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. This not only saves you time but your hands as well.
After applying the acrylic, contour and shape the nail with a 180-grit file — skip the buffing — and remove the dust off the nail. Proceed with your gel application 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. I prefer to do the thumbs last so the gel doesn’t run into the cuticle as the thumbs lie sideways under the lamp when curing the whole hand at once. Some gel products require a wipe solution after curing so be sure to check directions.
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.