iGel Academy

Building an Apex

What is an Apex? 

 An apex is basically building the product like a concave dome on the stress points of the nail.

To begin building an apex, kindly make sure that the nail has been prepped. For this, we highly recommend that you read our article How to Prep Your Nails Like a Pro. When finished, kindly follow our guide below to build that apex.

How to Build an Apex:

For Dip: 9 Step Process.

Base Coat

1. The Horizon.


  • After applying the Bond (the primer that dehydrates the nail) to the natural nail, apply a single short horizontal stroke of Base Coat (the adhesive for powder application) along the line where the tip and the nail bed converge without touching the corners of your nail. Then, dip your nail in your chosen dip powder.

Pro Tip: Minimize the product buildup at the side of your nails. If you're using Pro Gel Tips, place a single short stroke of base coat 


2. The One (Vertical line).

Afterward, place a single vertical stroke of base coat at the center of your nail avoiding the area near the cuticle and the nail tip. Then, dip your nail into your dip powder

The purpose of the apex is to help balance your nail. Imagine a seesaw, the heavier side will go down by the law of gravity. When your nail grows, the heavier side must remain nearer the nail bed.

3. Three Quarters.

Continue applying your base coat to 3/4 of the nail until the free edge, avoiding the area near the cuticle. Leave a little smile-shaped space! Then, apply dip powder onto your nails again.

4. Close to Cuticle, but not quite.

Apply the base coat onto the cuticle again, leaving a tinier space. Remember to dust it off with your favorite dust brush. Afterward, apply the Activator. This will provide strength and stability to your nail. Once dried, you may tap on your nail to hear a clicking sound.

Pro Tip: You may lightly file your nail with a hand buffer to achieve the perfect base, or use a fine or medium L-Smooth Top or Mandrel to smoothen your base layers and thin the side area to prevent buildup.

5. Even Closer to Cuticle, but not quite.

Place the base coat with even thinner space from the cuticle, then add your dip powder of choice.

6. All the Way. 

Place the base coat on your whole nail, and dip your powder of choice again.

7. For Clarity. 

Afterward, You may place the base on your nail (again) and pour clear dip powder onto your nail. You may pour over a small bowl and recycle your clear dip powder for your other nails.

8. Buff & Shape. 

File your nails with a hand buffer, and place Activator again. Once dried, lightly file the nail with a hand buffer, and shape with a 5 in 1 drill bit. Don't forget to dust it off with your favorite dust brush, then wipe it off with a lint-free wipe. 

Remember: Make it thicker towards the meeting. 

9. Top Coat and Tada!

Unlike the other top coats, the Dip & Dap - 4 Top Coat is air-dried.

Notice: The Dip & Dap - 4 Top Coat is solely for dip application. We do not recommend using it for other applications such as gel or lacquer.


For Acrylic: 5 Step Process

You may also skim through How to Apply Acrylic Nails for more detailed instructions. 

1. Love at First Bead.

Apply the bead on the stress point of the nail. Normally, this is near the center of your nail or the area where your tip and nail bed meet.

Pro Tip: If you're using nail tips, you may gently press on them to reveal the stress area. It will appear as a white/lighter part of your nail bed. That is where your apex should be most concentrated.

2. Three Quarters.

Place another bead closer to the 3/4, until the end of your tip. Then using the very tip of your brush, smoothen down the bead toward the tip of your nail. 

Pro Tip: Check your nail at different angles to check smoothness, especially if you're doing it for the first time! We want all your layers nice and even.

3. Close to Cuticle.

Next, apply the product closer to the cuticle area but leave a little space. Gently pat the bead down, and finely press to fill in the little gaps. Remember to finely blend it, and avoid buildup at the crevices between skin and nail! 

Pro Tip: You may dip your acrylic brush in monomer and clean the crevices. The idea is to build more product at the center, keeping less product at the sides.

4. Fourth Time's the Charm

Place the bead at the stress area (again), and gently pat it down to make fine even layers. Please be gentle while blending! We need that apex to stay. 

5. Top Coat and Tada!

Unlike the top coat for the powders, these top coats require a UV or LED light

• Original Gel Top Coat - This needs to be cured and then wiped with alcohol after its final curing.

• No Cleanse Gel Top Coat - This would be ready to go after its final curing.

• iGel Matte Top Coat - This needs to be cured, and does not require cleansing. However, we do recommend using the No Cleanse Top Coat before the Matte.

For further assistance, kindly tap on our  to visit our Facebook Community page. Alternatively, you may personally email us at cs@igelbeauty.com or message us here on our website. 


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