Gel nail polish is a special type of lacquer formula that imparts a high shine and provides lasting staying power. Unlike other nail polish formulas, gel nail polish is applied using UV or LED light to “cure” the polish. Although the application is easy, some may struggle to paint their nails using a gel nail polish because the process itself is different. In addition, gel nail polish is notoriously hard to remove! That’s what you get from enjoying amazing staying power!
Today, we are giving you a step-by-step guide on applying gel nail polish and removing it like a pro:
How to Apply Gel Nail Polish
Prep the Nails
Always start with clean nails so the end result looks professionally done. Trim, buff and shape each nail. Apply a cuticle remover on the base of the nail bed and push the skin with a cuticle pushing stick. Get a cotton ball and saturate it with acetone. Then, wipe away any oils and debris from the nails.
Applying the First Layer
With a steady hand, apply an extremely thin layer of the base gel to the nail. Turn on the UV or LED lamp and cure the base coat. Applying a thin, even layer is important so the application looks flawless. It also promotes comfortable wear because the lacquer is not weighing down the nails.
Once the base coat is cured, apply a thin coat of color all the way to the edges of the nails. If it looks streaky, don’t worry about it. You will achieve an even coating on the second coat. The first coat is meant to minimize the chances of color lifting away from the nails. By painting the nails all the way to the edge of the nail, the color is set in place without shrinking. Again, cure the nail color under a UV/LED lamp. Finally, add the second coat and make sure the color is even.
After applying the second coat, cure the nail gel under the lamp. Finish up by applying a thin coat of top gel over the entire nail, all the way to the edges. Give the nail a final cure.
Some systems require the removal of the tacky layer of the top gel after curing. You can remove the tacky layer by saturating a cotton ball with isopropyl alcohol. Apply cuticle oil all over the nails and you are done!
How to Remove Gel Nail Polish
Because the nail color is applied in several layers, removing gel nail polish is harder than traditional nail polishes. Removing gel nail polish is very similar to removing glitter polishes:
To start, file the top layers of the gel nail polish to dull the shine. Then, cut 10 small squares of tin foil. Each square should be large enough to cover each finger.
Get 10 small pieces of cotton and soak it with 100% acetone. Place the cotton directly on top of each nail and wrap with tin foil. Once you are done, let the nail sit on acetone-soaked cotton balls for at least 15 minutes. Resist the urge to peek because the acetone could evaporate.
Finally, remove each tin foil wrapper. With a cuticle pushing stick, gently peel the gel away from the nails. If there are stubborn bits of color on the nail, you’ll have to re-wrap the finger. Continue re-wrapping the nails and adding acetone to remove all traces of the gel nail polish.