Calling all at-home nail artists and pros! There’s a new kid on the block. Gel pods are the latest and greatest masterful creation from VBP. Whether you’re brand new to nail art or have been at this a long time, you’re in for a treat. .
These gel paints are formulated to be intensely pigmented yet nearly foolproof, and they’re meant for everyone. They provide a gorgeous, malleable texture to create the nail art of your (or your client’s) dreams. 🌠
While the application process is similar to traditional gel paint for nails, there are a few tips and tricks you should know.
What Are Gel Nail Polish Pods?
First things first, what even are gel pods?
Like regular gel paints (but even better), gel pods offer nail paint with thick viscosity, intense pigmentation, and extreme adhesion. These pods are even more beginner-friendly than regular gel paint because of their thicker texture, making them easier and smoother to work with.
To create beautiful nail art, run (don’t walk) to purchase some gel pods. They’re perfect for both at-home DIYers and salon professionals (and at-home professionals—we’re not forgetting you).
How To Use Gel Pods: Your 5-Step Guide
To get the most pigmentation, adhesion, and flexibility out of your gel pods, follow this simple five-step guide.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
An artist is only as good as their tools, which is why this initial step is vital to the success of your nail art. Your supplies can make or break your design.
Choose Your Gel Pods
Choosing gel pods over traditional gel paint, acrylic, or even regular polish means reaping the benefits of superior pigmentation and design potential. Our gel pod kits come in various colors, so you won’t be tied down. Spread your wings and experiment—these pods have your back.
When deciding which colors to use, the only limit is your imagination. Since gel pods are so flexible and malleable in terms of consistency, you can create just about anything. 🌈 VBP’s masterfully made line of gel nail polish pods come in 18 colors, and you can purchase each separately or as a part of a kit. We have three kits to choose from, all featuring a curated color palette.
Be sure to select a small metal spatula to stir your gel paint.
Select Your Brushes
Next, you’ll need brushes. One important rule to using gel pods is to ALWAYS 👏 USE 👏 SYNTHETIC 👏 BRUSHES.
Gel polish will damage natural or kolinsky brushes, making them a nonstarter for this kind of nail art application. Instead, opt for synthetic brushes. These brushes pick up the paint easier and will better accommodate the higher viscosity of gel pods.
Step 2: Clean and Prep Nails
Your tools and supplies are in the right shape, but what about your nails? Before diving into the polish, ensure your nails are prepped and ready to go.
Now, this process will differ depending on whether you’re working with enhancements. If you’ve already securely fastened your enhancements and cut them down to your desired shape, you’re good to go. You can skip this step and jump into the next one.
If you’re working with natural nails, you’ll want to ensure they’re in good condition. Start by cutting your or your client’s nails to the desired length, ensuring they’re all equal. Use a file to smooth out any rough edges.
Perform a dry manicure. Next, buff the nails to smooth them out and remove any natural oils. After your gel application and you've applied top coat you may proceed to cuticle oil to soften up the skin.
Step 3: Stir Gel Paint
Before you get started, you’ll want to take the gel pod color you’ve chosen as your base and stir it up. Stirring the paint allows you to take advantage of the product’s full potential, from the fantastic pigmentation to the incredible adhesion.
Step 4: Paint Nails
Next, you’re going to actually begin the painting process. With gel paint, we’re doing art. 🎨 Grab a tiny bit of product on your brush (you really don’t need a lot). Have patience and build up the paint in thin layers—this application method allows gel pods to shine.
Due to the thicker viscosity of this product in comparison to regular gel paint, the key to application is less product and thinner layers. The texture of gel pods makes them ideal for nail art of all kinds, from solid colors to intricate line work.
Step 5: Flash Cure
For the final touch, flash cure the nail. If you’re going for a solid color look, build the paint in thin layers until you reach the desired texture and opacity. Then you can do a full cure to seal it in.
If you’re going for a more detailed design, you may want to flash cure in layers. After you lay the base layer with a few added strokes, perhaps you’ll find it helpful to cure your progress, buff it out, and go back for some line work. It’s all up to you. Gel pods are incredibly flexible.
A Word About Brush Care
Another essential rule regarding brushes is to NEVER EXPOSE YOUR BRUSHES TO LIGHT (UV/LED or otherwise)! As soon as your brushes are left vulnerable to either UV/LED or natural light, they’ll cure. This will leave your brushes dry, stale, and unusable.
Keep your brushes safe and in perfect condition by leaving them in your drawer when not in use and keeping them far from UV/LED light.
You’ll also want to ensure you’re regularly cleaning your brushes. After each use:
- Grab a lint-free, wipe pad.
- Dampen it with a bit of alcohol, then use it to remove the excess pigment.
- Use clear gel to clean the brush—just make sure to use the gel with an inhibition layer since it won’t cure easily.
VBP’s One-Step Gel Polish is the perfect clear gel to clean your brushes. It’s also a moisturizer for the brush, keeping it in excellent condition for a long time. You should always keep your brushes moist to extend their life and preserve the integrity of your nail art.
Every four months, you’ll want to deep clean. To do this, take a cotton pad soaked in alcohol and wrap it around your brush. Then, encase the entire thing in aluminum foil and leave it for 10-15 minutes.
Get High-Quality Gel Pods from VBP
If you’re more of a visual learner, jump over to VBP’s YouTube channel to watch the master of gel pods, Chelly, at work. Chelly is the genius behind the creation of gel nail pods, and her tutorial offers a complete walkthrough of each step we covered here.
Our gel pods come in 18 colors. We also have curated kits for three distinct personalities, which are the perfect way to get started. Those include:
- Be Loved (pastels and spring tones)
- Honeymoon Prep (sultry neutrals)
- Street Art (bright pops of color)