The apex of a nail is the highest point in the middle of the nail plate, and the symmetry of the apex makes a big difference on the overall appearance of the nail. An unbalanced apex can make even the cleanest nails look awkward. Here Gina Silvestro of Gel Essentialz in Cranston, R.I., demonstrates how to make a symmetrical apex using gel for a standard pink-and-white look.


1. Remove the shine and prep the nail carefully, removing any dead tissue and contaminates. Apply primer and a thin layer of bonding gel. Cure two minutes.


2. Build your arch using a large pea-sized amount of builder gel, placing it in zone two and gently dragging it across the stress area. Swipe off any excess gel at the smile line. Cure two minutes.


3. Create the free edge of the nail using a white builder gel, pushing it up against the builder at the smile line. Swipe your smile line and tidy up the sidewalls and distal edge. Cure two minutes.


4. Apply a layer of coverage pink gel from the cuticle to the smile line. Cure two minutes.


5. Apply a layer of clear medium viscosity gel from the apex to the distal edge — reinforcing the stress area. Cure two minutes.


6. Remove the inhibition layer and file. Blend in the product around the cuticle area and sidewalls. Check your side view. The free edge should taper gently upward to the apex, which then tapers down to the cuticle. Place more product in the center of the nail to ensure a beautiful natural curve with strength and durability.


7. Remove dust and apply a layer of top gloss. Cure two minutes and then remove the inhibition layer. Apply cuticle oil.

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