I’ve heard that some people wear gels over acrylic extensions. Why do they do this, and how do you do this? Is there anything you have to be careful of during the application?
Yes, some people wear a gel overlay on top of acrylic extensions. Mainly this is done when doing pink-and-white acrylics to eliminate buffing and to give the nail a high-glossy shine. Even if the client is not doing pink-and-whites the nail tech can still use a gel overlay or gel top sealer to eliminate buffing and to secure the enhancement.
After applying the acrylic, contour and shape the nail with a 180-grit file — skip the buffing — and remove the dust off the nail. Apply gel and cure under a UV lamp. Be careful not to flood the cuticle with the gel. If it gets into the cuticle and is cured this can cause lifting.
What is most import is to skip the buffing because gel does not like a smooth surface. It needs a wavy or rough surface for adhesion. — Christy Graham is an educator for OPI.