Unpopular Opinion: Nail Techs should stop using Apres Nail Tips. Immediately.

Ok, maybe not immediately. Right now a good majority of us are out of work and a lot of you are using them as press on nails for your clients temporarily during this crazy and unprecedented time. That shows great ingenuity and I applaud those who are doing that right now.

However, When things go back to normal, no good self respecting nail tech should ever use a product like Apres Nail tips on their clients. There are many brands that follow this similar pattern and this applies to all of them.

Why? Because you are BETTER THAN THAT!

Apres nail tips are basically just glorified grocery store press-ons. We are certified, licensed, trained, and talented NAIL PROFESSIONALS. Apres nail tips are pre-manufactured, cookie cutter full well tips that totally undermine the nail techs talents and abilities that we have worked so hard to achieve. 

Companies like Apres are taking advantage of nail techs insecurities (and sometimes even laziness) to make a buck. They are counting on us feeling like we’re “not good enough” to make something as good as their machine can. But I’m here to tell you that is the biggest lie! You ABSOLUTELY are good enough. You CAN make something just as good, even better. Because you are a human! You have a brain, you have talent and skill and creativity and artistry. That machine only does exactly what someone programmed it to do. Over and over and over. It can’t improvise, it cant think on its feet, it cant change things specific to your clients needs. It’s just a machine. You are better! You CAN sculpt a nail that is much better.  You might just need to put a little effort into it and practice. Take some continuing education, learn how to correctly structure and shape a perfectly sculpted nail. Your clients will be so much more impressed and you will be able to charge infinitely more $ for your time, talents, and skill. 

Argument: But I’m new. I just graduated so I’m not good at sculpted extensions yet so it helps me give my clients what they want. 

WRONG! Stop going straight for instant gratification.  Now, at the start of your career, is the absolute perfect time to continue your education and learn everything you can. We all know that most nail schools are a complete joke and don’t actually teach us what we need to know to be successful nail professionals. BUT, continuing education is available for those who look for it! Don’t just take the short cut because then you’ll get comfortable and you will never bother learning how to do it the right way. 

Argument: But they’re so pretty, I could never make something that perfect. 

WRONG! Sure…. They’re pretty, I wont deny that. They are mechanically engineered to have the mathematically perfect structure, shape, c-curve, etc. Of course they’re going to be “pretty”. But they are made by a machine. And the argument that you couldn’t make something as good is a huge lie! Yes, you 100% can make something better! You just haven’t tried hard enough. As I’m going through Instagram every once in a while I’ll see a set that is just so pretty I have to stop and stare. Once in a while I stumble across one that I can tell is Apres tips and then suddenly I’m no longer impressed. I find myself asking, “What did it take that nail tech to make it look that perfect?” And the answer? Not much! It takes less than zero skill… stick some glue (gel) on it, press it on, call it a day. On the other hand, when I see a set that is beautifully sculpted by hand I just marvel at the amazing talent and artistry some people can create! Learning how to do that took TIME! It took EFFORT.  And THAT is what our industry needs more of. We already have a hard enough time with the world taking us seriously and considering our industry a legitimate business because everyone thinks its “just so easy they could do it”. We have a hard enough time fighting against all the brands out there who sell professional products to unlicensed people and teach them how to DIY! We already have a hard enough time fighting against the NSS salons who take all the short cuts in sanitation, safety, techniques, even safe legal product usage. We don’t need the PROFESSIONAL nail techs cutting corners too just to make a buck. That’s just sabotaging our industry from the inside out. Put some effort in! Take pride in your work! Don’t settle for less just because its easier and requires less time to learn. 

Aside from them just being glorified grocery store press ons, personally, I don’t think these types of systems are as safe for the nail as traditional acrylics and gels. (GASP!) But really, hear me out. Apres nails must be soaked off every time. (Some people say you can “fill” them but that’s not how they were designed and not what the manufacturer recommends) I know a lot of people still soak gel polish off of their clients every time so this doesn’t seem too far out of the realm of normal for them. But personally I just don’t understand it! Why would you put so much time and energy into damaging your clients nails every time they come in? I have experienced first hand how weak and brittle nails become when they are soaked in acetone on the regular. When I first started doing nails many many moons ago, I soaked product off every time. And I had clients come back with breakages constantly. After I stopped soaking and started only filing back to my base coat and never touching the part of the natural nail that already had product on it my clients came back with strong healthy nails at every appointment. 

 Let’s think about this further…  

Traditional nails:

When you apply a fresh set (gel or acrylic) to new bare nails you do your best at prepping the whole  nail carefully but thoroughly. Right? Then you apply your product and the client goes on their way. 3 weeks later the client comes back. You remove the color, shorten and reshape the nails, prep the new growth (only the NEW growth) refill the product, paint, and go on your way. The part of the nail that already has product on it isn’t touched again. The product that is left on the nail effectively protects the natural nail from the filing and prepping steps and keeps it from being thinned further. Once product has been applied to nails there should be no reason for it to come off again unless the client is coming in for a full removal and leaving with bare naked nails. 

Apres Nail tips:

You have to completely remove them every time. First of all what?! They advertise this system as “its so much faster”. BUT!  Then when your client comes back you have to start from scratch. Umm.. no thank you.

To remove them you have to file down the nails, take off the full length, remove as much product from the nail as possible and then oh wait for it…. Then you have to SOAK IT! It not only seems like so much extra unnecessary work soaking, scraping, and re-prepping the nail EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.,  when you scrape the product off the nail no matter how careful you are theres the potential for damage. When you re-prep a section of the nail that has already been prepped 3 weeks ago you’re thinning the nail even further. To me that doesn’t seem time effective or healthy for the nails at all.  

I know this opinion will be very unpopular for some, but maybe its an angle that some haven’t considered. We as nail professionals should put pride into our work. We should do everything we can to be a little better every day. We should work diligently to give our clients the VERY BEST no matter what. There’s no reason to only settle for the instant gratification or take short cuts. We are better than that! 

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