Step-by-Step Gel Polish Application

Below is my exact process when completing a new, Gel Polish Service in salon.

I work with Gelish Gel Polish using the Gelish 18g LED Lamp but most of the below steps are transferable to other Gel Polish lines and application. Always be sure though to check with your brand/product specific guidelines. In particular, some lines do not require buffing of the natural nail prior to application.

  1. Sanitise myself (I choose to wear Nitrile gloves but give these a quick spray)
  2. Sanitise client
  3. Wipe nails with acetone (with a new lint free wipe per hand)
  4. Push back eponychiums
  5. Use knife end of cuticle pusher to scrape away easily removed dead cuticle
  6. Shape nail (from both mine and clients view using 180 grit natural nail file)
  7. Scrape underneath nail with knife end of cuticle pusher and file away filing ‘frills’
  8. (E-File) Cuticle bit on low speed to remove remaining and invisible cuticle
  9. Dust
  10. Buff to remove shine only using 180 side of my 180/100 soft sponge buffer
  11. Dust (with a stiff manicure brush both downwards and sideways beneath free edge)
  12. Cleanse using pure isopropyl (with a new lint free wipe per hand)
  13. Dehydrate
  14. Prime free edge only using acid free primer
  15. Foundation (Base) layer, cure
  16. Dry brush cured foundation layer
  17. 1st colour layer, cure
  18. 2nd colour layer, cure
  19. Top coat, cure
  20. Cleanse inhibition layer using pure isopropyl (with a new lint free wipe per hand)
  21. Provide client with exfoliating scrub. Client washes hands
  22. Cuticle oil
  23. Moisturising lotion and massage

Following this client service, the implements are disinfected and stored as per my Salon Hygiene Video.

Implements Used:
Cuticle Pusher
180 grit Sponge Buffer
180 grit Natural Nail File
E-File Cuticle Bit
Plastic, disinfectable manicure brush

Product Used:
Pure (Beauty Grade) Acetone
Pure Isopropyl Alcohol
Gel Polish Base
Gel Polish Colour
Gel Polish Top Coat
Cuticle Oil

Disposables Used:
Paper Towels
Nitrile (un-powdered) Gloves
Lint Free Wipes

Equipment Used:
LED Lamp (Gelish 18g)