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how to apply gel polish perfectly

How to Apply Gel Polish Perfectly

Gel polish is now a hugely popular product and there is a huge variety of products on the market. But applying gel polish is not for the uninitiated, it's both an art and a science. So we want to give you our top tips, hacks and advice on how you can apply gel polish perfectly. So if you want to know how to apply gel nail polish perfectly, keep reading...

First up, let's explore what gel polish is and why it's so popular. Gel nail polish is essentially a gel-like formula that you apply to your nails, which then hardens when exposed to ultraviolet light. Gel nail polish is different to traditional nail polishes in that there is no need for a topcoat and it will stay on your nails for weeks at a time - making it the perfect product for those who want long-lasting results. Gel polish is also known for its wide range of colours and finishes too, making it a popular choice for both professional nail technicians and home users alike.

What are the benefits of using gel nail polish? Gel polish is tougher and more durable than traditional nail polishes, so you won't have to worry about chips or smudges with this type of product. Gel polish also helps protect the nails, as it adds an extra layer of protection against everyday wear and tear. Gel polish can also be removed easily (click here for some tips) is long-lasting and looks great!

In order to apply gel polish perfectly, here are the materials you will need: Gel polish (of course!) a UV lamp or led light, a nail file, nail buffer, lint-free wipes, cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol.

Now it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty of applying your gel nail polish perfectly.

How to prepare the nails

Firstly ensure your nails are super clean:

1. Gently push back the cuticles and remove any dirt or dead skin cells
2. Use a nail file to shape the nails
3. Buff the surface of the nails with a nail buffer to create a smooth canvas for your polish
4. Apply a wipe-clean wipe

Next, you should properly shape and file your nails:

1. Start by filing the nail tip in a single direction – this helps to prevent chipping and tearing
2. File the sides of the nails in a circular motion; use an emery board for thinner nails and a metal file for thicker nails
3. Use a buffer to smooth out any rough edges or ridges

Now you should apply a base coat:

1. Start by applying a thin layer of base coat to the nails, making sure it’s even on each nail
2. Use the brush provided with your gel polish to spread and shape the polish
3. Cure the base coat under a UV or LED lamp for 2 minutes
4. Finish by wiping off

Next up, let's apply the gel polish

How you can perfectly apply gel nail polish to the nails:

1. Start by applying a thin layer of gel polish to the nail
2. Use the brush provided with your gel polish to spread and shape the polish
3. Cure the first coat under a UV or LED lamp for 2 minutes
4. Apply a second coat of gel polish, and repeat steps 2-3 above

Top tips for achieving the perfect finish:

1. Always use a thin layer of gel nail polish – it will prevent air bubbles and ensure an even finish
2. Make sure to spread the polish out evenly over each nail, taking care not to leave any streaks or lumps
3. Don’t forget to cap the free edge of the nails with your brush – this will help to keep the polish from chipping
4. Make sure to cure each coat under the UV or LED lamp for the recommended amount of time

How you should cure your gel polish manicure under an LED lamp:

1. Place your hands on the LED lamp and press the start button
2. The light will turn on, and you should ensure all nails are exposed to the light for at least 30 seconds
3. Once your manicure is complete, remove your hands from the lamp and press the stop button
4. Wipe clean!

Now it's time for the finishing touches

Here's how to apply a topcoat:

1. Start by applying a thin layer of topcoat to the nails, making sure it’s even on each nail
2. Use the brush provided with your gel polish to spread and shape the polish
3. Cure the topcoat under a UV or LED lamp for 2 minutes
4. Once cured, gently wipe the topcoat off with a lint-free wipe

Here's how you properly clean up any smears:

1. Use a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol to gently clean up any smears or drips
2. Make sure not to rub too hard – it can remove the colour of your polish
3. Once you’ve finished cleaning, use a lint-free wipe to remove any remaining residue

What about any sticky residue? How do you get rid of that?

1. Use a lint-free wipe and rubbing alcohol to gently remove any sticky residue
2. Make sure not to rub too hard – it can damage the polish
3. Once you’ve finished, cleanse again with a wipe.

What about the maintenance and removal of gel nail polish at home?

Tips for maintaining your gel manicure and make it last longer:
1. Use a cuticle oil regularly to keep your nails hydrated
2. Avoid direct contact with water for at least an hour after application
3. Wear gloves when washing dishes or cleaning surfaces
4. Always use a topcoat every few days to protect the colour and increase its longevity

How do you remove gel nail polish without damaging your nails?

We have written before about this topic at length but as a quick rundown, here's how:

1. Start by soaking cotton balls in acetone and placing them on each nail
2. Wrap the nails with tin foil to keep the cotton balls in place
3. Give this process at least 10 minutes – you should be able to remove the polish without any effort
4. Once you’ve removed all the polish, use a buffer to shape the nails and moisturise with cuticle oil to hydrate your nails.

Are there any alternatives for removing gel polish?

Yes, there are! You can use an at-home removal kit which uses a combination of acetone and creams to break down the gel polish. This process is gentler on the nails as it doesn't require any soaking or wrapping.

To wrap up, Gel nail polish is a great option for those wanting long-lasting, chip-resistant nails. With the right products and techniques, you can achieve perfect results. Gel polish requires more preparation before application than regular nail polish but with practice, it can be mastered in no time! Make sure to follow our tips and advice for success.

We hope this article has provided you with the information and tips needed for Gel polish success, now let's explore some other frequently asked questions about how to apply gel polish perfectly.

Should you wipe after every layer of gel polish?

Gel Polish should not be wiped until after the top coat has been applied. Why? Excessive wiping will remove the inhibition layer which means the next coat would not adhere to the previous. 

Is it safe to use gel polish during pregnancy?

It is best to consult with a doctor before using Gel polish during pregnancy, as some chemicals found in Gel polishes can potentially be harmful.

Can you apply gel polish directly to nails?

No, Gel polish should never be applied directly to the nail. Gel polish needs to be applied over a base coat for better adhesion and longevity.

Do you need to use a lamp when applying gel nail polish?

Yes, Gel polish needs to be cured under a UV or LED lamp for the best results.

What is the best way to thin gel polish?

Add a few drops of Gel polish thinner to the Gel polish and stir it until fully blended.

How long should gel polish last?

Gel polish can last up to two or three weeks depending on the quality of the Gel polish and how it is applied. Check this post for information on this question.

Can you put regular nail polish over gel polish?

Yes, you can apply regular nail polish over Gel polish. However, after removing the Gel polish, any regular nail polish will also come off.

Can gel nails chip?

Yes, Gel nails can chip if not applied properly. This is why it’s important to follow the correct steps and use quality Gel polish for the best results.

What happens if you get gel polish on your skin?

If Gel polish gets onto the skin, it should be removed immediately with an acetone-soaked cotton swab. If left for too long, Gel polish can dry on the skin and become difficult to remove.

Can you use gel polish on acrylic nails?

Yes, Gel polish can be used on acrylic nails. However, Gel polish tends to last longer and chip less when applied over natural nails.

How can I fix a gel polish mistake?

If you make a Gel polish mistake, you can use an acetone-soaked cotton swab to remove the Gel polish and start again.

Can you combine gel polish with regular nail polish?

Yes, Gel polish and regular nail polish can be used together. Gel polish should always be applied on top of regular nail polish for longer-lasting results.