Gel Nails

What Are Gel Nails - Complete DIY Manicure Guide

Sahiba Tandon

Updated At  23 Nov 23


 "Nails are the finishing touch that completes every outfit." This statement is true for many, as people believe taking care of our nails is as important as taking care of any other part of the body. That's why there are millions of manicurists, nail bars, and other places and people dedicated to taking care of and elevating our nails with the trendiest designs and nail treatments.





Gel Nails - Complete DIY Guide


One of the most common manicures that has been a favorite for years now is gel nails. What are gel nails? What are their benefits and drawbacks? How to get gel nails? which are the trending nail designs? Following, we'll answer these common questions and more. We'll learn all about them so that you can be ready for your next nail appointment!



What Are Gel Nails?

Gel nails are a manicure that requires the use of ultraviolet (UV) or LED light from the nail lamp. Unlike traditional nail polish, gel nails have some extra coatings of varnish and gel nail polish. Each coat comes under UV light to give it a polished and shiny look. A gel nail treatment will have at least 2-3 coats of gel polish.

Gel nails comparatively last longer than a coat from other popular manicures that use normal nail polish. This is because of the use of the LED light. Additionally, they don't crack as often as other manicure techniques. Now, many different ways and designs make this particular manicure worth trying at least once.

Along with gel nails, if you are wondering to get new nails then you must first find out what are solar nails as these have been trending and look good as well.



What are Gel Nails Extensions?

Gel nails extensions are used to increase the length of the nail. To apply gel nail extensions, the manicurist will make a gel nail underneath the original nail with the use of nail primer, bonder, and other products, depending on the person and the nail kit used. Afterward, they will take the nail underneath the UV-light nail lamp to harden the extension. The rest of the get-nail process is the same and it works for all nail shapes for hands.

Extensions are used by people who do not want to or can't grow their nails but want the image of longer nails. People want these gel nail extensions so that they can show their nail design more profoundly. It gives the manicurist more space to work or design.


Also check out our guide on Nail Design for almond shape as we cover 50+ unique and popular nail art which have been trending this year.




Gel Nails Pros

There are certainly some great benefits to getting a gel nail manicure. Following are some of those benefits:

Faster treatment: Gel nails have the advantage of using LED lights. The treatment of nails takes so much less time for coats to dry!

Flexible nail treatment: They are a light nail treatment, which makes them ideal for activities of daily use.

Different varieties. Something for everyone. Go for subtle or bright; the choices are many! There's a design for every occasion.

No smell: Get Nails are odorless. This is a big advantage, as we don't get the smell of chemicals from our nails from this particular nail treatment.


Looking for more inspiration? You might be interested in Nail Designs with yellow color. Do check out our guide as we list 50+ stunning yellow nails which include light yellow, pastel shades, darker shades and many more popular shades.



Gel Nails Cons

As much as there are benefits to applying gel nails, there are also some disadvantages to this treatment process that you should know before getting these manicures. Here are some cons of this nail treatment:

Gel Nails Price: Getting gel nails is more expensive than average manicures. Gel nails price also depend on whether you are getting extensions or not.

Time: It takes more time to remove the coats of gel nail polishes.

Removing process: If proper attention is not paid to the removal process, then the removal can damage the nail bed of the person.



Read More: Nude Nail Designs




How To Get Gel Nails?

The process of getting gel nails can be simplified into five key steps:

1) Preparation:

Your natural nails are cleaned, shaped, and any old nail polish is removed. The cuticles are gently pushed back and trimmed.

2) Base Coat Application:

A clear or colored gel base coat is applied to your natural nails. This base coat helps the gel adhere to your nails.

3) Gel Polish Application:

Thin layers of gel nail polish are applied in your chosen color. Each layer is cured under a UV or LED lamp to harden the gel. This step is typically repeated 2-3 times.

4) Top Coat Application:

A clear gel top coat is applied to seal and protect the color and add shine. Like the previous layers, it is cured under the lamp.

5) Final Touches:

The technician will shape your nails, smooth the edges, and clean up any excess gel. After this, your gel nails are completely dry and ready to go.


The entire process usually takes around 1-2 hours, and you'll leave the salon with instantly dry and long-lasting gel nails.



Read More: What Are Coffin Nails


How To Make Gel Nails Last Longer?

Gel nails typically last for 2-3 weeks. Before the process of gel nail treatment, you should do the following:

•Push your cuticles as much as you can for a wide space. 

•Trim and buff your nails.

•Use a nail primer after buffing of the nails.

You can make gel nails last longer by taking care of your nails regularly with nail oil, cubical oil, and moisturizer. Try not to peel off the polish and you will have a longer gel nail timespan!


Gel Nails Cost

Gel Nails are comparatively costlier than normal polishes because they use UV lamps and other nail treatment tools. A typical nail cost around $35-$100.




Gel Nails - Top 4 Designs

Many gel nail designs come and go as the trends change but the following designs are everlasting! 

• Dual minimal gel nail polish: Light pastel colors make perfect nails to go with any outfit. You can also try out ombre nails designs.

• Diffrent colors: A new color for every nail makes the hand look very interesting and suits a colorful personality and style!

• Gel Flowers nails: This light but cut nail design of flowers goes perfectly with any gel nail polish. Light or dark colors, these flowers add depth to any nail treatment.

• Dark Plain Gel Nails: If you don't want light colors, then you can get dark colors like Blue, Purple, Black, etc. Like light colors, they also go with many outfits!






Gel Nails Vs Acrylic Nails


Many times people get confused about getting these nail treatments. The following are the features of gel nails vs acrylic nails.

Time: Gel nails have a faster drying process than acrylic nails. This is because of the use of UV rays in the gel nail procedure. The coats of acrylic nail polish take at least 15 minutes to dry.  While gel nails take 2-3 minutes. 

Different Substance: Gel nails are applied with the use of gel polishes, while acrylic nails are the paste of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer. 

Weight: Acrylic nails are heavier after coats, while gel nails are lighter.

Flexibility: Gel nails are more flexible than acrylic nails. This is because the acrylic nails are stronger after their coats are complete. 

Cost: Gel nails are comparatively more expensive than acrylic nails. This is because gel nails have many benefits, especially the use of UV rays, which complete the nail design process faster. 

Removal Process: Gel nails are easier to remove, while acrylic nails are quite harsh to remove. They are also more likely to damage the nail bed. 

These were some features between these types of nails. Reading about this before getting any type of nail treatment can be beneficial, as it will help you make a better decision.


Read More: Nail Designs For Christmas



How to remove gel nails?

You can remove your gel nails easily, like any other nail polish. Just use an acetone remover that you may find in the choice of wipes, wraps, or dip-and-twist nail polish removers. 

An additional step that people like to take alongside using the remover is the use of normal aluminum foil to wrap around the nails. This is because the gel nail coats are stronger than a normal nail polish solution, so the heat from the wrapped aluminum foil will help decrease the removal time of the gel nails. It takes 15-20 minutes for each hand to complete the removal process


Read More: Black Nails Designs





FAQs On Gel Nails


Q. Are gel nails safe?

Yes, but, remember that proper removal and care are also vital for a gel nail or any other nail treatment. Otherwise, the nail bed can become weak over time.


Q. Do gel nails have any odor?

Many of the nail polishes that are used in different nail treatments or manicures have certain smells, but gel nails normally don't. Especially if we compare normal nail polish. It adds to the advantage of gel nails! 


Q. How long do gel nail extensions last?

Depending on the gel polish brand used and the type of gel nail designs you have used in your nail treatment, a typical gel nail extension can last for 2 to 3 weeks. 


Q. How to get gel nails at home?

If you don't want to go to a manicurist or nail salon and rather have the comfort of your home, then you can get gel nails at home yourself in different gel nails designs with the use of a UV nail lamp, nail filer, and buffer, and gel polishes.


Q. How to apply gel nail extensions?

You will need a bit of your natural nail so that the nail artist can apply the extension nail tip to the original. They will then take the nail to the UV nail lamp and the rest of the process of gel nail remains the same.


Q. Are gel nails better than acrylics?

Yes, gel nails are comparatively better than acrylic nails because they have more benefits like faster drying time, flexibility, and more. So gel nails are more expensive than acrylic nails, but they are worth it in the long haul.




Get different gel nail designs with gel nail extensions for a pretty-looking pair of hands. There are a lot of varieties of gel nails designs nowadays that provide something for everyone!