Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

Put down the file! Here’s why you need to focus on L&P brush techniques

By Katie Barnes | 24 August 2021 | Expert Advice, Feature

katie barnes sculpt brush

As a liquid & powder user, it is important to learn to sculpt mainly with the brush and not rely on filing to shape the enhancement. This is exactly what ‘sculpting’ is. By definition sculpting is ‘to create or represent (something) by carving, casting, or other shaping techniques.’

Whether we are using a nail tip or nail form, we are still sculpting the liquid & powder product – the foundation which we are building this on is just different. What this means is that we learn to place the product so well that there will be minimal need for filing. In order to achieve this, techs should be using their brush at different angles to achieve the right placement.  In two previous blogs we demonstrate the importance of brush angles, especially when working at the cuticle zone.

By sculpting with your brush, you will ensure the product is exactly where it needs to be and is well adhered to the natural nail, rather than just popping the product on and filing.

If you do the latter, then service breakdown can occur due to poor application. There will be areas on an enhancement which require more product such as the apex and some that require less such as the free edge. By using your brush, you can mould the product into shape and these areas, rather than continually adding additional beads and therefore needing to use the file to do the shaping work for you.  The trick to sculpting with your brush is mastering your mix ratio and knowing exactly when to and when not to be moving your product.

When finish filing an enhancement, you should only need to use a fine grit such as a 240-grit file and a light pressure to preserve the integrity of the acrylic. If you are finding that you need to use a higher grit, then either too much product was applied and not in the correct areas.

Another area where this is important and beneficial is when creating the smile line. Yes, you got it. Sculpting the smile line without any filing! It’s not as terrifying as you might think. By learning how to chisel and sculpt with your brush, you will be able to master sculpting your smile lines that do not require filing. This is beneficial to remove the presence of dust if filing, it saves time and it can often create a much sharper look.

There are several reasons why sculpting with your brush is valuable:

  • Save time

A misconception about taking your time with your application is that it will take too long. Once have mastered the techniques to sculpting with your brush, there will barely be any filing to be done, saving time.

  • Prevent product breakdown

If your product isn’t adhered to the nail well or a ridge is left, this will cause lifting and service breakdown. When a substantial amount of filing is required, then the integrity of the product will be compromised and in turn cause service breakdown.

  • Product control

To master this skill, you must be able to control your product. As you learn to do this, you will learn to control your product. This will result in better results, longevity, and less product wastage. When your product is well controlled and applied at the right stage, this will also prevent your brush from getting clogged with product.

When you have sculpted with your brush, there is very little file work to be done and where necessary, the product has been applied at an appropriate angle to be able to file easily without damaging the nail plate.

Love Katie B x