Are nail forms or tips better?

The release of our KB Nail Tip Cutters has sparked debate amongst us at KB HQ. I'm not a fan of using tips when teaching or practicing, preferring to sculpt using nail forms as there is a lot more control, you can adjust the form and create nail enhancements that fit the clients nails shape and length. Tips can often be seen and treated as a one size fit's all solution. Whilst you can tailor a nail tip as well as a nail form, a lot more work is required to tailor a nail tip. I always say that getting the perfect tip fit is a real skill!  Sculpting also offers the ability to create extreme shapes which are perfect for photoshoots and competition work. 

Want to hear what our educators think?

Joy has similar thinking to me, she's not a huge fan of using tips and instead prefers to use nail forms, when she does extensions on clients she always sculpts as it allows for each nail to be tailored to each finger. She does how ever use tips for creating designs for display to save time or practicing certain techniques that she doesn't want to practice on herself. Shell prefers to practice on herself or a client, using KB PROtects to protect their skin and nail, she much prefers to sculpt because in her eyes there isn't much sexier than a sculpted pinched crisp nail, but finds that tips are really useful when teaching techniques like Ombre or acrylic designs. Shell usually glues a tip to a straw for students to practice with, but agrees that when it comes to shaping/refining etc you should definitely use a human finger.

Full cover tips are a staple in Erin Searle's classroom when it comes to nail art courses as she finds that it's much easier for teaching to give your students some tips stuck to a hand that they can paint and repeat without too much worry. That is as far as her relationship with tips goes, practicing anything else with Erin and you'll be taught how to sculpt. Though this is mainly due to the fact that Erin get's a little confused when doing a full set with tips. 'Tips are a faff!' agrees Jo. With sculpting you can create practically any shape and pinch to get a clean c-curve, adding strength to your nail. Another advantage over tips is that you can adapt each form to fit each finger, if your client was a nail biter for example, can't do that with tips.

When it comes to running a salon and trying to make ends meet, Mel Lewendon is a self confessed tip lover. According to Mel tips are no longer the devil and have come on in leaps and bounds over the years. The reason tips are so helpful to Mel is they are cost effective and can speed up the amount of clients she can do in the salon without compromising the quality of the nails, meaning she can fit more in. When it comes down to it, in a salon setting tips can be helpful, as a nail tech you have to think about a lot more than just your designs, you also need to make sure you're making enough money and spending the right amount of time with each client. If tips allow you to do that without lowering the quality of your work then go for it, but remember that they aren't a substitute for skill.

I'd love to hear whether you prefer nail tips or sculpting in the comments.

1 comment

  • Kathy

    We use tips in our salon always have
    I’m afraid I’m a little bit old school and was never taught sculpting
    Am I really a nail tech 🙈🙈🙈
    If you ever do online teaching if sculpting I’d be up for that though ❤️Have a great day loving all your tips x

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