Everything you need to know about polygel nails as well as our top fav looks. You go into the nail salon. You’re deciding on what type of manicure you should get. Until now, the options available to you when shaping your nails have generally consisted of; regular polish, gel nails and acrylic nails.
For a classic look, most of us would go for regular lacquer. For a little more durability we might opt for gel nails. And for those of us who value length, acrylic nails would definitely be the go-to. But what if we told you there was a fourth option that possesses all of the best qualities of the previous three techniques combined?
Let’s look at some of this season’s top polygel nail looks.
1. Pretty in Pearls Polygel Nail Design
When it comes to polygel nails, we don’t play around. To start off strong we thought we’d show you a look that will have everyone talking. A peach and white color palette provides the manicure with a light and soft canvas while the hearts and pearls give the look a little glam. And we weren’t kidding when we said polygel can efficiently lengthen your nails- I mean look at those.
2. Sparkly Polygel Nails
If your life has been feeling a little dull as of late then maybe just what you need is a glitter-inspired polygel mani. You can never go wrong with sparkles and we are loving the fun detailing of the hearts and butterflies. This look would be great for a summer festival.
3. It’s Love Season Polygel Nails
Valentine’s is still a few months away but if you ask us, it’s never too early to start searching for nail inspo. These nails are all about romance and would be perfect for the season of love. I mean, does it get any more romantic than hearts, kisses and x’s and o’s?. And no worries, if you’re flying solo this Valentine’s, I think we can all agree that self-care is the ultimate act of love.
4. Self-Love Valentine’s Polygel Nails
Credit : glamour_nail_tech
If you don’t agree with the previous statement, just look at this. Valentine’s can be a drag for those of us who haven’t found a significant other. But sometimes, it’s also important to celebrate self-love! Self-love is the foundation of all successful relationships and this manicure represents just that. If you love yourself abundantly, then get the elaborate polygel mani to match because nothing says I am a boss a* queen like 3D florals and rhinestones.
5. Cupid Polygel Nails
In contrast, this Valentine’s nail still brings the fire while maintaining an element of classic-cute. In comparison to the previous look, you might be thinking that this polygel nail is more understated but we assure you that bright reds, sparkles and hearts will always make a statement. This look would complement a simple red dress perfectly.
6. Black And White Love Polygel Manicure
For a polygel nail that still incorporates that element of romance but appears more chic, this is the perfect look. Black and white are the go-to colors when it comes to a classic aesthetic and we love how the duo has been presented in this minimalist canvas. Subtle gold stripes also add the perfect hint of refined elegance.
7. Dripping In Chocolate Polygel Nails Design
Okay, we are getting hungry just looking at this manicure. If your weakness is chocolate, get ready, because this polygel nail look is going to take you to chocolate paradise. We can’t get over how realistic this looks and are seriously obsessed with the 3D nail art. The long nail base is also the perfect choice for such an extravagant and tasty design.
8. Blueberry Ice Cream Polygel Nail Design
Whether this is ice cream or a cupcake is definitely up for debate but honestly, we don’t care. All we know is that it looks delicious. If the chocolate-nail inspo was a little too well, brown for you then this colorful alternative should do the trick. Bright pink and purple pastels, sparkles and cartoon desserts remind us of our favorite, childhood candy stores.
9. Angelic Polygel Manicure
Now this nail is absolutely dreamy. Ombré and marble techniques are used to create an ethereal and angelic polygel nail while gold flakes help to elevate the look by adding a touch of glamor. This manicure would be the perfect addition to any event where an elegant dress code is required. Think weddings and formals.
10. Scarlet Red Polygel Nails
For another classic nail look, you can never go wrong with red. This particular hue is known as “scarlet red” and gives any manicure a bright and bold appeal. To integrate the shade into your polygel mani without being too over the top, opt for subtle, french tips. This will give your OOTD a pop of color without overpowering it.
11. Pink Swirls Polygel Nail Design
Get your crochet top and headscarves ready because this polygel mani is giving us all of the ‘70s vibes we could ever want. Swirls were an it pattern during this era and can now be seen all over retro-inspired Pinterest boards. For a summer feel try the design in a fun and bright shade such as this barbie pink. This look is cool and trendy and we can’t get enough of it.
12. Blue Floral Polygel Nails
Speaking of summer, there’s nothing that reminds us of warm, sunny days like a good old palm leaf print. Palm leaves are the epitome of relaxation and go perfectly with a bright blue shade (which also happens to represent feeling calm). If you can’t bring yourself to the vacation why not bring the vacation to you.
13. Tiger Poly Gel Nails
Credit : dom_a_nailtrix
In some parts of the world, warm days are a perpetual cycle of summer that never ends (yes, all of us Canadians are a little jealous). With such a climate, it brings cool and fascinating wildlife. If you’ve ever been on a safari, you’ll know what we’re talking about. This manicure is giving tiger queen and is perfect for anyone who wants an exotic nail look this summer.
14. Autumn-Inspired Poly Gel Nails
For those of us who prefer cooler weather and can’t wait for summer to end, this look is the perfect inspo for the autumn season. Neutral shades create a wonderful fall feel while the maple leaves showcase one of autumn’s most iconic parts of nature (if you’ve ever gone down a road lined with maple trees in bright, fall colors you’ll know how truly mesmerizing it is). Sparkles, gold flakes and marble print also contribute to making this autumn nail one to remember.
15. Purple Floral Polygel Manicure
When it comes to nails, florals are forever. They are just one of those prints that will never go out of style, and we aren’t complaining. Aside from being timeless, florals give a manicure a sweet and feminine touch. This polygel nail has paired the print with a bright and bold purple shade to add a fun and edgy quality. This look is simply screaming beach getaway.
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16. Like Ocean Waves Polygel Nails
And it wouldn’t be a beach getaway without the sweet sounds of the ocean. For a cool and unique polygel nail try a white and blue marble technique that resembles ocean waves. For a more diverse appearance, switch up the designs by incorporating french tips as well as a solid white nail. We can already feel the salt water touching our skin.
17. Diamond Polygel Nails
There’s a reason the saying is “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” (thank you Marilyn Monroe for that one). Diamonds are elegant and luxurious. They are fine and delicate and if the light hits them just right, they will dazzle before your eyes. Diamonds can be glamorous but they can also be edgy. For this aesthetic, opt for studded diamonds (as shown in this image). For a minimalist look, complement the diamonds with a neutral base.
18. Ocean Polygel Nail Design
When recreating the ocean on your nails, there’s no better technique than marble. With its unique design, marble print has the ability to capture the movement of the waves in a very realistic manner. To get the look make sure to use dark blue and white hues. For a little extra something, paint some of the nails in a french tip.
19. Golden Hearts Polygel Manicure
We’re all familiar with the classic french tip. French manis have never really gone out of style but at the moment they happen to be super trendy- not in the way you think though. Today, a basic white french tip isn’t enough. No, to get the new and improved look you’ve got to go the extra mile. This polygel manicure, for example, has accented the french mani with delicate, golden hearts. Minimalist and cute.
20. Marble and Stripes Polygel Nails
Fun fact of the day: the classic marble design dates back to Ancient Roman and Greek times when they used the stone to produce sculptures and flooring. Today, we use it for a variety of purposes, one of which is our nails! The print looks stunning in the polygel manicure paired with white, blue and black hues. The silver stripes are also a great addition to the color palette. Remember that for a classic marble it’s important to add a glossy top coat as the true marble stone has a shiny, smooth finish.
21. Black Hearts Polygel Nails
This manicure is serving a little bit of sweet, a little bit of sassy. Black polish will make any look fierce and small heart detailing is always a cute touch. French tips help to elevate the look further while solid polish creates a balance. This look would be perfect for any all-black OOTD.
22. Sparkling Stars Polygel Nail Design
“Twinkle, twinkle, little star”- sorry, we couldn’t help it. From the time that we’re young kids, stars play a large role in our lives. This is no surprise as it is estimated that there are approximately 200 billion trillion stars in the universe. We know, insane. And luckily for us, one of nature’s greatest achievements also acts wonderfully as nail art inspo. For a simple and cute polygel nail apply a couple of silver star stickers to each nail. And next time you see a shooting star, don’t forget to make a wish.
23. Pretty In Purple Polygel Nails
Another modern take on the french nail is the reverse french manicure. Try out the look in a bright and cheerful purple for a fun and summery feel. To really wow the crowd use a sparkly polish to create the french nail effect. This look is simple but effective.
24. Rainbow Polygel Nail
It’s June and this month is all about the LGBTQ community. Pride month is an important time of the year to honor the rights of those who were formerly oppressed. Some of us may choose to promote their rights through social media or by attending a pride parade. For others, a nail design with rainbow print is also enough. Every thought counts. To go all the way, complement your rainbow swirls with sparkly french tips.
25. Winter Wonderland Polygel Nails
White polish, frosted tips and shimmery blue sparkles? What else could this manicure be other than a winter wonderland? This manicure captures the scene perfectly with its snowflake and icicle imagery. It’s simply dreamy and just what we need for the colder months.
26. Silver Lining Polygel Nails
Sometimes less is more and this manicure is giving just that. Minimalism has been all the hype on social media as of late and is especially popular in areas such as home décor (think white walls and surfaces, green plants and wicker baskets), fashion and beauty. The nail industry has taken a particular interest in it and can be seen in the form of french tips, dainty nail art and soft lines. This nail uses a transparent foundation and silver lines arbitrarily painted on the nails to achieve this aesthetic. It is the epitome of understated elegance.
27. Gold and Black Polygel Nails
The gold and black duo is the power couple of the color world. Black is great on its own but add some hints of gold and you will instantly go from basic to classic chic. This polygel nail has used an interesting combination of stripes and french tips to achieve its look. It’s cool and glamorous and couldn’t be more perfect for a black outfit with gold accessories.
28. White Polygel Nails
While black provides an edge to any look, white provides an element of elegance- especially when it’s not expected. Traditionally, white was only to be worn during the warmer months. It was unheard of to see someone wearing the shade during winter. That could be why today when you see someone wearing all-white at this time, it’s always breathtaking. Try out this all white polygel nail during the winter and you will be the picture-perfect snow angel.
29. Perfectly Pink Polygel Nail Design
After red, pink is the second most common manicure color. It’s cute and classic and perfect for anyone wanting to achieve a feminine feel. To elevate your pink polygel nail look, add some fun elements such as sparkly polish and rhinestones. To get that “slay queen” energy, sculpt the polygel into pointed tips.
30. Looney Tunes Polygel Manicure
If this doesn’t make you nostalgic we don’t know what will. Looney Tunes was and forever will be an iconic cartoon series (if you know, you know). Two of the characters, Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny, have been represented in this manicure in a fun and artistic manner. To give the nail look a pop of color, pastel pink and purple polish have also been integrated. BRB g2g turn on the TV and binge-watch Looney Tunes now.
31. Glitter French Nails
A little bit of glitter can go a long way and this manicure proves it. Polygel is first used to create a long, coffin-shaped nail shape. To achieve the design, pink polish is used as the base and white lacquer is used on the tips to create a french manicure. Finally, to give the nail look a bit of pizzazz, silver glitter is added to two of the fingers. Does anyone else instantly want to put on a sparkly, pink princess dress when they see this?
32. Sea Queen Polygel Nail Design
If the underwater world has always fascinated you then these nails might too. With extra-long pointed tips, blue hues, diamonds and sparkles this polygel manicure is not for the faint of heart. Some might say it’s an expression of beauty, others might say it’s a safety hazard. Regardless, with these nails, you will definitely be turning heads. And I mean, who doesn’t imagine themselves as a mermaid every once in a while?
33. Hello Kitty Polygel Nail Design
If Looney Tunes wasn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. We’ve also got something for our former Hello Kitty enthusiasts. Can you remember the Hello Kitty hype when we were kids? It’s hard not to- their merchandise was everywhere. For a nostalgic and retro nail aesthetic why not honor the Hello Kitty hype by getting the Japanese character right on your fingernails. And don’t forget the pink and white hues and hearts- it’s an important part of the Hello Kitty aesthetic.
34. Lime Florals Polygel Nail Design
Speaking of retro nail designs, this neon-inspired manicure is giving us all of the 80’s feels. The ‘80s were all about bright and bold colors- neon in particular. For that vintage vibe paint your nails in a neon shade such as this lime green. To give it a fun and summery flair, add a floral print. To get the ultimate throwback manicure opt for a daisy design as this reflects the “flower power” trend of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Totally rad man.
35. Classic Purple Manicure
To complete our selection of this season’s best polygel nail looks we decided to go for a classic look. It’s important to see that although a fun and elaborate polygel nail is possible, basic designs are also an option. This manicure is the perfect example with its simple purple polish. Now, why opt for purple? Purple symbolizes royalty, nobility and luxury. It was a popular shade in the ‘90s and has since made a huge comeback. We might not ever actually be able to be queens, but at least with these nails, we can feel like one.
Now that you’ve seen what polygel has to offer, it’s time to decide whether or not this technique is right for you. If you are more of a regular polish person, polygel nails are likely not the best option. However, if you’ve found yourself consistently opting for gel or acrylic, it’s definitely worth considering. As stated at the beginning, polygel is not only more durable than gel nails, it also possesses the same benefits as acrylic but in a lighter and less harmful formula. If that’s not enough to convince you, maybe the fun and diverse range of designs that we showed you will have a greater influence.
That’s right. The holy grail of all nail techniques goes to (drum roll please): polygel. Polygel is a hybrid formula consisting of an acrylic powder and clear gel. It is not only as durable as acrylic nails but is also significantly lighter in weight. In addition, polygel allows you to shape and lengthen your manicure like acrylic but with a consistency that is much easier to apply. If that’s not enough, check out these further benefits:
- Doesn’t produce harmful dust
- Superior elasticity makes shaping easier
- Can be used on the natural nail & with nail forms
- Lasts up to 3-4 weeks
It’s clear that there are many advantages to getting polygel nails but the question that still remains is, are there any disadvantages?
Are There Negative Aspects?
In general, polygel is very safe for your nails. In fact, because polygel does not release any harmful chemicals into the air, it is actually safer than acrylic manicures. The important thing to note in regard to safe polygel practices is that as long as you apply and remove the formula correctly, you’ll be totally fine. For example, filing or buffing too forcefully can lead to damage to your natural nails. If you’re feeling uneasy about application or removal processes, seek out a professional to assist you.
On the other hand, if you’re like, “no way I totally go this”, then here are step-by-step instructions on how to DIY polygel nails.
DIY Polygel Nails
- File the natural nail into the desired shape
- Push back your cuticles and buff the surface of your nails (remove any debris)
- Apply a base coat and then allow your hands to dry under a LED light for approximately 60 seconds
- Apply a pea-sized amount of polygel onto your nails
- Use a brush to sculpt the polygel into the desired shape and length
- Dry your hands again under the LED light (30-60 seconds)
- File, shape and smooth the edges of your nails
- Apply a top coat
- Cure again under the LED light
And you’re done!
Like we said before, if you’re not comfortable with application and removal by yourself, it’s best to get your polygel nails done at a salon by a professional. Otherwise, if you’d prefer to do it home there are some important tips to keep in mind when removing your polygel mani:
- First, clip off any extra length
- Next, file down the gel without filing your natural nails
- Then you will need to dip cotton balls into acetone and adjust them onto your nails with foil- leave them on for about 45 minutes
- Once the polygel has been sufficiently softened, remove the product with a cuticle pusher
- If your nails are looking a little rough at this point, apply a cuticle oil
Note: like acrylic nails, after 3-4 weeks polygel nails do not have to be fully removed and can be simply filled in. During this process, the nail is filed-down and a small amount of polygel is added to the area near the cuticle.
Whether you’re looking for a manicure that will give you an aura of understated elegance or you’re wanting something that will make a statement (think 3D chocolate and diamonds), polygel has something for everyone. And what’s even more great? By following the steps we provided, you can do it straight from the comfort of your home. Durable, flexible, non-harmful, diverse and DIY-friendly? Do we really need to say more? Hello Kitty certainly doesn’t think so.