August 23, 2019 100

How To Apply Gel Polish Like a Pro

How To Apply Gel Polish Like a Pro

Hi! I’m Suzie. I want to show you how to do a gel polish application like a pro. Let’s get started. When I first began in nails, it was just polish. Now we have the invention of gel polish. It’s fantastic. It’s revolutionized the industry. So today I’m going to show you a few tips on how to get it right. It’s a little tricky. It seems kinda easy because, you know, you just polish it and go, but there’s a few tricks to putting it on. So when you’re doing natural nails, you want to prepare the nail by using a file and buffing it up. Very quickly, just buffing up the natural nail, making sure you get every little bit of it, taking away the dust. And then you want to use a prep. And you just paint it on like this. I’ll show you. These have acrylic on here so I’m going to be polishing acrylic nails for you, but I just want to give you a quick run down on natural. Then you would put the primer on. This is for natural nail preparation, okay? Now for acrylic or gel, when you’re putting it on top of that, you don’t need to do that so much. Gel really sticks to acrylic and gel quite nicely. Okay, so, here’s my gel I’m going to use. You don’t have to shake this stuff. This stuff is highly pigmented. It’s really good stuff. I naturally want to shake it, as you know, I like to shake things, but this stuff is highly pigmented so you don’t have to shake it. When I’m taking it out of the bottle — this is really important — when you’re taking it out of the bottle, you want to scrape it off of the post. You don’t want running into you. You want to put this stuff on pretty thin, and you want to take it off half the other side of the post, and off the other side of the brush. Completely off of that side, and a little bit off of that side, okay? and it’s much like, if you see my polish application videos, you don’t want to take your little brush and put it right down at the cuticle and start, you want to kind of move up a little bit. Now this stuff’s… it kind of sticks to where it goes. With polish, you kind of want to go one smooth swoop. This is a little bit more forgiving, this stuff. You can go like this. You can also take your time, unless you’re sitting under a natural source or natural light is coming in the window, where the UV’s can cure it, you don’t have to worry about that. You can just take your time. So do take your time You want to get every little bit. We put it on quite thin. Gel polish doesn’t like to go and thick, and for a professional touch, don’t forget to tip that end. This method I’m using is called capping the free edge. Now if you do get some on the side, just like nail polish, do take it off. Do the application process quite thin You can go sideways. You really want to get down in there. You can go like this all over. You can go like this. You can’t really do that with polish. And don’t forget to tip the end. Sometimes I will tip all the ends first, and then go in and do it. Because sometimes you can leave a bit of a ridge, and then if you go this end… Like you can see a little bit of a ridge there. Whereas you can take that away. Sometimes too… I’ll show you more with the — with the cream one that I’m going to show you, you’ll be a little more finicky. But take your time in doing this. You can see it a little bit on the cuticle there, so I’m going to take this cuticle stick. The reason why we want to take that away and take it off the skin, it will actually cure to the skin. It won’t stay very long. The oils in your skin will sort of deflect it off. You want to do this quite thin so it cures quite well. So then I’m going to cure this in here, and this is an LED lab. This goes with the Max Estrada product. Each manufacturer will have different instructions. This requires, and it says right on the bottle, two minutes under a UV lamp, and his instructions say 60 seconds in an LED. Every company can be different so you want to read your manufacturers directions. They have the best information what they want you to do. Okay, so, I do want to show you this: Ugly Duckling just came up with this beautiful color. I want to show you something that’s interesting. I often do the thumb separately because sometimes, if you’re especially if you’re getting a color like this — this is a beautiful color — but I want to show you something. Now I’ll show you how to put this one on. Particularly when you put this guy on, you can see it’s a bit thicker consistency. When you put it on you gotta really coax it in there. It’s a bit different because it’s so much thicker in consistency because it’s really highly pigmented so it’s trying to make it very good coverage. You could almost do it in one coat. A few years ago, I was finding some. Even some of the brands out there now they will have a shrink aspect to them. You put them on, and it pulls away literally from the cuticle. Very frustrating. These high-end products here, particularly these two brands, do not do that. Some I’ve worked with in the past do, but I find this this company and Max’s doesn’t do that. And it is really a pleasure to work with because it actually remains where you put it. I’m going to put this on the end. Now when I cure this I actually try to do it — I keep my thumb up. I keep it up like this in the light. If I keep it on the side, the polish, especially a little bit thicker like this, because its high pigment, will pool on the side, and that’s very upsetting because when you pull it out, and it doesn’t cure. It’s pooled, and it’s all mushy when you remove the sticky layer. Okay, so, what I want to show you is I’m actually going to put it on too thick to show you what it looks like when it wrinkles. If you put your gel polishes on too thick, and it’s easy to do sometimes with the creams because they have such a thicker consistency, and you’re trying to get the density of color. If you apply it too thick and try to cure it, you can wrinkle really bad, and I want to show you what that looks like. So I’m actually going to apply it too thick. This is certainly not a reflection on Ugly Duckling at all! I love their product! I’m simply using it for a demo. If it’s too thick, it just wrinkles. Ugly Duckling recommends 90 seconds in a UV and 45 seconds in an LED. Okay, so, take a look at that. It’s starting to pit, and it’s kind of wavy. And it’s not curing because it’s too thick. Just proving that gel needs to go on relatively thin. Okay, so, I’m going to show you what that looks like when you try to remove it. It’s a mess. This is why you don’t want it to happen it. Because it really is pain. So spray some alcohol on my pad here, and I now I’m trying to remove the sticky. And when you see it… See how it comes off like that? That’s not obviously cured. Just trying to show you mistakes. What it looks like, right? And you can see that this: you rub it a little bit harder it’ll literally just… you can see that first layer… See that? Look at that! It’s just wrinkling right off. That is under-cured.
[Camera Guy]
That’s some (inaudible). You gotta fix that. [Suzie]
(giggles) Okay, well, see if I can show you this? Okay so I’m going to get a course file. And what you have to do is, like I say you can soak it in acetone or a gel soak off remover, and do that for about ten minutes, or if you’re impatient like me, you can file it off, and like I say, you can file it smooth and try to paint it on again. But if you see… See those little edges there? If you have any little thing underneath there, little dust or ridges, of any sort, that’s what can happen. You’ll see that through it. You don’t want that. You want to make sure that the nail is not smooth, like super smooth, because you don’t want the gel polish to chip. It has to be a little grit there for the polish to adhere to. So we do want to file this off though. What I’m saying is we can’t get away with salvaging this as much as I’d like to so we don’t waste any time. You really got to file it off. This is when you really need a course file. So I filed this all off, and I’m going to paint in layer. And don’t forget to do the tip, okay? And this is when I sort of do it like this angle a little bit so it doesn’t pool on the side to get that thickness. Okay. For a little bit of a different look, you can do on the matte, either in French style or on an angle, or anything you want for that matter. We’ll just quickly show you. Just adds a little dimension to it. Just for a little bit of fun. Okay, and you just nuke it, and you don’t see the effect until you take the alcohol and remove the sticky layer off it. Then you see the effect. Okay so I’m just going to take my alcohol, and just remove that, and you’ll just see the matte take effect. (giggles) So if your client sit really still when you’re getting the gel application done, if you move a little bit it might go into the cuticle, and once you get into the cuticle, it’s really hard to get it out of there. And if your nail technician just take your time and hold that finger steady. She can’t get away on you. Okay, let’s get a little reveal of those. So if you’re polishing your nails with gel polish yourself, I hope that gives you a few tips to make it just a little bit more easier to do. Okay, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you in the next video

100 Replies to “How To Apply Gel Polish Like a Pro”

  • Vickie Pham says:

    what if you overcure?

  • Michelle Nicklaus says:

    the reason why they shrink is because of Natural Nails you cannot have them use soap when they wash their hands stay away from using soap on Natural Nails when applying gel polish

  • Michelle Nicklaus says:

    I'm a professional Nail Tech of 32 years……. so please listen to what I'm saying

  • Barbara Creel says:

    I have watched a lot of general application videos, and you are a great teacher you really take your time and give good tips that make me want to do a good job

  • danielle bent says:

    Every time I do my own nails with gel polish they come out like crap. If I use regular polish they either never dry or peel off within hours. Even the gel polish only lasts me about 3 to 4 days with a professional doing the application. Why do my nails seem to reject any and all polish? Also when I am doing my nails at home I am using a dehydrator prior to any polish to get rid of any oils. When I am doing gel polish I start with a dehydrator then do a base coat, and that is where the trouble starts. It seems like not matter how thin or thick I put the base coat on it seems to separate from its self like oil vs water. If I can get the base coat to work for me I move on to color and some times they come out really nice other times they come out streaky like you can see through the color in spots, even with 2 or 3 applications of color. Long story short what am I doing wrong? And FYI I have natural nails

  • Lourdes baby says:

    I love your videos,seems like they’re made in heaven,with the soft lighting and colour scheme and how you speak! You’re tone of voice is so calming & your accent is lovely.

  • Lori Strout says:

    how many times should I use black polish I have to put it on three or more times to get an even coat? is there a no wipe black gel. I am using Gel'aze but I have used others and I always get most of the color comes off. It is not my light either because my top coat always dries just fine. I've used dehydrators, foundations, primers nothing helps.

  • mickey mouse says:

    Hi my names Makayla I’m 16 years old I have a complete passion for nails gel and acrylics and I’m thinking about going into a cosmetology academy for nails and she is seriously giving me incite on what to do and how to do it thankkkk you so much

  • paddy the cob says:

    when she says alcohol does she mean rubbing alcohol? Thanks this vid was really useful 😀

  • Sarah Lahring says:

    My gel polish always peels off like the second day. I dont have a primer though, does that make a difference? (For natural nails)

  • Sarah Lahring says:

    My gel polish always peels off like the second day. I dont have a primer though, does that make a difference? (For natural nails)

  • T. Smith says:

    filing the natural nail is sooo bad. It takes layers of nail off and weakens. I will not follow anyone who says this is a step.


    I LOVE your channel, Suzie! I am learning how to care for my nails properly.

  • Ana Clara Barreiros says:

    Nice video 🙂

  • Ramona Hopewell says:

    Beautiful colors. Your so awesome

  • Jen says:

    What are some good brands of gel polishes and a good lap? My school only uses CND and I'd love some advice on what else is good but won't break the bank. Thanks!

  • hello Hello says:

    Thank you sooo much for this video! it really helped me 🙂

  • heather ratliff says:

    I got a gel polish manicure at the salon, and did them myself at home and they always peel off in a couple days! ?

  • This Candy says:

    Very instructive!! Giving me great information before I buy and tips on how to use my first kit at home! Thanks and I always like your videos ? GOD BLESS!

  • Nichole Moody says:

    Love this tutorial! Thank you!

  • Jacqui fair says:

    Thank you so much for this video… am going to try my first attempt tomorrow ready for the weekend… I've just brought a UV lamp… am not sure if I should of gone a LED! Fingers crossed I do a ok job! ??

  • Dorien Reed says:

    I’m new to doing my nails. Bit them all my life. I’ve got a 36w led uv lamp. How long do I use it for? I’m confused. Please someone help

  • Devi says:

    Why didn't I watch this before I made a huge manicure nightmare

  • Gemma S says:

    Great wee video, thank you x

  • J Holo says:

    Yeah, it would be nice to learn and know how to do gel nails.. If I have gel polish which I believe is expensive and I also have to buy the lamp and maybe other stuff like the base and top coat. So I'm just gonna use normal polish for now(it works for me, I just have to be patient and careful), maybe until when I've earned more money and feel like it's time to buy gel polish and gel stuff.

  • J Holo says:

    Avoid sunlight? Wait.. Does that mean that I can cure gel nails without the UV lamp or LED lamp? O.O

  • carolyn robinson says:

    I love the sparkling blue Polish love watching your nail videos

  • Romina Constenla says:

    I have very short nails, how do I cap my ends without getting gel on my skin?

  • Isabella Borghi says:

    Thank you, this is very helpful!

  • dkendall96 says:

    Do you have to have a pro license to purchase Kira sky?

  • Dani Aleman says:

    Gosh she is a really good instructor. One question, I am confused about the UV lights and the LED lights. Do I need two separate machines? I only see one in her video.

  • Amy says:

    Thanks! I’m ordering a gel polish starter kit, and I don’t want to totally screw it up

  • Kiky Siwad says:

    Suzie: cap the free edge
    Simply nailogical: wrap the tip ?

  • fantasieanime says:

    Hi, I've been wondering, when I apply gel top coat, and after it's cured, and go to wipe with the alcohol, it becomes dull. Should I wait a bit after taking my hand out of the lamp before wiping?

  • allykatt1849 says:

    Love the blue! ??????

  • Anaria says:

    Thanks so much for doing this video 🙂 It was a learning experience for sure 😀

  • iluvmyboba says:

    Suzie, you have such a soothing voice. The kind that makes learning a lot easier. Thanks.

  • Lupe Guzman says:

    I’m starting to do gel and I would get so frustrated because I would be like why is it sticky like it’s not drying! but now I know to just remove that with alcohol omg if I only knew about this video sooner thank you so much though this helped a lot!!

  • florence robinson says:

    I had bought air dying gel and used with my new lamp haha I'm armed with the right gels now can't wait to try again tonight ?

  • Katie Wong says:


  • Jude Southern Ontario says:

    what kind of nails are you wearing? They look like they are glued on real good. Though I can tell they are fake, once the nail gel was on it beautiful!!

  • Rain Av says:

    Thank you so much for this video, it was VERY comprehensive and fun to watch. You seem like a great woman 🙂

  • wanda fuller says:

    Suzie, I love your youtubes! You are fantastic!
    I am looking for advice on brands and products to buy for using at home, on myself. My nails are thin and putting regular polish is a waste of time. So it sounds like the gel polish would be better for me? What about a uv lamp? Thank you so much for your excellent youtubes, and thanks for any help you can give me!

  • DreamChaser says:

    annoying the code expires maybe a mention how long it lasts helps?

  • Paige Z says:

    I want to start doing my bbn one gel nail polish. What would u recommend for getting a uv/led light? Is there any differences between each light?

  • TheNitaapplebaum says:

    Golly! Your hands are so pretty! Doesn't look like you have ever washed dishes!

  • Alyssa Mumaw says:

    I’m thinking of getting into gel, but had some questions maybe someone on here could answer? Are all uv lights the same or do I need to go a different uv light depending on the brand I’m using? For example, I was looking on madam glams website and they have a starter kit that comes with their uv light, but what if I bought one from somewhere else. Would it still work with that polish?

  • saundra tate says:

    Can you make a video on light pink glitter gel nail powder.

  • Cheshire Cat says:

    LOL! It hurts Cameraman more than Suzie to see that icky Demonstration-Nail! He's been very spoiled by Suzie's talent for great nail-designs! ???

  • No One says:

    Oh my gosh I remember the first time I tried gel….. it didn’t go well it wrinkled sooooo bad lmao

  • midlifemikey says:

    Informative, professional, with a great personality! Susie, you've got it ALL!! Thank you for posting these videos! 🙂

  • Stephenie Hamilton says:

    Loving that blue color!!!♥️♥️??

  • Michelle G says:

    My gel polish still tends to crack/peel a bit on the edges, does anyone have any tips?

  • Pam Chappell says:

    Thank you so much for your tutorials. They're so helpful and I'm learning so much from you! ??

  • Tavon Fenwick says:

    What about gel polishes that don’t need a lamp? How long should they be given to dry

  • Elsa Diabate says:

    I love your video. I have just started to do my own polygel nails. And now I wonder how I apply uv gel polish over the polygel. Should I first apply the gel polish and then the top coat? or the other way around? and if I should apply the gel polish first, should I buff the surface of the polygel? Thank you, Elsa from Sweden

  • Jacklynne Kariuki says:

    I always love your videos dear ure super awesome i actually learnt how to do gel application thro your videos

  • Amy-Beth Taylor says:

    Thank you for this! I wondered why it was wrinkling and peeling off. I did EXACTLY what you've just said not to do. thank you! So it doesn't matter how many coats of gel polish I apply, but they must be applied thinly?

  • Karen Morales says:

    Thank you for the video Im a begginer with gel nails and has become something relaxing doing my nails. ☺

  • Nicola Davis says:

    I love that blue colour.

  • Paige Frantz says:

    Such a pretty color? Do you recommend that lamp? I see they don’t sell it on the site anymore but they sell another one. I’m looking for a lamp but it’s hard to find a quality one under $100

  • Laura L Marsh says:

    I have done my own twice now, I have tried to cap the edges each time. I don’t know if my nails are too short, but the polish begins to come off before a week. Is it because I am doing dishes or not capping the edges correctly. Anyone able to help me with this problem?

  • Kat says:

    I was doing everything wrong! Thank you suzie!!

  • Nicole Mcmillan says:

    Does not make sense. You say to do both LED and UV. But you only did one? So many questions. Why not use an electric nail file?

  • Ana Fernandez says:

    I made my too thick today but now I know how to fix the problem ? thank you so much

  • Avilyn Brown says:

    No foundation??

  • Judy Hunsucker says:

    Can you paint a black with out the door glitter polish. I love the dark with the glitter, it looks like night time skys

  • TheLadybughug says:

    Thank you so much. Gonna give this a shot! ??

  • TheLadybughug says:

    Also, I had done swatches yesterday and was like whats with the prune look? ??? and bam you beautiful lady explained it! I went wayyyy too thick. Wish me luck! Church potluck tomorrow. ??


    I love you… The way u teach makes it feel so easy

  • ilanit7 says:

    can you use LED lamp on all gel polish? or do have to get the UV lamp too?

  • Bridget White says:

    I love how informative and cute you are! ? Thanks for the tips

  • Lydia says:

    brilliant! I am just starting out with gel nails at home… literally just ordered a load of stuff today lol and this was so informative and easy to follow. Thank you. Subscribed!



  • Het Zeepvrouwtje says:

    Besides all the lovely comments already made by others, i want to add that you have the most nicest voice to listen to. I’m quite sensitive to such things. I just recently started doing my nails because i have them long finally (was a nail biter until 2yrs ago ?)✋?✋?

  • Maze Runner says:

    ayy it's ya girl suzie
    back at it again ??

  • chane botes says:

    Suzy, could you please review Tertio gel polish???

  • Ashes 13 says:

    I love your videos. I was intimidated by gel polish before I watched this video. Your advice was very helpful & I did an amazing job doing my nails with gel polish the first time. Thank you Suzie ❤️

  • tigerpunk says:

    I wish people would mention more clearly that gel polish remains sticky without alcohol,it freaked me out so much I thought I messed up my nail

  • Erin Pierides says:

    Thanks I will keep watching your way of method of doing gel polish

  • Susan Fant says:

    Thank you for this and all your fun Videos. If I run out of a Top Coat product, can I use Clear Coat Polish to finish my manicure???

  • Susan Fant says:

    That was supposed to be can I use a Clear Coat Gel Polish over my Gel mani 🙂 if I run out of the top coat….

  • CrazyAunt CC says:

    Thanks so much! I have just recently began using gel polish because I have such a lRge collection of regular I change my polish ALOT! But my niece, mama, and friends don’t and they like a polish that can stand up to their everyday wear & tear so I got upon their request a bunch of new gel polishes. I spent weeks researching online & mostly on YouTube what gel polishes were best but also affordable. (As usual I went way overboard because I love buying nail polishes of any kind and I bought about 20 bottles plus the base, top, prep & primers too but although I did everything by the instructions I was having trouble with the over application which I just discovered in your video! Thanks! I recently did mama’s toes & after your instructions it came out beautifully and stayed on for over 2 weeks! I would normally have changed her polish earlier but I got sick with pneumonia and was too sick to do her toes. BUT I also have a question about doing gel polish on a client. My nephews girlfriend came and wanted me to do her natural nails with gel polish. I followed your instructions and the products instructions but she kept putting her fingers in her mouth! I asked her not to and told her the product wouldn’t last and it was NOT safe for her to do this but she still kept on! I would put the prep on one hand and before I could get it in her other hand she would have her fingers in her mouth! I thought yuck & urgh! How do you handle suck a client? I don’t think she even realized she was doing it because I warned her after filing, again after dusting dusting and again cleansing her nails but she kept on! So I warned her to stop and decided to cleanse, prep & out the primer on one hand before moving to the other thinking she would stop because of the taste but she didn’t! Then she complained that her gel polish mani didn’t last any longer than regular polish but I didn’t know what to say other than I was sorry. I didn’t want to tell her it was her fault because I didn’t want to offend her (although I did her nails for free and warned her several times not to naw on her nails as the gel polish wouldn’t adhere properly while I was doing the mani) now she’s complained to my sister, niece and just about everybody that I don’t know what I’m doing & they shouldn’t come to me because I could wreck their nails. I’m offended but her being my nephews live in gf for over a year I don’t want to cause an issue but I don’t charge to do nails as I’m not a a pro which I told her but I enjoy doing my friends and family’s nails for fun its my hobby but one I’ve spent over 20 years learning from both nail techs, books, and online perfecting. I don’t pressure anyone to let me do their nails but I do offer anyone new by saying: I do nails as my hobby for free, I’m not a licensed pro but I have been doing nails for years if you ever want or need me to do your nails just give me a call no pressure I totally understand if you prefer a pro it won’t hurt my feelings or bother me.” But her going around telling everyone how awful I am did hurt my feelings because she came to me asking for a gel mani and I did tell her numerous times not to put her fingers in her mouth because the gel polish wouldn’t adhere properly. What would you do in this situation?

  • Amanda Cross says:

    I wish you come to my house and do my nails I always bite my nails when I'm nervous.?

  • Andrea Jordan says:

    I love this polish

  • EC4400 says:

    When I try gel nail polish my normally healthy nails split and it takes three months for recovery.

  • Princess Squeaky says:

    The alcohol removed my gel and my sticky layer. I dont know what to do

  • Megan Chea says:

    i don’t like watching these videos because it makes mines look like ?

  • Rel Rellz says:

    Why should we file and buff the nail before applying the polish?

  • Dee Iles-Lattimore says:

    It’s much harder to apply on natural nails you have acrylic

  • Nailz 82 says:

    Can gel polish damage natural nails?

  • Marie Eisbach says:

    What light do you use?

  • Hockey Girl says:

    My question is why didn’t she remove all the old nail polish before she began this process? It just seems like she’s an expert but yet she didn’t take care of the most obvious thing

  • Karen karen says:

    What kind of gel nail polish I got some from Walgreens but it didn't work where to buy them

  • Asdfg Asdfg says:

    Another great video, very informative

  • Turandot29 says:

    So…. you don't finish a gel manicure with a glossy top coat of some sort?

  • dynodish says:

    It makes no sense to me that the manufacturers of gel and polish put such a crummy brush in it. It's not like the stuff is cheap, so it pisses me off that they include that piece of dog doo brush.

  • Esther Aveves says:

    Hi does using these types of lamps dry the skin around the fingers even if it’s an LED or UV lamp ?

  • Nadia Guest says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! This made my first at home application of gel polish so much easier! Love your videos ?

  • Shivan Lane says:

    Do you use regular isopropyl alcohol or the stronger 91% kind?

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