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The most popular looks she’s seeing


are glitter, subtle stripes or polka dots and occasionally rhinestones. If nails are long enough, Lee has even been embellishing slightly with a rhinestone or two on the underside of the nail. Her favourite style right now is doing a two- or three-colour fade and using colours to complement what the client is wearing for an event. For instance, black with silver glitter fading into a hot pink. “Acrylic and gel services are still steady, but natural nail services are


rising,” says Lee. Even some of her clients that stick with the traditional French manicure have been talked into replacing the white tip with a bolder colour. “During the playoffs, we had a lot of Canuck colours and nail art,” she says. It’s an exciting change for the nail


market, according to Colley. “We’ve gone from years and years of French manicures to bold colours, ombre fades and accent nails. As long as you are keeping it wearable, I think anyone can get into it.”


Nails 101 Light-Cured Gels


Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Nails


Do try contrasting shades. Leanne Colley, owner of Tips Nail Bar in Toronto, is a fan of the two-tone moon manicure, with a half moon at the tip or by the cuticle. She likes a nude- coloured nail with a black or navy moon.


Don’t be afraid of sparkle. “We’re seeing lots of glitter in a way that is grown-up,” says Colley. “It’s just a touch of glitter over colour.”


Do a glitter fade. Start with a rich red gel-polish fusion as a base. Once it is cured, use just a tiny bit of gold glitter polish and sweep it lightly from the tip, fading as you get closer to the base.


Don’t stick to round or square. Claudine Laviolette, owner of Ongles & Compagnie in Gatineau, Que., has been experimenting with different shapes using acrylics, specifically one seen on the


runways created by CND. While the new pointy, elongated oval may not be practical for everyday life, she suggests clients trying something more dramatic for parties and events.


Do play with colour mixes. Mix gel shades to create a completely new one. Try custom mixing shades for your clients— they’ll love the extra effort. Or for gel-polish fusions, layer one shade over another.


Don’t forget to take care of your own nails. “If you wear it, your clients will ask for it,” says Laviolette. “Experiment in your free time and if you wear it, you will attract the type of client who wants to wear it.”


Do remember the toes. Gel- polish fusions are great for pedicures, especially during the winter when clients can immediately slide boots back on and go with no worries about smudging.


Lasting longer and more durable than the new gel-polish fusions, these traditional gels cure quickly under UV light and can last up to three weeks. They enhance the strength of the nails. The downside? They must be filed off for removal.


Gel-Polish Fusions


While not as durable as traditional gels, the new fusion polishes are often applied like a regular polish, then cured with UV or LED lights in 30 seconds to two minutes. The polish can be soaked off for quick removal.


Polish The least durable option, traditional polish is also being used over a gel-polish fusion base to create interesting effects on the nails. The bonus is that the polish can be removed with an acetone remover without affecting the underlying base.


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