10 Must-Know Hacks For Gel Nail Polish Beginners

There’s nothing worse than taking the time to apply your favorite regular polish only to discover it’s already chipped before you leave the house. Opting for gel polish is the perfect solution.

For beginners, the art of achieving  beautiful gel polish nails at home can be a little tricky. The art of gel polish perfection takes a bit of practice. However, the finished look and long-lasting benefits make gel polish well worth the effort.

10 Must-Know Hacks For Gel Nail Polish Beginners

You don’t want to look like your 3-year-old sister helped you with your makeup routine.

Should you be a gel polish newbie, this guide is a must-read. We’ve compiled the 10 must-know hacks all gel polish beginners should know.

Check out the key facts about gel polish and learn the essential steps for achieving salon-worthy gel nails in the comfort of your own home. By the time you’ve read this guide, you will be a gel nail pro. 

1. What Is Gel Nail Polish?

Gel nail polish should be considered as a nail polish upgrade. Formulated with acrylic monomers and oligomers that fuse together and instantly harden when placed under an LED or UV light source.

The game-changing process is referred to in the beauty industry as ‘curing’. The ‘curing’ technique turns the liquid-gel formula hard in a matter of seconds.

10 Must-Know Hacks For Gel Nail Polish Beginners

This highly sought-after method solves all the painstaking issues that arise with using a regular polish. The application of gel polish means no drying time, chips, and hassle.

Furthermore the formula is resistant to chemicals and your much-loved nail art will stay in place (even after you have cleaned your house). Yay!

Gel polish manicures are offered at most beauty salons. Since appearing on the beauty scene, they remain as  one of the most requested beauty services worldwide.

The reason for their success is that unlike regular lacquers, the gel polish has the staying power of a superhero. No matter where your day takes you, your gel polish won’t let you down. Gel polish application has become accessible for all beauty fans.

The beauty industry tapped into our global obsession for gel nails and provided us with tools and kits to create the ultimate salon-worthy finish at home.  If you are a gel nail beginner, here is everything you need to get the gel manicure of your dreams.

2. What You Will Need For Applying Gel Nail Polish At Home

Deciding on a DIY gel mani is a great idea, particularly for avid beauty fanatics who love to switch up their look on a regular basis. But to get those insta-worthy nails, you need to go shopping.

A gel nail kit is a good starting point for deciding if it is a process worthy of your time. For those who know, love and want to be a gel-nail professional, these are the supplies you need to buy:

1. An LED or UV lamp 
2. Nail buff
3. Cuticle oil
4. Base coat
5. Gel polish
6. Top coat

Preparation Is key 

Nail prepping is a vital step for achieving ultimate gel nail goals. Just like anything in life, begin wrong, and you can guarantee failure.

3. Trim And File Nails As Needed

Before you even think about unscrewing the lid of your polish, your nails need to be in the perfect condition. Prepare your nails the same way you would for a normal mani. This means trimming the nails, so they are equal in length.

Next, take your emery board and file away pesky jagged edges. Once your nails look equal and even, you can move on to the next step.

4. Cuticle Oil And Buffing

Many people overlook this step, but using cuticle oil makes life so much easier. Apply your cuticle oil to the nail bed, This will soften them, thus allowing your cuticles to be pushed back with ease.

Just remember to remove all traces of the cuticle oil before attempting to add any polish. If you don’t remove the oil completely, your gel nails will not be affixed with the cement-like abilities, and you may find they start to lift.

Next on the list is nail buffing. Do this to remove any excess natural oils. Buffing for a couple of minutes will significantly increase the life expectancy of your gel nails.

5. Apply Your Base Coat Liberally

Just like applying your facial base or primer, you should use a base coat for your nails. A base coat provides a clear canvas for you to create flawless gel nail art. Make sure you apply a good amount of gel base coat to ensure optimal results.

Apply and then dry (cure) them under your lamp for about 30 – 40 seconds.

6. Choose Your Color Wisely

Gel-based polishes are awesome for achieving polish that will not budge. Not so great if you hate the color.

10 Must-Know Hacks For Gel Nail Polish Beginners (1)

Make sure your color selection is perfect, or you may be kicking yourself (and buying gloves) for longer than you’d care to admit. 

7. Apply Gel Polish And Top Coat

Once you have chosen your color(s), go ahead and apply. Apply in thin layers. Don’t forget to dry under your LED lamp between each coat. Keep going until you get an irresistible, non-transparent finish.

The last step is in painting on your top coat. Only apply one layer of your gel top coat and don’t skip curing them under your UV light for 30 seconds. Et voila – Instagram-ready nails.

8. Preventing Nail Damage

Any polish can weaken nails. Unhealthy nails can trigger  breakage, peeling and thinning.To make sure you keep your nails in tip-top health and conditions, give them a recovery time between applications so they can repair.

While it may be tempting,never pick at your polish or try to prize it away. This will damage nails significantly. 

Hot water is a gel polish’s’ arch enemy. Therefore, take care when having hot baths or using hot water.

9. Gel Polish Ingredients

When buying gel polish, there are 3 harmful ingredients you need to avoid. Never use products that contain formaldehyde, toluene, or DPB. These toxic components were frequent additions to nail polishes until recently.

Nail polishes are mostly formulated without them now.

10. Removing Your Gel Nail Polish (With Minimal Damage)

If you apply the gel polish correctly, removing it is a breeze. To remove your polish you must soak them in an acetone solution. Once you have removed your polish, apply an emollient to ensure you give your nails optimal nourishment and TLC.

Final Thoughts

DIY gel nails are a great way to have flawless looking and gorgeous nails all the time. They never fail to impress. However, it is important to ensure your nails stay healthy too.

Keeping them hydrated by drinking water, giving them a break between applications and using emollients will go a long way to keeping them in tip-top condition.

If you love nail art and want the salon-worthy results without a monthly visit to the salon, mastering the at-home technique is the ideal solution for you.

Miranda Cole