As a nail care professional, you know what it takes to produce the 14-day glossy gel manicure that your client desires. Gel manicures are well-known for their longevity and high shine, vibrant finishes.
Your client may not know what safety procedures and steps you take as a professional to ensure that they receive that quality nail service.
Whether you’re a professional or a first-timer, let’s run through a refresher on gel polish info and how to apply gel nail polish safely for a long-lasting diamond shine finish.
Gel Nails vs. Acrylic Nails
Unless you are a professional nail tech, the difference between acrylic and gel nails may not be noticeable. There are, however, a few differences that set them apart.
Gel nail applications involve a gel base coat, top coat, and polish that is applied with a polish brush to the natural nails. Gel nails will last for up to 14 days if applied properly with the Valentino Beauty Pure base coat, top coat, and gel polishes.
The gel manicure is cured underneath an LED light or UV light. Gel polish lasts longer than regular nail polish, which makes it popular among people of all ages.
The gel is removed by cracking the top coat drenching the nails in acetone-soaked cotton balls for 15 minutes until the gel slides off of the nails. The natural nails are then filed and either left untouched and natural or painted with nail lacquer or gel polish.
Acrylic nails are applied in a nail salon and involve mixing a powder polymer with a liquid monomer. This mixture combines to form a dough-like consistency. A wet bead of acrylic is placed onto a nail tip or nail form and molded with a brush around the client’s entire nail plate.
The nail is then shaped with an E-file and nail file to create the perfect shaped symmetry. The shaping process is followed by regular polish or gel polish designed which creates the long, elaborate nails you see on celebrities today. Acrylic nails are long-lasting and rarely crack or chip, making acrylics a trendy, long-lasting nail style.
Refills are usually applied every two to three weeks until the client requests to remove the acrylic nail completely.
The removal process for acrylics is more tedious than gels. Acrylics require soaking in acetone, followed by pushing the softened acrylic off of each nail. The soaking is followed by filing and re-shaping the nails.
Gel Nail Safety Tips
When handling gel nail polish, it is essential to remember that gel ingredients contain chemicals that must be handled with care. Be cautious of formulas made with toxic formaldehyde and toluene.
These formulas are highly toxic and more damaging to the nails. Continued use of gel nail products can cause peeling, brittleness, and cracking of the natural nails.
Premature aging of the hands is another side effect when repeatedly having gel or acrylic nails improperly applied. Aging is due to exposure to the UV lamp. That's why highly recommend the use of LED lamps.
There are several other safety factors to consider before having gel nails, or acrylic nails applied.
- Know who is performing your nail service. Your nail technician should be cleaning, sterilizing, and disinfecting tools between every client. Cleanliness is key when choosing a nail tech and nail salon.
- Apply broad-spectrum SPF to the tops of your hands and fingers (excluding nails). Applying sunscreen will help prevent premature aging on the hands and prevent skin cancer when exposed to UV and LED lamps.
- Never pick, pull, or tear the gel polish. If the gel begins to lift, leave it alone. You may carefully file it down or visit your nail salon to have the tech soak your nails in acetone to remove the gel completely.
It is also very important to regularly hydrate your hands and nails with quality hand cream and cuticle oil.
How to Safely Apply Gel Nails
A gel or gelish manicure is applied in a few short steps. First, choose the shades of Valentino Beauty Pure gels you want to use. Gather your remaining nail kit supplies and prepare to get started.
- Trim, file, and buff your nails. Shape each nail to the desired shape and length.
- Apply cuticle oil to the cuticles and skin around the nail beds. Never on the nail plate before an engagement or gel application.
- Wash your hands to remove excess oils from the fingers and fingernails. Clean the nail plate with alcohol with a lint free wipe.
- Apply one coat layer of the Valentino Beauty Pure gel base coat. Place one hand at a time under the LED or UV lamp and cure each coat individually for about 30 to 60 seconds. Do not omit the base coat step. The base coat is the primer for your gel and will provide chip-proof 14-day wear.
- Apply one to two coats of the semi-permanent Valentino Beauty Pure gel polish. Cure each coat individually for 30-60 seconds.
- Apply one coat of the Valentino Beauty Pure no-wipe gel top coat and cure for 30-60 seconds. The no-wipe formula does not require wiping a residue off of each nail, making this step less time-consuming.
- Give your nails one last bit of pampering with a swipe of cuticle oil.
That completes the gel manicure process. It is pretty simple and much more straightforward than an acrylic application.
Gel Nail Removal
Gel nails are not difficult to remove, but they do require some effort. Since gel nails are semi-permanent, you cannot DIY remove the gel with regular nail polish remover. Gather these simple supplies to get started:
- Cotton balls
- Orangewood stick
- Cuticle oil
- Hand cream
- Nail file
Carefully buff off the top layer of each nail with your nail file, buff just enough to remove the top shine from each nail.
Then, dip one cotton ball for each finger into pure acetone. Make sure that the cotton ball is completely saturated. Apply one soaked cotton ball to each fingernail.
Wrap a small piece of tin foil around each fingernail with the cotton ball. Allow your fingers to soak for about 15 minutes or until the gel can easily be pushed off of each nail.
Be careful not to press too hard on your nails. Applying too much pressure will cause damage to the nail bed. If the gel doesn’t want to budge, simply soak the nail in acetone for a moment longer and try again. Clean the nail plate with alcohol.
Finish by applying hand cream and cuticle oil to rehydrate your hands and nails.
After Care for Tired Nails
It is only natural that your nails will feel dry after repeated applications of gel and acrylic nail sets. Even having regular manicures with nail varnish can take its toll.
- Wearing gloves when handling water will help prolong your manicures and protect your hands from the drying effects of hot water, soaps, and chemicals.
- Hydrate from the inside by drinking the recommended daily amount of water and eating fresh fruits and vegetables to promote healthy skin and nails.
- Hydrate from the outside by applying nourishing hand cream and cuticle oil frequently.
To Sum It Up
A manicurist in a nail salon applies both gel nails and acrylic nails. Each of these nail types lasts longer than traditional nail polish yet can be harsher to your natural nails.
Valentino Beauty Pure supplies you with the necessary gel polishes in many shades to create a beautiful high-shine gel manicure.
The gel can easily be removed in just a few short steps without damage to the natural nails. As long as you care for your nails between manicure services, little to no damage should occur.
Valentino Beauty Pure supplies you with the necessary nail products and tools to create beautiful nail designs for your client.
Check out our Valentino Beauty Pure kit and bundle deals that make creating your nail dream masterpieces a reality.