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Home > Una's Nail Academy
Why and How to Use Paper Nail Forms

Paper nail forms are one of the staples of the nail care industry,
you simply can't do without them as a professional nail care technician. These disposable forms are the perfect base upon which to build a sculpted nail.

They are especially helpful when working on toenails which can be rather difficult to work with otherwise. You simply apply the paper nail form and use it as a guide upon which to do your overlay work. After the overlay is finished, you simply remove the paper form and you're done!

However, not all nail types are right for sculpted nails!

Therefore, before beginning to use paper nail forms, you will want to know when it is appropriate to use them and when it is better to use a tip overlay.


It is okay to use a paper nail form with a sculpting technique when:
  • If your client has a nail that is chipped or broken then a sculpting technique is appropriate. This problem is easy to fix using sculpting. Also, if your client has nails with a severe hook shape. This can sometimes be addressed using a sculpting technique as well.
Otherwise, you want to use this technique mainly on people with normal nails who are not engages in strenuous activities with their hands.

It is NOT okay to use a paper nail form with a sculpting technique when:
  • If you client has abnormally shaped nails, a sculpting technique is usually not the best options. For example, if he or she has flat nails, upward curving nails, or crooked nails, it may be better to use a nail tip technique. Also, if your client has bitten nails or nail plates that in poor condition, the sculpting technique is not a good option.
Here's how to do it!

While some of your clients will not be good candidates for the sculpting technique, chances are that most of them will fit into the first of these two categories, meaning being able to use paper nail forms is an important skill for your cannon.  Here's how to use them:

Step 1 – Remove the centre piece from the nail form.

Step 2 – Now reattach this centre piece to the adhesive inner surface of the nail form. This keeps the form from sticking to the bottom side of the nail.

Step 3 – Bend the form over slightly in order to make it match the nail's curvature.

Step 4 – Now, tear the perforations at the top edge of the form as pictured above.

Step 5 – Next, fit the criss-cross edge of the form under the nail surface. Make sure to use two hands for this if you can.

Step 6 – Make sure that the nail form is snug and centred in place.

Step 7 – Now press together the inside edges of the form until they stick together.

Step 8 – Just to be sure, make a small cut at the corner and bend it back so that you know the form is securely in place.

Step 9 – Make sure once again that the curve of the form is straight and matches the curvature of the nail.

Step 10 – Now secure the entire form in place by folding down the loose edges over the finger.

Step 11 – That's it! You are now ready to begin work on your sculpted overlay.


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