5 Do’s and Dont’s Every Gel Nail Addict Needs to Know

There’s a reason gel manicures are all the rage right now! Gel nail polish lasts longer and just looks better than traditional nail polish which makes it the perfect choice for beauty experts. The best part about gel nail polish is you can master salon quality manicures from home with just a little patience! If you’ve wanted to try gel nail polish for a while now or you’ve been struggling to make your nails look their best from home, follow these five gel nail polish do’s and dont’s.

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  1. Do clean your nails before you do everything!

While you might be able to jump right in with traditional polish, a little prep goes a long way when it comes to the perfect gel manicure! Gel nail polish works so well because it forms a strong bond with the surface of your nail as it dries. This means it’s essential you don’t have any lint, dirt, or old nail polish on your nails when you start. The best thing you can use is an alcohol wipe which is strong enough to remove the smaller stuff you might not even realize is there. Cleaning your nails beforehand will ensure you get the best, strongest manicure ever!

2. Do apply lotion around your cuticles before you start!

If you’ve ever struggled to keep the nail polish actually on your nail and not all over the skin of your finger, you have to try this trick! Professional nail painters at salons have more experience so probably don’t need the extra help of any barrier, but if you want to create the perfect gel manicure from home, you need some extra help.

Apply lotion around your nails to create a barrier that can easily be wiped off if you make a mistake. You should also use lotion to moisturize your nails and surrounding skin after you use a harsh nail polish remover to replenish your hands!

3. Don’t use long strokes!

When you’re painting your nails with traditional polish that isn’t gel, you’ve probably gotten used to applying the polish with long strokes. This isn’t the way to go when it comes to gel polish. Gel polish dries faster than regular polish which is why you need to be careful with slow, controlled strokes. You also should be careful to use thin layers of polish. You don’t need very much color to make a big impact when it comes to gel polish, and this definitely takes some getting used to at first. Be patient and take your time with short, thin strokes of polish across your nail.

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4. Do cap the edge!

Gel polish is unique because you actually need to cap the edge of your nail to increase the longevity of your polish. After you’ve finished painting the actual nail, you should paint the very edge of your nail. Do this for your first and last coat (or more if you want to be really secure!) to protect your nail polish from chipping with wear. Failing to cap the edge of your nail makes it more prone to breakage, which can take off the majority if not all of the color.

5. Don’t pick at your manicure!

Finally, the worst thing you can do after finishing your gel manicure is pick at the polish. It can definitely be tempting if you notice cracks or chipping, but this is why gel polish has gotten a bit of a reputation for damaging nails.

When applied and removed properly, gel nail polish can actually strengthen your nails. If you peel or pick at the gel polish after it’s dried, you’ll essentially be picking at the top layer of your nail which is a big no-no! If you want healthy, beautiful nails, just leave the dried polish alone!

Have fun with gel nail polish!

Gel nail polish is a great way to achieve salon-quality nails at home without the big price tag! With some practice and the right research, you can be a gel polish pro in no time! The best part of gel nail polish colors is the variety of shades available so there’s really something for everyone. Have fun with your gel polish!

About the Author: Ashley Lipman

Ashley is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing, but she also focus on latest beauty trends and beauty insider tips.

If you’d like to have your work published on BayAreaBeautyBlogger.com, please send me a message through my CONTACT page!


  1. September 8, 2020 / 5:02 pm

    Thanks for telling me that I need to apply lotion before I use any nail polish and moisturize my hands. I’ll be attending my friend’s birthday party so I really want to look properly groomed during the event. It might be a good idea to buy silver nail polish strips with glitter that will suit me well with my dress.

  2. August 8, 2020 / 12:52 am

    Since the Covid-19 started I’ve been doing my gel polish at home. Thank you for your tips, some of them are really useful.

    • Morgan Celeste
      August 10, 2020 / 8:51 am

      That’s great! I’m glad you found them helpful!

  3. December 15, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    I started doing my gels at home too! It’s a great money saver! I started using a more concentrated (91 percent) rubbing alcohol, and it does a great job at removing the oils before you start. I think the over the counter is a lot lower. Great tips! <3

    • Morgan Celeste
      December 14, 2017 / 11:01 am

      Me too!! I get them done regularly! 😊

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