3 Tips for Shaping

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Courtesy of Dreamstime

Mia Smith, licensed nail tech and owner of Nails by Pretty Face, will be a featured Workshop speaker at the Nailpro Nail Show 2022!

She prides herself on being a Black, full-time licensed nail tech with a salon suite in Sacramento, California. She specializes in nail health, acrylic enhancements, extremely neat application and crisp shaping. In her Workshop, Perfecting Your Shape: Techniques for Crisp, Neat and Consistent Results, you will learn techniques for shaping, be more effective and efficient during the service and achieve a smooth surface and flush cuticle area.

"Every nail tech has one main nail goal they have been trying to achieve since they first began their nail journey. I have been doing nails since 2019, and the goal for me has always been to be creative, but most importantly, get as good at shaping as possible! Fast forward three years to 2022, and having a crisp shape is sought out by not only nail techs but clients too! There are so many nail techs giving their advice and showing their routine on all social media platforms, but I bet I have a few tips you haven’t heard before."

Mia shares her three easy tips for shaping:

    1. Switch up the grit on your file

    "I know most people are scared of the larger grits and do not go past 100/180, but swap that bigger number out for a smaller one! I personally use 80/80 zebra or black files, and it provides a much cleaner, crisper look in way less time. I understand black files are intimidating so opt for the zebra file due to its slightly softer grit. You may be nervous about cutting clients at first due to the drastic difference from what you are used to, but hold their skin back while filing, and you will be fine." 

     2. Do not just focus on the free edge

    "While the bulk of the actual shape is what is beyond the free edge of the enhancement, it does not stop there. Be sure to get a good grip on your client so you can extend the file up into the sidewalls in the cuticle area! This will not only debulk the cuticle area but also ensure the shape of the nail follows a smooth and straight outline of the shape. You will start to see much more consistency amongst different types of hands as well as a more slimmer and natural appearance on everyone!"

     3. Preshaped tips are not always best

    "I understand that preshaped tips sound like the best (believe me—I have tried them too!), but they can hinder your growth. I use regular nail supply tips and manually file every shape from square tips. If you are not into the curved look, you can still do this with any straight tip you prefer! Starting with a square shape and forming it into stiletto, coffin, etc. allows you to provide a custom shape for every nail type. Preshaped tips are all shaped one way; however, they are not always best for clients with bigger or wider nail beds. You do not have too much control over how 'coffin' your coffin is. You are only able to provide a certain shape within the confines of that already shaped tip. When you start with square, you have complete control over how narrow you want to go based on what looks best for each individual client. It does take longer to shape the tips, but once it is in your routine, it is almost mindless. Just like with anything else, the speed comes with practice!"

    If you want to hear more tips from Mia and practice your skills, register for her Workshop, attend the Nailpro Nail Show! If you want to challenge yourself further, consider competing in the Nailpro Master Challenge. You can find more info and register at nailproshow.com.

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