Our team always says, “It works, if you work it.” And nothing could be more true. That said, Acquarella is a system of products designed to work together. Proper preparation and application will give you the best results.
How it works…
This is not a traditional nail polish and that is a good thing. Water based nail polishes dry different in that they dry “top down” instead of “bottom up”. Effectively, it will dry to the touch quickly, while under the dried surface, it is still “wet”. That being said, once the polish is dry to the touch, it won’t rub off on your clothing or other fabrics. It does take a while for the polish to completely “cure” and we recommend at least six (6) hours for this process to complete. To achieve this period with least stress on the polish, and you, we suggest applying Acquarella fifteen to twenty minutes before retiring in the evening. Following this procedure allows the polish to “cure” while you sleep for better wear. Be easy on your tips for the first twenty four hours after application for best overall performance. Past that, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below highlights the specific questions we get asked about, well, frequently.
A little nail maintenance will help your application and improve the wear of Acquarella nail polish. We recommend filing and buffing your nails. Filing helps to remove any splitting or other nail issues and let’s be honest, it makes them look better. Next comes buffing. Why is buffing an important part of the process you ask? Since there is no base coat or top coat, any nail surface imperfections are more visible. Additionally, a buffed nail surface allows for better adhesion of the Acquarella nail polish.
Using the 3-way file buffer, follow the three step diagram to smooth major ridges and imperfections on the nail surface. Then use the Ultra 2-way file buffer, as depicted above, to bring a smooth, high gloss shine to the nail surface.
First Time Use: Using Acquarella Conditioner, follow the diagram above and repeat the cycle each day for three days. Make sure to remove all existing Conditioner each day before reapplication and buff nails only on the first day. This process “detoxifies” your nails from residual oils and emollients, thereby enhancing wear and adhesion. After the third day, you are ready for Acquarella Nail Polish.
Everyday Use: Using Acquarella Nail Polish, follow the diagram above with buffing and nail preparation done on an as-needed basis.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When should I do the First Time Use steps above?
The conditioning period helps to return moisture to dry, chemically abused nails. This conditioning period helps remove many oils and emollients found on the nail body that interfere with the adhesion of Acquarella Nail Polish. Do these steps after weeks of non-use or if conventional nail polish has been worn recently.
Do I ever have to use the Conditioner again after a First Time use?
Yes and no. If you are currently wearing conventional nail polish or use oil-based products with your nails and cuticles, we always recommend repeating the First Time Use instructions. Acquarella Nail Polish will adhere better the more you wear and if you stop wearing Acquarella for an extended period of time, it always helps to start again right.
How much time should a person wait between cleaning and application?
There is no wait time between cleaning and application. If your nails have been cleansed with Acquarella Remover, then rinsed in fresh water and completely dried, you are good to go. Do make sure that there is no residual water around the cuticles.
How many coats should I apply?
Two thin coats are all that is needed. Remember, the more coats applied, the worse it will wear. Tip: Make the first coat a very thin coat, not worrying about coverage. The second coat is a coverage coat. Less coats and less material will wear significantly better than 3+ coats.
My tips are chipping – what can I do?
Remember, two thin coats are all that is needed. Some people choose to apply more coats for greater opacity, but this comes at a price – worse wear & greater chipping. The biggest issues causing chipping and poor wear are:
- Too thick of application, especially at tips. Lift up when reaching the end of the nail, not wiping down.
- Not following the instructions. This is a huge issue, usually resulting from some step that has not been followed. If you have think you did it right and still have issues – don’t get frustrated, drop us an email for help.
- Not allowing time to “cure”. If you tend to be hard on your tips, there’s no substitute for giving it overnight to cure.
- Not taking it easy for the first 24 hours. Giving your nails a little extra TLC in the first day makes a world of difference.
- Not rinsing the Remover off with water. This may sound odd, but the surfactant in our Remover degrades adhesion of the polish to the nail if not rinsed thoroughly. Always rinse hands and feet after removal process to neutralize and remove remaining Acquarella Remover residue. While rinsing with warm, clean water only, you may even hear them “squeak” when rubbing the nail with water. Your hands should have been cleaned before starting, so there’s no need to further use other soaps, et cetera as they may “coat” the nails with something incompatible with the application of Acquarella Nail Polish. The goal is “squeaky clean” and dried nails.
Why does this bottle not look like what I what thought I purchased?
There are a couple reasons for this the foremost being that our viscosity is thin and colorant may "fall out." It is actually designed that way, in that if we made it thicker like conventional nail polish, you would NEVER be able to get the color back in solution. When in doubt follow these steps to get the color back into shape. First, knock the bottle on the palm of your hand to get the steel balls loose, then gently shake the bottle for no more than five (5) seconds. If you shake the bottle too much, for too long or too vigorously, the bottle becomes full of bubbles and this makes the polish almost impossible to paint on smoothly. Once you have gently shaken the bottle, turn it upside down on a table, wait 10 minutes and then you are ready to paint a test nail with two coats per our application instructions. You will get a sense of both the actual opacity and shade - not what it looks like in the bottle, which is sometimes misleading. Also, remember that colors on a computer monitor vary, so what it looked like on your screen and what it arrived looking like may differ. Therefore, we offer color descriptions for each color to help to alleviate this problem.
Does temperature/humidity of the nails/environment make a difference in application or drying time?
It sure does! Remember, it is a water-based product and Acquarella’s dry time is different depending on the temperature and humidity in the surrounding environment, not to mention the temperature of your hands and feet. Since Acquarella depends on both the evaporation and absorption of water molecules for drying, temperature will completely affect the speed at which that will occur. Tip: Depending on the time of year, your goal should be to have reasonable finger/toe temperature – not too hot and not too cold.
My polish was painting and wearing great, now it is not. What is going on?
There are many factors that can affect how Acquarella nail polish paints and wears. This can include and are not limited to: ambient temperature, body temperature, humidity levels, and even hormone levels. If you have trouble with a certain color, we recommend giving it a few attempts and at varying times during the month to see if the problem persists.
Is there a base coat or a top coat?
No. There is no need for a base coat or a top coat unlike other conventional and other water based nail polishes.
I’m having a manicure or pedicure, when should I apply Acquarella Moisturizer?
Acquarella Moisturizer may be applied before and after a manicure or pedicure to the surrounding cuticle tissue only. Because it is non-oily, it shouldn’t interfere with the adhesion of our Acquarella Nail Polish or Conditioner. Ask your nail care professional to use it during your service. Acquarella Moisturizer can also be applied after baths or showers - apply on the hands and other dry skin areas. Since it’s not a crème, it does need time to absorb or you risk rinsing it off.
FAQ - Wear
Can you take a shower, bath or go swimming?
Yes to all three – with a proviso. The question you need to be asking is about time – yes, time. How long are you planning to do any of these activities and how long has it been since initial application? Both are two of the major factors to consider. Keep this in mind, a simple equation applies to our product: Water Absorption + Physical Abrasion = Damage. The first twenty four hours after application, while the polish is curing (see above), is critical to proper wear. We recommend you take it easy on nail tips and polish for the first six hours after applying the Acquarella Nail Polish. You can get it wet and wash hands – just remember it needs TLC during this time and if you do come in contact with water, avoid touching the polish. This polish absorbs water, just like a sponge. With the equation above, about absorption and damage, the longer you let it absorb water, the easier it is to damage.
After a long bath, my nails have lost some shine. Why?
Remember, our polish will absorb water. After extended periods of exposure to water, the shine will be temporarily dulled but will regain its luster after “drying out”. You may notice the nails “sweating” a bit after extended exposure to water. Be careful NOT to physically disturb the polish on the nail during this time – just let it dry out and do not mess with it.
Why is the polish just coming off in mere hour or two after application upon washing hands?
Some toners, “moisturizing” soaps, solvents and lotions have oils and emollients that interfere with Acquarella adhering properly. Those oils and other chemicals can be absorbed into your nail plate through the polish, causing the polish to come off, sometimes in a sheet. This occur because the oils are disrupting the curing process. Following the application practices above and revisiting the “First Time” use protocol with the Conditioner will help with this problem. If you have other issues, feel free to contact us for help – we are here for you!
Can a section/chip be repainted with the same polish on the nail?
Absolutely! Make sure the nail is washed and clear of any surface dirt or oil before fixing the chip or other damage. Do be advised, that a stop gap repair will not wear as well as a fully prepared application. For best results we recommend removing and reapplying the damaged polish.
FAQ - General Information
How long will each bottle last?
This depends on how much you paint your nails. Application and use is different for everyone. However, a bottle of Acquarella Nail Polish lasts much longer than conventional polish because you can use the entire bottle.
It has gone “gloopy”. What do I do now?
We have a suggested process and the first step is to obtain some distilled water. Tap water or other filtered water will adulterate the polish and is strictly NOT endorsed. The polish is “gloopy” because the polish is drying out and if left to continue long enough, it will “brick” and become solid. Be advised, this advice may only work on polish that has not dried out too much. Start the process by placing one or two drops of distilled water in the bottle (replacing cap tightly), shake vigorously, and leaving overnight. Re-shake the polish the next day to see if we’re approaching a proper, watery consistency. This process may need to be repeated multiple evenings to get the polish to a consistency/viscosity that is close to that of original paintable Acquarella Nail Polish.
How often can I change it?
Constantly if you like. But seriously, the more you wear it, the better it wears better. So if you would like to make a change every hour, day or week, you can do this without concern of how often you are doing this as you are exposing yourself to “nothing” bad. Do remember to only buff as needed once your nails have been properly prepared. Over buffing can lead to nail soreness, damage and other problems.
What are the shelf life of Acquarella products?
Acquarella Nail Polish, Conditioner, Moisturizer and Remover are designed to last up to three years from date of manufacturing. Refer to labeling for PAO and date code found on packaging.