Wondering how to apply gel nail polish with LED light? I’ve got you covered. In today’s article I’m going to break this down and make it nice and easy for you to do just this.
I’ll explain step by step via a shorter and a longer tutorial.
Then I’ll outline the products that I recommend and use on myself and in our Salon on a daily basis.
Here’s the Short Tutorial:
First you need to prep your nails by washing, filing and shaving them. You’re also going to want to push back your cuticles for easier polish application.
After pushing your cuticles back on each of your nails on both hands, you’re going to want to cleanse your nails one more time before you add primer and your base coat.
It’s important that you apply the gel polish with thin layers. This way you will have even coverage and will reduce the risk of burning from your LED Light.
After applying the base coat you’re going to cure your nails for 30 seconds and move forward with the gel polish.
I like to paint my nails three different times using thin layers of gel polish. I usually cure each time for 15 seconds to hold that color in place.
Once you’ve reached the opacity that you’re looking for, you’re going to cure your nails for a full 30 seconds. You will then follow up with your topcoat
Once you’ve applied your gel polish top coat you’re going to cure your nails one last time for 30 seconds to finish up.
I then like to add moisturizer to my hands which helps look after them and keep them smooth.
and that’s it!
Here’s the Longer Tutorial
The first thing you’re going to want to do is make sure that your nails are clean.
What I often do myself, and recommend to my clients, is to spend some time removing any dirt from your cuticles using cuticle oil.
You’re going to want to apply cuticle oil to all of your cuticles (for all 10 fingers) and let it sit for around 30-60 seconds.
Once you’ve done this and made sure the oil is dry, go ahead and push back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher.
When you’re done, make sure you cuticles are nicely shaped and that they are all clean and there is no debris hanging around.
Take a nail brush and run it over some warm water with soap and then scrub your nails. Once done, make sure that you dry your hands with paper towels (not a towel or this will remove the cuticle oil).
Then apply some rubbing alcohol to lint-free wipes. Use these to wipe your all of your nails so that you have no oils or residue remaining.
In our salon, we like to use pH bond from Jealous and Foundation from Gel Polish.
The next thing you need to do is to take the pH bond and apply a coat to each of your nails. This really helps to prep them ahead of applying your gel polish. You don’t need to wipe it off it just dissolves.
Go ahead and apply the PH bond to all of your nails.
You then will move onto the gel polish itself.
You are going to use your base coat (I recommend Gelish Foundation) and you’re going to need to make sure that you apply just a thin coat of it.
You don’t want to get any of this on your cuticle – that will cause your gel polish to peel off.
After you apply that to your nail, go ahead and make sure you close your bottle before you put your hand under your LED light.
As most polishes are light sensitive, you don’t want to cook the Polish while you dry your LED nail gel polish under your lamp.
You’re going to want to make sure that you apply another very thin layer of LED nail gel, because you will be going back to applying another layer once this second layer is cured.
If you apply too much gel polish and then put it under your lamp, it can create a bubble on your nail which ruins the look and your design.
You just want to make sure you put a thin coat because you can always go back and add another layer later if required.
Its important to remember that you do not get any gel polish on your cuticle because it will not adhere to your nail and that’s how you create a lip where your gel nail polish will just peel off.
I always go right before the cuticle and kind of push the gel polish forward a little bit.
If you have not used gel polish before it is a lot smoother than regular nail polish so it does make it quite easy to apply.
Its unfortunately easier to knock it on to your cuticle but you can manipulate the Polish so that it has a smooth transition from nail to cuticle. This way you don’t have any harsh lines around that area which makes the design look more effective and professional.
Next, you’re going to go ahead and dry your nails with your LED light again.
Darker polishes can take a lot longer to cure then lighter polishes. If your LED lamp runs for a shorter time you might want to consider drying it twice. That way your nail will be fully cured.
Always check over your nail to see how many layers you may need. You may need to apply several layers of gel nail. Remember not to apply a very thick coat and try to do it all at once.
If you still notice that it’s not as dark as you would like, just go through and go through applying a layer at a time. Some darker polishes will require a third layer.
The more layers you do the less likely you are to having bubbles in your design.
Then for each layer you apply, go ahead and cure your gel polish under your LED light again.
Next, take some Rubbing Alcohol and apply that to a lint-free square.
Wipe off any residue that is on your nails. This lets you see what your true gel polish is going to look like at this point.
You can decide if you need a third layer if it is not dark enough, and repeat the process of placing under your LED lamp once done.
For the last step, you are just going to apply your top coat again. I like to use the Gelish Top Coat as it creates a great look. You just need a thin coat of this on your nails.
Then go ahead and cure it one more time again.
Once it’s done, take your lint-free square, apply some Rubbing Alcohol and wipe off any oil residue that’s on your nail.
You’re then going to want to wash your hands with soap and water just to make sure that all those oils are off.
I hope you have found this how to apply gel nail polish with led light tutorial useful.
If you have any questions please just leave those in the comments section down below and I will answer any of those.
The key to using Gel Polish and lamps is to not apply too much at once, and apply as many layers as you feel you need.
Darker colors will require more layers for the most part, but it depends on your design.
Full Gel Nail Polish Kit & LED Lamp | SensatioNail Nail Starter Kit
Gel Polish Removal Tool | SensatioNail Gel Polish Removal
Gel Nail Polish Primer/ Cleanser | SensatioNail Gel Polish Essentials Kit
10 Piece Gel Polish Color Set | SensatioNail Color Set
Cuticle Oil | Bee Naturals Enriched Vitamin Cuticle Oil
Rubbbing Alcohol | Dynarex Rubbing Alcohol Pads
Lint Free Nail Wipes | GBSTORE Lint Free Nail Wipes
Foundation Base Coat & Top Coat | Gelish Dynamic Duo Soak-Off Gel Nail Polish – Foundation Base and Top Sealer
I’ve also written a Best Gel Nail Kit review that you may be interested in. You can check that out by clicking here.