From UV to LED

Its officially I’ve crossed over to the bright side.

From the start of my nail / gel journey I have had my CND UV lamp, it has been replaced once due to the fan not working but its been my staple item of kit from the start.  Clients had got used to the machine and only just started sliding their hands in gently instead of the finger dive down to the back of the machine.  It only took them 4 years.

Ill set the scene… I was doing a Saturday night nail party.  3 gorgeous ladies all for Shellac gel polish mani pedi.  The evening was going so so well. The vibes were lighthearted and fun, snacks were flowing, alcohol for the girls (not me I like to paint in straight lines).  It was lovely.  Last treatment, last pedicure….. machine makes strange sound!! Like it could blow up with the clients foot! Next thing you know it won’t turn on at all.  As a mobile nail artist a malfunction of equipment is one of the most scary things that could happen. As I officially have a badge and t-shirt in worrying, machine failure has crossed my mind on more than one occasion so I bring a spare light (very small spare light but spare non the less) in my boot.  9:00pm at night I’m running down flights of stairs from a block of flats to my car to rescue this disastrous situation.  All was well in the end (I was sweating from various areas) but the clients were happy which is all that matters.

On contacting Sweet Squared the distributers for CND in the UK it became very clear that my machine can not be replaced due to the fact they no longer produce these UV lamps.  The only CND lamp available is a LED which cost nearly £230.00.  Rock and a hard place, the lamp is a must and £232.00 is the only way I continue to work.  So LED lamp it is, WELCOME TO THE KIT.

I have been using this for weeks now and can say I love it.  My clients love the difference too.  The most appreciated difference is that as they say “practice makes perfect’ my treatment time is cutting down consistently due to experience and with the addition of a 60 second cure instead of a 2 minted cure it aids the treatment time finish.  The lamp is much lighter than the UV so for a mobile nailista its heaven!

There are cons because nothing is life should only have pro’s. The two that I have come across is the power cable. it doesn’t quiet slot into the bottom as flush as I would love, especially because I’m plugging and unplugging regularly.  Does it effect the power that is transmitted to the machine. NO, it’s more of an annoyance.  There is also the lights themselves.  small round circles which do required your client to have perfect hand and foot positioning.  I had a client who I didn’t realise had not put their foot into the perfect groove for their base coat cure.  I then proceeded to apply the 1st colour coat and it was obvious the base coat was TOO wet to paint over.  Yes you want the slight cure with the 10 second setting but it was as if the cure had not reach her toe at all.  Guide feet in perfectly ;).

I just came across an interesting article in Scratch magazine from last month called “riding the wave” which is perfect for this gel curing light occurrence.  The Science:-

  • There is no universal UV lamp
  • 36w indicates how much electricity used not the light output
  • LED will not cure old gels as it does not have several peaks in brightness

One of the most important pieces of information with regards to gel curing lamps is , your insurance will be effected if you have not used the correct lamp for the formulated products you are using.

Money well spent lovely addition to my kit… and yes its already covered in paint dabs from the finger jabbing into light madness.