The 5 Most Important Things to Remember When Working With Gels

Understanding the characteristics of gels will help you apply them flawlessly.

1. Be mindful of the sun. Any exposure to UV rays while you’re working will begin the curing process and possibly ruin brushes, products, and tools. Never work with gels outdoors, and if you work near a window, be sure to have a UV film applied to the windows. Even an optically clear film can reduce UV rays by 99% without interrupting your view. Also, when you’re traveling outdoors be sure to store all gels and brushes in a solid-colored container to keep the light out.

2. Use the “line of light.” The “line of light” is looking at the reflection of light off the nail to see whether the application is smooth. If it is smooth the light reflection will be in a straight line, and if you have dips the light reflection will waiver. Continue to improve the smoothness of your application and one day you may be able to eliminate filing.

3. Avoid contamination. Always put the lids on the containers when finished with the products, and use only lint-free wipes and towels. When working with gels, lint is the enemy. If you notice a piece of lint, remove it, because if you leave it in the gel you will see it, and you don’t want to apply dirty gel to a nail.

4. Never cure with gel on the cuticle. Inadvertently curing gel that has run onto the cuticle will cause lifting. Take a quick glance at all five of the nails and check for gel that has pooled or run into the cuticle. If there is any, wipe it off before instructing the client to cure in the UV light.

5. Always apply onto a rough or sticky surface. When applying layers of gel, always apply over a surface that is completely roughed up (etched) or on the inhibition layer (sticky residue). As a rule of thumb, shine doesn’t stick to shine. So remember if you remove the inhibition layer, you will have to remove the shine as well before you add more gel.

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