Gel Polish 101 - How to Apply & Remove
Ever dreamt of maintaining luxurious long-lasting nails of your own design, but are on a budget? Try gel polish on your nails, and let out your creative side! ♡ Your nails are your canvas.
What is Gel Manicure?
A gel manicure is the process of applying a strong, long-lasting gel-based nail polish cured with UV or LED light instead of air drying.
If chipping is your dilemma, Gel Polish should be next on your agenda. You deserve long-lasting happiness! Heartbroken days no more! Gel is exceptionally durable and may last up to 3 weeks without chipping, unlike regular lacquer which may chip in 3 days. The only reason you would need to change gel is nail growth.
The most amazing thing about gel polish is that it can be used on both natural nails and false/faux tips. You wouldn’t have to wait weeks for your nails to be long and luscious or stress about brittleness.
Want to learn how to apply Gel Polish at home? It may seem a bit difficult at first, but with enthusiasm and a little research, you can do it too! Read on to find out!
How is Gel Polish Applied?
Here are the steps you need to follow to apply gel polish at home:
Just like any other manicure, the first step in gel manicure is prepping. Clip & file your nails to your desired shape. Then, soak them in warm water and gently push back the cuticles.
2. Prime Time (optional).
You don’t necessarily have to use the primer in gel manicure. The basecoat does the job well.
Apply the base coat after prepping the nails. The basecoat acts as a primer and prepares your nails for the gel.
4. Color and Coat.
Take a gel polish of your favorite color and apply the first coat.
5. Let there be Light.
Cure (dry) the first coat under UV (2-3 minutes) or LED light (30-60 seconds). Note: Depending on the strength of your lamp, cure time may vary.
Apply the second coat of polish and again cure it under UV or LED light.
7. Top Coat and Tada!
Finish it off with a shiny topcoat and cure your nails under UV or LED light for a few seconds.
Don’ts. To avoid heartbreak, here is a list of common mistakes that you should NOT do while applying gel polish:
• Don’t Apply Gel Polish On Wet Nails
Like glue on water, it just doesn’t work. The gel won’t adhere to the nails properly.
If you wash your hands during prepping, be sure to dry your nails thoroughly before applying the gel polish.
• Don’t Apply Thick Coats
Be patient, you will get that color. Apply multiple layers if the need be, build it up. Timing is everything. ♡
Thick coats are a big NO! Keep this rule in mind that you have to apply thin layers of gel polish to get the best possible results. If the coats are too thick, your polish will not cure properly.
Already happened? Tip: If you have applied a thick coat of gel, immediately wipe the brush clean. Then drag the brush over your polished nail to remove the excess polish.
Build it up, art takes time. Coat, coat, and coat until you get that level of opacity. ♡
• Don’t Pick or Bite Your Nails
Appetizing? Nervous? Think again! Picking or biting your nails is not just unhygienic, but it can also damage your nails. Poor nail beds.
This may leave tiny cuts and cause unevening of nail shape (the nail attached to your skin may get little lopsided dents).
Lastly, imagine all the things you’ve touched getting into your mouth.
• Don’t Let the Polish Touch Your Skin
If the gel polish reaches your cuticle or skin around your nails, immediately wipe it off. Take a small, angled brush and dip it in acetone. Use the brush to remove the gel polish along the cuticle and sidewalls.
Why? Because not only is it messy, but it would also further ruin your aesthetic because when it dries it would be like a loose thread on a cute sweater. Tug it or get it caught on something, and it would ruin your whole sweater.
Unlike tough nail keratin, your skin is a barrier of many layers. These layers slough off and renew. The gel polish would not adhere to it as a nail. It would definitely turn into that one loose end.
Removal. How Is Gel Polish Removed?
Whether it’s time to get a new design, switch up the color, or take a breather, it is important to remove your gel polish safely and efficiently. It’s not that hard, we promise!
Simply take a nail file and remove the shiny topcoat. If you like to buff as much as we do, be careful not to file your nails excessively as it can damage your nails. Afterward, pour 100% acetone remover in a bowl and soak your nails into it for 3 to 5 minutes.
Finally, remove the gel off your nails using a cuticle pusher or orange wood stick. Once it’s removed, thoughtfully buff your nails and moisturize them.
Safety First. Are gel manicures safe?
Yes, absolutely! Gel manicures are completely safe if done correctly.
All the bad things and horror stories you might have heard about gel polish are due to its high adhesion. Gel polish adheres to your nails and peeling it off can lift layers off your natural nails. You’ll be left with weak, uneven, and brittle nails. All you would have to keep in mind is to follow the removal process above, and not to over-buff.
Contrary to popular belief, gel polish does not damage your nails if it’s applied and removed properly. So don’t worry – relax, do your mani pedi, and enjoy!