A Beautiful Balance: Making–and Breaking–the Rules!

By Jan Arnold, CND™ Co-founder

In all aspects of nail service, the rule makers know their products and techniques so thoroughly; they know when and where it’s safe to actually break the rules to produce extraordinary results. Let’s investigate.

Rule makers understand that proper preparation forms the foundation of service success. An established prep procedure is a systematic method for cleaning and preparing the natural nail for any enhancement or color service. Removal of oil and moisture, cuticle and debris will clear the way for excellent pathogen-free adhesion of polish and all types of nail coatings and enhancements.

They also know there are no shortcuts in delivering a memorable, stress-relieving or exhilarating massage during a healing Pro Skincare Hand/Arm or Foot/Leg treatment. For the greatest service impact, they know how to connect with their clients on emotional, external, and internal levels. Understanding the body’s energy points and lines, knowing how to move chi while transporting the client to another place is a true art backed by proven techniques. Science and proven protocol in action!


These practiced professionals learn the science behind their systems and maximize their knowledge to guarantee results for an elevated payoff. In the world of professional nail services, knowledge, facts, and science will set creativity free.

The rule makers understand the science behind their products and create predictable, reliable results using science-based intelligence, anatomy, and nail structure knowledge as a basis for a truly professional service. They know that scientifically proven systems assure success, whereas breaking systems’ use–for example by substituting other products–can lead to service breakdown. These nail professionals know there are NO shortcuts in creating flexible, beautifully adhering, long-lasting nail enhancements and coatings.

An important part of this knowledge includes basic principles of wear and adhesion. The basic rule of thumb is that the foundation of the coating must be secure to the natural nail before art or embellishment is applied. This means that once a well-adhered layer of clear, unpigmented product is correctly placed on the natural nail, you can basically go wild on top.  You can decorate, embellish, encase, and adorn to your heart’s desire, knowing that the natural nail is protected, secure and good to support anything you place on top. This applies both to liquid and powder as well as all types of gel, including gel polish, as well as soft and hard gel enhancements. If the base layer is not properly applied and cured, the consequence could be lifting and break down. You figure any art medium that contains glitter, mica, or heavy pigments will block proper adhesion to keratin. Logical, right?

The rule breakers can find the clever tricks and techniques, born out of this foundational intelligence, to initiate innovative thinking that leads to a new arsenal of exciting, creative results.  As an example, early versions of nail art required special expensive equipment and a level of rare talent that was very difficult to achieve. Now we dot, stamp, foil, stencil, chrome, and sprinkle artistic mediums onto new gel technology that attracts and secures art embellishments for long and successful wear. High-quality gel systems allow more freedom to utilize these quick and effective ideas to deliver beautiful and precise results. Today there are endless options in stamping plates that transfer a perfect pattern to the nail, including fishnet, roses, leopard, and various foiling techniques that add dimension to transform a basic service into a work of art. These style tricks can turn the average nail professional into a true artist! Pushing boundaries can lead to new and wearable trends. For the client, this means that anything is possible in the expression of their nails as a fashion accessory.  And it also means today’s nail art belongs on all 10 nails and not limited to just the old-fashioned ring fingernail. 

And when it comes to fashion savvy, the only rule is–there are no rules! Nail professionals are becoming their clients’ resource for updating their style and fashion each season. We now recognize nails as a fashion accessory, and advanced technology allows us to create special effects to complement couture. The shape, length, color, and finish of the nail are as crucial a fashion choice as the right jewelry. After determining each client’s personal style goals, let your creativity soar! Mix glam with grunge, flirty with coy, denim with diamonds, and have some fun!

The perfect balance of making and breaking the rules means establishing a professional discipline based on science and fact to unleash artistic experimentation for a powerful result and profitable business. After all, a trick without substance is only a trick. Not balancing one with the other will limit the potential of both.

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