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Builder Gel in a Bottle vs. Gel Polish -  The Differences and Similarities

Builder Gel in a Bottle vs. Gel Polish - The Differences and Similarities

When it comes to creating stunning, long-lasting nails, Glitterbels Builder Gel in a Bottle (BIAB) and gel polish are the go-to for many professionals. Both products offer unique benefits, but understanding their differences and similarities can help nail technicians make the best choice for their clients. So, for the uninitiated let’s dive into what set these two products apart and where they overlap.

What is Builder Gel in a Bottle (BIAB)?

Builder Gel in a Bottle (commonly referred to as BIAB), is a thicker gel designed to add strength and structure to the natural nail. It’s ideal for clients with weak or brittle nails that need extra support. BIAB can also be used to create nail extensions or overlays, offering versatility that traditional gel polish does not.

Key Benefits of BIAB:

Strength and Durability: BIAB provides a robust foundation, making it perfect for clients who need added nail strength.
Versatility: It can be used for overlays, extensions, and as a base for other gel colours.
Long-Lasting: BIAB tends to last longer than regular gel polish, reducing the frequency of salon visits.

What is Gel Polish?

Gel polish, on the other hand, is a thinner, more flexible product designed primarily for colour application. It provides a beautiful, glossy finish and is ideal for clients who want a natural look with added colour and shine. Gel polish is perfect for those who don’t need the added strength that BIAB provides.

Key Benefits of Gel Polish:

Ease of Use: Gel polish is easier to apply and remove compared to BIAB.
Colour Variety: It offers a wide range of colours and finishes, from glossy to matte.
Flexibility: Ideal for clients who prefer a more natural feel and look.

Differences Between BIAB and Gel Polish

1. Purpose:

• BIAB: Designed for building and strengthening the nail.
• Gel Polish: Primarily for colour application and a glossy finish.

2. Thickness:

• BIAB: Thicker consistency to provide structure and support.
• Gel Polish: Thinner consistency for easy application of colour.

3. Durability:

• BIAB: Longer-lasting and more durable, ideal for clients with weak nails.
• Gel Polish: Generally requires more frequent application.


4. Application:

• BIAB: Can be used to create extensions and overlays.
• Gel Polish: Used for adding colour and shine to the nails.

Similarities Between BIAB and Gel Polish

Despite their differences, BIAB and gel polish share some common traits:

Curing Process: Both require curing under a UV or LED lamp.
Glossy Finish: Both provide a high-shine finish, though BIAB can also serve as a base for gel polish colours.
Removal: Both need to be soaked off with acetone, though BIAB might take a bit longer due to its thickness.

Training and Mastering BIAB and Gel Polish

Both products can, in theory, be applied by consumers and your customers could DIY their own builder gel or gel polish nails. But, in theory, your customers could also build their own house, but this doesn’t mean it's a good idea. Glitterbels is a professional-only brand and we would only recommend using our products once you have completed either one of our gel polish or builder gel courses. Glitterbels has an award-winning training team and we are keen to support Nail Tech’s right from the start of their career. Explore the Glitterbels Training Courses to elevate your nail game, regardless of the nail system you (or your clients) prefer.