Nail Art

Dedicated to the infinite joys of nail art and design: handpaint, airbrush, colored acrylics and gels.


Mastering Colored Gel Fills

Amy Becker of Masterworks Innovations explains how she does a colored gel fill.

1.  Start by removing the colored gel only, either by e-file (medium grit) or with an 80- to 100-grit file, and prepare the natural nail for a fill.

2.  Dust and apply gel adhesive and base gel. Cure the base gel, and then apply clear gel to fill the outgrowth and cure.

3.  Shape the nail with a 180-grit file followed by a 180/280-grit foam file. Do not file the length of the nail until after gel color and sealant are applied.

4.  Pick up a small amount of gel and wipe it off in the middle of the nail. Then with what is left on the brush, apply the colored gel around the cuticle area and cap the free edge. This will prevent the gel color from bleeding into the cuticle.

5.  Once the perimeter of the nail is covered, feather your brush through the entire body of the nail on all five fingers. Smooth them over with one or two more strokes before putting them into the light to cure. Repeat this process on the other hand. Then apply a second coat the same as the first. Apply the sealant using the same application techniques as step four.

6.  File the length after the sealant is cured and the aspersion layer is removed to keep the nail from looking rounded at the free edge. After you have filed the length and shape, lightly use an electric file on the underside of the free edge. Keep the e-file at a 90-degree angle so you only buff the edge and do not remove the nail from underneath. This will help prevent separation of the gel enhancement from the natural nail.

*Note: Colored gel should always be applied over a gel overlay. If you apply colored gel over a natural nail, you could unnecessarily over-file the natural nail when you fill the nails.

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