Troubleshooter: How to Do a Fill on Gel Nails

With care and patience you can get picture-perfect results with these simple steps.

When doing a fill on gel nails, remember that gel is a much thinner product to work with than acrylic, and does not require the powder-liquid mixing control either, says at Canyon Fitness Salon in Canyon Lake, Calif. Gels also offer a more natural feel than acrylics do because they’re lighter, she says.

To do a gel fill begin filing at the cuticle area with a 100/180 grit file to remove any lifted product and to rough up the gel surface so the new gel will adhere. File the old product down until the same is invisible, being careful not to file on the natural nail. Using your nippers to remove the lifted product may cause damage to the nail plate, says Miller-Chen. In addition, because the product is so thin at the cuticle area, suing your nippers to remove it may cause further lifting.

After you’ve finished filing, cleanse the nails with the gel system’s disinfectant cleanser to dehydrate the nail plate. Next, apply bonding get to the natural nail only.

Now you’re ready to apply the new gel. Brush the gel on very thin over the entire nail, applying it as you would a base coat. Then, cure the gel with a UV lamp. The curing time depends on the system you are using, says Miller Chen. It can be anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes, she says, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

When the first layer of gel is done curing, apply a second coat of gel as you did the first, then cure it. Next, apply a third coat of gel in the same manner, then cure. The number of layers you apply depends on the strength and thickness that is desired, says Miller-Chen.

After curing the final coat, cleanse the nails once again with the disinfectant cleanser to remove the tacky layer, then have the client wash her hands. Finish the service by applying base coat and polish. Note: After removing the tacky layer, the nails will be shinny so it not necessary to buff them.

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