Gel nail polish is still, in our eyes, the best option for a shiny, long-lasting manicure. With most gel manicures lasting up to 14 days, it's hard not to love. If updating your nail polish designs often is something you like, or if you simply don't have time to get to the salon for a fresh manicure; continue reading our useful guide on how to apply gel nail polish, step by step.
What you'll need:
- UV Nail Lamp
- Nail Surface Cleanser or 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
- pH Bond
- Gel Base Coat
- Gel Nail Polish
- Gel Top Coat
- Cuticle Oil
- Lint-free Nail Wipes
- Orangewood Stick
- Nail File and Buffer
Get Your Nails Gel-Ready
Apply the nail surface cleaner to a lint-free wipe and clean the nails, making sure to clean any polish residue from the edges.
With the orangewood stick, push back the cuticles.
Then, use your nail file to shape the nails.
Use your buffer to gently remove the shine from the top of the nail, this will ensure the base coat will adhere properly to the nail surface.
To clean any filing dust, use the nail cleaner soaked wipe once more.
Apply the pH Bond and Base Coat
Apply a thin and even coat of the pH bond to your nails.
Followed by a light application of the base coat. Avoid applying your base coat directly to the cuticle as this could cause lifting of the polish. Brushing over the edges of the nail to seal the base coat.
Cure the Base Coat
Place your hand in the UV lamp for 1 - 2 minutes. Curing times may vary depending on the lamp or brand of polish you're using.
You can also use the Orangewood stick to clean up any base coat residue around the cuticle or under the nail.
Apply Your Polish
Start by applying a very thin layer of your polish color from the cuticle to the free edge, remembering to brush over the edge to seal the polish.
**Applying too thick of a layer may cause the polish to not cure properly.
Cure The Polish
Place hand in the UV Nail dryer for 2 minutes to cure the first layer of polish. Don't worry if you notice the polish remains tacky, this is normal.
Apply Another Coat
Apply another thin and even coat of polish, making sure to brush over the edge of the nail. Cure this coat of polish under the UV light for 2 minutes, just as before.
Top It Off
Apply a thin layer of the Gel Top Coat, working from the cuticle to the free edge. Then, use the side of the brush to cover the edge of the nail.
Cure The Top Coat
Place your hand in the UV Nail Lamp once more and cure the Gel Top Coat for 2 minutes.
You'll notice your nails are still tacky, even after curing the top coat. The final step in your gel manicure, is removing this tacky surface. To do so, grab one of your lint-free nail wipes, soak it with your Cleanser or Alcohol and swipe it over each nail.
**This process should not remove the gel color, if you find that it does, your polish may not have cured properly. To correct this, follow our gel polish removal instructions to remove all polish and repeat the application steps.
Use the cuticle oil to hydrate and soften your cuticles and also extend the life of your gel manicure.