Gel Nail Polish Guide - All You Need to Know

Now we all love Gel Polish and it is undoubtedly the most popular type of nail polish out there. But what exactly is this mysterious, magical gel we all hear so much about? Well, we are here to explain it all! 

What is gel nail polish?

What exactly is gel nail polish you ask? Well, Gel Polish is made up of a mix of Monomers and Oligomers (chemistry jargon) which bond together and ‘cure’ when exposed to a UV or LED light. Gel Polish is so versatile it can be applied to your natural nail, on top of tips, extensions, acrylics and Polygel.

Gel Polish has the ability to last for up to 3 weeks with no chipping, smudges or dents. I mean what more could you want from a polish? Strengthen your nails you say? Absolutely! One of the most amazing things about Gel Polish is that it aids your natural nails to become stronger!

What is the difference between gel and regular nail polish?

How much time do we have? There are several many differences between gel and regular polish. Gel Polish is a thicker consistency to nail polish which allows for a smoother application. When applying nail polish you need to act fast as it air dries and could cause the polish to become lumpy if not applied quickly. Gel Polish does not air dry so there is no rush in painting, you can take your time to get the most luscious streak-free application.

Gel Polish is very durable so you won’t have any chipping or denting in the polish. Gel Polish needs a UV or LED light to dry (cure) it so once you’ve applied your top coat you're ready to go (minus the tacky wipe off layer) whereas nail polish dries in the air and can take up to 2 hours to be completely dent-resistant and dry.

Nail polish lasts for up to 7 days maximum whereas your stunning Gel Manicure will last beyond 2 weeks. 

Are gel nails bad for you?

No. Because our nails don’t breathe they don’t need a break from Gel Polish. If the nail bed is prepped and the polish applied correctly there will be no damage to your natural nail at all.

However, it is recommended that you remove Gel Polish every 2-3 weeks as this will allow you to maintain your cuticle care and refresh your polish. An added bonus is that if you base your mani with Polygel or Builder Gel you won’t need to remove the polish at all, by the magic of infilling. This will allow you to keep the length and strength of your nails by refreshing your mani without having to remove any of the base you created.

The majority of damage happens to the nails when gel polish is removed incorrectly! You can check out how to remove your polish safely here

Can you use gel nail polish on natural nails?

Yes! Gel Polish was designed for the natural nail, as long as you apply a base coat or Builder Gel underneath the polish colour your natural nails will benefit greatly from Gel Polish. Gel Polish is also great for painting on top of extensions and acrylics.

Can you use Gel Polish without a UV light?

Yes and No. Gel Polish needs to be cured under a light and this could be under a UV Lamp or an LED Lamp. Once cured you will be left with a tacky layer that will need to be removed before completing your mani. Unlike regular nail polish, Gel Polish cannot dry naturally in the air. But once you’ve added and cured your No Wipe Top Coat your nails are ready to go. No pesky drying time or wandering around the house waving your hands frantically waiting for the polish to dry.

How often should you take a break from gel nails?

Never!! There is no time restraint on how long you can keep your Gel Polish on, because our nails don’t breathe they do not need a break from Gel Polish.

Proper maintenance and removal of the Gel Polish will prevent you from damaging your natural nail. With the extra strong base of Polygel or Builder Gel you have the option to infill your mani rather than fully removing all layers of gel. This will help to build strength in your natural nails. However, it is recommended that you remove Gel Polish every 2-3 weeks whether that be by the correct removal process or infilling your manicure, this will allow you to maintain your cuticle care and refresh your polish.

To Sum Up

So what have we learnt? Gel Polish is great for building strength in your natural nails, it doesn’t chip or smudge, it can last beyond 2 weeks if maintained and natural nails are prepped correctly. Gel Polish must be cured under a UV or LED Lamp. All in all, we think you’ll agree gel nail polish is pretty awesome. But don’t just take our word for it, check out our MyGel collection and become a Gel addict like us.

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