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What’s the Difference Between BIAB and Hard Gel?

What’s the Difference Between BIAB and Hard Gel?

At Glitterbels, we believe every nail technician’s nail knowledge should be as sharp as their manicures. So we like to look not only at the products we manufacture but also ones we don’t. So in this piece, we want to consider Builder Gel in a Bottle (BIAB) and the differences and similarities to hard gel. We think our HEMA-free Builder Gel is a game changer - let's dive in and find out how it stacks up against hard gel.  

Builder in a Bottle (BIAB): The Game Changer

BIAB, or Builder in a Bottle, is a revolutionary product that has taken the nail industry by storm. It’s a versatile and user-friendly solution for creating strong, natural-looking nails. Here’s why BIAB is making waves:

Application and Consistency

BIAB comes in a convenient bottle with a brush applicator, much like traditional nail polish. This makes it incredibly easy to apply, even for those who are new to using builder gels. The consistency of BIAB is typically thicker than regular gel polish but still manageable, allowing for smooth application and even coverage.

Flexibility and Strength

One of the standout features of BIAB is its flexibility. Unlike some hard gels that can be quite rigid (the clue is in the name, it’s called Hard Gel for a reason!), BIAB is designed to bend and flex with the natural nail. This reduces the risk of breakage and lifting, providing a more durable finish that can withstand everyday wear and tear.

Natural Look and Feel

BIAB is ideal for those who prefer a natural look. It can be used to create overlays on natural nails, adding strength without excessive bulk. The result is a sleek, natural appearance that feels lightweight and comfortable.


BIAB isn’t just for overlays; it’s also perfect for creating extensions. With its strong yet flexible formula, BIAB allows nail technicians to build length and shape with ease, offering clients the option of longer, more dramatic nails.

Hard Gel: The Classic Powerhouse

Hard gel has been a staple in nail salons for years, known for its robustness and long-lasting results. Here’s what you need to know about hard gel:

Application and Consistency

Hard gel typically comes in a pot and requires a brush for application. It’s thicker and more viscous than BIAB, which can make it a bit more challenging to work with, especially for beginners. However, this consistency allows for precise sculpting and shaping, making it a favourite among experienced nail technicians.

Rigidity and Durability

Hard gel is renowned for its strength and rigidity. Once cured, it forms a solid, inflexible layer that can withstand significant pressure. This makes it an excellent choice for clients with weak or brittle nails who need extra reinforcement.

Long-Lasting and Reliable

One of the main advantages of hard gel is its durability. Properly applied hard gel nails can last for weeks without chipping or lifting. This longevity makes it a reliable option for clients looking for a long-lasting manicure.

Extensions and Sculpting

Hard gel is perfect for creating extensions and intricate nail art. Its thick consistency allows nail technicians to build length and shape with precision, making it the go-to choice for elaborate designs and structural enhancements.

Similarities and Key Takeaways

Despite their differences, BIAB and hard gel share some common traits that make them both excellent choices for nail technicians:

  1. Curing Process: Both BIAB and hard gel require curing under a UV or LED lamp. This ensures a strong, long-lasting finish.
  2. Strengthening Properties: Both products provide additional strength and support to natural nails, reducing the risk of breakage.
  3. Versatility: While their application methods differ, both BIAB and hard gel can be used for overlays and extensions, offering versatility in nail design.

Whether you choose BIAB or hard gel depends on your client’s needs and your personal preference as a nail technician. At Glitterbels, we’re committed to providing high-quality, professional nail products that help you achieve beautiful, durable nails every time. Explore our range of builder gels and discover the perfect product to elevate your nail game.