What is Gel Polish – Pros and Cons of Gel Nail Polish

Nail care can take less time and effort if you make a durable coating – gel polish. We figure out with an expert how to use it to create the perfect manicure and adequately remove a long-term coating so as not to damage your nails.

What is Gel Polish

Gel polish is a synthetic nail polish based on extension gel and polish (colorless or pigmented). Unlike conventional gel polish, it polymerizes in an ultraviolet or LED lamp and, after hardening, becomes durable and resistant. Provided the manicure is treated with care, and the nail specialist is highly qualified, the coating does not chip or peel off for several weeks.

Many people confuse gel polish with shellac. The permanent CND Shellac composition was created by CND (Creative Nail Design). The name has become a household name, like “copier.” We are talking about a different patented brand with its own composition, but not all gel polishes are shellacs. Other manufacturers have their own formulas with a specific ratio of ingredients.

Advantages of Gel Polish

Manicure with gel polish has become a mandatory service in most beauty salons. He is chosen for several reasons.

Persistence: With gel polish, the manicure is preserved until the next trip to the master – for two to three weeks. Regular color coating lasts only a few days and needs to be reapplied, which is time-consuming.

Speed ​​and convenience: Gel polish hardens in a UV lamp in a few seconds. Ordinary varnish can dry on nails for 10-15 minutes while smearing the coating is not ruled out.

Versatility: Various shades and decor allow you to create any design, including a nude manicure for long and short nails.

Price. Single-color gel polish is more expensive than a regular one; on average, it will cost 1-2 thousand rubles along with the work of the master. You will have to update the manicure every few weeks.

Strengthening: Under the gel polish, the nails are reliably protected by a resistant layer. With the help of a coating, they can be grown to the desired length, even if they are initially fragile. With ordinary varnish, this is much more difficult to do.

Cons of Gel Polish

The complexity of the work: Without practice and experience, it will be pretty challenging to prepare the nails, apply a thick product and polymerize it correctly in a lamp.

Special tools: A professional manicure lamp is expensive; cheap analogs may not give the desired result. In addition to the selected gel polish with or without a tint, you will need a base and top coat.

It’s not easy to take off: Removing gel polish in the salon is better so as not to damage the nails.

Possible allergenicity: The reaction to the components of the gel polish is not common but not excluded. If you have experienced an allergy to cosmetics, warn the manicurist about this. There are hypoallergenic types of coatings, but not all salons use them.

Gel Polish Manicure: Step-by-Step Instructions

It is best to entrust a gel polish manicure to a specialist in the salon. Without knowledge and experience, there is a risk of making it of insufficient quality and wasting money on consumables. Generally, the coating process in the salon and at home is no different and occurs in several stages.


Before any varnish, you need to prepare your nails. Hands should be clean, nail plates neatly filed, and cuticles cleaned. At this stage, the pins are shaped and polished. A manicure can be done on dry hands or soften the nails in a warm bath.

Preparation of the nail plate

When reapplying gel polish, the master will remove the upper part of the coating to update the top. This is usually done using a manicure machine with nozzles of various shapes.

Nail strengthening

A degreasing agent is applied to the cleaned surface for better coating adhesion. On top of it is a base product that hardens in a UV lamp.


The most exciting stage is the application of the selected gel polish in one or two layers and the subsequent nail art. All layers are fixed under ultraviolet light.

Top coat

Whether you made a monophonic, nude, or bright manicure with drawings, stickers, or glitter, a top-fixing coating is applied to the finished work. It is also polymerized under a lamp. At the end of the process, you can use cream or nourishing oil on your fingertips.

How to Remove Gel Polish

Removing gel polish is a prerequisite for updating a manicure. As the nail grows, its base is not covered with varnish, and the rest lasts a long time. 

The ideal option is to remove gel polish in the salon, even if you do not plan to do a new manicure. The master will remove the old layer with the help of cutter nozzles. To remove gel polish from nails on your own, you can try the home method: fix cotton pads soaked with acetone on nails with foil and leave for 10–20 minutes. 

The coating will soften and can be easily removed with a wooden manicure stick. On sale, there are ready-made unique napkins in envelopes that conveniently wrap around your fingers.

Gel polish should not be torn off if it does not come off quickly. So you can damage the nail plate and provoke chips and cracks. The fact is that gel polish keeps not only on the dorsal layer of the nail but also penetrates into minor irregularities. 

Tearing off the coating can ruin your nails, and a regular manicure will not fix the situation. You will most likely have to wait until the nail plate has fully grown.

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