So there’s this clear stuff called IBX that helps build your natural nail back up if you’ve been stripping it with gel polish/acrylics/overfiling ect. It’s considered a nail treatment, like how NutraNail says it will make your nails better, when it’s actually junk.

Typical nail strengtheners usually have formaldehyde in it, which makes your nails really brittle. It creates an illusion of better looking nails, when the product in truth make your nails worse.  “Look nice on the outside, but inside a train wreck” seems to be a recurring theme in the industry up until recently. Like glossy hair…until you touch it and your hand feel like you got snot all over it. Soft skin…until you shower and all of a sudden you look ashy. IBX is different that typical nail treatments in that it appears to honestly help nails get better, particularly because it does not use formaldehyde.

But it takes a couple months of weekly application to accomplish the results they depict on their website, which I’m doubtful some clients will be willing to commit to. This is mainly because it doesn’t fix everything in one application…and nails take months to grow out. It does hold promise however for those dedicated to improving their nail structure.

Clients, I would like to first give you the lowdown on this product so you can see what its about and if you would benefit from including it in your regular salon regimen. Techs, stay tuned because we’re going to also investigate more into the details about  IBX than the product website lists so you can determine if you should consider carrying it.




Ok, First thing is first: Who makes IBX? IBX is made by Famous Names.  This is a big deal for nail techs, and this company was made by a couple that clients should know by name to decide if it’s even worth having on their hands. Linda and Jim Nordstrom are the daughter in law and Son of Dr. Stuart Nordstrom. Dr. Nordstrom was a former dentist that literally created the company CND in 1979. CND is one of the biggest, most distributed nail product companies. This family has been in the nail industry for decades. They sold CND to Revlon in the 1990’s.

Famous Names is a separate company from CND, and they have 4 products; Cinnatize –  a cinnamon based nail cleaner/polish remover, IBX, Dadi’ Oil (cuticle oil – I got a sample so I’ll write a review about it soon) Lumos  – a base and top coat system for nail lacquer (non-gel polishes).

Ok so now that you know more about the background of this company, let’s get into detail about IBX.



Questions from a client perspective:

  1. Does IBX contain nuts, or is processed in a place with nuts? No
  2. Is IBX vegan, containing no animal products at all? IBX does not contain any animal by-products
  3. Is IBX cruelty free in manufacturing and testing? IBX was strictly tested on humans
  4. Does IBX have any fragrances? No
  5. Where is IBX made? U.S.A
  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? No, unless your nail tech is careless and holds the hair dryer/incandescent light bulb too close, which you shouldn’t hold those things close to your hair/skin/nails in general.
  14. How long does it last? A week for really damaged nails, two to three for less damaged ones. It doesn’t have to be removed like other nail products. It does not discolor, or make your nails appear thicker either.
  15. How often should this be done on my nails? Once a week for badly damaged nails, or once your gel polish has been removed to ensure your nailbed will be protected from scraping damage that can happen when removing gel polish. Do not have it done more than once a week, it will make your nails brittle.
  16. How is this different than nail hardeners I can buy myself? IBX absorbs into your nailbed and under the surface of it too, other nail hardeners sit just on top of your nail. It links with the proteins already in your nail, and fills up all the holes/cracks/ridges in it, like pouring sand into a container of seashells, the sand gets into every little crevice.
  17. How much does the first application cost and subsequent applications? $8-10 for the first application, and $5-10 for subsequent applications generally.
  18. How long does it take? 10-20 minutes for both hands total usually for the first application. Then subsequent applications are 5 minutes for both hands.

Questions from a Nail Tech perspective:


  • Where is this IBX system from that I used? I bought this product from Famous Names after corresponding with the co-founder Linda about some questions I had about the it that I couldn’t find on their FAQ page.


  • What is IBX exactly? It is a penetrating curable monomer system. It’s two bottles of liquid containing monomers, which is a liquid of small molecules that meld with each other, as well as a photoinitiator which is “a compound that can transform the physical energy of light into suitable chemical energy in the form of reactive intermediates”. Uh, what, what does that mean OMG??! Basically It makes shit happen when the right kind of light is exposed to it for an amount of time. This is why you put your nails under a LED light at particular intervals for ‘curing’, or for the photoinitiator to start working. If you don’t then the IBX will run off your nails like water and won’t meld together with your nailbed to create strength.


  • How is it applied? Apply repair and cure:  clean nails with a cleanser, apply the Repair bottle to the visibly damaged nail areas,  heat 1 minute, blot surface, and cure for the amount of time your gel polish usually needs, cleanse again with cleanser. Apply regular IBX to nails and cure: Shake IBX and apply, heat 4 minutes (for first application, not subsequent, subsequent only needs 2 minutes)  blot, cure with LED for the amount of time your gel polish usually needs, cleanse again with cleanser. Continue with regular manicure or gel polish.


  • How much is it? $35.95 plus shipping for both, claims to last for 100 sets. IBX alone is 22.95 plus shipping, IBX repair alone is $19.95 plus shipping. Your pricing will be more based on how long your application time is, as this is about as labor intensive as applying nail lacquer.


  • Where do I learn how to apply this? You can become IBX certified at beauty shows, watch their videos, or, you kread the directions (lulz).


  • What are the ingredients? 

IBX: Hydroxypropyl Methacrylate, Isobornyl Methacrylate, Ethyl Acetate, Glyceryl Dimethacrylate Pyromellitate, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, CI 60725 (Violet 2)

IBX Repair: Hydroxypropyl Methacrylate, Glyceryl Dimethacrylate Pyromellitate, Triethyleneglycol Dimethacrylate, Photoinitiator Blend.


  • Why should I offer this in my salon? As an upsell to regular manicures or gel manicures where clients want their nails to look better over time instead of worse. Or if you have employees/you yourself are heavy handed with scraping product off, or have a client with jacked up nails from going to a discount salon where rings of fire are common. Also clients that use polish that has formaldehyde/formaldehyde resins in it, making their nails brittle.


  • I read ‘monomers’ and instantly thought “stinky”. What’s the verdict? It’s less smelly than my ZOYA nail polish, I really had to put my nose close to it to smell anything. And I was not nose blind where I sniffed at it 😉


  • ZOMG I’m not good at gels/scared of new nail products. How easy was it to apply? It was easy to apply, just keep in mind that it’s super super thin viscosity, like water. Less is more with this stuff, if you apply too much/don’t blot, it will run all over the sidewall and cure up thick there. Treat it like a really runny nail polish and you’ll be fine. God knows we applied enough polish in beauty school to know how to apply this stuff to a nail.



Conclusion: It takes a little time to master, but for clients looking for more naturally strong nails without having to sacrifice their gel manicures, this is pretty good stuff.

What else would you like to know about IBX? Let me know in the comments!