How Do You Apply Gel Polishes
“You apply like a traditional polish, but they dry with a thicker consistency, much like a gel,” adds Rachel Apfel Glass, the founder of GLOSSLAB. Some have specific base and top coats to help seal in the color, but none require UV lamps to cure. And because they’re also formulated to last longer than traditional polish, you won’t be heading back to the salon every few weeks for touch-ups.
The Nails Inc Gel Effectnail Polish Packs Salon
Pros: Rich color, high shine
Cons: Chips quickly without top coat
While most formulas require a topcoat to enhance their gloss, the NAILS INC. Gel Effect polish shines on its own. I tested a few colors from the brand’s collection to make sure the shine was comparable, and it only took two coats to achieve such a beautiful finish, every time.
While your mani will look plenty glossy without a coat of the brand’s 45 Second Touch Dry Top Coat, I’d strongly recommend using it anyway. It’s made with hardening retinol to create a strong protective barrier between your polish and environmental stressors that cause chipping.
While it could have been just a reflection of the circumstances, without a top coat, the Gel Effect formula was pretty quick to chip. I noticed within two or three days I already had little pieces of polish nicked off the tip of my nails. The topcoat also enhances the formula’s already high shine, so it’s worth sparing the extra minute to prolong your wear.
The Best Gel Nail Kits For 2022 Are:
- Best overall Mylee the full works complete gel polish kit: £129, Mylee.co.uk
- Best for vegans Manucurist green flash gift set: £89, Manucurist.com
- Best for a speedy manicure Bluesky starter kit: £59.99, Blueskycosmetics.co.uk
- Best fool-proof kit Semilac starter set try me with 36W led lamp: £41.93, Semilacshop.co.uk
- Best for long lasting results Gellux gel polish starter kit: £67.99, Justmylook.com
- Best for aspiring nail techs The Edge gelover soak off gel kit: £49.50, Edgenails.co.uk
- For nail protection and nourishment Red Carpet Beauty fortify and protect pro starter kit: £79.95, Redcarpetbeauty.co.uk
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Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat
What Makes It Great
I love the design of this bottle it looks adorable on my dressing table, and Im looking forward to trying it out. The essie 2 step system appears simple to follow, and the instruction includes some tips for nail care too. This went on really nicely over a different brand of polish and cured to a rock hard shine. The colored polish acquired a gorgeous depth with this as a top coat and lasted nearly three weeks. I was able to remove it quickly leaving a perfect nail surface underneath.
Where It Could Be Improved
The bottle could be larger as you go through it quickly, other than that, nothing to pick up on!
I was really happy with this UV gel top coat and will definitely be getting more. The depth it gives to a base of color is stunning, and everyone admired my beautiful nails!
What Is A Top Coat Nail Polish
A top coat nail polish is also called a clear nail polish. It basically does like how its name describes it: a top coat. It seals your polish off and makes your polish not only to dry off easily, but it will also make your nail coating to stay longer without chipping, peeling, and scratching.
How Many Layers of Polish Do You Have to Have on Your Nails to Make It Last Longer?
If you really want to wear your polish longer and keep it from breaking or chipping, you would want to have your nails properly prepared before applying the color coatings. You will also need a base coat, the pigmented color , and a top coat .
The base coat bonds the nail polish with your natural nails and fills in any surface imperfections on your nails. The base coat makes the nail polish to stick better on the nails, while the top coat protects the nail from harmful elements that may scratch off, chip off, or peel off the pigmented coatings on the nails. It seals in the nail polish and prevents water from ruining your manicure and pedicure. It also keeps the color and luster on your nails to remain as the first time it was applied to your nails.
With a high-quality top coat, you can extend the look and feel of your polished nails for more days. You may apply another coating of the top coat after several days to extend your manicure and pedicure for even more days.
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Should I Get An Led Lamp Or Uv Lamp
Either will work because they accomplish the same thing. Originally all nail lamps used UV bulbs which work but can get warm and need to be replaced like normal light bulbs.
As technology advanced, they started using dual-light LEDs which emit both LED and UV light. These bulbs are smaller, last longer, cure faster, and are cheaper.
You can still buy UV lamps, but early all the nail lamps you’ll find out there are going to be LED-powered.
Can You Use Regular Nail Polish With Gel Top Coat
There are a lot of regular nail polish colors that you like to use, but they dont last as long as gel polish on your nails. When you apply regular nail polish with a gel top coat, you wonder if they will last longer.
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Can I Remove Gel Polish From Polygel Nails With Acetone
Yes, you can!
Heres where polygel has a huge advantage over acrylic nails.
Unlike acrylic nail extensions, polygel nails cant be soaked off with acetone.
So you can easily soak off gel nail polish off polygel nails without removing or ruining polygel. Because polygel can only be removed if you file it off.
Your polygel nails will stay intact after you have removed gel nail polish. And you can easily repaint them.
Plus, your nail plate will stay protected from acetone with a layer of polygel.
Nail File For Gel Nail Polish Removal
Use an emery board nail file that has a grit level ranging from 150 to 180.
A higher grit should mostly be used for natural nails and it wont be effective for filing artificial nail materials.
Youll just waste your time using a high grit on gel nail polish.
For example, a 900-1200 grit can only polish the surface slightly.
A lower grit, like 60-80, is too strong. Its used mainly for rough shaping of artificial nails and may take off too much polygel together with the polish.
So instead of a quick repaint, you may need to repair your polygel nails if you use a low grit nail file.
As for the shape, I use the half-moon shape because its the most ergonomic one. But you can use any emery board shape you like.
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If You’re Low On Time The Wet N Wild 1 Step Wondergel Nail Polish Only Takes A Few Minutes To Apply And Dries Quickly
Pros: Basecoat is included in the formula, does not require a top coat, rich color, high shine, fairly chip-resistant
Cons: You have to go searching for the wider color selection
As someone who finds it very difficult to sit still long enough for my nails to dry completely, a one-step formula sounded too good to be true. But Wet n Wild’s 1 Step WonderGel Nail Color is the real deal.
This formula is the first of its kind, because it doesn’t require a top coat and it cures without a lamp.
The result is up to two weeks worth of color without chipping or fading. It’s also a 3-free formula, made without formaldehyde, toluene, or phthalates.
I first applied the brand’s All That’s Jazzy! gel nail polish an hour or so before bed and I was impressed by how quickly the formula dried. In less than half an hour, I tapped my nails with my fingertip and the polish stayed put.
It’s also incredibly high-shine. I applied two coats, and was surprised by the level of gloss coming off my fingertips. The brilliant color didn’t fade or chip for more than a week, which is excellent. Wet n Wild’s 1 Step WonderGel Nail Polish also comes off with one cotton swab-worth of remover.
Saviland Chrome Nail Powder Holographic Nail Powder 6 Colors
Enjoy gorgeous nail art with these holographic powders. No, this is not gel polish, but rather an accessory.
Youll still need base and top coat specifically, the no-wipe top coat if you want a mirror effect.
Each layer will need to cure for thirty seconds under an LED lamp, or two minutes under regular UV.
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Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish
Here’s the thing. I stopped getting gel manicures roughly two years ago, and 99% of the time, I reach for a bottle of Essie Gel Couture at the salon now instead. No joke, a couple of layers of this polish used in conjunction with the line’s steel-strong glassy topcoat lasts me a full two weeks . Rock the Runway, a fiery shade of scarlet, is my regular order.
Gellen Gel Nail Polish Set Nude Grays 6 Colors
Gellen appears to be a sister company to Gelish, and both are under the umbrella of Gelpolish. It was challenging to find more information other than they might be a trademark registered by a Chinese business. But although their founding story may be murky, their gel polishes are growing in popularity.
The polish can last for two weeks or longer, and there are 300 shades available. Whats handy is that the colors are compatible with other brands of base coat and top coat.
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How Do I Remove Gel Polish
See my article on the best Gel Polish Remover for more an extended step-by-step guide, but here’s a quick rundown.
Gel nails will need to soak in pure acetone for 10 to 20 minutes to loosen their bond on the nail. Filing the surface of the gel polish first, just enough to remove the shine of the top coat) can help to speed up the process. To make soaking easier there are nail clips or steaming bowls so you’re not just sitting over an open bowl of acetone.
Once the acetone has weakened the gel, it will look wrinkled and waterlogged. You should be able to push it off with a cuticle pusher tool without much effort. Never pry or pick your gel lacquer off with a sharp tool. It will take the top layers of your nails with it and weaken your nails.
If you take the right steps and are patient, there’s no reason gel should do serious damage to your nails.
Always follow up the removal process with cuticle oil to pamper your fingers, especially if they’ve just sat in acetone for 10 minutes. I personally use Londontown’s Kur Cuticle Oil. If you can, use cuticle oil daily to keep your nails hydrated and healthy.
If you’re unsure about this, please go to a nail salon where a professional can properly remove your gels with as little effect on your nails as possible.
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Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish
For those that dont own a UV lamp but want a professional finish, the Sally Hansen gel polish is the best option. Its a two step process that works by applying a colour and then a top coat, which makes the gel cure upon the nail. Another standout feature of this gel nail polish is the fact that its available in over 70 different colour options.
Other features of the Sally Hansen Miracle Polish include:
- No UV lamp required
- Professional mirror finish
- Long lasting and chip resistant
In terms of the application of this nail polish, youll need to ensure that your nails are completely dry. You can then proceed to apply two coats of the colour of your choice but youll need to ensure that each layer has dried completely before the finishing top coat is applied.
To conclude, the Miracle Polish by Sally Hansen is a one of the best gel nail polishes that doesnt require a UV lamp and is also available in a range of colours.Check it Out
Lds Healthy Gel & Lacquer Sparkle Collection
The sparkle gel nail shade with unique consistency fills up this stylish bottle precisely. The bright and light colors give you a new look to the finger-tip. The sparkling effect appears as if the star glitters in the night sky. The long-lasting property with easy use persuades the users. The excellent consistency of this gel dries up quickly as soon as you apply. It blends well on the nails and enhances the 3D nail art application. The colors suit all skin tones and you can go for it without any hesitation. This perfect nail shade matches well with all your outfits optimally.
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Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Shellac And Gel Nails
One thing that applies to both gel nails and Shellac nails is that your nail beds do not need to ‘breathe’ and that having coatings on top of them are hindering this. Just like your hair, your nails are already dead .
However, your cuticles and nail bed are very much alive, and caring for them is super important. As such, make sure you never try and rip them off and instead head to a salon for a pro removal, or follow the steps for safe DIY removal, above.
Essok 23 Pcs Gel Nail Polish Set
This 23 pc gel nail polish kit is the perfect solution for a gel nail polish fanatic. All the essential colors required to have the perfect set of nails are available in this set. Essok has many other gel nail polish sets, but the fan-favorite is the Lost in The City collection due to its price and the quality of nail polishes in the box. It comes with twenty bottles of gel nail polish colors that are 6 ml each, along with three bottles of base and no-wipe glossy and matte topcoats that are 8ml each.
- It comes in full-sized bottles that are easy to use
- Pigmentation of the colours is beautiful
- Affordable box set suitable for all skin tones
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Aimeili Nail Art Blossom Gel Nail Polish Soak Off Uv Led Clear Blooming Gel Manicure 10ml
- Package included:1 x Clear Blooming Gel
- 21 days high-gloss wear, Mirror shine finish. No Nicks, Chips or Smudges
- On like polish, Wears like Gel, Off in minutes.
- Please note: Due to the lighting and screen setting, color may vary slightly from the picture.
- Before applying, please shake the bottle a bit for better consistency.
Additional Info :
How Much Stronger Is Gel Nail Polish Vs Regular
Gel polish lasts longer than regular polish, we have already discussed that, and therefore, gel nail paints are considered to be stronger. Gel nails can last up to two weeks and even more if you take proper care of them.
However, regular nail polish will only last a week before it starts coming off from the edges, and you will have to re-do it again.
Gel polish sticks firmly to your nail beds and, therefore, is not so easy to chip or smudge. The strength of gel nail paints is evident from their removal process, as it is a little challenging.
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Beetles Gel Nail Polish Kit Manhattan Collection
The thick Beetles nail polish wont run while youre working. It doesnt have a strong odor, but its highly pigmented.
It lasts up to two weeks, but you might be tempted to change shades before then. After all, who can resist these glittery, bold colors?
The kit comes with twenty mini bottles of colored polish, basecoat, and both glossy and matte top coats.
Each one is nine-free, meaning it lacks all sorts of harsh chemicals found in other types of nail polish. But without those nasty toxins, itll take one to two minutes to set under a nail lamp.
Deborah Lippmann Top And Base Coat Gel Lab Pro
Some call this an at-home gel nail polish. Its an award-winning product recommended by manicurists, beauty magazines, and Instagram celebrities. Use it when you want to give your nails a break from gel manicures.
Part of its allure comes from the nourishing ingredients and non-toxic formula. It strengthens the natural nails while you wear it with biotin, green tea, and evening primrose.
Furthermore, the contour brush is thoughtfully designed and easy to use.
Its durable enough for two weeks of wear, then soaks off in a few minutes.
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