Back to Basics: Application of Gel Polish
We’ve already discussed how important preparing our nails is before applying gel polish, but what about the application process itself? In fact, the way we apply gel polish to our nails can make a world of difference to the end look.
Whether you’re applying gel polish to your own nails or to an array of clients, we’ve put together our top tips for the application of gel polish to ensure they look, and stay, in perfect condition.
Stick to one brand
Whilst it can be difficult when you love different colours and products from a variety of brands, it’s important that you stick with one manufacturer for your desired outcome. Mixing and matching products can result in product breakdown, lifting, difficult removal and damage to the natural nail.
Take your time
Sometimes it can feel like you’re spending way too much time on one client, but it’s important that you don’t rush any of your steps, from preparation to application. You will be unlikely to make any silly mistakes if you take your time, and you’ll save time in the long run by avoiding any fixes later!
Think about the client
Just because a client wants a particular service doesn’t mean it’s suited to their daily life or nail type. You may find that your client has a heavy-duty job or is prone to picking off their polish. In these cases, they may be better suited to something different and more hard-wearing, like our EasiBuild.
Prep the colour
This tip is particularly important if you’re using a colour that has never been used or has been sitting for a while. Turn the bottle upside down and roll it in your hands, then open the bottle and give it a good mix with the brush. Often pigment can fall to the bottom, so this will ensure it applies evenly.
Go for thin coats
Opting for thinner coats of gel polish is the best way to ensure the nails look full coverage and natural. Thicker coats can result in a polish that fails to cure and could end up peeling off a matter of days later. Two or three thin coats will achieve nice coverage without running into the sidewalls.
Use a bright light
Where you work is key to the work you produce. Good lighting is extremely important as it easily shows up any imperfections hiding within the gel polish, such as bubbles, lint or patchy spots. You’ll be able to easily see and quickly fix any deficiencies in the polish before curing.
Of course, many nail technicians will have their own tips and tricks to applying gel polish that works for them. We’d love to hear your unique tips- let us know over on our Facebook page!
For more information, please get in touch with us today.
We asked our Facebook followers what some of their best application tips were!
“It’s all about the prep! Prep includes getting a good base! I always apply base coat nice and thin, rubbing it into the nail with a brush to really get it to grip to the nail plate, remembering to cap. If someone has ridges or uneven nails, I then go over with a second coat of base to help even out and give nice surface for gel colour.” – Missy Dunning
“When applying my base coat, I dab a little on the nail from the bottle brush and then I work it into the nail with a clean gel brush. Picked up this tip when I had lifting issues when using new bottles as I was applying too much product. Now I just do it as standard.” – Julie Marie Wharton
“A double base coat gives extra strength and durability to weak or flaky nails! I use this on almost everyone and all my ladies get a minimum of three weeks!” – Emily Jayne Coleman
“Prep is the key. Cuticle work and cleansing the nail plate, gently buff away flaky splits to avoid peeling.” – Debbie McCullough
“To get a really tight cuticle application, once I’ve applied my colour, rather than push the polish to the cuticle I slide the brush around it sweeping from left to right, keeping the brush really flat to the nail plate. Pulling the cuticle back towards the knuckle helps to get it even tighter in.” – Nikki Soane
“Double base coat is a must for clients who chip easily! If in doubt, prep, prep and prep again!” – Lacey Redsull
“Double prep! It’s a must! No matter what I am using (acrylic, gel or gel polish) I always double prep!” – Tracey Johnston
“Scrubbing the base coat into the nail plate.” – Hayley Shan
“Here’s my step by step:
- Use hand sanitiser on clients and own hands.
- Push cuticles back.
- Nip dead cuticle away from cuticle area.
- Using a 180-grit file, gently graze over the natural nail to etch the nail plate. I look to remove 1-2 layers of the natural nail and to remove the surface shine, so no pressure is needed.
- Use dehydration liquid with a cotton wool pad or a lint free pad until each nail squeaks.
- Advise the client not to touch their nails so no oil is put back into it.” – Rhian Machin
“Always cap the edges after each layer.” – Nicole Jane Nevill
“I swear by using waxing paper strips cut into squares as lint free wipes.” – Toni Trowell
Nails by Kara Southall, Kirsty Smitheman, Rebecca Cutrera and Sarah Vernon