Gel Nail Problems and Solutions

Remember when you had to make an appointment with a manicurist to get gel nail polish?  Those days are over.  You can now put on gel nail polish yourself at home with a few simple supplies.  There are some things which can go wrong along the way though.  If you are experiencing peeling or chipping, chances are good you have already encountered some of these challenges.

Thankfully, most gel nail problems have simple solutions.  Here is a quick troubleshooting guide to help you apply beautiful, durable gel nail polish that lasts!

Problem: The nail polish is not curing correctly, leading to peeling, bubbling, and so on.

Solution: This is typically the result of incorrect positioning of the fingers inside the curing lamp.  Do not bend the fingers upward or downward.  Make sure they are lying completely flat.  If you cannot do all five at once that way, just do however many fit inside.  Do the thumbs on their own if necessary.

Problem: The polish is hard to control.

Solution: If you are having a hard time putting on an even gel coat, ask yourself the following.  “Am I using long strokes?  Am I applying thick layers?”  Both are mistakes.  By using short strokes and applying thin layers, you can apply the gel steadily for a clean, even look.

Problem: Gel nail polish shrinks after being cured. 

Solution: The way to deal with this is to make sure that you are covering the entire nail as thoroughly as possible.  This means taking the time to cap the free edge, and you should apply your polish as near as possible to the cuticle as well as the sidewalls. 

Problem: While attempting to cover the entire nail as thoroughly as possible (see above), it is far too easy to get polish on the skin.

Solution: A great solution here is to apply lotion around the nail with a q-tip before you start applying the polish.  That way it acts as a protective barrier for your skin, and if your hand does slip and you get polish on your skin, it is easy to wipe away.  Just make sure you do not get any lotion on your nail, or it will make it impossible to adhere.

Problem: When you attempt to remove your gel, you find yourself with brittle, broken nails.

Solution: This can occur if you get overly aggressive with removal.  By forcing the gel off of your nails too quickly, you wind up with damage.  A lot of people rely on acetone, which dries out both the nails and the skin.  It doesn’t help that the gel itself has had a drying effect on your nails the entire time you’ve worn it.

The solution?  While wearing gel polish, regularly apply oil to your cuticles to keep your nails and skin moisturized.  This will prevent damage over the weeks you keep your manicure.  When you are ready to remove it, moisturize again before you apply the acetone.  Take your time soaking—do not try to rush it.  After you’re done, give your nails ample time to recover before you apply a new gel coat.

That’s it!  Hopefully now you will have an easier time applying and removing gel nail polish at home.  Good luck and enjoy your beautiful nails!

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