Why We Work on Natural Nails

May 3, 2018

Your nail health is our utmost priority at Paintbox. Our best-of-the-best artists pride themselves in their meticulous precision in their manicures and their gentle care in keeping your cuticles and nail beds hydrated. From adding essential oils to each treatment to using the highest quality gels and polishes to infusing gel removals with good-for-your-nails ingredients, we're always excited to help you get your healthiest canvas to make your manicures shine. We interviewed Evelyn Lim, Paintbox Chief Educator, to break down why we only work on natural nails, as well as what makes Paintbox different from other nail salons.

Chaunte Vaughn for Makeup.com 

First, what's the difference between hard and soft gel?

Let's get into the science: both hard and soft gels are pre-mixed monomers that polymerize when cured. Hard gels have a lower molecular weight with tighter bonds that can't be soaked off, so you have to file them off usually with an electric file. Soft gels have a higher molecular weight with looser bonds, so the space between the bonds allows solvents to penetrate and break down the product. Soft gels can be gently soaked off with remover.

Do soft and hard gels look different on the nail?

Simply, hard gels should be filed off, and soft gels can be soaked off. Hard gels are thicker and are meant to be filled in often. Soft gels can last about 7-10 days longer than traditional polish and look super shiny.

Why does Paintbox only use soft gel?

Paintbox is a natural nail salon, meaning we believe in working on the natural nail. We don't service enhancements (extensions, acrylics, hard gels, etc.), and we believe that polish and soft gels are the best, healthiest ways to showcase our art and modern designs. Plus, there's little to no dust with soft gels, creating a safer environment for our clients and artists.

Chaunte Vaughn for Makeup.com

What's the removal process for soft gel?

We start by filing down the top coat and then apply a nourishing cuticle oil around the nail plate to prevent your skin from drying. Next, we saturate cotton with the remover solvent for about 10-15 minutes. Last, we lightly push any remaining gel off with a gentle wood stick, which is way gentler than a metal pusher.

Does soft gel damage your nails?

With proper application and removal of soft gels, there should be no damage to the natural nail.

Why don't we remove hard gels, sculpting gels, or acrylics? 

We simply don't carry the materials to remove a hard gel, as you need an electric file to take off these types of enhancements.

Chaunte Vaughn for Makeup.com. See the full tutorial here

Have additional questions about nails? We're here to help. Give us a ring, shoot us an e-mail, or chat with your manicurist on your next visit. We're as committed to educating our clients on nail health as we are to providing you with gorgeous, wearable manicures.