Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gel Nails or Gel Polish?

Been getting lots of calls for "gel nails" lately and it turns out-- a lot of people don't know the difference between "gel nails" and "gel polish."

So I put together a little photo demo that will hopefully help clear this up so you'll know what to ask for when you call a salon:

This is Gel. A lot of salons call it "hard gel" now.
Most hard gels come in little pots, sometimes you see it in a bottle that can be squeezed out onto the nail.

The gel is like thick honey-- some are thinner, some are thicker.
This is being sculpted on a form. It can also be brushed over tips, or overlaid on natural nails.
It has to be built up in layers and every layer has to be cured under a UV lamp:

Most gels take about 2 minutes under a traditional UV light.
Some can take a little less time, some can take a little longer.
LED lamps are getting very popular-- they cure much faster, but not all gels will work with LED.
LED is the type of lightbulb, not the type of light. LED lamps still emit UVA light.

There: much better. Filed and shaped.

A finished gel nail with top coat gel applied. I didn't get all the dust out from underneath or it would look much clearer-- but this was just a quick demonstration nail, I wasn't trying to impress anyone with my mad skillz.

This is GEL POLISH: "Suzi Says Feng Shui" in OPI Gelcolor.
It gets applied like polish, then cured under the UV lamp after each coat.

Two coats of color, plus base and top coat. Just like regular polish.
GEL POLISH is popular because the UV curing process means it's COMPLETELY DRY at the end. No waiting for polish to dry, no worryiing about messing it up.
GEL POLISH also has superior adhesion properties, so it lasts on natural nails-- usually about 2 weeks.

GEL POLISH on natural nails
with pure pigment brushed on tips.

GEL POLISH on natural nails with hand painted art work.

A "Rockstar Gel Overlay"
Using Hard Gel to strength the natural nails, with glitter embedded in the gel.

A little of everything:
The Red is gel polish over acrylic nails,
the glitter is Rockstar in the acrylic.


  1. thanks for the slide show! Very informative!!!

  2. Great idea! If you don't mind, I may borrow for my website as YES there is much confusion. Your pics are great too!

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  4. Hello,
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