After Having Multiple Issues with Pooling and Lifting Using Light Elegance, I Decided to Start Looking for Another Line.


Sometimes you can like a company’s style, but not like their product. I wanted so badly to love Light Elegance after I attended their workshop, but their outdated UV lamps and constant lifting after two weeks was more than I could take. I needed something easier to work with until I got more experience under my belt. I also wanted to have a line that could provide training as I needed it for my future employees, rather than only once a year at Premiere. There was no one local I could have mentor me in Light Elegance, which was frustrating as a new nail tech.

After searching online, I read up on Linda J. Reyes, who owns Nails Done Right in Oviedo. She has been applying nails for over 30 years, and has a fantastic online presence via Instagram and Facebook. I had a set put on by her, then a fill, and was happy to see that they were not only solid in structure the way my deeply splitting sidewalls needed, but she keeps up with trends and embraces the ever changing industry… although she doesn’t buy the first shiny thing that comes along 😉 It was close to an hour drive for me to get to her, but she has so many clients that drive to her from all over the state that she’s well versed in appreciating your effort in coming to see her.

I chose to be more careful this time in selecting which ACE educator to purchase an Akzentz workshop from, since I didn’t know Light Elegance’s educator enough when I bought that spot to know if I would get a lot out of the class or not. I was in over my head at Light Elegance; it was better suited to people that already knew gels quite a bit. I needed to find an educator that could explain application techniques to an industry novice. Some educators have been doing nails for so long that they forget that newly licensed people weren’t taught certain things that those in the industry do everyday. That’s why I chose this particular educators’ workshop in my area.

Clients, a summary of the Akzentz company will be presented to you first. My goal of this post is to help you better understand whenever you go into a salon and see Akzentz brand for hard gel, you will understand what type of training your tech did at the workshop how it can help you achieve your nail goals.

Techs, after the brand summary we’re going to get into the details about how the Akzentz Pro-Formance hard gel workshop went so you can determine if you should consider doing one of their workshops.

About Akzentz Pro-Formance Brand Hard Gel:

Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel is made by Haigh Industries Inc.  Nails is all they do. No dabbling in hair, skin, or makeup products. It was founded in 1989 by Sandra Haigh in Canada. Everything they sell is made there.

They have a lot of product lines, which are all soak off except for Pro-Formance:

Akzentz and CND are the only two brands I regularly see posting examples of product work on a regular basis via Instagram. Since Akzentz only deals with nail products, has gels, offers lots of colors, and has training available in places other than convention centers and salon supply stores, I set aside the money to take an Akzentz class over other brands. The most I could find from CND was how to do Shellac unless it was during the Premier Show weekend.

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Clients Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel FAQ’s:

  1. Does Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel contain nuts, or is processed in a place with nuts? No
  2. Is Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel  vegan, containing no animal products at all? Yes
  3. Is Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel  cruelty free in manufacturing and testing? Yes
  4. Does Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel  have any fragrances? No
  5. Where is Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel  made? British Columbia, Canada
  6. Does it Contain Dibutyl Phthalate? No
  7. Does it Contain Toluene? No
  8. Does it Contain Formaldehyde? No
  9. Does it Contain Formaldehyde Resin? No
  10. Does it Contain Camphor? No
  11. Does it Contain Parabens? No
  12. Does it Contain Xylene? No
  13. Will it burn at any point? It can if an inexperienced technician puts it on too thick on the first layer. This is what’s commonly called “heat spike” from the molecules moving around so fast as processing happens that it creates heat.
  14. How long does it last? 2-5 weeks, depending on wear. Personally mine lasts 3-4, but I am hard on my hands.
  15. How often should this be done on my nails? Depending on nail growth rate, anywhere from 2-5 weeks.
  16. How is this different than nail gel I can buy myself? This isn’t sold to the public, and gel that is normally sold to the public has a lot of odor, feels mushy after it’s supposedly done curing, and peels away from the nail after a week. Typically these gels will also have a truckload of ingredients to cheapen cost while not doing anything to your benefit.

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Nail Techs, Here are Your Questions Answered About the Workshop:

  • Is the MSDS available? Yes, here
  • Where is this Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel system from that I used? I bought this product from an Akzentz workshop in Florida.
  • Where was the workshop done at? At a nail salon.
  • How much is it? $230
  • How much time was it? 4 hours lecture and demonstration, 2-4 hours practice, 1 hour lunch break.
  • What was covered in the workshop? Company history, descriptions of what all the different gels do, application demos and troubleshooting demos, lamp differences description, two ways of doing french manicure style nails, and a glitter fade technique. 
  • What products and tools do you take home from the workshop? Small pots of every product in the Pro-Formance gel line, brochures about their other products, a brush, files, buffers, one type of nail prep wipe solution, wipe pads, practice nails, orangewood sticks, cuticle oil, forms
  • Why should I offer this workshop to my employees in my salon, or take this workshop for my own booth business? Certifications in product training verified by the manufacturer shows commitment to your craft, even if your clients do not normally pay attention to them. They are a selling point in your list of qualifications as to why you are more competent than your competition, who usually will not go the extra mile for themselves or their employees to be trained extensively in their product. 
  • How was the customer service for this workshop? I never had an issue contacting Linda for any questions I have had
  • How easy is this product to get, can I buy it anywhere? Online only? Dig it out of the ground? This is an online only product, so this won’t be good for procrastinators that wait until their gel pot is empty before buying more product.
  • Is there fragrance/fumes to consider at the workshop? No
  • What was the workshop like? You have your own workstation to set up at, and there’s a list of things you need to bring to the workshop with you, usually a lamp to cure product with. My experience was one on one, which for me is great because pressure isn’t an issue for me once I have the rules explained by someone. I get so massively bored waiting for the next step…I’d rather just write the steps down in the demo and then crank it out for inspection when the instructor comes by. Like at this workshop I did my french nails way too thick, but I can’t even remember the last time I did an overlay with extensions French style in gel to be honest. Eons ago, easily.                                                    
  • How would you compare this to other workshops you’ve attended? I liked how my instructor could break things down for me to target my trouble spots (like lumpy gel curing, sidewalls too thin, cuticle area too thick compared to the stress point, I needed to take a much bigger bead and just wipe off the excess instead of dipping back into the pot so much). The other workshop had a lot more people, but half of them were beginners in this medium like I was so we were all flopping around like morons with our brushes. The smaller a class is, the better it will be for you.


Ok techs, I can hear you groaning all the way through cyberspace about coughing up $200+ bucks for a class. I get it, I really do. But if you research a company enough and ask enough questions before signing up for a class, you will get your investment back tenfold. I wouldn’t just sign up for a workshop just because it’s there. There are 7 fast food places in my area on the way home, but do I stop at them when I just spent $100 on groceries? NO. If you research enough before signing up, then it’s just icing on cake for you professionally. Look at how much time passed between one workshop I went to and then this one. Think about how much stuff you have bought on impulse at the shop, just to find out it doesn’t work the way it says it does once you’ve gotten to work with it, so much money wasted! There’s nothing wrong with taking a while to make up your mind, just do your homework so you won’t have buyer’s remorse!

Those little pieces of paper from the manufacturer of a product verifying that you know what you’re doing with their product really do break down barriers for you as a professional. Let me give you an anecdotal story of how that happens.

I used to work at an auto dealership as a service drive consultant in my early 20’s. I knew a lot about cars and how they worked, but was generally stereotyped as lacking in knowledge about the product I advised on because of my gender in a male dominated industry. Once I had my product certification scores, the vast majority of those small minded males shut their pie holes. Particularly because my own co-workers, who had works in the same car brand for many more years than me couldn’t even pass their tests for months after I took all of mine…One of them even tried to bribe me over $500 a test to take each of his tests for him!  It’s important to be vetted, even though it can look arduous and pricy. Getting this type of documented education will only benefit you, even if it’s to rule out a product line you were considering to use.

For clients that have been injured and treated badly by unprofessional nail techs in the past, certifications are a reassurance that you know what you’re doing, unlike the garbage dump they had their nails done at before. It’s quality of work documentation that sets the tone for your client to get that you know how to handle this product safely on them and care about your job. Even if they don’t understand the process, they can appreciate that you have gone above and beyond beauty school/licensing requirements to take care of them right. Vetted certifications matter!

I had hesitations about trying this company out because I wanted one that was made in the USA, but since the ones made here don’t work for me, I am glad to have trained in this one. They meet all my requirements, and I have local mentors in the area now to work with in attaining my long term goals. Their color pigments are exquisite, and have been the only gel to date that says on my nailbed. I will be posting about the hard gels themselves soon, as well as their brush on polish line.

Have you been to a product workshop that made an impact on you? Please let me know in the comments below so we can learn from each other!