Clients, please QUIT coming to me insisting that you have “the new acrylic/gel hybrid product” and assuming that because I refute its existence, I must not be familiar with it because it is so new.
I refute its existence because IT DOESN’T EXIST.
Seriously. It doesn’t. So stop. You’ve been had by a discount nail technician trying to use your ignorance to increase their bottom line.
Client: Do you have the new acrylic/gel hybrid product?
Me: No. There’s no such thing as an acrylic/gel hybrid product.
Client: Yes there is. I have it. You must not have heard of it yet. It’s this very new thing. It’s strong like acrylics, but lightweight and gentle on your natural nails like gel.
Me: I can assure you, it doesn’t exist. There are acrylics and then there are gels. There is no such thing as “acrylic gel.”
Client: Yes there is! I have it right on my hands right now!
Me: Did your technician use a liquid and powder to construct your enhancements?
Client: Yes. They dip the brush in the liquid and then in the powder and that’s how my nail is made.
Me: Did your technician at any point pull out a tub of thick gel and apply it directly from the tub to your nail with a brush and then put your hands under a UV or LED lamp?
Client: No, my hands went under the drier, but that was it.
Me: Then you have acrylics.
Client: No! They charge me an extra $10 for these!
Me: You’ve been had. Gel is like premixed acrylic and comes in a tub. Acrylic requires the mixture of the powder polymer with the liquid monomer. The difference between acrylics and gels is the way the product polymerizes. Both cure with a free radical reaction, but the acrylic does so when the peroxide in the powder is exposed to the monomer and the gel does so when the photoinitiator in the resin reacts with the wavelengths emitted by the lamp. You can’t have both properties in the same product. It’s a scientific impossibility.
Client: Are you serious?
Me: Unfortunately, yes. They probably charged you an additional $10 or $15 for a simple UV topcoat.