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difference between builder gel and gel polish

Whats the Difference Between Builder Gel and Gel Polish?

Builder gel is now an extremely popular product for many Glitterbels customers. It's long-lasting and great to work with. But there is some confusion around what exactly Builder gel is and how it stacks up against gel polish. In this post, we're going to explore some frequently asked questions about builder gel, the differences between builder gel and gel polish and when it's appropriate to use either product.

First up what is Gel Polish? Gel polish is a type of nail polish that is cured using UV or LED light. It's often referred to as ‘Shellac’ which is one of the many brands of gel polishes available on the market. Gel polish usually has a glossy finish and can last for up to 2 weeks with proper care. There are are a huge range of gel polishes on the market with differences in price to match - 'gel polishes' on Amazon can be bought for as little as 0.39 but we couldn't possibly comment on the efficacy of such a cheap product.

Prior to the advent of gel polish, it was all about nail varnish. While it could last for a few days, the shine would soon diminish and you’d need to reapply your varnish. Some of us at Glitterbels HQ remember those days and how our Mum's seemed to be constantly painting their nails...


Now let's look at Builder Gel. Builder gel is a mix between nail polish and acrylics. It can also be referred to as 'hard gel'. Builder Gel has a less glossy finish than gel polish, but it is much more durable and long-lasting. It's designed to help strengthen the nail and protect it from breakage. Builder gels have multiple applications, from extending nails or rebuilding weak or broken nails.

How long does builder gel last?

Builder gel can last anywhere from 3 weeks up to 4-5 weeks with proper care. Builder gel is much more durable than gel polish, so it's a great choice for those who want their nails to look perfect for an extended period of time.

So how do you apply builder gel? Builder gel is applied in thin layers and cured with an LED or UV light. Once it's all cured, you can use a regular nail file to shape your nails and add some cuticle oil for extra hydration.

When should you use gel polish and when should you use builder gel? Gel polish is a great choice for those who want their nails to look perfect for an extended period of time (2 weeks) and don't want to fuss too much with the maintenance. Builder gel is also excellent, but it’s better suited for those who are looking for a longer-lasting solution, as well as people with weak or damaged nails.

Which is best for nail art gel polish or builder gel?

That really depends on the type of nail art you’re doing. If you’re looking for a glossy finish with precise lines, then gel polish is probably best. If you’re creating something more complicated and intricate, then builder gel may be your best option.

If you are interested in becoming an expert at applying gel polish or builder gel then please head over to our training academy. Our Educators are award-winning and ABT accredited and courses are available in an online or classroom environment, nationwide.