Wrinkling or rippling of the gel is caused when top layers of the gel are cured but the gel beneath remains uncured. When colour Calgel is applied too thick, the pigment can prevent the UV light from penetrating through dense layers of colour gel.
This leads to the surface of the gel curing but the process isn’t completed for the gel beneath it. The uncured gel below can then create movement under the cured surface leading to a wrinkled or rippled effect to become visible as the hand is removed from the lamp.
Why do colours wrinkle?
The most common cause is that the application of the gel is too thick. This is more likely to happen with more heavily pigmented gels this is why some colours wrinkle and others don’t. So you may need to adjust your application slightly depending on the colour. Although this can be frustrating sometimes, those pots of gel will last a little longer as you need less gel to complete a set.
How to fix it?
If you’re with a client, don’t panic! To fix the wrinkling simply wipe away the sticky residue and buff away the ridges using your Orange Spongeboard or for stubborn bumps you can used your Teardrop File. Dust the nail and wipe with Guard and then apply another thin coat of the gel curing for a further 3 minutes.
Do you stir your colours before every client?
Has a gel that is normally fine now started to wrinkle? It is likely that the pigment to gel ratio has become imbalanced. It is important to stir your gels regularly and before every client (even if you used it the day before). If you get half way through a pot and the colour starts to wrinkle it is normally due to this reason.
How to fix it?
If you get half way or more through a pot of Calgel and then start to have problems with wrinkling or if it seems thick and gloopy when mixing it’s likely to need some extra Clear. Simply add a couple scoops of natural clear Calgel into your pot and mix thoroughly before application.
When did you last change your bulbs?
Although your bulbs will always be lit up, it doesn’t always mean they’re working properly. If your bulbs aren’t emitting enough UV light to penetrate through the gel and fully cure it, this will cause movement and therefore wrinkling. Depending on how many clients you see, we recommend changing your bulbs every 3-4 months.
How to fix it?
We always recommend having a spare set of bulbs in case of emergencies! Try to test your bulbs once a month to ensure they’re performing efficiently so you don’t get caught out. Although this is rare, it does happen. Other signs of your bulbs fading out include colour or clear gel wiping off after curing, only curing in patches and flickering bulbs.
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What do in future with a colour you have experienced wrinkling with?
We normally recommend Calgel colours be applied with a wet and true layer before curing, with colours that may wrinkle, we advise applying the gel in one thinner layer before curing. Try not to apply the gel too thinly as it may wipe away after curing. You can also add a couple scoops of clear to thin the colour out and make it easier to work with.
Gels to look out for
Highly pigmented colours and neon pigments can sometimes have the above problems, so simply adjust your application technique or if you’re towards the end of the pot add some clear to dilute the gel.
Some problems have been noted with some of the following gels:
Competition White (CGCW)
Lime Isle Sour (CG973)
Hollywood & Sunset (CG812)
Pink Lady (CG990)
Shore Thing (CG978)
Can You Keep a Secret? (CG983)