WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GEL NAIL POLISH AND REGULAR POLISH?
The main difference between gel polish and normal air-dry nail polish is the length of wear. When applied correctly, gel nail polish can last up to two weeks without chipping. Another big difference is the drying time. Because you use a LED lamp to harden gel nail polish, it dries much more quickly, so you can go about your life right away, without worrying about smudging.
PREPPING YOUR NAILS
Whether you’re applying gel or regular polish, it’s a good idea to prep your nails first. Gel nail polish can be applied either to natural nails or acrylics. If applying to your natural nails, first remove all traces of your old polish and lightly buff your nails to help the polish to stick.
To avoid applying color to your cuticles, gently push the cuticle back with an orangewood stick. Wash and thoroughly dry your hands to remove any residues. You might also want to use a nail cleanser and a primer.
APPLYING THE BASE COAT
Applying a base coat will help create the perfect finish for your gel nail polish. Start applying one-third of the way up the nail, upwards in a single stroke. Repeat at the sides of the nail, then push downwards towards the cuticle, avoiding actual contact with the cuticle itself. You can do this with regular nail polish too, but the main difference is that when using a gel base coat, you’ll need to cure it under the LED lamp for 15 seconds.
APPLYING THE COLOUR
Now to apply your chosen color. Apply two coats, curing under the LED lamp between each coat. This is where gel nail polish is way easier than traditional nail polish. With regular polish, you have to wait for each coat to air dry, whereas with gel nails, you’ll be all done within a couple of minutes.
Once the color is dry, apply a clear top coat and cure again under the lamp.
It really is that simple. The tricky bit is choosing your color from our huge range of shades! But if you want a change after a few days, check out our guide to removing gel nail polish at home, and start over! If you want a kit to get you started, try our Gel Polish Starter Kit, which comes with a gorgeous raspberry color, UV lamp and other essential accessories.