Brand selection – What am I using and why?

Here is how I’m doing brand selection and why. As a nail professional you are required by certification to use a product system in it entirety. In other words it’s the companies way of telling you, if you want the desired results we are offering then you must use every step. Therefore brands spend a long time formulating and testing each individual item and then the system as a whole.

The main problem when mixing brands and products is you can not guarantee your results! Above all the concern not only relates to “will the product perform” but what adverse effects will be created in relation to the clients nail and skin health.

Rhi Rhi Nails It Cuticle Oil

Whilst creating this natural oil I experienced a product development process involving multiple rounds of laboratory testing after multiple trial and error efforts. I am fully aware of the seriousness and commitment a brand takes in order to give the consumer the most effective product possible. Our professional liability insurance validity also requires us to use the system as directed.

Since the start of my nail journey I’ve been keeping you up to date with what products I’ve purchased and how they will increase your treatment satisfaction. Purchasing some very innovative nail art assistance was one of the 1st blogs I wrote. They were amazing for a new Nail Technician and I still use them now as an experience Nail Technician.

Specialist Nail Art Products

Im not one to use one brand for everything I offer and just go with it even it’s not the best. That’s my version of not being a knowledge, responsible nail professional. I want you to have the best I can afford in all individual treatment departments. So what are the key things I look for when doing brand selection:-

  • Professional standard product
  • Is there certificated product training available
  • Company values
  • Are they engaging in any environmental protection behaviours
  • What reviews are available
  • The financial implications of the purchase

Preparation Brand Selection

A nail appointment consists of many different phases from preparation to application and onto finishing. My preferred items for the initial phase of preparation is the NSI nail file. I use NSI products for various different treatments. Absolutely wonderful training academy, friendliest group of people I’ve encountered training wise. Their nail file options in particular are all shaped with a soft curve on the top edge and a full range of grits from natural nail (needing the softest grit) to acrylic extensions (needing the hardest grit). The NSI 240 combo file buffer is a staple item that I can not live without!!

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Nail files
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Nail files

Tweezerman / Official Tribe Tools

The manicure and pedicure part is most important to assess nail health and remove dead unwanted cuticle from the nail plate. These tools need to be sharp and effective in their usage. Another area where purchasing a more expensive option will benefit due to the time gained in efficiency. I have previously purchased the standard stainless steel option you can get from anywhere but buy cheap buy twice and I really did experience that error at the beginning of my career!

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Tweezerman preparation tools
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Tweezerman preparation tools
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Tribe preparation tools
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Tribe preparation tools

Application Brand Selection

O.P.I. – Nail Polish

I use it, I love it, I sell it. Not just because its OPI which is one of the most well known nail polish brands but because I think its the best nail polish on the market for what I want you to have on your nails. The colour pigment is unrivalled and I’ve amassed around 150 of these beautiful babies. The company has a beautiful story behind its founding and eventual sale to Coty. Suzi Weiss-Fischmann wrote a very insightful memoir called Im Not Really a Waitress. It was almost a business manual that I would recommend to any start up for inspiration.

p.s. O.P.I. has an amazing natural nail strengthen I worked a lot with for a previous case study. Its still as effective now get your hands on one here, I highly recommend it even in a market where brand selection is vast.

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - O.P.I. Nail polish
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – O.P.I. Nail polish

O.P.I. Colour swatches

CND Shellac – Gel Polish

The original gel polish hybrid, so much so that when people want a gel polish manicure they say “I would like shellac” not realising they are asking for a brand name. CND Shellac offers great colour pigmentation, a range of base and top coats, along with specialist problem options and everything in between. Offering an extremely effective system that I have been using for a number of years now.

The top coat selection alone is a great selling point. After many years working with a variety of nail types I became increasingly aware that one size does not fit all. We have the hard handed gardeners to the gentle TLC regular oils and lotions nails. What CND have provided is something for all us.

The elephant in the room question is “have I tried other brands” the answer is yes and I still choose CND Shellac.

CND Shellac Colour swatches

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Top Coat range
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Top Coat range
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Specialist Problem Fixers
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Specialist Problem Fixers

Footlogix – SPA Pedicure

This company works on their products like a podiatrist would and I love that. They are created and used with a common problem in mind that they want fixed. I 1st encountered the brand face to face at Professional Beauty 2019. I then trained with them multiple times in the Covid-19 lockdown and then since then used the items many a time on your spa pediucures. Im so glad I was right and Footlogix really are the leading pedicure item.

Furthermore these products are so good I do my own pedicure monthly just to have some of the luxury treatment I’m performing for others.

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Footlogix pedicure products
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Footlogix pedicure products

IBX – Nail Treatment

The only product on the market that gets inside the nails. Importantly this product really is different from anything on the market. It reminds me of what Olaplex does for hair, get inside makes changes and creates a healthy vibe we all long for. Great blog about that here.

Mundo – Disinfection Liquids

Disifection is an essential part of manicure and pedicure treatments. Without this integral part of treatment you are risking yourself and every person who you come into contact with for their appointment.

The variety of bacteria, viruses and infections available from underneath the finger and toe nail or the skin itself are worryingly extensive so Mundo have produced a liquid for all areas. There are foot spas, hard surfaces, files, tools and skin sprays and liquids. With this being their key focus it give you a confidence in what their aim is for professionals. I’ve bought into their range and am happy with the cleanliness outcomes.

Nail Art Products Brand Selection

The nail art selection of products is the most varied so finding the best products really can be trial and error. Lecente / :Yours / Krystal Katana are all great options for their specific needs. In short I’m not extremely experienced when it comes to nail art brushes in particular but the batch below really are great. For instance the bristles are soft and workable but stiff enough to get some strength when needed for a firm line.

Brand selection - what am I using and why? -  :Yours stamping plates
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – :Yours stamping plates
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Lecente glitter tubs
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Lecente glitter tubs
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Lecente fine detailing nail art brushes
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Lecente fine detailing nail art brushes
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Additional O.P.I. nail art brushes
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Additional O.P.I. nail art brushes

Travel Cases Brand Selection

Roo Beauty

Any mobile nail technician will be carrying a large variety of equipment and it become more logistically difficult with every new gel polish you buy. Therefore owning the correct travel cases is essential because carrying heavy items incorrectly could put a nail technician out of work for life.

Roo Beauty have created a very efficient trolley and carry bag, their range for travel professional is vast and not just nails and the designs are very trendy.

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Roo Beauty travel kit bag
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Roo Beauty travel kit bag
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - GSG Nail art travel bag
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – GSG Nail art travel bag

Firstly does a potential client choose you because of your brand selection? Do they also work from the same list of requirements I would when looking for a product? Secondly if this is correct then we are all part of the same expectation circle.

Finally, if im using a system you can rest assured I will always use as instructed by the brand but when it comes to brand selection on non systematic products that’s where my impeccable research skills come into use. Whether its researching the market for what’s the best face serum for dark circles (It’s Kiehl’s just in case you were interested), to what product softens stubborn calluses, I’m your girl!