Before applying gel nails, it is important to prepare the nails first. If there is old nail polish or gel on the nails, it needs to be removed first. Gel can only be applied on clear nails. The nail should then be shaped with nail clippers or a pair of nail scissors and filed to the desired shape with a file.
The cuticles should then be pushed back so that the gel has a larger surface area to stick to the nail. Cuticle oil can be applied to the nail to make the cuticles softer and easier to push. The cuticles are then pushed gently in. The fingers can be soaked in warm water for a few minutes to make the cuticles softer too. The surface of the nail should also be buffed so that natural shine is removed in order to allow the gel to make a stronger bond with the nail.
A primer is then applied to remove moisture and oils from the surface. The primer is applied in long coats extending from the cuticles to the edge of the nails. Once the primer dries, the nail is ready to receive the gel coat.
The gel is now applied to the nail in long and even strokes from the cuticles to the tips of the nails. If any gel accidentally lands on the skin surrounding the nail, it can be gently removed with a cuticle pusher. Once the gel is in place, the hand should be placed in a UV dryer for about 2 or 3 minutes until the gel dries.
This is then followed with a second coat. The coat is again allowed to dry under UV light. The second coat might take a little longer to dry, ranging from around two to four minutes. A coat of color can also be applied according to one’s choice.
A final top coat is then applied, taking care to see that there are no gaps or uneven spots on the surface. The final coat should be dried for about five minutes. For every successive coat, the time taken for drying could increase a little. Drying the gel completely before applying a new coat over it is essential for better adhesion.
As a final step, the hands are cleaned with alcohol. With the filing and buffing, gel particles could accumulate over the hands. It is therefore essential to wash and dry the hands thoroughly.