Gel filled nails

11.09.2019
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13 Facts About Gel Manicures You Wish You Knew About Sooner

There's no better way to treat yo self then by splurging on a luxurious manicure. A little nail art, a few rhinestones, and an on-trend hue give you the same boost of confidence as a spot-on outfit or a really good hair day. Unlike those things, which only last a day or so, a solid polish job can last you up to four weeks, if you play your cards right (trust me, I've done it).

You're probably asking yourself "HOW? My nails usually chip after three days!" Well, the answer is simple: gels. Thanks to the quick-dry formula, the application process is quicker than regular nail polish and lasts four times as long. That means you'll have weeks to enjoy your beautiful nail art.

Before you head to the salon, read these top tips from NYC-based celebrity nail artist Miss Pop. She's done manicures on all the hottest celebs, from Gigi Hadid and Ariana Grande to Lucy Hale. Ahead, she spills all her expert tips and tricks for getting the best possible gel manicure and how to make it last extra long. Here's everything you need to know before getting a gel manicure.

1. Gel and acrylic are completely different.

Acrylic nails are made with a powder dipped in solvent. "They're essentially used to lengthen the nail or provide a stronger top layer over the natural nail," explains Miss Pop. Think: the crazy-long coffin nails Kylie Jenner is obsessed with.

Sometimes acrylic nails come in colors, but usually they're clear or natural-toned. Gels, on the other hand, come in nail polish shades, and are made hard by being cured under a UV or LED lamp.

2. Look into different polishes to see which ingredients you feel most comfortable with.

Believe it or not, there are some polishes on the market that are known as "healthier" when it comes to gel manicures. For example, OPI’s GelColor ProHealth Base and Top Coat promises healthier nails and up to 14 days without a single chipped tip in sight.

GelColor Gel Nail Polish 3-Pc Set

OPI walmart.com

$44.95

A lot of salons now offer this polish, but call ahead to see if they carry the gel variety, as well. The base coat and topcoat can be used with any of OPI’s over 140 gel colors.

3. Your nails don't actually need to "breathe."

Many people worry about getting gels because they fear their nails won't be able to "breathe," but nails are actually dead to begin with. The whole idea is a myth, but it is kind of cute to imagine your little nails with micro-nostrils.

4. Gels weaken your nail beds, but it's mostly because of the removal process.

Now that we've gotten past the "breathing" myth, let's talk about what parts of your nails actually do need TLC. Your nail beds and cuticles are what's most important — they're made of living tissue, which is why you need to be careful during the application and removal process. DON'T rip them off. Get gels removed at a salon safely (it usually costs around $10-$20) or remove them yourself at home with acetone, tin foil, cotton balls, and a nail file.

Super Nail Pure Acetone, 16 fl. oz.

Super Nail amazon.com

$12.82

5. Actually watch your manicurist take off the polish.

I know, I know. It's so tempting to just zone off and watch whatever random show they have playing on the salon TV, but be sure to keep an eye on what the nail technician is up to.

Make sure the manicurist is removing your gels carefully. "No one should be scraping your nail bed aggressively. The product should just crumble off," says Miss Pop.

6. You can remove gels at home safely.

If you want to save money and a trip to the salon, you can take gels off yourself. You just have to be extra careful.

Here's how to do it:

Get a bottle of 100 percent acetone or a gel remover (it's less harsh than pure acetone). Place a cotton ball soaked in the remover on top of your nail.Wrap each nail in tinfoil.

Depending on your gel, this can take 15 minutes to an hour. When the gel is crumbling or sliding off, gently use a rubber-ended cuticle pusher to clean the gel off of your nail bed (do not file or scrape!).

Cuticle Stick

OPI amazon.com

$3.95

7. Keep your nail beds hydrated.

Miss Pop recommends using cuticle oil and moisturizer. "Even if you don't have a gel mani, those products will help your nails stay healthy and strong, not to mention stave off hangnails," she told Seventeen.

8. UV radiation can be dangerous to your health.

"Those purple-colored lights that help your nails dry are actually UV lights," explains Miss Pop. "Conventional wisdom says unnecessary exposure to UV rays is bad for you, but they have been part of salon services forever."

Luckily, there have been huge improvements in gel technology, and many brands have converted to LED curing, which doesn't have the side effects UV rays have on your skin.

SUNUV SUN2C 48W LED UV nail Lamp with 4 Timer Setting,Senor For Gel Nails and Toe Nail Curing

SUNUV amazon.com

$39.99

Ask your salon for that option. If you love your UV lamp for drying, put on sunscreen before – just in case.

9. At-home gel kits DO work.

Well, kind of. Brands like Sally Hanson, Ciate, and Kiss make at-home kits now with tiny little LED lamps. Try them out if you want to save money on your weekly manis.

Salon Pro Gel Starter Kit

Sally Hansen amazon.com

$48.91

At-home gel kits last a bit longer than a regular manicure — maybe 10 days — but are definitely not salon quality. You have to follow the instructions to the last detail and have a pretty steady hand to get a perfect gel nail.

10. Gels cost anywhere from $35 to $120.

How much you're going to pay for a gel mani really depends on where you live, but also what kind of look you want. Basic one-color gel manis start around $35, which is more than a regular mani, but it also lasts twice as long. If you want crazy celeb-level nail art, it could end up costing up to $100 or more – and that's not including the 20% tip.

11. Gels generally last 2-3 weeks.

The best part about gel manis is how long they last. If you have a bunch of events coming up back to back like prom, internship interviews, and family vacays, gels can be the perfect solution. They last about two full weeks with zero chipping – four if you're really careful with your nails.

12. Watch out for "toxic trio" ingredients.

Some polishes include potential cancer-causing chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde. Read the ingredients label on the polish bottle or on the company's website to avoid them.

13. Cuticles trims can put you at risk for infection.

Most salons don't cut cuticles anymore, but you should still ask your technician about it before she starts on your nails. Don't increase your risk of infection by getting your cuticles cut – just ask to have them pushed back, instead.


gel filled nails
How to Fill Nails

How to Fill Nails

Co-authored by wikiHow Staff | 15 References

Updated: March 29, 2019

Explore this Article Preparing Your Nails Filling Acrylic Nails Filling Gel Nails Ask a Question Related Articles

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Together, they cited information from 15 references.

wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high quality standards. Learn more...

If your nails are growing out but you don't want to go to the salon for a while, fill your nails at home! Purchase a nail fill kit from the beauty supply store or pick up the tools you need to fill your own acrylic or gel nails. Remove the top layer of acrylic paint or gel before you buff or file the nails. Once the surface of your nails is clean, fill the gap with acrylic mixture or gel primer. Let the nail dry before you apply your nail polish.

Steps

Method 1 Preparing Your Nails

Image titled Fill Nails Step 1 1 Fill your nails every 2 to 3 weeks. Because the natural nails underneath your acrylic nails will continue to grow, a gap between your cuticle and acrylic nail will begin to show within 2 or 3 weeks.
  • You'll need to fill your nails more frequently if they grow out faster.
2 Use nail polish remover to remove the old paint. Dip a cotton ball in non-acetone nail polish remover. Press the soaked cotton ball directly on your nails. Rub the cotton ball over each nail until the old nail polish is removed.[1]
  • Avoid using acetone-based nail polish removers, which could damage the acrylics.
3 Wash and dry your nails. Wash your nails with soap and water to remove any traces of the nail polish remover. Use a dry cotton ball or soft towel to completely dry the nails.[2]
  • Cleaning the nails can help prevent infection.

Method 2 Filling Acrylic Nails

1 Use a nail buffer to smooth the excess acrylic. Rub a buffer over the bumpy end of the acrylic where it meets your natural nail. Continue to buff the nail until the top layer of your nail is smooth. Ensure that you only smooth the acrylic and not your natural nail.[3] 2 Apply 1 to 3 coats of nail primer. Dip a brush into your nail primer and spread 1 drop over the natural part of your nail. Let the primer dry completely before adding 1 to 2 more coats, if desired. The primer will protect your nail and make the polish go on more smoothly.
  • Avoid getting nail primer on your finger or cuticles because it can burn or irritate the skin.
3 Combine acrylic powder with acrylic liquid on the end of a brush. Place acrylic liquid in 1 small dish and acrylic powder in another. Dip an acrylic nail brush into the liquid and dab it into the acrylic powder. Repeat this 4 to 5 times, so a bead of acrylic mixture forms on the end of the brush. You can use this mixture to fill your nails.[4] 4 Spread the acrylic mixture on the natural part of your nails. Dip an acrylic nail brush into the mixture, so 1 drop is on the end of the brush. Dab the drop of acrylic mixture in the middle of your natural nail and use the brush to tap it evenly across your natural nail. Use the sides of the brush to fill in the corners and near the cuticle. Pull the excess acrylic mixture down the nail so it smoothly covers the existing acrylic nail.[5]
  • If you apply too much acrylic mixture, it will be difficult to spread evenly. Use the cotton swab with nail polish remover to wipe away the acrylic fill mixture and try again.
Image titled Fill Nails Step 8 5 Let your filled nails air dry. It can take for 5 to 20 minutes for your nails to dry completely. Avoid smudging your nails while they're drying.[6] 6 Buff or file your nails until they're smooth. Use a nail file or nail buffer to smooth and shape the ends of your nails. If you like, you can also buff the surface of your nails so they're smooth.[7] 7 Apply 1 to 3 coats of paint to the nails. Spread a base coat on the acrylic nails and let it dry completely before you apply the nail polish. This could take 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of polish you use. For a brighter color or stronger nail, you can paint another 1 to 2 coats. Once the colored coats have dried, brush on a top coat to protect your nails.[8]

Method 3 Filling Gel Nails

1 File the top layer of the gel nails. To prevent layers of gel from building up, use a 180-grit file to smooth out the top layer of gel. Try to remove just the top layer of gel. Repeat this for each nail.[9] 2 Buff the gel nail where it meets the natural nail. Take a superfine file or fine-grit buffer and brush it over the bumpy line where the gel nail meets your natural nail. Keep buffing until there's no bump and the nail is smooth.[10]
  • You shouldn't see any shine on the nails once you've finished buffing.
3 Wipe your nails clean with a lint-free wipe dipped in rubbing alcohol. Wipe the rubbing alcohol over each nail to get rid of any dust. Cleaning the nail will prepare it for the new coat of gel paint.[11] 4 Use a nail brush to spread gel primer on each nail. Dip your brush in the gel primer and dab a drop-sized amount in the center of the natural nail near the cuticle. Tap the primer evenly around the rest of the natural nail and then pull the brush down across the gel nail.[12] Image titled Fill Nails Step 15 5 Cure your fingernails for 1 minute under a UV light. Place your nails under a UV light for 1 minute to cure the primer. Since a UV light is the only way to truly cure the gel polish, you'll need to simply let the nails dry if you don't have the light. Let the nails dry for 25 to 30 minutes before applying another coat.[13] 6 Apply 1 to 3 coats of gel nail polish. Dab a little gel nail polish in the center of your nail towards the cuticle. Use the brush to coat the entire nail so a thin layer of polish covers the nail. [14]
  • If you notice a sticky or tacky surface, dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and brush it over the nails to remove the sticky texture.
Image titled Fill Nails Step 17 7 Dry the nails completely under UV light for 3 minutes between coats. If you like, you can finish with a top coat to protect the gel nails.[15]

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Things You'll Need

Filling Acrylic Nails

  • Nail buffer
  • Acrylic fill mixture
  • Acrylic brush
  • Nail polish
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Clean towel
  • Nail primer
  • Nail file

Filling Gel Nails

  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Clean towel
  • 180-grit nail file
  • Superfine file or fine-grit buffer
  • Lint-free wipe
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Gel nail polish
  • UV nail lamp

References

^ http://www.bestacrylicnails.com/tutorials/how-to-fill-acrylic-nails/ ^ http://www.bestacrylicnails.com/tutorials/how-to-fill-acrylic-nails/ ^ http://www.bestacrylicnails.com/tutorials/how-to-fill-acrylic-nails/ ^ http://www.bestacrylicnails.com/tutorials/how-to-do-acrylic-nails-at-home-part-3-application/ ^ https://youtu.be/ehYc9dNiXnE?t=194 ^ http://www.bestacrylicnails.com/tutorials/how-to-do-acrylic-nails-at-home-part-3-application/ ^ http://www.bestacrylicnails.com/tutorials/how-to-do-acrylic-nails-at-home-part-3-application/ ^ http://www.bestacrylicnails.com/tutorials/how-to-do-acrylic-nails-at-home-part-3-application/ ^ http://www.thepolishedmommy.com/2012/06/adding-length-to-your-natural-nail-fills-and-removal.html ^ http://www.nailsplash.com/page/gelnails#3 ^ http://www.thepolishedmommy.com/2012/06/adding-length-to-your-natural-nail-fills-and-removal.html ^ http://www.thepolishedmommy.com/2012/06/adding-length-to-your-natural-nail-fills-and-removal.html ^ http://www.nailsplash.com/page/gelnails#3 ^ http://www.thepolishedmommy.com/2012/06/adding-length-to-your-natural-nail-fills-and-removal.html ^ http://www.thepolishedmommy.com/2012/06/adding-length-to-your-natural-nail-fills-and-removal.html Show more... (6)

How often should you get UV gel nails filled?
ManicuresNail CareNails (anatomy)

How often should you get UV gel nails filled?

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#3a66ad;box-shadow:0 1px 1px 0 rgba(200,200,200,0.6);font-weight:inherit;bottom:7px}.AnswerWikiArea h3 a.action_button:active{opacity:.6;box-shadow:none}.AnswerWikiArea h3 a.action_button:hover{text-decoration:none}.AnswerWikiArea h3 a.action_button:not(.fake_disabled):hover{border:1px solid #234462}.AnswerWikiArea h3 a.action_button:not(.fake_disabled):focus{box-shadow:inset 1px 0 0 #fff,inset -1px 0 0 #fff,inset 0 1px 0 #fff,inset 0 -1px 0 #fff}.AnswerWikiArea .AnswerWiki{font-family:Georgia,Times,"Times New Roman","Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro","Meiryo",serif}.js-wf-loaded .AnswerWikiArea .AnswerWiki{font-family:'q_serif',Georgia,Times,"Times New Roman","Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro","Meiryo",serif}.amp-page .AnswerWikiArea .AnswerWiki{font-family:'q_serif',Georgia,Times,"Times New Roman","Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro","Meiryo",serif}.AnswerWikiArea .AnswerWiki .form_buttons{font-family:"Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif}.AnswerHeader .icon_follow_button_wrapper{width:24px;height:24px}.logged_out .NewGridQuestionPage .ExpandedAnswer{font-size:14px;line-height:1.5}.logged_out .NewGridQuestionPage .AnswerHeader{font-size:14px;line-height:1.5}.NewGridQuestionPage .layout_2col_main .answer_text_small .AnswerBase .ExpandedAnswer{font-family:Georgia,Times,"Times New Roman","Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro","Meiryo",serif;font-size:16px;line-height:1.75}.js-wf-loaded .NewGridQuestionPage .layout_2col_main .answer_text_small .AnswerBase .ExpandedAnswer{font-family:'q_serif',Georgia,Times,"Times New Roman","Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro","Meiryo",serif}.amp-page .NewGridQuestionPage .layout_2col_main .answer_text_small .AnswerBase .ExpandedAnswer{font-family:'q_serif',Georgia,Times,"Times New Roman","Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro","Meiryo",serif}.paged_list_wrapper>div:last-of-type>.ContributorStatusListItem{border-top:0}.paged_list_wrapper>div:first-of-type>.UserFollowSuggestionListItem{border-top:0}.paged_list_wrapper>div:first-of-type>.TribeFollowSuggestionListItem{border-top:0}What are the biggest tracker networks and what can I do about them?

When you visit a website, you are of course observable by the site itself, but you are also observable by third-party trackers that the site embeds in its code. You might be sur...

(Continue Reading)Sonia W BennettSonia W Bennett, Software Engineer (2017-present)Answered 146w ago · Author has 89 answers and 856.9k answer views

Well, a 'fill' should be done every 2-3 weeks. By a fill, I am talking about having the area of new nail growth by the cuticle area getting 'filled' with gel. If you are wearing pink & whites, then you will need a rebalance done every 4-5 weeks. The reason for this is that the white on your free edge move as your nails grow out. And after about 4-5 weeks, it starts getting really noticable. Also, as your nail grows out, the apex - or stress point - in your nails also grows out as well. If you look at your nails from the side, you should notice a high area right around where the white begins. It looks like this: The area around the cuticle is a low point, and as look along the nail toward the free edge, you should notice it begin to 'arch' and come to a peak where the pink and the white meet, then it smoothly slopes down again toward the free edge. It should look well balanced - not too high, not too low, and definitely not completely flat. Well, this is the apex (if you do not see one, you are not getting your nails done correctly), and as it moves forward with the nail growth, it becomes "out of balance" with the rest of the nail. Hence the need for a rebalance - to fill in the area by the cuticle, and to take down the white most of the way, and basically the smile line is done over so that it is back in its proper place. If your tech does not do this, or she insists on doing a new set at this point, then she doesn't know what she is doing, or she just doesn't have the skills required to do them properly. Also, a rebalance takes longer to do than a basic fill, and normally costs a little more than a fill.. A good tech will know how, and when, to do a rebalance. BTW, the same is true regardless if you have gel P&W's, or acrylic P&W's. They both need the same care - regular fills once every 2-3 weeks, and a rebalance every 4-5 weeks.
I'm not sure how well versed you are in the area of nails, but just as an FYI for anyone reading this: Beware of the 'discount' salons (cheap nails -$15-$25 full sets and $10-$15 fills - no appointments needed, a big time language barrier (almost always the case), big "Nails" neon sign in the front window, wide screen TV's mounted in the corner, and so on). They are notorious for scamming customers by a variety of ways. One way they do this goes like this: You ask for gel nails. They say, OK. Then they pull out the liquid & powder, sometimes referring to it as "powder gel." Then, after they put regular acrylic nails on you, they put on a cheap UV top coat, and call them 'gel' nails, and charge you the higher gel nails price. If this happens, you are getting ripped off. There is no such thing as "powder gel." NO liquid & powders are ever used in the application of real gel nails. ONLY gels are used for gel nails. And they look exactly like that - like a gel. They must be cured under a UV lamp after each coat - usually two minutes for each individual cure. And it takes several thin layers of gel to make a complete nail which means several 'cure' times spent with your hand under the lamp before they are done. And this is normally topped of by a top quality UV topcoat, or sealer, which gives the finished product its high gloss. If you are getting gel nails, and they are not being done this way, then you are not getting real gel nails, but you are getting ripped off.

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