The Ultimate Builder Gel Starter Guide
If you're wondering what you should include in your nail tech supplies when becoming a nail tech, you should add Builder Gel as part of your beginner nail tech kit. If you're a professional who wants to master using the Builder Gel in a bottle, you should read on to find out!
What is a Builder Gel?
Builder Gel is a cross between acrylic and hard gel. When you want to make your nails longer, thicker, or stronger, you'll want to use a Builder Gel to build it to have a stronger foundation literally. You can use it for nail extensions or enhancements.
You may also use Builder Gel on natural nails or Pro Gel Tips for a durable overlay. iGel Beauty Builder in a bottle includes primer and base in one; therefore no need for any additional products.
What are the benefits of Builder Gel?
- A simple remedy for a chipped or damaged nail
- It already includes a brush
- Overlay layer on top of the base
- Expansion of the nails' natural length
- You can use it to fill in your Pro Gel Tips
- Dip and dap method across the nail are both easy to apply
- Simple to clean up ( soak off)
What Builder Gel shades are currently available?
How to use the Builder Gel?
STEP 1: Nail Prep
Nail prep is mandatory before any nail treatments, or nail art can be performed, and utilizing a Builder Gel is no exception. Use a 180-grit hand file or an e-file to shape and file the nail, and then push back your cuticles. Before putting it away, clean it off using your preferred dust brush. You can read our guide on nail prep to refresh your memory.
Nail art begins with this step since natural oils secreted by our nails could obstruct adherence. Incorrect nail prep and nail care can make your nails weak and brittle, which may cause cracks, lifting, and expansion of the nails.
STEP 2: Decide where you’ll be applying the Builder Gel
You may choose to use your natural nail bed, add nail forms or nail tips to guide you with your build. Don't forget to use a nail form when using Builder Gel to set the base firmly when applying the Builder Gel.
Natural Nails: Overlay
You can simply apply the builder gel to your nails like a gel polish that can make your nails shiny and stronger and set the foundation for your nail art.
With clear tips, you could also make a two-toned design by placing a different color as the base and top.
STEP 3: Apply the Builder Gel
Since Builder Gel is a little runnier than Sculpture Gel, you may opt to use multiple layers; however, you could achieve this look with just one layer.
First Layer: Swipe the builder gel up to the nail's length. When you've nearly reached that length, swipe your brush in a crescent motion at the tips.
Curing Time: LED (30 seconds), UV/LED (60-90 seconds), UV (2 minutes) depending on lamp wattage.
Second Layer: Repeat the shape and length of the first layer.
STEP 4: Shape and File
Take off the form (if used), and shape and file the extended nail. Don't forget to shape the sides of the tip first. This will help you picture the shape beforehand. However, if you use nail tips with blunt tips such as square or coffin-shaped, you may shape them according to the tip shape. Afterward, use your dust brush to clear it up before the next step.
STEP 5: Use a Top Coat
Don't miss out on using the Top Coat to protect your freshly manicured nails from chipping and lifting by sealing in your Builder Gel manicure or nail art. You can use our No Cleanse Top Coat when you're using Builder Gel.
Other helpful tips for you when applying the Builder Gel:
Invert Hand: Position your palms upside-down (facing the ceiling). This will help create an even arch.
Build an Apex: Apply more product toward the center stroke so you have a bump to file down.
Curing Time: Quick Flash Cure (3-5 seconds) to hold gel in place.
Third Layer: Continue building it up into an even, shiny layer.
Curing Time: LED (30 seconds), UV/LED (60-90 seconds), UV (2 minutes) depending on lamp wattage. If a form is used, remember to cure the underside as well for complete curing!
Note: If you haven't achieved your desired thickness with three layers, you may also opt to do more than three since it depends on your personal preference.
How to remove Builder Gel?
STEP 1: Buff your nails
Since Gel Top Coat is acetone resistant (the shiny layer), we highly recommend buffing/roughing the shiny layer before soaking it. You may also use a buffer or your e-file of choice to remove the bulk of your Builder Gel without reaching the natural nail.
STEP 2: Soak and submerge in a solution
Soak your nails in acetone for 5 to 20 minutes after that, and you're done! (depending on how thick the remaining Builder Gel is left).
You may place the acetone in a glass bowl and place another bowl of raw heated rice or hot water underneath. If you are using rice, heat it without water for 1 minute. The hot rice will heat the acetone and speed up the process.
STEP 3: Softly scrape the Builder Gel off
If it won't come off, please re-soak them for another 5 minutes. Be gentle with your nails. Do not force-scrape them off. Once they are soft enough, you may lightly scrape them off. Please keep in mind that you may leave little scrapes, cracks, or chips if this removal is harshly done.
STEP 4: Repeat the process when necessary
If tiny remnants of Builder Gel remain, gently buff off the residue with a hand buffer or sanding band.
Building your nail career along with your nail collection can be a heady mixture of fun and challenging. Using a Builder Gel for newbie nail techs can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to! Join our iGel Beauty Facebook community to learn more about the nail world and other iGel products releases.