Custom Color Mixes – Part 2

August 18th, 2017

In Part 1 you learned all about color theory and skintone. In Part 2 we will be discussing mixing your own custom colors for your clients! Working with the NSI Acrylic and Gel lines makes mixing your custom colors easy! There are full ranges of color in both the Gel and Acrylics lines that can be used to make that one of a kind color. In acrylic, colored powders from either the Technailcolor or Secrets Shades line can be mixed with your Attraction Powders. If using gel, you can mix NSI Secrets Removable Gels together with the Balance LED/UV Gels.


Customizing colors is an art in itself, it may take you several tries to get your mix just right, if you are completely new to customizing try matching your own skin tone first!

When mixing your color for over the stress area or over the extended area, make sure that your mix contains one of the opaque masques or whites. Often times if you just mix colors and use some of the ones that are more transparent then this area will not be opaque. You will loose your long, sleek illusion. Some colors to avoid using over the nail bed as your transition colors are the yellows and greens. You don’t want to create the illusion of a bacterial infection (greenies).

After you have determined if your client has warm undertones or cool undertones, you will need to select the perfect base for your mix.

POWDERS: NSI has several excellent opaque colors in the Attraction Acrylic Line to use as your base.

Cool – Attraction Rose Blush is a cool pink used to hide imperfections or to create the illusion of longer looking nail beds

Warm – Attraction Purely Pink Masque, a warm pink, with slightly less opacity.


GELS: Balance LED/UV gels have 2 colors ideal for mixing

Cool – Balance LED/ UV Builder Blush is a soft pink with just a hint of opacity

Warm – Balance LED/ UV Body Builder Cover Pink Warm is a warm opaque pink.


When mixing your custom colors, start working with a clean, empty container, at least a 7 gram size container or larger. You will need about 30% empty space in the top of your container so you can roll and mix the colors together. Remember to mix enough product to have on hand when your client returns for her rebalancing appointments. NOTE: When mixing gels, use a white or opaque jar so that your mixture does not cure before your clients next rebalance.

ORGANIZING YOUR MIXES: Always keep a “recipe” of what you used in your custom mix on hand or in your client consultation card, so that you know how to make more. Put the client’s name on the container, and store them alphabetically. A great way to organize your acrylic mixes is the Secrets Nail Art Palette, it can hold up to fifteen empty jars and you can purchase it with the jars already included.


Earlier, we covered that making a color warmer you need to add a small amount of yellow or red to a color. That is exactly what you are going to do with your mixture.

To make a warmer color using Secrets Shades Colored Acrylic, just add a tiny amount (like two pinheads) of “In The Hot Seat”, or an even less amount of “Bite Your Tongue”.

To make a warmer color using Secrets Removable Color Gel, just add a tiny amount (like two pinheads) of “Hot Topic”, or an even less amount of “Bite Your Tongue”. Adding “Don’t Make Me Blush” or “Romantic Rose” are also a good choice if you would like to add a little opacity and warmth.

To make a color cooler, just like we covered earlier, you can add a small amount of a true blue and create a whole new custom cool color.

To make a cooler color, just add one to two pinhead-sized amounts of Secrets Shades Colored Acrylic – “Whisper Sweet Nothings” or “Day Dream” (Be careful this one has glitter).

To make a cooler color, just add one to two pinhead-sized amounts of Secrets Removable Color Gel – “Open Minded” or “Wild Flowers”. If you need to make your mix slightly pinker, “Don’t Kiss and Tell” is a nice opaque cool pink pigment.

Tinting or Shading

One important element of custom blending is getting the right tint or shade. It is always best to add very tiny amounts of the darker pigment to the lighter one. You can continue to add tiny amounts until you have reached the desired color.

ACRYLIC: You can adjust your base mix if it is too light simply by adding a half pinhead-sized amount of Secrets Shades Colored Acrylic Powder – “Mother Earth”. This will darken it slightly. Be careful, this color will also make your mixture slightly warm.

If you need to lighten a mix, just add Attraction Radiant White Powder and a bit more of your chosen base color.

GEL: You can adjust your base mix if it is too light simply by adding a half pinhead-sized amount of Secrets Removable Gel – “Big Apple”. This will darken it slightly. Be careful, this color will also make your mixture slightly warm.

If you need to lighten a mix, just add Secrets Removable Color Gel “Little White Lies”, and a bit more of your chosen base color.

Testing Your Mix

It is important to test your mix along the way so you know how much more of a color to customize. Cap your jar and roll the jar between your hands to mix the powder. Using a nail form, press out a small bead and let it set before comparing it to your client. Adjust as needed.

Once you think your mix is complete, test your mix BEFORE applying it to your client. Press out several beads onto an Clear nail tip and hold it over the client’s finger. If it isn’t quite what you want, adjust it by adding small amounts of the desired powder.


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ICYMI: NSI University (Philadelphia) 2017

August 3rd, 2017

In Case You Missed It –
NSI University 2017 was held in Philadelphia, July 24-27th. This 4 day training event was intense! The training covered the entire NSI product line! Simplicite, Polish Pro, Secrets Removable Gel, Balance LED/UV Gels, Attraction, Secrets Acrylic and even nail art! Some attendees learned about whole new product lines, others honed in and advanced their skills. The great thing about NSI University is that our Purple Platinum Educators were there to help with any questions and could provide hands on training for the attendees, and it isn’t all lectures! We loved that everyone walked away learning something, that’s a key part in being an NSI educator, having an eagerness to learn new things!  We met some great new friends that joined our educator team, and we are constantly looking for new educators. Thank you and congratulations to our attendees You are now NSI Educators!

Next Stop: NSI University 2017 Poland! We will see you in Gdansk September 13-15th!

Do You think you have what it takes to be an NSI Educator? Apply online to learn about our future educational events!


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Introducing NEW Balance LED/UV System!

June 9th, 2017

Add our Balance LED/UV Gel System into your Salon Services, and add FLEXIBILITY to your arsenal! Balance LED/UV Gel is user-friendly and offers the nail technician the option to do natural nail overlays, tip and overlays, sculpting on a form and indestructible pedicures.

Why is Balance LED/UV so Amazing?

We’ve formulated an even more versatile product that is even stronger and better than ever which also can cure with your LED Lamps. As the industry changes, we adapt, and want to make sure our products can be used to fit the nail tech’s needs.

Our Balance LED/UV provides the following benefits:

  • Maximum product control and incredible workability.
  • The thicker viscosity is perfect for warmer environments.
  • Holds shape, but still self levels.
  • Can be used for any length natural nails or tip and overlays.
  • Can also be used in thin layers to sculpt on a form.
  • Cures under BOTH UV and LED light
  • Allows techs to minimize the need for UV lamps if they primarily use LED

Check out our list of products for our NEW Balance LED/UV Below.

14g Jars

9g Jars

Need a LED/UV lamp? Get geared with the current curing technology and grab one of our new Dual Cure lamps!

Want to learn MORE about our products and become trained to be an NSI Educator? SIGN UP for our 3 day INTENSIVE!

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NEW! Polish Pro Island Resort Collection!

June 2nd, 2017

We are excited to announce our brand-new Summer 2017 “Island Resort” Collection for our Polish Pro UV/LED Gel Polish line! Adorn your clients in an abundance of gorgeously bold and fun shades to rock out this summer! Whether they are going to music festivals, digging their toes in the sand, or just hanging out by the pool, you can give your clients a wide array of tropical colors to choose from to make their manis and pedis look alive!

The Island Resort colors!

View our Pinterest!

There are already some excited Nail Techs using our product as well! Check out our Pinterest Board below to see what they have done with our new colors so far!

Are you interested in purchasing this collection and are in the USA? Be sure to make an account on our website so you can place your orders! If you would like to find a local distributor in your area, click here!

Looking to become a better Nail Tech? Put your skills to the test and ramp up your NSI Product and nail tech knowledge by joining our 3 day intensive program! HURRY before seats fill!

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A Guide to Adhesion Products – Products that stick

March 31st, 2017



nail pure plus

One of the most important steps during natural nail prep is the use of a dehydrator. Even after carefully manicuring and buffing the nail plate, oil and dust can still remain.   Dehydrators help to dehydrate the natural nail plate, by removing any dust or particles left after filing, creating the ideal surface for application of primers.  Nailpure Plus should be used before product application to prevent lifting and improve adhesion.

After filing the natural nail, saturate a NSI lint free nail wipe with Nailpure Plus.  Wipe down the nail plate in a scrubbing motion to remove any oils and dust left behind before product application.


PH Balancer 

One of the main causes of lifting is improper nail prep,  even with proper nail prep,  there are still clients that will have problems with lifting. With these clients, improper nail prep isn’t always the culprit and Bond Enhancer should be used before starting the service.  Bond Enhancer is a nail ph Balancer that is an essential prep product  to enhance the bond of any nail service and balance the nails’ PH levels.  PH levels can and do change in women on a month basis.  This could be caused by pregnancies or even menstrual cycles.

Bond Enhancer application should be applied as an extra step after natural nail prep and before application of primers, to dehydrate and balance the ph of the natural nail.  This will help to maximize product adhesion. Bond Enhancer is not a nail primer, so be sure to still use the recommended nail primer after the application of Bond Enhancer.



Natural nail primers are an important step to promote adhesion of nail enhancement services. Each product line you use will have it’s own primer that is recommended for that system. It’s good to know the different types of natural nail primers and how they all promote adhesion. There are three main types of primers:
1. Acid-based
2. Non-acid
3. Acid-free


Acid-based primers like Superbond, were the original primers used in the nail industry.  They contain between 30 – 100% methacrylic acid and are a safety net that nail technicians have used for many years to promote adhesion.

Some things to remember when using methacrylic (acid-based) primers:
• They can cause the enhancement to yellow if not used properly.  If the primer touches the existing product during a fill in, back fill, refill or rebalance, it could cause yellowing.  Applying product over wet primer will surely cause yellowing.
• It is corrosive to human skin.  (In 2001, the Consumer Products Safety Commission began requiring that all products containing more than 5% methacrylic acid be packaged in a childproof container.)

It is very important to use extreme care with acid-based primers.  When applying, it should be used sparingly. Just dot it on the natural nail, doing 5 nails at a time before putting brush back into bottle.  Be cognizant of NOT touching any surrounding soft tissue with the primer. When it comes to acid-based primers, less is best.

Non-acid primers actually do contain acid; just not methacrylic acid.  They will not burn the skin; although prolonged, repeated contact with any chemical must be avoided to prevent an adverse skin reaction.  This type of primer is used to make the natural nail more compatible with the enhancement product.  It chemically bonds the same way as an acid-based primer.


Acid-free primer is the newest kid on the block and does not contain any acid components. When used properly, these primers are equal to that of a primer containing methacrylic acid and are superior to a non-acid primer.  Acid-free primers will not discolor the enhancement nor will they burn the skin.  Unlike acid-based primers, acid-free primers should be applied liberally to achieve excellent adhesion.

When using the NSI Balance UV Gel System and Balance LED /UV Gel System , we recommend using the Balance Bond (Acid-Free) Primer to promote excellent adhesion for your gel enhancement.


For our Attraction Acrylic System and Technailcolor Mixable Colored Acrylics we recommend using the Attract (Acid-Free) Primer for excellent adhesion for your acrylic enhancement.



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A Guide to Nail Forms

March 10th, 2017

Here at NSI, we have several different nail forms for our technicians to use. Most techs who use sculpting techniques have access to a variety of flexible forms for their specific clientele needs. Anywhere from stilettos to short, we have a form for that!



Balance Clear Forms

Skill Level – All
Product Type – Gel
Length – Medium / Active
Perfect for – Gel Users

The major cause of enhancement breakdown with any gel system is that the gel has not been properly cured.  The Balance Clear Forms are perfect for sculpting with your gels because the light energy can penetrate through the clear material to ensure a complete cure.






Platinum Nail Forms

Skill Level – All
Product Type – Acrylic / Gel
Length – All
Perfect for – A Versatile Nail Form

The Platinum Nail Forms are the ultimate nail form for techs that need a versatile nail form.  These forms are great form for sculpting traditional nail shapes, active length and even alternative nail shapes.  Our Platinum Forms also work beautifully with gels as long as you have a thin clear gel base layer under your enhancement, the gel will cure in the light.





Secrets Stiletto Nail Forms

Skill Level – Advanced
Product Type – Acrylic / Gel
Length – Long
Perfect for – Taking your nail art to the next level

The Secret Stiletto Nail Forms are great for taking your traditional sculpted nails to a new level! These forms are ideal for sculpting any alternative nail shape like the stiletto, edge, gothic almond, lipstick and you can even use them for traditional nail shapes. These are our longest nail forms, great for sculpting longer enhancements without doubling up forms.  They are designed with a sculpting grid to keep length and shape consistent from nail to nail.  Similar to our Platinum Nail Forms, you can even use these forms for sculpting with gels, as long as you start with a thin clear gel base layer.

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Our ALL-NEW Au Naturel Collection!

March 3rd, 2017

Au Naturel

Slip into the sleek style of Spring with our brand-new nude inspired colors from our Au Naturel Collection! Not only are we sporting this new gorgeous set, we are also introducing a brand new product look! Our Au Naturel collection is a Polish Pro exclusive – Get it while you can! Every client at some point will love to have nude and neutral toned nails, so it’s a great addition to your current stock of colors!

We’ve created a beautiful Pinterest board of our inspiration and swatches, Check it out here!

Check out these new MUST-HAVE Shades!


 Want to LEARN NSI Products? Join NSI University 2017! We’re taking Sign-ups until July, so be sure to get your seat!

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Sneak Peek at our NEW Boho Chic Collection!

September 2nd, 2016

At NSI, we’re constantly keeping up with new fashion and trends. The Boho Chic collection is inspired from Urban Bohemian themes, featuring a warm earthy palette with a dreamy collection of complimentary hues. The Boho Chic collection spans across multiple product lines promoting the idea that different product can be used together to create beautiful and unique nail art.






Check out our new sneak peek at the swatches across the line as well as Boho Chic nail art created by our pros using this new collection!


STAY TUNED for this collection to be launched next week!

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Troubleshooting Polish Pro

August 5th, 2016


Gel Polish is a very popular salon service, so we created a reference guide for our Polish Pro Gel Polish System to help you spot problems on your own and quickly remedy them so you can provide the very best service to your clients.

Peeling/Chipping in less than two weeks

SOLUTION: (Application issues) Be sure to leave a tiny margin around the cuticle and sidewalls to prevent lifting. When applying color, do a clean swipe and don’t let color build up at the free edge.
SOLUTION: (Prep issues) Eliminate the use of cuticle remover product, performing just a “dry” manicure (no soaking in water prior to application either). When dehydrating the nail plate, don’t just quickly swipe with Nailpure Plus. Use a scrubbing motion with your Nail Wipe and be sure to get into the side walls and anywhere oil and contaminants could be hiding.

Color is bubbling/wrinkling after curing

SOLUTION: (Application issues) Your first coat of color should be thin and have an almost “streaky” appearance. You’ll get full color coverage with your second thin coat. Also, be sure to shake your bottles of Polish Pro colors well before application (at least 20 seconds).
SOLUTION: (Product storage) Because Polish Pro contains solvents (like traditional nail polish), it is imperative that it remains at room temperature and capped TIGHTLY when not in use. If the solvents evaporate, the polish will not cure smoothly and it can be become thick and gummy, making thin layers difficult to apply.

Top Coat is dull after curing

SOLUTION: (Curing issues) Be sure you are using a Full hand LED Lamp or 36-Watt full hand UV Bonding Lamp, and that you are curing the nails for a full 30 seconds. An incomplete cure can cause the nails to dull.
SOLUTION: (Application issues) While you are still striving to achieve thin layers with Polish Pro, your Polish Pro Top Coat layer should be slightly thicker than your color coat layer to ensure it fully covers.  Also, be sure you are using Cleanse to remove the tacky layer, as other products may remove the tacky layer, but may dull the shine of Polish Pro Top Coat.

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Why is MMA suitable for use in nail powder (polymer) and not suitable for use in nail liquid (monomer)?

July 15th, 2016

As a reputable nail products manufacturer, we are required to list ingredients on our packaging. Even then, reading the ingredients can be confusing and even a little scary. Especially when it comes to an ingredient like Methyl Methacrylate, or MMA.

It is common knowledge that Methyl Methacrylate, otherwise know as MMA, has been prohibited for use in the nail industry since the mid 1970’s. More specifically the use of MMA is only prohibited for use in nail liquids. What you may not realize is that MMA is NOT prohibited for use in nail powders, meaning it is a perfectly safe and common ingredient in the polymers you are using, you just might not realize it.

So the question is: Why is MMA suitable for use in nail powder (polymer) and not suitable for use in nail liquid (monomer)?

MMA Monomers

Today in the nail Industry, Ethyl Methacrylate, or EMA is the backbone monomer in most acrylic nail liquids. The use of EMA as a substitute for MMA in monomer came about in the late 1970’s when the FDA banned the use of MMA. Nail liquid containing MMA has been known to cause allergic reactions, permanent loss of the nail plate and in some cases, permanent loss of sensation in the fingertips.

MMA Polymers

In the manufacturing process, all polymer powders start off as monomers.  Usually two types (or more – depending on the manufacturer) of monomers are commonly used to make polymers; one of which is MMA.

These monomers are mixed together with initiators, dispersing agents, catalysts, and water to make a polymer.  This combination is mixed and continually stirred while it is heated to very high temperatures. After several hours, the monomers become solid little beads and float on the surface of the water. The beads are strained from the water and rinsed several times.  They are then dried, and sifted to remove the biggest and smallest particles.

Once the ingredients are mixed and heated, and the monomers have become solid; the MMA is no longer active.  As a matter of fact, this new solid has a completely different name: PMMA (poly methyl methacrylate) and is considered perfectly safe to use on natural nails.

So when you see PMMA on the ingredient listing of your nail powders, you can now say you know it is perfectly safe to use. The MMA had to go through quite a journey to be perfectly safe for use on nails!

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