My New Favorite Gel Line has Been Acquired My People!
As a fellow professional, I’m sure you have done your homework in going to shows, trying out products, watching vlogger reviews of application techniques. Or you know, you could also be a lazy ass like me too where at the same time, you want someone to do the legwork for you on product reviews so you can just pluck bits from their laborious research and reap the benefits. I know I did for color swatching on gel polish lines, since everyone and their mother seems to have gel polish now.
I would like to share with you some lines from Akzentz that I’ve played with this past month so that we can better understand together how it can benefit clients and techs alike. I really, really enjoy this line and unlike acrylics or some other gels, it stays on my hands despite two kids, a big dog, a cat, a husband, a house, weightlifting, zumba, and my “I don’t have time to look for gloves to put on” type lifestyle. Those of us that can or can’t wear nails longer than an 1/8th past our fingertip will still all benefit from what Akzentz offers. The different kinds of gel are much easier to understand than some other lines I have tried as well. We have enough steps and if/then type scenarios to memorize; our products should make our workday easier, not more complicated.
Clients, a summary of the Akzentz company will be presented to you first so that whenever you go into a salon and see it, you will understand why it costs more than your typical discount salon, and how it can help you achieve your nail goals.
Techs, after the summary we’re going to get into the details about how the Akzentz Pro-Formance hard gel line went so you can determine if you should consider doing one of their workshops.
Who Makes Akzentz Pro-Formance 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.
They have a lot of product lines, which are all soak off except for Pro-Formance:
- Gel Play – A gel nail art line (since most gels are too runny to do nail art with) with 14 dense pigment colors, 14 glitter colors, 6 glitters that change tone depending on what base color is used, a gel base to put your own glitter into, and a gel that is thick for gems/stones/embellishments on.
- Luxio Brush on Polish – 100% brush on colored gel that is odorless and solvent free. Has a base, 125 colors, and a top coat.
- Options Soak Off Enhancement Gels – Enhancement gels that soak off. Because it’s a soak off, the price per ounce is a lot more.
- Pro-Formance Hard Gels – This was the focus of the workshop I attended; they are file off only hard gels.
- Nail Prep and Wipe solutions – For cleansing, dehydrating and prepping natural nails
- Enviro Soak & Remove – Acetone, MEH and Benzene free, non drying soak off option solution
- Affixit – Non acid based primer for problem nails.
- Nail and Cuticle oil
- Brushes, Files, Lamps, Gel Palette Box, Mixers, Forms, Wipes
- Glow in the Dark Brush On Gel
- 3D Gel Art Powder
Clients, Here are Some Questions About Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel Asked on Your Behalf:
- Does Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel contain nuts, or is processed in a place with nuts? No
- Is Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel vegan, containing no animal products at all? Yes
- Is Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel cruelty free in manufacturing and testing? Yes
- Does Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel have any fragrances? No
- Where is Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel made? British Columbia, Canada
- Does it Contain Dibutyl Phthalate? No
- Does it Contain Toluene? No
- Does it Contain Formaldehyde? No
- Does it Contain Formaldehyde Resin? No
- Does it Contain Camphor? No
- Does it Contain Parabens? No
- Does it Contain Xylene? No
- 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.
- How long does it last? 2-5 weeks, depending on wear. Personally mine lasts 3-4, but I am hard on my hands.
- How often should this be done on my nails? Depending on nail growth rate, anywhere from 2-5 weeks.
- 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, and peels away from the nail after a week.
Nail Techs, Here are Your Questions Answered About Pro-Formance Hard Gel:
- Where is this Akzentz Pro-Formance Hard Gel system from that I used? I bought this product from an Akzentz workshop in Florida.
- How was the customer service?
- 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
- Is the MSDS available? here
- How would you compare this to other hard gels you’ve worked with? So far I’ve worked with CND and Light Elegance. Both have a lot of different cure times for their gels, layer differently in different scenarios, flip the hand/don’t flip it, only compatible with their lamp…It was too much. This was just 30 seconds in LED each layer, no matter what type of gel it was. No finicky lamp either. They have multiple types of lamps, but they’re not antiquated like Light Elegance’s lamp, or changing every damn year like CND. I would expect every few years to have new technology come out, but cranking out product at a yearly innovation rate screams to me that it wasn’t tested enough.
- What does each type of gel within this line do?
- ADHERE – Adhesive gel for bonding to the natural nail. Only a thin layer is required. Thick = lifting with this one, just dampen your brush for all 10 fingers worth of product. One coat only
- ENHANCE – Thin viscosity self-leveling gel that has strength and durability. Comes in clear and light pink. Use for a gel manicure type enhancement where the gel polish system alone is not enough support for the nail structure; 1-2 coats and then finish with gel polish. You can also use it as a gloss finisher after applying BALANCE and/or STRUCTURE. This is a nice gel for the base of the nail bed to make it transparent instead of a total cover pink if you clients like seeing the half moon of their nail.
- BALANCE – This is your bread and butter gel for most of your clients; medium viscosity. Comes in three colors: clear, cool pink, and warm pink. The light pink is for your traditional french manicure if you want to extend the nail bed over the natural free edge area. Warm pink is a nude type color which is beautiful on darker color nail beds. This is great for long extensions, and you will still have the flexibility of gel to imitate natural nails. This is the gel that won me over to the line, that and the next one I will list. This one does not self level, especially if its cold, so it moves around almost like a bead of acrylic. Cures matte.
- STRUCTURE – Super thick viscosity, good for nail biters, nail split clients, guitar players, or to help acrylic users see the light of jeebus that we know as hard gel. The rub is that you have to use this sparingly and not over a long period, because it will cause nail brittleness. A little goes a long way with this stuff. Just use it on stress areas. Cures to high gloss.
- CONTROL – Very thick and tacky viscosity, comes in white (1 coat) and ultra white (needs lots of coats). These are good for your “I don’t want anything but the french manicure look” clients. The other clients I would just paint a luxio white as the white for it.
- ULTRA GLOSS – Thinnest viscosity while being the strongest product. It cured in 30 and was like a perfect lay of acrylic, but showroom shine type glossy. It’s in a jar, but they also have a paint on in a bottle with a no wipe formula.
- How much is it? Regardless of color:
Adhere $15 7 grams
Enhance $15 7 grams, $68 45 grams
Balance $15 7 grams, $68 45 grams
Structure $15 7 grams, $68 45 grams
Control $15 7 grams, $68 45 grams
Ultra Gloss $15 7 grams, $68 45 grams
- What types of lamps are used? 4 finger LED for $40, 5 finger LED (burnt the shit out of my nails, every layer every time) $200, Led compact lamp for $99, LED UV full hand cure lamp $250.
- How much are the brushes used? $20, but they’re nylon oval brushes. We all have our favorites, I choose nylon over sable.
- What is the average cost per set? It depends on how much product you use, I didn’t use even half an ounce total of all products I used for my set.
- Why should I use this in my salon? No fumes, durable, flexible, and user friendly. Uncomplicated steps for application, no pooling, very natural pink formulas, lots of educators available throughout the year to train you in it
- What did you like best about this line? That the product is structurally sound, there are no fumes, and it was easy for me to apply compared to other brands. It’s the least complicated set I’ve had so far. And nails is all they do, they’re not trying to take slices from the entire beauty market. Most of the time when a company does one thing well and then branches out to other areas of the industry, their focus and products go to shit. Akzentz stays in their lane like they should.
- What did you not like about this line? There are a lot of different lamps with not so fun price tags attached
- How easy is this to use? Very easy, whenever I remember to keep the brush flat instead of holding it up like a pencil *lulz*
I have historically been a tech that hates, HATES filing; it always felt like filing off product equivocated to money falling down into the trash via sanding dust. I would rather apply less and then add more if I needed to than making a Lego block on someone’s finger and then praying to the finger gods that I could file it down without rug-burning their skin around the nail off in the process.
This stuff lets me sculpt without running all over, the steps are the same for all products within the line, and the process to learn it was enjoyable in contrast to the frustrations I encountered with CND and Light Elegance. Fewer jars to buy for what type of nail goals my client has, and Akzentz doesn’t change their formula often like CND.
If you can attend a workshop first, you get a good stash of jars to do some sets with before buying the big ones online, and you get a 20% discount code after the workshop to help you offset product cost. If you can’t do that, then get a jar of Adhere to bond, Balance to build, file it, and then use Enhance to finish with more strength and a gloss to boot.