Talk with the Expert: Inside the mind of a nail technician with Corsica Shabong


By Ladiangti Rani and Laxmi Chyrmang | SHILLONG:

Nail extension is the latest trend in the market today. Opting for fake nails, you have the freedom to choose design, length, colours and shape.

However, you will need to get them touched up every couple of weeks for chips, scratches and loosening glue. If the glue starts to become loose, you need to get the nail re-applied or, it will fall off. 

To know more about what you're getting yourself into, TNT-The Northeast Today spoke to a highly-trained nail technician with over nine years of experience as a nail artist, Corsica Shabong from Shillong.

“I can't imagine a life or career without art as my centre,” Shabong said.

"Pampering yourself with the things you love is one of the best things you can give to yourself, be it nail extension, hair extension, eyelash extension, beauty treatments, shopping etc. I remember the first time I got my nails done, I was fascinated by the shapes, designs, the miracle of chemistry, the sense of pride and empowerment you experience," she added.

TNT: What are the things we need to know before getting the nail extension?

Corsica Shabong: Before you reach out to a nail technician, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

-Naturally, you may feel a little tempted to prep your nails before your appointment, DON'T! You should let your nail technician do it instead. Different nails need a different type of care, so leave it to the professionals.

- Be prepared to dedicate a good 1-2 hours to your nail job. However, it depends on what type of nail extension you want. Remember, good art takes time if you want to achieve gorgeous talons.

-Always get your nails done by a professional; they will offer you quality nails when done correctly. They act as reinforcing layers that will enhance nail strength and growth.

TNT: What are the different types of nail extension?

Corsica Shabong: Nail extension can be achieved by using tips or forms. When using tips, first the nail is prepped and an artificial nail tip is applied with nail glue on your natural nails. The appendix is then strengthened by covering it in acrylic or Gel.

On the other hand, when using forms, the nail is prepped, then the nail form is placed underneath your natural nails which guides the application of acrylic or Gel over the natural nail, allowing the acrylic or Gel to be affixed over your natural nail; then the form is peeled off from underneath once the nail is hard. Therefore, bypassing the usage of nail tips.

TNT: How do you determine the suitability of nail extension?

Corsica Shabong: Honestly, anyone with any type of nail can get any type of extensions depending on your preference.

If you are someone with brittle, weak nails or have the habit of chewing your nails or, someone just looking to enhance your natural nails, then acrylic or gel is what you need.

Unless of course, if you are one of those who suffer from allergies to chemical products or can't stand the strong fumes similar to hair dyes, then fibreglass nail extension aka silk wraps are what you need.

TNT: What is the difference between Gel or Acrylic?

Corsica Shabong: Well, Gel involves the application of layers of gel that’s painted on your nail from a little pot of gloop like consistency which needs to be cured/dried by sticking your hand into a LED or UV lamp.

Acrylic nails are made by mixing powder (polymer) and liquid (monomer) to form a paste-like consistency that is then applied and sculpted onto your natural nails, followed by shaping, buffing and cuticle work; the mixture hardens on exposure to air. Therefore, acrylics don't require UV or LED lamps to dry.

To summarise, acrylic is a powder and liquid mix. A gel is a gel, period. If your nail technician can't tell exactly what the product is called or, if it comes out of a labelled mystery pot, or (they) insist it's gel even though it's a powder, you’re probably sitting in the wrong chair.

All of these nail systems grew out of dental technology used for bridges and crowns, that is why many major nail product companies started in dental products before branching out to cosmetics; OPI, for instance, originally stood for (Odontorium Products Inc)

TNT: How long does it last?

Corsica Shabong: Unlike the traditional nail polish, acrylic or gel is faster in application, dries faster, and can last 3/4 weeks longer than traditional nail polish. You can enjoy long-lasting nails if you get them done by a certified nail technician. If not applied correctly, acrylic or gel nails can be uncomfortably thick and tends to fall/pop off or peel/lift off in just a few days after getting your nails done.

TNT: Would artificial nails harm natural nails/will they damage natural nails?

Corsica Shabong: People worry that nail extensions or artificial nails will harm the natural nails underneath. However, not many know that the nails are already dead and, the idea of occasionally allowing them to breathe is a myth.

But, at the same time, it is crucial to know that your nail bed and cuticles are made of living tissue.

Therefore, the application and removal must be carried out by a professional for complete safety, not only will they be able to customise the service to your lifestyle as needed, whether that means using acrylic or gel but, also avoid using a dangerous and cheap substitute like methyl methacrylate (MMA) as acrylic which is banned in many countries and, is found mostly in cheap Chinese products from unauthorised sellers online.

Find her on Instagram @nailsandlashstudio.shillong