Wrinkled gel polish can be fixed quickly

No matter how well or how long you have been doing gel polish, your gel polish will wrinkle on one or more of your nails when you least expect it. Wrinkled gel polish on the nails after it is cured is caused by many factors and there are several quicker and simpler ways to get the wrinkles out of gel polish instead of having to remove and reapply the gel polish because doing it this way is the last resort and it will take the longest time. Usually, wrinkles tend to form on thumbs and little fingers.

The following options to quickly fix a wrinkled gel polish are based on how the wrinkles are formed so make sure you know the right cause to apply an appropriate action to fix it without having to remove it and start from scratch.

The quickest way to get wrinkles out of gel polish

Most of the time, wrinkles can be covered with the use of an additional gel top coat and color. If you see wrinkles on one or more of the nail and if gel polish is already cured, try this first:

Apply gel topcoat. Try to fill up the wrinkles with just enough clear gel top coat so it will not run over the cuticles and cure for 45 seconds. Gel top coat is clear so more UV light will go deeper to cure the wrinkled gel polish and can create a smoother to surface.

If the nail is smooth, apply one coat of gel color and cure for 45 seconds.

Apply gel top coat and cure for 45 seconds.

Wrinkles on thumbs or little fingers caused by under-cured gel polish

Thumbs and little fingers usually have this problem. It happens because they do not get enough UV light to be cured properly. The reasons for this are either not enough curing time or they are placed on the wrong spot under the UV lamp.

If you see wrinkles form after curing, lightly touch the gel polish to see whether it is dry or still sticky.

If gel polish is dry or cured when you touch it: put one more coat of color and cure for 45 seconds. After the curing, the new layer should cover the wrinkles well enough so you can finish it with a layer of gel topcoat.

If gel polish is still tacky when you touch it: cure it for 45 seconds and make sure the nail is directly under the light.

If wrinkles are still visible, apply one more layer of gel color and cure for 45 seconds. After curing, the new layer should cover the wrinkles well enough. If you like the look, you can put a layer of gel topcoat to finish the gel nail.

In either case, if the result is not satisfactory, do not try to put any more gel polish because it will make the nail look so thick compared with the other nails. You should remove gel polish on those nails right away and reapply gel polish from the beginning. I have written an article about how to quickly remove gel polish. You can read it here in more detail.Opens in a new tab.

Wrinkles caused by thick gel polish

Thick gel polish will wrinkle after curing because most UV lamps on the market are designed to cure thin gel layers. If gel polish is too thick, the UV light can only cure the top layer of gel polish. After this top layer is cured, it will prevent the UV light from going deeper to cure gel polish in lower layers. That is how wrinkles are formed. Thick gel polish on the nails comes from either the polish is old and thick or it is applied too much.

If you notice wrinkles on the nails and know that the gel polish is thick on the nails:

  • Cure it again for 45 seconds.
  • If wrinkles are still visible, apply gel top coat. Try to fill up all the groves or crevices with just enough top coat so it will not run over the cuticles, cure for 45 seconds and placing it flat while curing.
  • If the gel polish looks smooth, you can apply gel top coat and cure.

In the case that you do gel polish at home, you should learn how to tell whether a polish is thick or not and learn how to apply thin gel polish so you will not run into this problem again. I have written an article about how to apply thin gel polish every timeOpens in a new tab.. If you like to do your own gel nails at home, it is beneficial if you know how to do it right so I suggest you master this skill.

Wrinkles caused by uneven nail surface

If your natural nails are uneven, the gel polish on top can not hide it.

Check to see if the gel polish is cured and dry to the touch.

  • Apply gel top coat in such a way it fills up uneven spots without running over the cuticles.
  • Quickly cure for 45 seconds. If the nail surface is not smooth enough yet, apply top coat and cure again.
  • If the result is satisfactory, apply the color polish and cure for 45 seconds.
  • Seal the polish with gel top coat and cure.

The next time you do your gel polish on your uneven nails, you should apply gel base coat so it will fill up or cover uneven spots. Since the gel base coat is clear, it will cure better than color gel polish even if it is thick. After the gel base coat is smooth and cured, you can put gel color and have great results.

Fixing wrinkles caused by improper nail preparation

If you do not remove all the oily substances like hand lotion, cuticle oil, the gel base coat will not a clean surface to bond to. This results in partial bonding and where the gel base coat does not have a good bond will lift and cause wrinkles.

You can try to put the same color or gel topcoat to smooth out the wrinkles but I do not recommend it. You should remove the gel polish and start from scratch.

Even if you can successfully get the wrinkles of the gel nails in this case, poor nail preparation will cause the gel polish to come off the nails quicker because the bond between the nail surface and gel polish is weak. Furthermore, you might have some lifting, peeling or chipping sooner than you expect.

Wrinkles on black or white gel color

Whenever you use black or white gel polish, wrinkles can form easily on either the thumb or the little finger. These two colors are tricky to cure properly. If you have wrinkles on these colors because the polish is too thick or you cure them under the wrong spot.

If wrinkles are visible on these colors after curing:

  • Cure again for 45 seconds.
  • Apply gel top coat so it fills the wrinkles to create a smooth surface.
  • Quickly cure for 60 seconds.
  • If cured gel polish is smooth after you feel it with your finger, you can go ahead and put either black or white gel polish on the nail and cure for 45 seconds.
  • If it looks good, cover it with a layer of gel top coat and cure for 45 seconds.

To learn how to apply thin gel polish every time so you will not have this problem the next time you use dark gel polish colors, see the article on how to apply thin gel polish.Opens in a new tab.


Remember by adding extra layers of gel polish to fix wrinkles on the nails, you might save some time in the beginning. You will have to spend extra time to remove those thick gel nails when it is time for you to take that gel polish off your nails.

Related articles:

How to fix wrinkled gel polish quickly If you want to remove gel polish on one or two nails, here is the quick way.

How to apply thin gel polish: two helpful tips: thin gel polish will cause less problems and last longer on nails. So knowing how to apply thin nails will save you a lot of time.

How to use a nail drill to remove gel polish at home safely

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