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introduction to gel nail polish

The Ultimate Introduction to Gel Nail Polish

Gel nails have been around for decades (since the 80s in fact) and they’ve seen many changes. Fast forward 30-40 years and we now have gel nail polish in many different forms and it has now taken the beauty world by storm. It's easy to understand why this saving grace for our nails might be confusing, so we wanted to put together a handy guide so you can understand everything there is to know about gel nail polish.

What is gel nail polish?

Gel Polish is a beautiful, durable alternative to traditional nail polish. It's made up of acrylic monomers and oligomers that bond together when placed under UV light- which triggers the process called curing in only seconds. With this hard coating on your fingers or toes, you can handle anything life throws at you without worrying about chipping or cracking.

Is gel nail polish toxic?

Gel nail polish is a popular option for nails because it lasts longer than regular nail polish. However, the use of gel nail polish may come with some risks that you may not have known existed before now. One concern people have been raising over time involves skin irritation such as hives and contact dermatitis from ingredients found in these products like methacrylates or acrylates. However, as the gel polish doesn't (or shouldn’t) come into contact with the skin and only the nail the risk of either of these things is negligible.

Will gel nail polish air dry?

If you're thinking about letting your gel nail polish air out, think again. Oxygen will get in the way and prevent curing which means that they'll never harden into a durable finish.

Can gel nail polish be used on natural nails?

Yes, gel nail polish can be used on both natural nails and acrylics.

How do I apply gel nail polish?

If you have got more time, check out one of our brand ambassadors’ tutorials on how to apply gel nail polish here.

How long should gel nail polish last?

Gel polish is the new trend in nail care, and it's not hard to see why. With regular polishes, you have a one to day window of opportunity before your nail polish starts chipping but with gel nails, they should remain perfect for two to three weeks.

How do you remove gel nail polish?

The best way to remove gel polish at home is with a few simple steps. First, you will want to use an acetone-soaked cotton ball wrapped in tin foil and then scrape off any remaining residue or topcoat from your nail. You could also try the soak-off method, check it out here.

Is gel nail polish better than normal nail polish?

If you are looking for a manicure or nail art that will last and this is your criteria for ‘better’, then yes. Nails that have been treated with gel nail polish last much longer than standard nail polish.

Will gel nail polish dry without UV light?

UV light is essential for curing gel nail polish because it eliminates any chance of air conditioning or other chemicals that could be in your environment causing any blemishes. Without this protection, the manicure would take much longer to become fully cured and there's a higher risk that crystals may develop on the nail so we would never recommend applying gel polish without access to a UV light. You can use Glitterbels UV/LED Lamp - Sunbel 4S.

Will gel polish hurt my nails?

The great news is applying gel polish to nails wont hurt them.

Are there any tips on gel nail polish for beginners?

Prep is important:

You need to prepare properly before you put on the polish. If achieving a long-lasting manicure is the objective, follow these steps:

● Wash your hands.
● File your nails with a good quality nail file. Don't file too much! Make sure you paint gently in one direction.
● Push back your cuticles and then make sure they are trimmed.
● Buff the nails
● Prime your nails with Glitterbels acid free primer.

The base coat is essential:

Before you put on your colour, you need to put on a base coat. The base coat is like a protective membrane between your nail and the gel nail polish. This will help the manicure last longer. One thin base coat is recommended every time you apply gel nail polish. The base coat will also help the gel polish stay on your nails better so it won't peel off prematurely. After applying the base coat cure the nails either under an LED lamp or UV (adjusting the time accordingly) and you are good to go!

Use short strokes:

Put each layer of polish on carefully. Think about it: gel polish is not the same as regular nail varnish. You don't need to put on a thick coat. Put on thin coats and take care to use short brush strokes so you stay in the line. If you put on too much, that's okay and don’t panic. Simply just wipe away any extra gel nail polish before you begin the curing process.

Make sure to cap the edges:

To keep your gel nail polish last longer, seal the edges. This means that when you put on the base and top coats, also put polish along the edge of your nail so it covers the tip. Doing this will stop the polish from coming off and also help protect it from chips and scratches.

When you want to get rid, make sure you do it properly:

However tempting it may seem, try not to pick and scratch at your manicure. You can damage your nails if you do. Get some acetone remover and follow the process below:

1. Remove the shine by buffing the nails very gently.
2. Saturate a cotton pad in acetone.
3. Encase the nail with the acetone-soaked pad and some foil.
4. Follow this procedure for all of the nails and then simply wait for around 10 minutes. The gel nail polish should then simply peel away with ease.

We hope this introductory guide to nail gel polish has been useful! Using gel nail polish is a specialist skill so if you are keen to learn more about how you can use gel nail polish to increase the breadth of services you offer or want to get to the top of your gel nail polish game, why not check out some of the courses we offer online here?