What is MMA?

MMA stands for methyl methacrylate. MMA was first turned into polymer(powder) in 1877, but didn’t become widely used until 1933 when it was sold under the brand name “Plexiglas”. During World War 2 is was used to make submarine periscopes and aircraft windshields because it was stronger than standard glass. Now it’s used to make everything from automobile tail lights, kitchen appliances, bath tubs, LCD screens among other things. MMA monomer(liquid) in artificial nail products has been an issue for more than 25 years. Why is this being used in nail salons? The main reason is cost, it’s sold for up to 75% less than professional nail products that dont contain MMA monomer. Many salons use this low cost monomer to undercut the service prices of their competitors.

MMA monomer is used by doctors around the world and is considered the best and most widely used bone cement in the world. Which means it is implanted into the body to mend badly broken bones. Although its perfectly okay to be implanted into the body its not so perfect ingredient to be used in artificial nail products.

Here are some reasons MMA monomer should NOT be used in nail products:

    1. MMA monomer products do not adhere to the natural nail unless the nail plate is aggressively filed. The only way to make this monomer adhere well is by shredding the surface of the natural nail (hence the over filing). Anything will adhere to the nail plate when it’s shredded but this will cause damage to the clients nail plate, and this also thins and weakens the natural nail plate.  This can cause separation of the plate from the nail bed. Aggressively filing and over thinning the nail plate creates a weak foundation.Onycholysis-Photos
    2. MMA artificial nails are extremely difficult to remove. That’s because it is not affected by acetone and any other nail removal solvent. MMA nail enhancements often become brittle and discolor quickly. They must be removed every three to four months. Prying or forcing any nail coating from the nail plate causes pitting and other surface damage, when you create deep pits in the surface it cause the nail to weaken.
    3. MMA artificial nails are extremely rigid and very difficult to break. When they are accidentally jammed or caught, the overly thinned natural nail plate often breaks before the MMA enhancement. This can cause serious nail plate cracks that can expose the bed and can lead to infections.

I hope this information helps you understand as a client and consumer that 1. cheaper isn’t always better, 2. there’s a real reason why they are so cheap, 3. be aware of what’s being adhered to your natural nails. You should never experience pain, have skin redness to irritation or have nail damage as result of any nail service.

If you experience any of these please remove your enhancements immediately and see a doctor if there is swelling, discoloration of the skin, bleeding or rash of the skin.



Appointment Etiquette

Hey ladies!!! I want to talk to you as a Nail Technician but also as woman who has a busy life that includes all kinds of appointments.

We as women have daily appointments scheduled to remember whether its for us, our kids, parents, husbands, brunch dates with our girlfriends, or just scheduled “me” time.

As a professional who provides a service that is mandated by appointment times there are a few things as a customer you should be cognizant of when making an appointment. Now these tips are for any service and any appointment you may be making.

  • Initial appointment request:
    • Please be sure to give your name, what service you are requesting, time and date.
  • If you have current issues or anything that needs to be shared with the service provider please explain before the appointment has been confirmed. There are reasons this is important:
    • Nail Appointment: if you damaged nails, current product on your nails, want additional services in addition to what you have requested(ex. Full set…but be specific if you want length which will include tips or sculpted nail services, which will need more time included in the appointment time) If the service is not aware of these things when the appointment is set, this could impede on other appointments for that day.
    • Hair Appointment: if you are requesting a wash and curl, please be sure to specify if you want color, a trim, treatment etc. All the additional services requested at the time of the service will impede on other appointments for the day.
  • Please be aware of your personal schedule when making an appointment, allowing enough time for your service to be provided while providing top quality service.
  • Changes to your appointment time: please be considerate and do not (if you can help it) cancel or change your appointment time the day of your service. We understand that life happens, but please don’t make it an reoccurring event, where you have an emergency every time your appointment is scheduled.

Please be aware that time is being considered from both sides, you the client and me the service provider.



Business vs. Personal

Most, if not all, businesses today are marketing, branding and promoting via social media. Whether it be Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook, and/or Instagram etc., all of these marketing methods are great for beginner entrepreneurs as they are free to promote your brand! It is very important that you keep your personal pages, views, and thoughts separate from your business. **scrolls through IG** I’m noticing a lot of businesses, brands, and service providers using their business pages and personal pages as one.

***These are my thoughts as an entrepreneur in the beauty industry***

There are four areas I’m going to focus on when it comes to separating Business and Personal.

  1. Friends and Family
  2. Social Media Separation
  3. Business Professionalism
  4. Branding/Image Awareness

Friends and Family

Being an entrepreneur is hard, but can be made even more difficult when having family and friends who…

  1. Don’t respect your hustle
  2. Always want a discount
  3. Wants last minute appointments
  4. Doesn’t understand that appointments are set for a reason
  5. They too are customers (i.e. no special treatment)

           We always have to inform our family and friends when starting a business that it’s business and not personal. I found this to be a necessity and it was something that I did. It’s very important that you separate business and personal. No successful business will last by giving special treatment to friends and family. I have too many friends to give everyone a discount! You can’t be profitable and successful by giving discounts. My issue is with family and friends EXPECTING discounts. When you go your local nail shop, do you ask them for a discount??? *stop…think about it**…No,  because you know you aren’t getting one. So why is it “okay” for you to ask an entrepreneur who pays everything out of their pockets for a discount??? Again, it’s not personal…it’s business..MY BUSINESS.

Social Media Separation

Ahhh! social media *shakes head* lol! Social media can make or break your career. With most cell phone devices being capable of taking “screen shots”, nothing is ever really “deleted”. With that being said, I think (as an entrepreneur) it’s important to separate business and personal. For example, you should have 4 accounts, Business: IG and FB pages, Personal: IG and FB pages. Here is why: Your business page should solely be for business purposely ONLY, promoting your services, posting pictures of your work, motivational posts etc. Your personal page should be for your personal life, selfies, pictures of friends and family, loved ones, political views etc. The moment you mix you two, things could get blurred. The cons in posting personal things on your business page is that you could defer potential and current clients from requesting your services. You may have posted something that may have been offensive to a client and not even know it. If you currently only have one account for both personal and business, I suggest you separate the two. Also, It’s totally up to you if you allow your clients to follow your personal page.

Business Professionalism

It’s always important to remain professional especially when it comes to addressing things on social media. Social Media is an open platform that allows any and everyone to comment and voice their opinions, suggestions, questions and negative views. Understanding, and also learning from my mentors, that every comment doesn’t warrant a response. Your professionalism is what clients seek when looking for a new service provider, whether it be a hair stylist, nail tech etc. Not only are you promoting yourself as business, but also your brand and you do not want any negativity to be attached to you or your brand. Your job as an entrepreneur is to be professional on social media as well as in person at all times!!

I understand this is a lengthy post, but I hope it has helped current and new entrepreneurs to know the importance of separating business and personal when it comes to your business!!

Please comment, like and share!!! 🙂


Current Trends “Dipping Powder” Systems

“Dipping Powder”

The current trends right now are dipping powders and they are flooding my IG timeline. So, let’s discuss them!

This post is for informational purposes only.

There’s always something cutting edge and new in the nail industry that advertises a particular product is healthier than the next. I encourage you to read my blog as well as read reviews. Do your own research on products before taking one’s word for it.

Here are a few brands that provide dipping powder products:

SNS is a dipping powder has removed almost all of the harmful chemicals that most dipping powders contain. In addition, SNS has added no less than four vitamins: A, E, D3 and B5, plus calcium, to nourish the growth of healthy nails.


Kiara Sky is formulated without harsh chemicals and has added vitamins and calcium to strengthen natural nails. Kiara Sky® Dip Powder contains complex bonds that keep it from chipping, discoloration and lifting.


NuGenesis’s nail dip powder uses organically processed powder products combined with liquids enriched with Calcium and Vitamin E to give you strong, durable nails with a shine. 


Young Nails Slick Pour is exclusive to CosmoProf and Armstrong McCall. A hygienic and sanitary system. Unlike other brands, Slickpour is a pouring method, so there is no contamination of product in its jars.


All brands include liquids which have vitamins, give no odor, promises up to 3 weeks of wear and come in a multiple colors.

These products are applied to natural nail to provide protection and can also be applied over enhancements including acrylic and hard gel.

I currently do not offer these services. From what I have reviewed, my first choice would be Kiara Sky. It is one of my favorite gel polishes that I currently use. After I have used the product I will post a review of the product to let you guys know how I like it as well as what my clients think about it.

Clients that I have recently serviced who had SNS weren’t super thrilled about it. Clients stated that the product was “chipping” and “lifting” after about a week. So, with that being said, everything is relevant to what your nail likes and what adheres best! Just because it’s being advertised that a particular product is “the best” for your nails and that it will be the best for your nails; at the end of the day it may not be the best. As I mentioned before, EVERYTHING is in the APPLICATION!

My personal opinion, “It is just another service to add to your list.” I always inform my clients and say “It’s personal preference.”

Please, leave comments if this helped you better understand dipping powders.

Feel free to ask questions if something wasn’t answered!!!

Thank you for your support!!!


Properly Removing Gel Manicures at Home

Removing Gel at Home

Hey ladies!! I know a lot of you do not want to go back to the nail shop to have a technician remove your gel manicure that has grown out after two or three weeks. Below, is a great step-by-step process that can be completed at home!

You’ll need a few items to complete this process:

  1. Pure Acetone (Amazon, Sallys Beauty Supply)
  2. Cotton Balls (Walmart-Jumbo Size)
  3. Aluminum Foil (or the individual finger clamps—Amazon-Gel Remover Clips)
  4. Buffer Block (medium to fine grit) (Amazon)
  5. Wooden Cuticle Pusher (Amazon)

Step One:

Buff the top coat off of your gel manicure. By removing the top coat you will allow the acetone to soak directly into the gel polish.

Step Two:

Rip 10 pieces of aluminum foil for each finger or have your finger clamps ready. 


Step Three:

Take the cotton ball and soak it with acetone. Place the cotton ball on the nail plate. Place the aluminum foil or your clamp over the nail plate. 

Step Four:

Allow the acetone to soak into the gel polish for 8-10 minutes. This part is vital as you do not want to scrape the gel polish off too soon. You may risk destroying your nail plate.

After about 8 or 9 minutes remove one clamp/foil to see the progress. If it looks like the picture below,  proceed to GENTLY push the gel polish off with the wooden cuticle pusher. The polish should literally fall off with a little push from the wooden pusher. If the gel does not easily come off; place the cotton ball with the clamp/foil back on the nail plate and allow it to soak for another 3-5 minutes. remove-gel-polish

Thanks for reading I hope this helps a lot of you ladies!!


Cuticle vs. Eponychium

Nail Anatomy

There is far more to the nail than what meets the naked eye!!


Matrix: Where the new nail plate cells are created and nail plate begins to form.

Eponychium: LIVING skin at the base of the nail. Eponychium is often confused as the cuticle.

Proximal Nail Fold of Eponychium: (see photo below)

The picture below shows the Eponychium and the Fold. A lot of people get the cuticle and this fold confused. The Proximal Nail Fold of Eponychium is a thin band of LIVE skin that should not be cut or filed back. This particular area of the nail dries out easily and is often mistaken as the cuticle.


Cuticle: A thin layer of dead tissue riding on the nail plate to form a seal between the nail plate and eponychium. The cuticle helps prevent pathogens from infecting the matrix area.

The photo below will show where each area is located on your nail.


Nail Plate: The nail plate is not to be confused with the nail bed. The nail plate is hard, flat, translucent and non-living. The nail plate is made up of keratin nail cells that form a solid protective layer over the underlying soft tissue. The thickness of your nails are determined by the size of your matrix. Every nail matrix is different.

FACT: People with thin nails have a small matrix and typically have less than 50 layers; which is the average. People with thick nails have a large matrix and have more than 50 layers.

Nail Bed: The soft, pink tissue that sits underneath and supports the nail plate while it grows.

Lunula: The opaque area that is visible through the nail plate. This area is the front part of the nail matrix. May also be called the moon. It is the visible front part of the matrix. Many people think that they would like to have a visible lunula; however, this area is not protected by the eponychium and is the exposed portion of the matrix. It can be easily bruised with everyday life tasks.


Hyponychium: A soft tissue seal underneath the extended free edge of the nail plate. The purpose of the hyponychium is to prevent pathogens from infecting the nail bed. The hyponychium may grow out from underneath the nail and cause pain when the nail is cut down too close.


Thank you for support during this journey!!
Please follow, like and leave comments and/or suggestions for new blog topics!!



Acrylic Vs. Hard Gel

“What is the difference between acrylic and hard gel?”

A common question I get asked at almost every appointment.

Let me explain both:


When monomer liquid (liquid) and polymer powder (powder) are combined this what we call Acrylics. This can be applied three ways:

  • On the natural nail as a protective overlay
  • Over a nail tip
  • On a form to create a nail extension

There are three different liquids that are used in the nail industry; however, one of the three is considered illegal according to the state board rules in some states.

  • Industry Standard – Ethyl Methacrylate Monomer Liquid
  • Odorless Monomer Liquid
  • Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)*


(Liquid and Powder “Acrylics”)


*MMA is not to be used on nails or skin.

  • Methyl methacrylate is used almost exclusively in the production of methyl methacrylate polymers or copolymers. The polymers or copolymers are used in the manufacturing of acrylic sheets and molds, clear plastics, extrusion powders, acrylic surface and paper coatings, latex paints, printing inks, floor polishes, dental restorations, adhesive cements and surgical implants.
  • Here are a few tips to figure out if your salon is using Methyl Methacrylate:
    • The prices are significantly discounted
    • There is an odor (strong and fruity smelling)
    • The product does not adhere to the nail plate very well, so a drill will be used to file the nail excessively
    • The salon is secretive about the products they are using; their products are in clear or brown containers with no labels

Hard Gels

Hard Gel is an enhancement that is harder when exposed to an Ultraviolet (UV) light. Hard gels are packaged in a pod or bottle. There will be no powder or liquid affiliated with gels.


Hard gel is durable and flexible. It is applied with a flat or round brush (chosen by nail tech) and can be applied over the natural nail, over a tip, or on a form to create an extension just like acrylics.

After the initial overlay on the nail, this product is back-filled just as it would be done with acrylic.

Neither of the above products are bad. Everything is dependant upon your nail tech. If your nail tech uses a drill, you may request that it not be used on your natural nail bed. A 180/100 grit file would be sufficient to remove the shine from your nail plate when applying enhancements (acrylic or gel).

Myths and Facts

  • Myth: “I need my nails to breathe”
    • Fact: Nails don’t breathe. Your nail plate is made of approximately 100 layers of dead keratin cells. The oxygen and nutrients that your nails require is provided by your blood. The nutrients and oxygen are carried through the tiny blood vessels in your hands and fingers to the nail matrix, under the cuticle, where keratin (a protein) is produced to ur natural nail is completely replaced every 3-6 months. Therefore, it is not necessary to allow your nail to rest or breathe by uncovering them (unless it’s medically necessary). 
  • Myth: “The weight of artificial nail enhancements make the nail thinner”
    • Fact: The length of the nail matrix (moon) determines the nail plate thickness. The nail bed doesn’t make keratin cells (dead protein cells that make up the nail plate) so it can’t affect the plate’s thickness. There is no way for the matrix (moon) to feel any extra weight on the nail bed.
  • Myth: “Acrylics are damaging to my nails”
    • FactNail enhancements are applied only to the surface of your natural nail. Products do not penetrate the natural nail, skin or affect the nail matrix (lunula or moon) where the natural nail is created. You are continually growing a new nail so your natural nail is completely replaced every 3-6 months. Therefore, it is not necessary to allow your nail to rest or breathe by uncovering them (unless it’s medically necessary). It is safe to wear nail enhancements for as many months or years as you wish to.
      • Natural nails are only damaged by the techniques that are being used by your nail technician.

Please, let me know if this article was helpful and/or insightful!!! Also, leave comments 🙂


I’m Shauna! I am super excited to launch my blog which will touch on all things nails including nail health, trends, myths and truths and everything in between! So, a little background about me. I am a DMV transplant originally from Lynchburg, VA. I migrated to the area in 2005 when I enrolled at Marymount University. I graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration. I went on to pursue a Masters in Business Administration at University of Phoenix.

My passion for nails started as a hobby! It’s hard to imagine that a girl who bit her nails in junior high would be making a career in the Nail Industry! It’s crazy how life works and everything comes full circle!!

Just a little bit on what I’m trying to do. How confident are you that local nails shops have your nail health as a priority? Many of us are not aware of what goes on in local nail shops. We believe what they tell us as they are the professional and should be considerate of each client when conducting business. I have found that may not always be the case. I am here to shed some light on information that may have been given that is false and hold no merit.


Stay Tuned!