What is gel manicures and how to apply gel polish at home?

Having been in the manicure business for years has taught me a lot. I am glad to share what I know about gel polish with customers who often have a lot of concerns. If you have never applied gel polish, it is normal to encounter some problems and have questions regarding how it differs from the regular nail polish. Our discussion today aims at answering all those questions and teaching you how you can apply gel polish from home. 

We will first begin with the basics. Gel polish is a form of a gel that you can apply on your nails in place of regular polish. Though applying gel polish is more complex than using regular polish, the results are quite impressive. You can, however, master the art of applying gel polish on your own and enjoy its many benefits. 

What are the merits and demerits of using gel polish?

If you are used to regular polish, then you probably spend some time after your manicure waiting for it to dry. Using gel polish is better since it saves your time as it dries quicker than conventional polish. You only need to subject your nails to an LED UV light for 2 minutes, and you are good to go. 

The elements that are used to make gel polish make it tougher on your nails. You, therefore, don’t have to keep on going for a manicure session every week due to chipping off polish. It is more resistant compared to regular polish. While regular polish lasts for a few days before it starts chipping off, gel polish can go for two weeks if you applied it correctly. The cost of gel polish is, however, higher than that of regular polish. If you, however, value your nails, making the switch will not make you regret. 

 Who should use gel polish?

Though anyone can use this polish, it is ideal for people who hate waiting for their polish to dry. If you are also tired of polish wearing away after a few days, you should also choose gel polish. Due to the fast drying time, most people find gel polish quite convenient to use. 

How to apply gel polish at home

Even though nail technicians like me offer this service, we will teach you how you can use the polish from home so that you can save on salon costs. Since we have a lot of experience in this field, you can trust our advice and be assured of a beautiful manicure at the end of the session. 

  • Gather the essentials

The first step is to gather all the things you need for your manicure so that you can simplify the application process. Choose a set of gel polishes and get an LED UV light. Each gel polish is different, and comparing them can help you get the best results. They come in various quality and drying time. If you don’t know the right gel polish to use, we recommend that you have a few manicure sessions at our salon to learn more about different brands.

If you don’t have the time, start your manicure session with Harmony’s Gelish since it easy to apply and thin. Try to compare some of the gel polishes from online platforms such as Amazon. You also need to use an LED UV light and not the regular UV light since this is not effective on gel polish. 

  • Prepare your nails

Preparation is key to how the gel polish will appear at the end of the manicure. Start by trimming your nails and shaping them. Make use of a file for you to get the desired shape. You can create a round, oval, or almond shape of your nails. Get a cuticle remover to help you trim the cuticles. 

  • Buff the nails

Once you buff the nails, you can use the rough part of the buffer to make the tips of your nails rougher. Since you get into contact with everything through the tips of your nails, roughening them can prevent the gel polish from chipping off easily. 

  • Clean the hands

Clean the hands so that the gel polish can stick on them correctly. If you apply the gel polish without cleaning the nails, it can stick to the debris rather than your nails giving you a shorter lasting manicure. Focus on the cuticles and ensure that you don’t leave any soap on them as you wash your nails. You can then soak a lint-free wipe in alcohol then cleanse them to get rid of any debris on your nails. Make use of a dryer to eliminate any moisture around the nails. You should not touch anything that has oil after this. 

  • Polish your nails

Before you start polishing, ensure you shake the gel polish well. It contains a unique formula that needs shaking before use. This should give you an even and smooth application. You can make use of a paint shaker to shake the gel polish. Use Aquaphor around your cuticles before you apply the gel polish. This should only go directly on the cuticles and not the entire nails. Doing this before polishing the nails with gel ensures that you can wipe off any extra polish that goes on the cuticle with ease.

After this, start by applying a foundation coat on the nails, followed by a topcoat. Ensure you press the brush so that you can get a thin layer of the gel polish on your nails. Avoid smearing too much polish on your nails at once to avoid wrinkling of the gel polish. A thick polish can take longer to dry and chip easily. Cover the tips as you apply the gel polish on them. 

Once you apply foundation coat on one nail, us the LED UV light to dry it before proceeding to the next nail. This will prevent the polish from sliding off easily. Work on the thumbnail the last and let it dry for at least 10 seconds on its own. Once you have done one complete hand, you should dry it for about 4 minutes in the LED UV lamp. 

Apply another layer of the gel polish as you give it some time to dry. Make use of a paper towel dipped in alcohol to get rid of any excess gel polish on the sides of your nails. The topcoat should cover your nails completely to prevent the alcohol from tampering with the gel polish on your nails. You can apply two thin layers of the gel polish on your nails instead of a single thick layer. The consistency of gel polish differs from that of regular polish. You, therefore, don’t need to apply the same amount as you would when using regular polish.

Once you are through with painting the actual nail, work on the end of the nail. Capping the free edge prevents the polish from lifting so that you can enjoy a long-lasting manicure. Though you can cap the free edge with every coat, it is mandatory for the foundation and topcoat. 

Ensure you use short strokes as you paint your nails with the gel polish. These are easy to control and can help you achieve even lines along the edge. Applying the first coat is the hard part. Once this is done, you should not have problems with the topcoat. Once you are satisfied with the way one hand looks, you can proceed with the other hand. 

Gel Nails at Home

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