Using gel polish to create a gel manicure is amazing. You will have a long-lasting nail look that’s beautiful and chip-free! However, mishaps can occur if you don’t follow the proper application process. If you want to learn how to achieve a streak-free finish for your gel manicures, check out this guide.
What Makes a Gel Manicure Unique?
Gel manicures are a long-lasting manicure option that uses UV or LED light to dry. Unlike regular polish, gel polish is more durable and lasts between two to three weeks. You can visit a nail salon and receive a gel manicure or do it yourself! Just make sure you have the right polish and UV or LED lighting equipment.
Why Do Gel Manicures Get Streaks?
One of the most common reasons for streaks is improper nail preparation. The polish application will not be smooth if you have bumps or grooves on your nail plate. This will lead to apparent ridges and streaks. That’s why basecoat polish is necessary for all manicures, including gel ones.
Your gel manicures can also get streaks if you apply the polish in thick coats or hold the brush incorrectly. As you keep reading this guide, you will learn the correct application methods.
Tools You Need
Before starting your manicure, you must gather all the tools you’ll need for your nails. Here’s a list of important materials:
- LED or UV Lamp
- Nail clipper
- Nail file
- Nail buffer
- Base Coat polish
- Gel polish
- Top coat polish
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton pads
Perfect Nails: Step-by-Step Guide to a Gel Manicure
Step 1: Prep Your Nails
Always wash your hands with mild soap and warm water before starting a manicure. Doing so gets rid of germs and bacteria. Additionally, it wipes away excess oils from your hands.
Now, use a nail clipper to trim your nails and a file to achieve your desired shape. For gel manicures, almond, round, and oval nail shapes are the most common choices. However, follow your preference to create your ideal shape.
Step 2: Buff Your Nails
A nail buffer has three sides that are important to gel manicures. There should be a rough, smooth, and shiny side. Use the rough edge to buff your nail plate and even out any bumps and groves. This will help prevent streaks. Then, use the smooth and shiner sides to create a soft finish.
Step 3: Wipe Nails With Rubbing Alcohol
Buffing will leave excess dust on your nails, and it can interfere with the curing process of gel manicures. After buffing, wash your hands again with mild soap and water. Then, dry them with a soft towel. Place rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad and gently wipe each finger with the pad. Rubbing alcohol dries fast and makes your nails oil-free.
Step 4: Apply Base Coat Polish
The base coat is one of the most crucial parts of a gel manicure. The gel polish will not adhere to your nail plate without a base coat.
Apply a thin and even layer of base coat on each nail. Then, cure your nails under a LED lamp for 30 seconds or under a UV lamp for 60 seconds.
Step 5: Apply Gel Polish
After curing your base coat, it’s time to apply the gel polish. Holding your brush at a 45-degree angle, apply a thin layer of the gel polish. After the first coat, cure the nails under the LED lamp for 60 seconds or a UV lamp for two minutes. You can apply two more thin layers of polish (curing your nails between coats).
Step 6: Finish With a Topcoat
Complete your manicure with a top coat polish to protect your gel nails. Use a thin layer of top coat to seal your nail look. Afterward, cure your nails one last time under the LED or UV lamp. Keep nails under the LED lamp for 60 seconds or under a UV lamp for 2 minutes. You will achieve an excellent, streak-free manicure!
What About the Bling?
If you want to add pizzaz to your manicure, consider nail accessories. Rhinestones and gems are perfect for bringing sparkle. Here’s how to incorporate nail bling into your gel manicure:
- Gently buff the shine (topcoat polish) off the area you want to apply the nail gem. This will create better adhesion.
- Apply a small amount of nail glue or resin on your nail, and then place the bling on top of the glue. With a cuticle stick or wooden tool, gently press down the bling for ten seconds. For additional power, you can cure the nails for 30 seconds under the LED or UV lamp.
- Avoid scraping your nails against rough surfaces to prevent nail bling from coming off.
Proper aftercare will maintain your manicure and nourish your nails. Massage cuticle oil in your nails at least once a day to prevent them from drying out. Additionally, apply hand cream or lotion throughout the day to hydrate your hands.
Please keep in mind that hot water and gel manicures don’t mesh well together. Hot water lifts your gel polish faster, decreasing the longevity of your nail look. Limit contact with hot water by wearing gloves to wash dishes and avoid soaking your hands in the water.
In addition, avoid picking at your nails because you will lift the polish. When your nails grow, you will notice the polish extending from your nail tips. When that happens, it’s still important to not pick at your manicure.
After rocking your gel manicure for a couple of weeks, it’s time to remove the polish and let your natural nails breathe. First, you’ll need to gather your tools:
- Nail Buffer
- Cotton balls
- Hand moisturizer
- Wooden nail tool or cuticle stick
Once you have everything ready, follow this removal method to take off your gel manicure:
- First, use your nail buffer to buff the top coat polish off your nails.
- Then, soak your nails in a bowl of acetone for fifteen minutes or place acetone-soaked cotton balls on your nails and wrap them with foil. Allow the foil to stay on your nails for 10 to 15 minutes.
- After removing your hands from the bowl or taking off the acetone-soaked cotton balls, the polish should fall off. You can remove excess polish by gently scraping it off with a wooden tool.
- If the polish does not easily come off, repeat your preferred soaking method.
- When the polish is off, wash your hands to wipe away the excess acetone.
- Lastly, apply moisturizer to your hands.
With the right tools and gel polish, you can achieve a streak-free finish to your manicure! If you enjoy gel manicures and want various polish options, consider shopping the Kiara Sky collection. You are sure to find your next favorite nail polish with their beautiful assortment of shades. And don’t forget to browse Nail Company Wholesale Supply’s selection of nail tools and essentials!