What is meant by a ‘medium’ in the nail industry?

A ‘medium’ refers to the materials or decorative techniques used to create the nail service, such as liquid & powder acrylic, acrygel, gel, gel polish, nail polish or even nail art products that you are using, such as gel paint or watercolour paints. It can also refer to creation techniques used such as sculpting, tip and overlay, silk wrap and so on.

Nails can be decorated with a huge variety of mediums that come in different viscosities, colours, chromes, glitters, patterns, and textures. All these decorative nail art effects can be applied as part of any nail service.

Many nail services will use something called ‘mixed media’, which is created using a selection of nail mediums. For example, you may use liquid & powder acrylic as your enhancement base, gel polish for colour and then chrome and gel paint for the art on top. This set would have four mediums: liquid & powder acrylic, gel polish, chrome, and gel paint.

A vintage-style mixed media design

It is important to know which mediums work well with others and what can be combined when working with mixed mediums. Never apply a product that is harder over something softer as this can cause the product to crack. For example, do not apply acrylic liquid & powder over gel polish, but gel polish can be worn over acrylic liquid & powder enhancements, because the gel polish is softer.

Your nail brushes should also only be used with one medium per brush unless that brush is thoroughly cleaned of any previous medium before swapping for another medium. This can be time consuming and ineffective, so having different brushes for different mediums is recommended.

For example, if you used one brush for acrylic and another for acrygel, if you used your acrygel brush for your acrylic set, the acrygel brush is likely to hold some cleanser. This is not the liquid medium, which your acrylic powder would typically mix with and would likely result in service breakdown. In this case, monomer would be the liquid medium which acrylic powder would mix with.

Understand the mediums you are using, how they work and how they can work with other mediums for success.

Love Katie B x


By Editor