Product Tutorials

Beginner's Guide to Gel Polish


Gel polish is the long-awaited holy grail of long-lasting, glossy, non-chip manicures and nail art. Gel polish is trendy for a reason, and you should consider getting this manicure. On the other hand, acrylics are applied to the natural nail, whereas gel is placed as a liquid combination directly on the actual nail.


What is Gel manicure?

Gel manicures use UV or LED light instead of air drying to cure a long-lasting gel-based nail paint. In contrast to traditional nail lacquer, the gel contains a chemical composition that allows it to harden or cure using a UV light, eliminating the need to sit and wait for it to dry. Speed is the unique selling point of gel manicures since it uses technology with its formula.


What is the difference between gel and regular nail polish?


Compared to traditional lacquers, which cure under an ultraviolet (UV) or light-emitting diode (LED) lamp, gel polishes are more flexible and will not chip. In addition, nail polish remover effectively removes gels, which must be soaked in acetone for before removal.

Depending on the manufacturer, the chemical makeup varies between gel and traditional nail polish. Still, the main distinction is that gel polish can only be dried by direct UV or LED light contact.


How long does a gel manicure last?

Gel polish is much easier to apply and lasts four times as long as traditional nail polish because of the quick-drying formula. As a result, you'll be able to enjoy your stunning nail art for several weeks.


Is gel polish bad for your nails?

Gel polish does not harm your nails when applied and removed correctly. Consequently, don't be alarmed – unwind, give yourself a manicure, and have fun!

Any negative connotations you may have about gel polish stem from its tendency to stick to the nails like glue. It adheres to your nails with a gel formula, and then peeling it off can expose your natural nails beneath.

After this treatment, your nails will be brittle and weak. Remember to follow the removal procedure outlined above and avoid over-buffing your skin.


Steps on how to use gel polish:

STEP 1: Preparation


Prepping your nails is the first step of a gel manicure, just like any other. To begin, trim and file your nails to the appropriate length and form. Gently press back the cuticles after they've been soaked in warm water. You can read our nail prep starter guide to learn more.

STEP 2: Use a Base Coat


Apply the base coat after prepping the nails. The basecoat acts as a primer and prepares your nails for the gel.


STEP 3: Painting the nails with gel


You can now apply any gel polish you want to use and coat your nails. However, gel polish has a different consistency than most nail polishes, which can confuse someone who isn't familiar with it.

When using gel polish, you don't need as much on your brush as regular nail polish. Gel polish can pool and thicken around your cuticles and nail edge if you use too much on your brush. To avoid this issue, you can apply several thin coats.


 STEP 4: Use a UV / LED lamp


Cure (dry) the first coat under UV (2-3 minutes) or LED light (30-60 seconds). Note: The curing time depends on the strength of your nail lamp. You can check our roundup on UV lamps and see what you'll prefer to use.

Repeat the process of curing your nails with gel polish, then apply the second coat of polish and again cure it under UV or LED light.


STEP 5: Finish it off with a Top Coat


You can add a shiny top coat and cure your nails under a UV/ LED nail lamp for a few seconds to secure your gel polish, then voila! You're good to go.


How to remove gel polish:



You have the option to remove the top coat using a buffer or an e-file. Be cautious not to over-file your nails since this might harm your nails over time. Whether you want a fresh design, a different color, or just a break, you must remove your gel polish properly.


Use a bowl and soak your nails for 3 to 5 minutes of 100% acetone remover.


Finally, use an orangewood stick or a cuticle pusher to remove the gel from your nails. Once all of the gel remains are gone, you can add cuticle oil to your nails to moisturize them.


Gel nail manicures or nail art can be your newest obsession. If you want to see more gel nail polish inspiration and other nail art on your feed, Join our iGel Facebook community, and you'll see masterpieces created by our iGel Beauties and learn a thing or two.