things we have no control over. Certain people may be better off with a natural nail care program.


    (this applies only to acrylics)

    1) Your powder yellows...

    All powders contain peroxide. Without this ingredient your acrylic would not set up. Peroxide is a catalyst.

    (A catalyst is something that causes something else to happen. You know, like when your client smudges her French manicure for the third time and you get angry and slam your hands down on the desk and knock over your files and you bend over to pick them up and as you do you slip and fall and break a nail! The catalyst in this story was your clients smearing her polish. It caused a chain of events that led up to your broken nail.) Peroxide is like that client, it starts the chain reaction that makes the powder and liquid set up. It is a necessary component of the powder. Unfortunately peroxide yellows and discolors with age. So, all powders regardless of which brand have the potential to yellow. The key is to use as little peroxide as possible in the formula. As a rule, fast set powders that rely on more peroxide tend to yellow more than others.

    2) Your liquid doesn't yellow, it just lets the overlay turn yellow...

    Any good liquid will contain not one but at least two different types of ingredients as prevention against yellowing. (Its the same principle as sunscreen for your skin...)

    A) U.V. Blockers. These prevent or block ultra violet rays from entering the nail and doing damage.

    Remember, U.V. light particles can cause a physical effect on your skin by stimulating it to tan. They can also cause a physical effect within the overlay that will lead to yellowing.

    B) U.V. Absorbers. These absorb ultra violet rays and prevent them from doing any damage to the nail. If ultra violet blockers fail to perform these absorbers are extra insurance.

    3) Are you letting your primer dry?

    Primer is an acid. That means that it is a corrosive. If you apply your wet acrylic on top of a wet acid the acid will seep into the acrylic. When the acrylic sets up it will have a foreign, corrosive ingredient mixed into it that causes premature product break down. The break down will present itself as yellowing, brittleness and eventually lifting.

    4) Are you contaminated?

    Remember to work clean. If you have a dappen dish with liquid in it and that liquid has powder residue from a previous client, chances are that that liquid is already discolored. What are nails going to look like if you start out with discolored liquid? Get the point? Always start fresh and clean. Also be aware of residue from other chemicals such as nail polish remover. (Some people use this to clean brushes. Do not do this. It can cause yellowing)

    (Note: Do not confuse yellowing with staining. To remove stains clue to polish or other causes simply buff the overlay until stains are gone. A highly cross-linked monomer will provide great stain resistance.)


    (this applies only to acrylics)

    To prevent it you must understand what causes it.

    Most of us have experienced crystallization. You do all that work and then the acrylic just flakes away when you file... Why does this happen? Lets look at two facts... we know that crystallization only occurs when it is cold, and we also know that cold slows down set up. Armed with that information we can figure out the following:

    When it is cold your overlay set up takes longer than usual. This extended time gives an opportunity for more of the liquid to escape from the powder and liquid mix through evaporation. When the nail finally sets up there was not enough liquid left to mix with all the powder. (It went away when it evaporated) So, the powder particles were never linked together to form a solid overlay. That is why they all just file away. They were left out of the mix.

    To prevent it you can do several things:

    1) Use a non crystallizing liquid like "The Supply Source Violet Acrylic Liquid Monomer" (It wont evaporate as fast so it usually wont crystallize unless it is really, really, really freezing cold!)

    2) Use "Monomer Enhancer" The Supply Source's Liquid additive. A few drops in a dappen dish of ANY brand liquid and you prevent crystallization. (You also increase strength and retention, reduce odor, dust filings and set up time)

    3) Use a fast setting system like "Form Fast". It will set up before the level of evaporation that causes crystallization is reached.

    4) Warm the liquid you have by standing the closed bottle upright in a bowl of very warm tap water for 5 minutes.


    5) Make sure your salon is climate controlled.

    6) Have your client wash hands in warm water. Even offer a hot beverage to warm systemically from within.


    Gels are the number one service provided by technicians in Europe. They are far more popular than acrylics or wraps. They are also the one service that most every nail tech in the USA would love to be able to do. The promise of no odor and the lightweight feel of gel when it is on the nails makes this a very good service to offer clients. Too bad that most American techs have either: A) Had a bad experience with them or B) Don't know anything about them and the mystery is too scary. Lets get a simple explanation as to what gel is and how it works.

    Basically, gels are an acrylic material that will only harden if it is exposed to the rays of an ultra violet lamp.

    That is because gels contain an ingredient called "photo initiator" (Photo = light, initiate = causes to begin) It lets the light cause the set up process to begin.

    If you can polish a nail you can do gels. Its that simple. Some of the challenges and questions associated with gels are:

    1) Gel runs onto the skin while it is wet... and then hardens when it is on the skin.

    To prevent that:

    A) Use Euro-Gel. It Will Not Run! No matter how much you put on the nail it will stay where you put it! It is so stable that if you turn the jar up side down it still wont run. It is great for sculpting too.

    B) If the gel you are using has a consistency that runs do not put as much on the nail. Use sparingly and build up in several coats.

    2) Gel does not cure well. (It has a dull appearance after you wipe it down or wipes completely off the nail)

    A) Make sure you have a lamp with at least 6 watts curing power.

    B) Make sure your bulbs are not older than 6 months when used often.

    C ) Make sure that once the client places her nails in the lamp they stay there uninterrupted for the duration of time needed to cure. Once the curing process is interrupted it stops. It can not be started again for that layer of gel when the hand is put back under the light. This means that the overlay is never as hard, strong or retentive as it should have been. This will lead to lifting, cracking, peeling and a dull surface finish.

    3) Gel does not dry. It feels wet and sticky.

    That is normal. It really is dry and hard underneath that sticky layer. The surface of the gel nail will have a residue that you must remove by wiping with a tissue or cotton pad saturated in alcohol. Wipe the surface down one time only at the very end of the final cure.

    4) Gels break more often than hoped for.

    This is usually because the finished overlay is too thin. Because most gels run, there is a tendency to apply them too thin and in too few coats. Make sure that the finished gel overlay is as substantial as an acrylic overlay would have been. No thicker, no thinner. This should offer more than ample strength. To avoid running during application use Euro-Gel. Then, make sure that each time you place the nails under the light you have allowed enough time for a thorough cure. This lets the gel get as hard, strong and durable as is chemically possible.

    5) Can I file Gels?

    Absolutely. Just remember that gels file very easily. You will not need anything more abrasive than a 180-grit board to shape. Some may find that 180 grit is even a bit too abrasive.

    6) If I file Gels I loose that beautiful shine. What can be done?

    If the shape of your gels need perfecting than go ahead and file away. When you are done do not buff the scratchy surface. Simply remove the dust and re-coat with an ultra thin coating of gel and cure. (Or try "Seal-It" or "Glossing Gel") When they are done wipe down and send the client home! You can use "Seal-it" and "Glossing Gel" as a final glazing over wraps and acrylics also. This will give them a beautiful shine and help prevent lifting.

    7) If I use "SeaI-It" or 'Glossing Gel" over acrylics and wraps is there anything special I need to do?

    A) Using these products over the top of acrylics and wraps saves time and effort buffing. After the shaping of the nail is done you simply skip the buffing and apply a coat of the "Seal-It" or "Glossing Gel". Just make sure you remove any dust and filings by wiping down the nails before application. Make sure you apply enough to cover but keep it on the thin side. Cure and wipe down, it's that simple. The nails will be beautifully shiny and sealed tightly to prevent lifting.

    B) Fill-in maintenance over nails with these coatings can be handled one of two ways. After proper preparation either buff off the light cured coating and proceed with your fill as you would normally or simply buff gently at the cuticle area and fill in with more of the "Seal-it", "Glossing Gel" or "Euro Gel". This method will enable you to do fast, odor free fill ins and even make the switch to light cured gels if you choose to.


    A wrap is a coating made of fabric that is glued over the "natural nail only" or over the natural nail and artificial tip extension". The fabric is then coated with more glue (To build up strength) or with a "resin". Resin is a thick version of glue. Because resin is thick it takes a very long time to dry. It needs something to accelerate the drying time. This accelerator is also called "activator". It is a liquid that is sprayed as a fine mist over the resin coated nails. The fabric used to wrap is usually fiberglass mesh. Silk is also popular. Linen is also used but is not as popular because it is a stark white color and does not appear natural. It must be covered with polish to hide it. Fiberglass and silk are both materials that can be made to appear almost invisible once attached to the nail. This is why they are so popular.

    As far as strength goes, linen affords the most strength because it is the thickest and will absorb the most glue. Silk and fiberglass are about the same but their is a difference. Silk, like linen, is a natural fiber and will absorb the glue as well as be surrounded by it when on the nail. Fiberglass is a synthetic material and will not absorb. It will only be surrounded by the glue. Whether one is better than the other is a matter of personal experience.

    Some of the questions we have regarding wraps are:

    I cant get my silk or fiberglass to become invisible. What is wrong?

    Make sure you are using a thin glue to adhere the wrap to the nail first. The thin glue can saturate better than a thick resin and this helps get a better appearance. Also, if the back of the fabric has a sticky or tacky adhesive make sure that it is not too heavy. Sometimes this tacky layer will not disappear. Also, if the material is dusty you may be seeing dust trapped in the tacky layer or weave of the fabric. Trouble shoot these areas.

    Why do the wraps lift?

    Always start with proper preparation steps. Then, make sure your glue and resin is not too old to stick as well as it should. If it is thicker than usual it may be time to replace it. if that is not the culprit then make sure you are buffing the edge of the wrap flush to the nail and then sealing it with glue and/or resin. If your lifting is occurring at the sides or at the free edge it may be due to age. As the glue ages it may lose its resiliency and become brittle. Soak off the wrap and replace it. Don't forget that wraps are not as strong as acrylics. If your client abuses her wrapped nails they will not be nearly as durable as acrylics and will fall victim to abuse a lot sooner.'

    The activator burns!

    Activator accelerates the drying process of the resin. What is going on chemically is what causes the heat. The molecules are moving very quickly as they go from a wet to a dry state. This movement causes a friction that is felt as heat on the nails. To avoid this you must use less resin on the nail and spray less activator. We suggest the following:

    Apply resin to five nails. turn hand over and bend fingers upward as if they were gripping an imaginary ball. This will put all five nails in a circle next to one another. Then mist 2-3 pumps of your activator spray over the nails from a distance of about 12 inches away. Now repeat on the other hand. By the time you finish the second hand the first one will be dry.

    Chemical Sensitivity

    This is a topic that we are hearing a lot about. Many nail technicians and their clients are experiencing what some refer to as "allergies". These so-called allergies are developed over time and can "come out of nowhere". (In fact they are not allergies at all but a sensitization that develops after being exposed to a chemical or combination of chemicals for an extended period of time. In some people this time frame is very short. In others it can take longer.) If you have experienced sensitivity or if some of your clients have, then you know first hand what they are like. If this is something you need to know more about review the following information:

    An Example

    A nail client has acrylic overlays or U.V. gels for a period of time. (The time could be one month or 5 years, It is different for everyone.) During that period she has had no problems related to chemical irritation. Then, after a particular fill-in she experiences a slight itching or burning sensation that might be accompanied by red, puffy cuticles. This usually happens shortly after her visit to the salon. Each time she has her nails maintained after that first adverse reaction the irritation intensifies, maybe even to the point of extreme discomfort.

    What should you do?

    If this situation occurs you should immediately discontinue the use of that particular product system on your client. if you do not discontinue its use, each time you expose your client to it the reaction will intensify and become worse.

    In most cases switching the client to an alternative nail service such as a wrap will not be a problem. You should wait for the hands to be free of any irritation. (Usually two to three weeks at most depending on how irritated her fingers became after the last exposure. Make sure there are no open sores or abrasions) Then try a spot test by applying the new product to one nail only. Wait several days to see if this product is tolerated. if it is, continue by servicing the other nine nails.

    Note: Do not try and treat or cure the irritation. All such requests should be referred to a medical doctor. Do not soak off the artificial product. Submerging the irritated fingers in harsh solvents will only make things worse. A fact that you need to be aware of is this: The reaction your client is suffering is not due to the artificial surface she is wearing on her nails. It is due solely to the exposure of liquid (or U. V gel) prior to polymerization (set up) and DURING THE APPLICATION PROCESS.

    What you should not do

    Do not expose your client or yourself to excess nail liquid or gel. That means only use the amount of product needed and only apply it to the nail... NOT THE SKIN.'

    Powder and Liquid: Every ball of powder and liquid should have the correct ratio for the area that you are applying it to. Any liquid that is over and above what is needed to mix with the powder is a waste and a potential chemical sensitivity catalyst. Additionally, remember that the excess liquid trapped in the overlay stays in constant contact with the natural nail. The nail, being porous, can allow this excess liquid to eventually contact the nail bed under the nail plate. In theory this can cause irritation.

    Do not use a brush that is too large. A big brush sucks up a lot of liquid. It will surely go to waste and is a potential hazard. Avoid skin contact during application. Work neatly

    Gels: AVOID SKIN CONTACT during application. Make sure you get a thorough cure. Any uncured or under cured gel can cause sensitivity much in the same way that excess liquid can.

    NOTE: Dust filings settling on the skin and getting in the pores can cause irritation as well. Avoid having to file in excess by applying only enough product as needed. Do not "Slop it on" only to file it off.' Use oil while buffing. This helps to mat down the dust and prevent it from flying up in the air and onto the skin.


    Step 1: apply SS acrylic Step2: apply brown bark Step 3: apply squares
    Step 4: apply clear acrylic Step 5: file & pinch sides Step 6: apply finito gel

    Application for embedding in Acrylic:

    Step 1-Remove the flowers you will be using and place onto napkin
    Step 2- With a dropper, apply water onto the flowers. This is done to re-dehydrate and soften the flowers to their natural state.

    Step 3- Apply flower on roughed up artificial nail, apply Supply Source clear acrylic onto nail.
    Step 4- File and buff as usual...You are finished!

    Application for embedding in Gel:
    step 1, 2, & 4 same as above
    Step 3- Apply flower on roughed up gel nail, apply Supply Source Overlay Builder gel onto it. Cure as usual  

    Application over Nail Polish:
    Step 1, 2, & 4 same as above.

     Step 3- Apply flower on top of tacky nail polish and cover with a thick UV top coat such as LIGHT SEAL.


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