HOW TO APPLY GEL POLISH PERFECTLY?
Whether you’re new to nail polish and want to explore the options, or you want to find a longer-lasting polish formula, a gel manicure might be what you’re looking for.
Compared to regular nail polish, gel nail polish is known to be incredibly long-lasting and yet, unlike acrylics (or fake nails), it is still a liquid formula that is applied directly to your natural nail.
If you want to try gel nails but don’t know where to start, this guide will give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to apply gel nail polish.
We’ve collected all the supplies you need to stock up on, the manicurist-recommended steps for the best application, and some unique ways to customize your gel nails. Here’s what you’ll learn:
First, the supplies. Gel nail polish application requires many tools you probably already have in your at-home nail polish kit, but with a couple of important additions.
A UV/LED curing lamp is one of the most important tools for immaculate gel nails but also one of the more unique parts of the process.
“Curing” is a term that refers to the process of drying gel nails. The chemical reaction activated by the light source quickly dries your nails so they don’t chip or smudge immediately after application. This quick-drying feature is one of the big benefits of a gel manicure or pedicure.
Can you do gel nails at home without UV light?
Absolutely! If you use an LED curing polish, you can use either a UV or LED lamp. An added benefit of opting for LED is that it will be gentler on your skin.
Gel curing – and especially gel polish removal – can be drying for your nails and cuticles, so investing in cuticle oil helps to keep moisture in the skin or nail plate.
A cuticle pusher is used to expose as much of your nail bed as possible, so that it takes longer for your nails to visibly grow out under your polish.
A nail buffer is another nail-kit staple. It serves the purpose of a nail buffer to lightly prep the surface of the nail to ensure the surface of your nail is as even as possible for smooth application.
When removing gel nails, you want to avoid damaging the natural nail underneath by using too coarse a nail file.
For removing gel nails, you can use a medium grit file. If you are applying soak off gel polish, use a 180 grit nail file to remove a hardened top coat before removing the soak off gel polish.
Nail clippers are used before a gel manicure to shape the nail. After gel polish is applied, don’t clip your nails. Cutting your nails after a gel manicure can very likely ruin them as it will break the seal at the tip, causing the gel polish to peel off.
Rubbing alcohol is used to thoroughly clean your nails before you apply gel polish because it removes anything that could get in the way of the polish binding to your natural nail. To apply it, you’ll also need cotton balls or lint-free nail wipes that won’t leave any fuzz on your nails.
A top coat is what seals your gel polish and gives it that beautiful shine.