Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeEditor PicksWhat Is Hard Gel Nails

What Is Hard Gel Nails

Can You Use Nail Hardener Under Gel Polish

Soft Gel vs. Hard Gel Nails

Yes! This is our favourite way to use Hard Gel. Simply apply your Base Coat, then 1-2 coats of Hard Gel. Continue with your gel polish colour coats and finish with your Top Coat.

Plenty of our Bluesky users also love adding an extra coat of Hard Gel before the Top Coat, so you can experiment with what works best for you and your nails to ensure they stay stronger for longer.

You can also use Hard Gel without a colour coat for a natural finish. For this look, simply apply Base Coat, 2 coats of Hard Gel and then your Top Coat. We love this look using our pink of soft clear pink Hard Gel for a super quick manicure that looks effortless.

Hard Vs Soft: A Closer Look At Gels

This graph from NSI shows the basic molecular difference between hard and soft gel.

Gel isnt just for hair anymore. The nail industry has embraced gel products, with gel-polish gaining popularity in recent years and rounding out the category. Despite the rise in demand for gel-polish, gels have actually been around for some time. With a more gel than lacquer-like consistency, these products are actually pre-mixed monomers that polymerize when cured. Because they are in their monomer state when uncured, they look and apply like a gel. When cured under a light they harden and give off a glossy shine similar to acrylics. Ultimately, all soft gel and gel-polish begins as traditional gel. Ingredients are merely added to weaken the formula, thus evolving gels into the more dissolvable gel-polish.

For clients who are looking to add significant length to their nails, a traditional gel would be the better option since it is more durable. This is not to say that soak-off gels wont last long, but they might wear on the free edge over time, explains Light Elegance president and chemist Jim McConnell. In comparison, soak-off gels last about one or two weeks longer without chipping than regular polish. For clients who require a transitory enhancement before returning to natural nails, a soak-off gel is the ideal option.

You Might Also Like:

Other Products And Trends

The nail industry is ever evolving and changing, so its important to keep an eye on whats developing. In many cases its a version of something that already exists, but if its truly innovative and amazing, it might be worth adding to the roster. At Luster, we are continuously watching trends to see whats happening, and what we need to to consider adding to our Services Menu, if it makes sense.

A product thats on trend in salons right now is the Gel-X Nail Extension System by Aprés . Using this system, a pre-formed nail tip is adhered to your entire natural nail bed using their gel product, which is then cured in a lamp. Currently at Luster we prefer to extend nail length using hard gel or Multi-Flex Gel.

Polygel® is a hybrid between acrylic and gel made by the company Gelish®. We appreciate that the product has less of an odor than traditional acrylic, but after testing we still currently prefer the look, feel, and application process of Multi-Flex Gel.

Weve had questions from a few clients on The IBX System. IBX Strengthen and IBX Repair are two products from a company called Famous Names. We find these products intriguing and have heard good reviews, so we will keep them in mind for the future. For now, we feel confident that we can accomplish similar results using a thin layer of clear Multi-Flex Gel.

Weve created this handy dandy visual to help you weigh which of our products will work best for you.

Recommended Reading: How To Heal An Ingrown Toe Nail

Can You Infill With Hard Gel

Plenty of our Bluesky users love infilling Hard Gel as it means they don’t have to completely remove the product!

To infill, file off the Top Coat and the colour until you reach the Hard Gel. You can then use the same colour of Hard Gel for your infill. After you have finished curing, buff over the nail to smooth down the product. You can then wipe with cleanser and go ahead with your new colour coat and Top Coat.

What Is The Difference Between Them

Hard gel nails

The major difference between these three types of gel polish is in their molecular structure. Hard gel polish has a molecular structure that is more closely held together making it tougher and more difficult to break, hence would not be easy to remove by just soaking or using acetone and other nail polish remover than the other two gel polish alternatives. Soft or soak off gels and gels have higher molecular weights and have an elongated molecular shape. These allow solvents to penetrate through the molecules, making them easier to remove or dissolve.

Moreover, hard gels can get super tough when cured under a LED or UV lamp. This allows them to be sculpted like regular acrylic nails. They offer better protection to the nails from trauma than regular polish, nonetheless. They differ from other gel types as they can be strong enough that they can be formed to be an extension of the nails. An application of hard gel polish can last up to about four weeks before a new application needs to be done. The previous coating can only be removed by filing it off as it cannot be dissolved by simply soaking the nails.

Recommended Reading: Where Can I Buy Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Remover

How Long Do Gel Manis Really Last

⬠to the salon – ï 71.8K mushrooms ï

The biggest pro of gel manis is how long they last. “Gel manicures could last up to two weeks with proper nail prep and at-home care, such as cuticle oil and hand lotion,” says Duguay-Gordon. But if you’re really careful, they can last up to four weeks.

If you have a bunch of events coming up back to back like prom, internship interviews, and family vacays, gels can be the perfect solution.

Ibd Professional Uv Gel Kit

This package contains everything that you will need for a professionally looking UV Gel finish for you or your clientsâ nails. The gels are in small pot containers which make it easy to use while placing the gel on the nails. Once applied the gel may not seem to get into the cuticles and level evenly, but it does and will level beautifully once cured under a UV light.

What is in this kit? Each package of the IBD Professional UV Gel Kit contains the following IBD products:

  • 0.5 oz. Clear Gel
  • 0.5oz. Ultra White Builder Gel
  • 0.5oz. Pink Builder Gel
  • 2oz. Cleanser Plus 4oz. Nail Prep
  • Ultra Fast Nail Glue

Read Also: What Takes Nail Polish Off Clothes

Q Is It True What They Say About Hard Gel Nails Being Bad For You

A. Wearing hard gel nails for too long can cause brittleness, cracking, and peeling of the natural nail beneath the treatment. Its a necessity to have hard gel nails removed by a licensed nail technician. This is not something you should try at home.

Its also important not to have new hard gel nails put on at the same session you have old hard gel nails taken off. Given your nails one to two weeks to recover between hard gel applications. Your nail technician can advise you on the advisability of alternating hard gel nails with soft gel nails, nail strengthening products, or just taking a break.

How Do You Remove Hard Gel


Like all Bluesky products, Hard Gel can be soaked off using an acetone remover. You can use our Remover Wraps or Acetone and foils to soak off your Hard Gel, just like you would with your normal gel polish manicure.

We always recommend filing off as much of the product on your nails as possible beforehand, especially when you’ve used Hard Gel. This is because there are now 2-3 additional layers for the acetone to soak through, so we advise making sure your nails are properly filed down and prepped for removal to cut down on the soaking time.

You May Like: Can Toenail Fungus Live In Nail Polish

Why Choose Hard Gel Enhancements

  • Super shiny
  • Filing is faster and easier
  • Can create many different nail shapes

Hard gel is hypoallergenic, which means it is less likely to cause allergies than acrylic. This is because hard gel uses oligomers rather than polymers. Oligomers are resins that have been reacted with other resins to form a larger resin close to being fully polymerized. Light Elegance gels use a lot of oligomers. Because they are so large they have difficulty getting into the bloodstream and therefore are much safer to use The large quantities of oligomers makes Light Elegance hypoallergenic.

Hard gel is more flexible and stronger than acrylic, but its not as hard. Someone who is used to acrylic may feel that hard gel is weaker, but that is not true. Hard gel can withstand greater pressure and it is less likely to break or crack than acrylic is. Just like acrylic, gel can crack if it is flexed beyond its stretching point. However, because it has more flexibility, it will generally cause less trauma when cracked than when an acrylic nail cracks. It can withstand greater pressure and it will cause less trauma if a crack does occur.

The viscosity of gels can make the proper bond more error-proof because the gel will naturally seep into all of the macro-crevices of the natural nail. This means gel will stick to the nail better and have less lifting.

The Ultimate Pedicure $100

Treat yourself to an experience of pampering and the overall wellness of your feet and legs. This is not just a pedicure, this a luxury treatment that will address the most bothersome issues we all have with our feet. This will take care of everything from stubborn calluses, to badly shaped nails, to sore and tired muscles.This is a water-less European pedicure to ensure maximum sanitation and cleanliness, and also to provide full pedicure accessibility to clients with conditions such as diabetes, thinning skin, sensitive skin, and other medical contraindications.

**Pro Tip: to make your treatment extra special, add on a Sacred Ace CBD Mini Face Treatment or a brow/ lip wax, During the massage and mask portion of your treatment.

Also Check: Does Nail Polish Remover Stain Clothes

Everything You Need To Know About Gel

When it comes to our manicures, we vacillate between two personalities. If were feeling reserved, we request short tips, filed square with a light coat of Ella+Mila Barely Pink. Other times, we cant bring ourselves to pick just one color, so we go with 10 shades of neon on an extra-long stiletto shape.

Typically, the latter look requires help from extensions our nails dont grow into coffin-shaped tips overnight and, even if they do, our natural nails would break off within minutes. Luckily, there are many ways to get instant length, including acrylic powder and press-on tips, but another celebrity-favorite option is the Gel-X Nail Extension. Fans of the product like how natural the extensions look and feel, which is also why its a popular pick for celebrities like Ariana Grande, , Elle Fanning, Candice Swanepoel, and Ashley Graham.

Gel Polish is inarguable safer and healthier than acrylics before you hop on the Gel-X bandwagon, lets discuss its own pros and cons.

How Long Do Gel

Hard gel nails at home

If youre looking for a nail technique that wont chip when you wash the dishes or peel off within one week, Gel-X nails will quickly win you over. When installed correctly, the nails can last up to 3-4 weeks without any lifting, meaning no raised edges or chipping off. You may notice some growth at the base of your nail after wearing the extensions for over three weeks, but thats also an indicator that its time to get your nails removed or redone .

Another plus? If youre using regular nail polish to paint your gel nail extensions, you can remove and repaint them as much as you want without having to worry about getting them filled, like acrylics. You can maintain the life of your gel extensions at home by cutting and shaping them as they grow out.

Read Also: How Do I Get Nail Polish Out Of Clothes

How Are Gel Extensions Applied

  • Step 1: Prep the nails. The nail tech will file the clients nails, push cuticles back, trim dead cuticles, and buff nails. The nails must be clean before application.
  • Step 2: Find the right size. Take each finger and find the correct size tip that fits. All the nails in the kit have numbers to compare.
  • Step 3: Depending on your nail techs skill level, file the inside of the nail tips or apply a layer of acetone.
  • Step 4: Apply bonder liquid to natural nails. Bonder is a dehydrator and you want to make sure your natural nails are as dry as possible with no oils or debris.
  • Step 5: Apply primer liquid to natural nails. Primer makes your nails sticky so that its easier for the gel to attach.
  • Step 6: Apply a thin layer of extend gel to the natural nails.
  • Step 7: Put your hand in the UV/LED lamp for 60 seconds.
  • Step 8: Apply some gel to the tips. Make sure the clients hand is straight. Apply the gel tip to the natural nail, and press down. As one hand is holding the tip on the client’s hand, take your other hand holding a handheld LED light shine it directly on the nail for 30 seconds. Then have the client place her hand inside the UV/LED lamp for 60 seconds.
  • Step 9: Repeat on all fingers
  • Step 10: All done!

What Is Builder Gel

Non-scientifically, it’s pretty much what you’d get if gel nail polish and acrylic nails had a baby.

Also called hard gel or UV hard gel, it’s a thick, spreadable gel that hardens to a dense plastic-like consistency under LED or UV light.

Scientifically speaking, according to Dr. Liz Pavlovic, hard gels are comprised of acrylate monomers, meth oligomers, and photo-initiators. It’s these photoinitiators that react to UV or LED light to kickstart a chemical reaction converting the monomers into a hard plastic-like structure.

Fun fact: hard gels were first used on nails in the 1950s when a dentist, used the acrylate gel solution meant for molding crowns to fix his broken nail. It took almost 40 years for the technology to really break into the nail world because lamps with the right wavelength were hard to come by.

Don’t Miss: Can Guys Take Hair Skin And Nails Vitamins

What Is A Gel Manicure

A gel manicure is a service that uses a gel-based polish and requires a UV or LED light to cure the polish and lock it onto your nails, says Duguay-Gordon. “Gel polish is more durable than regular polish,” she says. And while regular polish can chip as quickly as two to three days, gel stays chip-free for weeks.

While gel manicures look just like your regular old mani, the added benefits are that they last longer and feel sturdier. Plus, the beauty of a gel manicure is that anyone can get one, whether your nails are super short or Kylie Jenner-long.

Best Hard Gel For Nails 2021

How to: Hard Gel Nails Infill

May 14, 2021

The first gel polish to be introduced in the mid-1980s is the hard gel polish, which is also known as the traditional nail polish. It came rather later than acrylic nail polish, however. Acrylic polish looks less natural on the nails and also chips and peels off quite quicker than its gel alternatives. There are also other reasons why more and more have opted to have gel coatings on their nails as you will see later on. Although there is quite a big difference with these types of nail coatings, both acrylic nail and gel polish has an acrylic base as its component. However, gel polish lasts longer, gives a more natural and glossy finish than acrylic nail polish.

Also Check: Mitsutomi 42 Professional Acrylic Kit

How Do You Strengthen Your Nails

Our go-to gel nail strengthener has and always will be Hard Gel! Slightly thicker than normal gel polish, its formulation allows it to add additional strength to the nail. This enables it to keep your nails strong and protects them against breaking or snagging, meaning your natural nails are able to grow stronger and longer too!

Its a great product for not only using under gel polish for your normal manicure, but it can also be used without a colour coat for a super natural look too. It comes in a bottle and is applied with the brush, just like your gel polish.

Hard Gel comes in four different colours for you to choose from:

  • Clear – perfect for any and every manicure
  • Pink – great for using on its own too
  • Soft Clear Pink – one of our most-popular Hard Gels
  • White – also perfect for adding underneath neon and pastel shades to make them pop!

May 6, 2020 at 11:31am PDT

How To Use Builder Gel

The way you use builder gel depends on the particular brand you buy. Some require you to use a primer or base coat first, while others, such as Glossify, can be applied straight to the nail for a speedier application.

If you are applying builder gel to the natural nail only, it can be applied and built up to the desired thickness and shape in a number of coats, curing between each layer. If you are extending the nail, simply apply your nail tip or form before applying the gel and creating the length.

Generally, the steps you would take to apply a builder gel would be something like this:

  • Prepare the nail clean, file and buff the nails. Push back and trim the cuticle. Wipe the nail with a lint-free pad using nail cleanser or acetone.
  • Apply base coat or primer if your builder gel requires you to use one. Cure under your nail lamp if needed. If you dont need a primer, you can skip this step and save some time.
  • Apply the builder gel if you are using a bottled builder gel, you can paint it on. If you have a pot of gel, you will need to use your own nail brush to pick up a small amount. Stay away from the cuticle and be sure to cover the free edge. Builder gel tends to self-level, so allow it to settle for a few seconds to make sure it is applied evenly.
  • Cure under LED/UV lamp your chosen builder gel should state what type of lamp it needs to be used with and how long to cure it for.
  • Apply a second coat if needed, apply your second coat and cure again.
  • Read Also: How Much Is Liquid Nails


    Popular Articles