Gel Nails FAQs

Gel Trouble Shooting Techniques
Broken Nail

Step 1: File away loose product, carefully bevel the rest of the product smooth, be sure not to damage the natural nail.

Step 2: Apply tip or form to extend free edge.

Step 3: Apply nail cleanser.

Step 4: Re apply bonder and gel.

Cracked Nail

Step 1: File away loose product, carefully bevel the rest of the product smooth, be sure not to damage the natural nail.

Step 2: Apply nail cleanser

Step 3: Apply a thin coat of gel

Step 4: Reinforce the cracked area by applying a small piece of fiberglass.

Step 5: Re apply gel as needed.

Nails Feel HOT!

Cause: The gel has been applied to thick.

  • Apply thinner layers of gel.
  • Have the customer move her hand in and out of the light slowly.
  • Use a gel designed not to create as much heat as your first coat. (check with your products manufacture)
Nails are Tacky after Curing

Cause: Nails weren’t cured long enough, lights need to be replaced, bulbs may be dirty and need to be cleaned with alcohol.

If try to wipe the tacky layer off and the gel wipes off instead.

  • Sometimes we get so caught up in the application process that you can forget to cure, or to turn the light on. So be sure that you just didn’t make a mistake.
  • Replace the bulbs in your light. The rule is replace your bulbs every 6 months.
  • Be sure nails are placed carefully in the light. Often thumbs may not cure properly because they are slightly at an angel when being cured. Curing thumbs separately can solve this problem.
Gel Isn’t Self Leveling Properly

Building arches with thin gels requires a wet layer of gel also called the slip layer. In order for the gel to self level when using the tail technique apply a thin layer of gel and do not cure. Working without a slip layer feels as if your applying gel over double sticky tape with the sticky side up. Using thin gels to build arches is an art form in itself. The self leveling component to the thin gels in necessary to create a natural looking arch.

Building arches with thicker builder gels does not require a "slip" layer. You need to understand that builder gels will NOT self level and need to be put in the correct position using your brush.

When curing have your client flip her hand palm side up for 30 seconds and turn and cure for a beautiful natural arch. Gel is not Adhering Properly

Cause: Bulbs need to be replaced, not cured long enough, or previous layers not cured properly. Gel will only stick to "rough", "dull" or "tacky" surfaces. gel will not adhere to glossy surfaces. If you ever accidentally REMOVE the tacky surface during application, (wipe the nails with alcohol, any solvent or even acetone) you will need to file off the shine.

Mysterious Breakage

Maintaining, and trouble shooting gel nails are very different than other enhancements. With other enhancement products such as acrylic when there is a problem with lifting or breakage we automatically look at the last fill for answers. With gels the problem can sometimes be traced back to the full set. So if you didn’t do the full set and the client ends up in your schedule for a fill and the client has problems after your fill you could get the blame for poor workmanship.

Another scenario is when you take over a client from another tech and that tech has been doing "FLUFF" fill-ins for the last 1-2-3 appointments meaning that she didn’t rebalance. She just put 1 or 2 coats of gel in to fill the growth area and didn’t use a builder gel for strength, so after a couple of fill the nail become structurally weak.

Bubbles in The Gel

Cause: Over working and patting of gel

Be sure to apply without over working the product to much patty can cause small bubble that will cure in the gel