When I first saw the mention of a latex barrier I had no idea what it was or why I would even need it. However, as I started to attempt more complex designs such as water marbling (I’m still trying to master this one!) I found I needed an easier way to clean up. After looking around in the nail community I found a latex barrier was the answer.
Note, if you have an allergy to latex is best not to use latex barriers. Read the last section for alternatives.
So what is it exactly?
A latex barrier goes around the cuticle. It goes on as a liquid and when dried may have a different colour/shine/glitter so that it can be easily seen. It enables the ability to complete techniques such an ombre with a sponge without having to spend ages cleaning up.
What are the benefits?
There are two key benefits to latex barriers!
The first is a quick clean up! You literally peel off the latex and most of the mess is gone!! Amazing 😉 There may be a small amount of residual polish left but this is substantially less than if a barrier was not used.
The second benefit is that your skin will be less likely to dry out and become damaged. This is because you don’t need as much nail polish remover for clean up, meaning fewer chemicals are making contact with your skin.
Which Barrier should I use?
This question is a little harder for me to answer as I have only used two brands, Born Pretty and SM Nail Polish.
I found the Born Pretty Barrier to be very sticky and just one mistaken touch can result in the entire barrier being pulled off. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this one.
I received the SM Nail Barrier as part of a prize. After just one use I am in love!! The barrier dries really nicely and isn’t too sticky. If I accidentally touch the barrier it doesn’t come pull off like the born pretty barrier.
what are the alternatives to latex?
Before latex, I would use painters tape (also known as paper masking tape). It could be a little hard to work with but it was a cheap alternative and perfect for when I was just starting out. Another option is PVC glue or craft glue.
If you know of any other alternatives please comment below!