Nailing It: The Definitive Guide To Gel Nail Extensions

gel nail extensions

When your nails look good, you feel good! From pastel hues to vibrant shades, there is a nail color to suit all. Then there are a plethora of shapes to choose from, spanning from stiletto to cutesy almond style.

If you struggle with shorter nails, you no longer need to steer clear of manicures. Nail extensions are all the rage, and allow those lacking length to sport the look of long, stylish nails.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about this top trend.

What are Gel Extensions?

First things first, what are gel extensions? Similar to acrylic nails, only much lighter, they look like long, healthy nails. Due to their makeup, they pose less of a risk to the natural nail when it comes to removal.

Why? Crafted from oligomer, this molecule boasts the consistency of honey with zero odor. This can be sculpted, cured under a UV lamp, and then shaped. The result? Longer, stronger nails.

Once the hard gel is in place, and you have chosen your preferred shape, you can finish the look with various nail colours.

The Different Kinds of Gel Extensions

There are two gel extensions, soft and hard gel. Soft gels are porous and can be soaked with acetone to remove them. Hard gels are non-porous.

This makes them acetone-resistant and allows you to shape your nails into stiletto, coffin, and ballerina shapes.

They’re also softer, and less rigid, which creates a more natural look as a whole.

What are the Advantages of Gel Extensions?

Busy social calendar or high-powered job? Neat nails help to give you confidence, making you feel polished. They also add the finishing touch to any outfit you choose to don. Ultimately however, the main advantage of gel nails is their staying power. When applied correctly, they last an impressive four weeks.

As Well as adding durability and length to your natural nails, gel extensions with gel color prevents polish from chipping or cracking. They’re also a great deal more flexible than traditional nail extensions. This makes them a versatile option, especially for those who regularly use their hands, as they’re less prone to breakage, and damage.

Finally, they’re quicker to apply, meaning your next gel extension appointment won’t disrupt your busy schedule. They can often be applied within the hour, on a lunch break, or after work. Most will book into their salon once a month. To remove, touch up, or add an entirely new set of extensions in a different shade.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Prep the nails. Your natural nails need to be filed, and your cuticles pushed back. Lightly buff your nails so that they appear matte and so that the gel adheres.

Step 2: Apply a bonder to your nails to make the gel last longer. You must now apply the gel, choosing your desired length and shape. You can build the gel up to achieve the desired consistency.

Step 3: Cure your nail between each layer using a UV lamp.

Step 4: Once you have built and shaped all the nails, you can file them again to achieve the perfect shape.

Step 5: The gel extensions can be left natural. Alternatively, you can paint them with a gel polish of your choice.

Step 6: The final step involves adding a top coat. The result? That ultra-glossy shine gels are famed for, which lasts for weeks.

Gel Extension Aftercare

Allowing your natural nails a break in between extension sets will ensure they get oxygen. Another way to improve your nail health? Invest in a good oil to promote cuticle hydration.

Not quite ready to remove your gels? You can book in for a gel fill, which involves a touch-up by applying gel between your cuticle and the area of nail outgrowth. Perfect for those who wish to keep the same color or have little time to spare. If you do have time to spare, ask your manicurist or nail technician to give you a hand massage. As well as relaxing you, these massages promote healthy blood flow, which heightens blood circulation. According to research, massages that increase blood flow, assist in reducing pain in your feet, hands, and legs.

Removing Gel Extensions

A benefit of gel extensions is that they safely encourage nail growth. How? By creating an overlay on your natural nail.

To remove your hard or semi-hard gel extensions, turn to the expertise of a professional. Most salons will offer this service. This involves gently filing the gel nail down to 10-15% of its thickness, avoiding the natural nail.

The remainder is soaked in pure acetone. This is via a piece of cotton wrapped in foil. Once removed, the gel can be flaked away To reveal your natural nails. The whole process takes just 15-20 minutes.

In comparison to acrylic extensions, gel removal is much easier. It’s less likely your nail will thin out if done correctly.

The Bottom Line

When your nails look in tip-top condition, they add the finishing touch to any outfit, whether it’s that new sports set or your favorite power suit.

When you go to the effort of applying gel extensions, worrying about smudges, chips, and breakages is a thing of the past. When done correctly, gel extensions can last for up to four weeks. The best part? They’re better for your nails than the heavy extensions of the past. They’re also a lot less hassle to remove, giving your nails a break between new shades and styles.