All frequently asked questions are here.

Gel polish is the latest innovation in the nail industry. It has many advantages over the traditional or regular nail polish that it the polish of choice for so many people nowadays. If you are new to gel polish and have a specific question about any aspect of it, you can find it here.

What is a gel polish / shellac gel polish soak off

Gel polish is a new kind of gel polish that reduces drying time by using UV light to cure the polish in 30 seconds instead of 15 to 20 minutes. It also has improved qualities of resistance to chipping and lasting up to 3 weeks.

Gel polish or soak off gel polish is a generic name where shellac is a brand of gel polish.

What is in gel polish

The main chemical ingredient in gel polish is methyl acrylate and photoinitiators. These photoinitiators will cause the gel polish to plasticize and cured to solid form.

What is a gel manicure

It is a regular manicure and gel polish is used instead of regular nail polish.

How long does gel polish last

Gel polish will last up to three weeks if the nail surface is cleaned and free of oil. The basecoat, color and gel topcoat are each cured for 30 seconds under LED light.

Gel manicure cost

On average, gel polish costs about $26.45. This price will vary according to where you live also.

Is gel polish worth the money

Even though the average cost of a manicure with gel polish is about $26.45 at a nail salon. Considering you do not have to worry about your polish chipping, peeling or fading for up to three weeks, it is a bargain compared to $15 manicure with regular polish only stay on your nails less than a week.

Can you do gel polish at home

It is similar to putting regular polish on your nails. The only difference is you have to learn how to apply thin coats and cure it using an LED lamp. Learn more about how to do your gel polish at home in this article.

What brand of gel polish is the best

There are several reputable gel polish manufacturers. It comes down to personal preferences and what is available to you.

Should you use only one gel polish collection

Each gel polish manufacturers have at least one collection in their product lines. If you are a true fan, you can use products from one company, but for many others, they just purchase whatever the color or shades they like so their collection of gel polish may consist of colors from many manufacturers. Likewise, it is alright if your gel polish collection has more than one brand.

What is gel polish cleanser and what else can you use instead

For gel polish that needs cleanser to remove the tacky top layer, it contains mostly alcohol which is the key ingredient. If you do not have a brand cleanser available, rubbing alcohol which has 70% concentration will work fine too.

Why does gel polish chip

Chipping usually happens at the corners of the free edges. If you use your fingernails a lot, stay away from the square shapes and do round the sharp corners of your nails.

Gel polish designs

You can do most designs with gel polish as you would with a regular one. Just make sure you cure under a LED lamp for 30 seconds or whatever you create will be smudged.

Gel polish does not last

One of the great qualities of gel polish is long-lasting. If it does not last as it is supposed to, then there are 3 areas you should look into so you can pinpoint what goes wrong:

  • Nail preparation
  • gel polish quality
  • LED lamp’s condition
  • Learn more in detail about them in this article.

Gel polish damages or thin out your nails

Gel polish does not harm or thin out your nails. Improperly prepping steps like buffing or roughing up to remove shine before gel polish application or improper removal will damage and thin out your natural nails. Learn more about how to prepare your nails properly before applying gel polish or know what is the best way to remove gel polish in these articles.

Can gel polish be used for french manicure

A french tip look can also be done with gel polish. After a gel base coat is applied and cured, scrapping white gel polish as much as possible from the brush and swipe it from one side of the nail to the other side. Clean up or even the white strip with a cleaning brush with acetone.

How to dry gel polish

Gel polish does not air dry like regular polish. Instead, it needs to be cured under a UV light source.

How to apply gel polish

similar to regular polish, gel polish is applied on nails using a nail brush that is included in the polish bottle. Learn more about how to apply gel polish thin every time here in this article.

Gel polish just peels off

The possible cause for this issue is:

  • Missing basecoat.
  • Too much oil on the nails.
  • Not enough curing time.

Learn more how to avoid these issues in this article.

Can you over cure gel polish

Yes, you can over cure gel polish if you expose it under UV light longer than 1 minute. Over cured gel polish will be baked into your nails and this will make it much tougher to remove it later.

Gel polish not curing / drying

  • LED lamp is faulty.
  • Under curing. Gel polish should be cured for 30 seconds
  • Wrong placement of hand under an LED lamp.
  • Clean with alcohol.

Gel polish is not coming off

This is caused by three possible reasons. First check to see if your polish remover is indeed a pure acetone kind. Only acetone will remove the gel polish when you soak or wrap it. The other reason is you might over cured the gel polish too much that the gel polish is baked onto the nail surface. To fix this, gentle and slowly file off the gel polish off your nails. It will take some time but you will save your nails from thinning out.

Resist the temptation to over cure gel polish because it will not make gel polish last any longer.

The last reason is the gel polish might be applied too thick.

Learn the best way to remove gel polish here.

Learn how to apply thin gel polish here.

Is Gel polish toxic

Gel polish is relatively safe to use on fingernails. However, overexposure on chemical vapor might cause dizziness.

Gel polish over acrylics

It is a good combination. Long-lasting gel polish over acrylic nails will enhance the look or resistance to wear of acrylics.

Gel polish peeling, lifting or chipping off acrylics

it happens because the acrylic nail is oily or too smooth. The acrylic nail should be free of oil and roughen up so gel polish will stick on better. Don’t forget to cure the nails for 45 seconds.

Gel polish over dipping powder

Similar to acrylic nails, gel polish over dipping powder nails will maintain the color as long as the dipping powder is on the nails.

Gel polish peeling, lifting or chipping off dipping powder

Dipping powder nails should be free of oil and do not buff them so smooth before gel polish application. Lastly, do cure gel polish for 45 seconds.

How to remove gel polish at home

There are several ways to remove gel polish: finger clips, aluminum wrap, soaking but the best method is using finger cots. Learn how to use finger cots to remove gel polish in this article.

Can I use a nail drill to remove gel polish

A nail drill is great in reducing time involved in removing gel polish of the nails. it should be used to remove the gel topcoat only.

Cordless mini nail drill can be used to remove gel top coat.

How to remove gel polish without acetone

You can actually remove gel polish without acetone. Gel polish will soften and detach from the nail plate when soaked in warm water. Peeling gel polish off the nails slowly with the help of cuticle oil or olive oil in another way. Learn about different ways to remove gel polish in this article.

Why does gel polish bubble

Gel polish bubbles are caused by two main reasons. First is the lower layers are under cured and the second reason is gel polish applied too thick on the nails.

Can you use regular polish with gel top coat

If you want to use gel topcoat, you must dry the regular polish completely before putting on a gel top coat or the regular polish will never dry. With a gel top coat over the regular nail polish, it will give the regular polish additional long-lasting benefit from having the gel topcoat.

Can you put regular nail polish over gel top coat

Yes, you can. However, make sure you dry the regular nail polish along with its topcoat otherwise it will be smudged.

Can you put regular nail polish over gel base coat

Yes, you can. If you do not have the gel polish color that you like, you can use regular nail polish with regular topcoat and air dry for 20 minutes.

Can you use regular clear nail polish over gel polish

If you really have to, you can do it but the regular clear nail polish will not last as long and it will get dull faster.

Can you use regular base coat instead of a gel base coat

The regular base coat will not bond to the nail surface as good as does a gel base coat. So it is not worth your time to do this kind of combination.

Can you put more than one layers of gel top coat

Yes, you can. In fact, it is a good way to extend the life of your gel manicure in two ways. First is if you work with your hands and fingers a lot then one more layer of gel top coat will protect the gel color underneath from being worn out. Secondly, you can put one more layer of gel topcoat after one week. This will bring the good shine back to your gel manicure. Do not put more than one layer of gel topcoat or you will spend a lot of time trying to remove your gel polish later.

For more information on combining regular polish with gel polish, learn more about it here in this article.

Can Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish top coat with other nail polishes

Yes you can. However, as with other gel polish brands, as you combine gel polish with regular polish in your manicure, be on the lookout for what to do properly so you have a good result. Learn more about combining different kinds of polish in doing manicure in this article.

Why gel polish is so thick

Gel polish gets thick over time due to excessive heat, or it is too cold when in use, dried out from evaporation. What you can do to prevent:

  • Close cap tight when finish using.
  • Keep away from extreme heat.
  • Gel polish should be used when it is at room temperature.

Gel polish vs regular polish, vs acrylics and SNS

Gel polish is a great polish to apply on artificial or enhancement nail products like acrylics, SNS dip powder or hard gel. Gel polish lasts up to 3 weeks on nails while regular only lasts a few days.

Is there a gel polish without methyl acrylate

All gel polish on the market now has methyl acrylate.

Gel polish turning yellow on white, bright color

The main reason for bright gel polish to turn yellow is the gel top coat is old when first applied. If the bright gel color looks yellow after a few days, the gel top coat is stained. Simply wipe the nail surface with alcohol. If it does not remove the stain, quickly clean it with acetone.

How to make gel polish thinner

To thin out thick or old gel polish, the best solution is a gel polish thinner. If you do not have it, a few drops of pure acetone will do the job. Some people are against using acetone to dilute gel polish. However, if you own your gel polish collection and do your own nails and possibly friends and family for free, who is there to complain?

Gel polish makes your nails strong

No, it does not. However, with long-lasting, resistant to chipping qualities, gel polish provides additional thickness so your nails can withstand the abuse from normal daily use. 

Will gel polish cure without a LED lamp

No, it can not. Gel polish must be cured under a UV light to transform from a liquid state to solid. Without the right UV light source, the gel polish will not cure or dry. Recently, a good LED lamp costs under $40. Check out our recommended LED lamp here on amazon for the latest price.

Can gel polish be used on thin nails

Yes, it can. Gel polish will work on thin nails. I recommend putting two to three extra layers of base coat before color and topcoat will strengthen thin nails. This way it will prevent thin nails from bending too much through daily use and will make gel polish last longer. This article has complete instructions on how to do gel polish on thin nails.

Gel polish burns or stings while curing

While going under a UV light, the gel polish will form a chemical reaction from which it plasticizes or turns solid and giving off heat. That is why there is a quick feeling of heat build-up on the nail. This heat will quickly dissipate as gel polish is continued to be cured.

It is an expected phenomenon and people with thin nails usually experience this more than people with thicker nails. Another possibility is the gel polish might be applied too thick so more material will go through this chemical reaction and will generate more heat.

Cuticles itch after a gel manicure

Possible causes:

  • Old cured gel polish dust created from the filing action is one
  • Gel polish has not been completely cured and stuck under cuticle folds
  • Other nail liquid products like dehydrator/primer.

If this happens to you, you have a mild case of allergy to methyl acrylate which is one ingredient in gel polish.

Remedy: dry your fingernails with a heater fan or hairdryer at a low heat setting. This will make all the chemical liquids that still remain evaporate away.

Clean your nails with soapy water and gently remove all nail dust using a nail brush.

Do not apply hand lotion or cuticle oil on the fingernails for 12 hours. prevent the itch from reoccurring, learn more about it in this article.

What is a LED lamp for gel polish

A LED lamp used in gel polish is a light source that emits UV light. Most LED lamps emit UV light that has around 370 nanometer wavelength that cures gel polish effectively.

The best LED lamp to buy for home use

The best LED lamp to buy for home use should have all these requirements:

  • Light and portable
  • Under $40
  • Have been in the market for more than 2 years

One LED nail lamp that meets all three requirements above that I bought and used is the Sun. I have no problem and like its lightweight, easy to handle. You can check the latest price on Amazon.

What is a gel pedicure

Gel polish is applied to your toenails instead of a regular one. It will have to go through the same curing process as you do it on fingernails.

How long can gel polish last on toes

This gel polish will stay on for up to one month and the shine is there the whole time.

How to remove gel polish on toes

It is not practical to wrap or soak toenails in acetone. Learn the simple and fast way in this article.

Is gel pedicure worth it

The toenails should be cut once a month. Gel polish will last as long on toenails because it is subject to less impact. This makes gel polish on pedicure worth an extra $10 to $15. 

Is gel pedicure safe during pregnancy

Putting gel polish on toenails is relatively safe. As a good precaution, do remove all kinds of polishes or artificial nail products on your nails a few days before you go into labor.

How do you use a nail drill at home

You should only use a nail drill on nail products like gel polish, dipping powder, poly gel or acrylics. Using a nail drill on your nails will thin them out.

Can you use a nail drill on the natural nails

If you do your own nails, using a nail drill on your natural nails is not recommended. You might be able to handle well with your dominant hand but you will have difficulty working the nail drill with your non-dominant hand. Instead, a buffer will work better to remove shine and gently roughen the nail surface.

What is the best nail drill for beginners

The best nail drill for beginners or just for doing gel nail polish at home should be light, easy to handle, no cord to pull on your hand, rechargeable and long-lasting. This is the latest nail drill that meets all those requirements and costs under $30. Check out the latest price on Amazon here.

Can nail drill remove gel polish

Nail drill is a great tool to remove gel polish by filing off the gel topcoat so soaking time will significantly be reduced.

I tried this portable nail drill out and I think it is a great nail drill for this job and it costs under $30. Check this out on Amazon.

How do you remove gel polish with a nail drill

Using a nail drill to thin out the gel polish top coat only. Gel polish should be removed by soaking or wrapping in acetone.

What kind of drill bit removes gel polish

the best drill bit that effectively removes the gel top coat and does not cut into skin or cuticle is a drum-type with rounded-edge one. It can be made from metal or ceramic.

NailsFAQ - Drum type drill bit with rounded edge is great in removing gel topcoat

Check out the latest price on amazon.

Is it OK to file off gel polish

No, it is not. Trying to file off gel polish you will risk thinning out your nails. Damaged nails will need up to 3 months to regrow. So do not chance it.

The best nail drill to remove gel polish

Using a nail drill to remove gel polish will cut soaking off old gel polish time in half. There are many makes and models out there so picking the right one that can do a good job without ruining your nails is difficult. However, this latest design of nail drills is best suited to remove gel polish at home. It is compact, easy to use and under $30. If you use a couple times a month, this nail drill will last a long time. Check out the latest price on Amazon here.

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