What Is Builder Gel?

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What’s your favorite long-lasting nail product? Many of us are tired of getting chipped nails in just a few days so we turn to more durable products like acrylic nails, powder dip nails, or gel nails. 

Did you know that under gel nails, there are further subcategories? At nail salons, you can have gel polishes or builder gels. For today, we are going to focus on builder gels. 

So what is builder gel? Builder gel is a gel nail that allows you to change the length and shape of your natural nails as you please. If you want to extend or elongate your nails, you can definitely use them because they are sturdy enough. 

Let’s get to know more about builder gels. We’ll tell you more about what it is, why you should use them and how to use them below.


What Is Builder Gel?

Builder Gel

Gel nails are synonymous with durability. If you select this artificial nail product, you can expect that your beautiful manicure lasts for more than a week.

Unlike the regular nail lacquer that chips off after a couple of days, gel nails won’t. 

Builder gels  (often known as hard gels) are a type of gel nail that can help strengthen your nails while adding length and thickness to them. Builder gels can be used on your natural nails or with nail extensions.

They are usually thick in consistency. 

Builder gels (often known as hard gels) are a type of gel nail that can help strengthen your nails while adding length and thickness to them. Builder gels can be used on your natural nails or with nail extensions.

If you have short nails and you wish to add length to them, you can first attach extensions or nail tips on your natural nails then apply builder gel over them. 

Alternatively, you could use nail forms. These temporarily hold the builder gels so you can shape them and lengthen them.

Once you cure them under UV or LED light and they harden, you can then remove the nail forms.

Builder gels can be purchased in pots where you use a builder gel brush  to apply them, similar to what you do with acrylics. However, some builder gels are packed in a bottle that already has a brush on them. These are sometimes called brush-on gels 

Typically builder gels will last for about 2-3 weeks depending on a variety of factors. These factors include the brand you use, how well it is applied, and how well you take care of your gel nails. 

Typically builder gels will last for about 2-3 weeks depending on a variety of factors. These factors include the brand you use, how well it is applied, and how well you take care of your gel nails. 

When using gel nails, be sure to follow the instructions of the brand you’ve selected. Although there are a variety of brands out there, it isn’t a great idea to mix and match them. They may not work as well when they all come from the same brand. 

Gels require exposure to UV light for them to cure. You should make sure that you use a high-quality UV lamp and follow your instructions for the right amount of time that it needs for it to be cured. It is possible to both under-cure and over-cure gel nails

Similar to acrylic nails, when your gel nails grow out, you will see the natural nail peeking through. You can get an infill or you could just get a new set.

When you reach the point of considering your options, have your nails assessed. If they are in good condition, you can get a fill in. Otherwise, it’s time to start from scratch.

Salons won’t give you an infill unless they think that your gel nails are still in good condition. 


Why Should You Use Builder Gels?

When it comes to nail products, builder gels are a great choice because of their durability. There are endless different colors to choose from, and your nail technician can go wild with nail art and design. 

If you decide to use builder gel on your own, it is also a great choice because it is a beginner-friendly product, especially those that are known as brush-on gels. 

Although they are thicker in consistency as compared to regular nail polish, you apply them in a pretty similar way. Another good side to them is that they won’t dry unless they are cured under the UV or LED lamp  so you have plenty of time to fix your designs before curing them. 

One of the challenges of using acrylic nails is to level the product. You won’t have that much of a problem when you use gels because they are self-leveling so they usually come out even. 

It is a great choice for those who want nail extensions that look more natural than acrylic nails. Builder gels can be durable and strong but are more flexible as compared to acrylics. 

If you want something more durable than nail polish, using builder gels is a good alternative and a level-up to the durability while it is easy to use. 


How To Use Builder Gel

As we’ve mentioned, various manufacturers and brands produce builder gels. Some might require you to use a base coat or a primer while others might not. You should always check the instructions provided to you by your kit. 

This is the reason why you must not mix and match builder gel kits: they come in different formulations. If a formulation requires a base and you don’t use it, you’ll be unhappy with the result. 

This is the reason why you must not mix and match builder gel kits: they come in different formulations. If a formulation requires a base and you don’t use it, you’ll be unhappy with the result. 

It is possible that your gel nails won’t last as long or they may not cure properly if you try to mix and match them. 

Although builder gels come in various formulations, the process of using them would generally as follows:

Step 1: Prepare your nails

The first thing that you do would be to prepare your nails. If your nails have other nail products in them, you have to remove them first. Regular nail polish would be quite easy to remove.

However, if you previously had acrylic, powder dip, or gel nails, you have to remove them carefully and correctly. Most often than not, your natural nails get damaged due to how you remove the artificial nail products rather than using the products themselves. 

After removing the previous products you put on your nails, you have to clean them. Trim them if you want and file them into shape. The cuticles should be pushed back and the nails should be buffed. 

Step 2: Use A Primer Or A Dehydrator

A primer or a dehydrator  is a substance that should be used to further prepare the nail’s surface for your gel product. It will help remove not only the unwanted moisture on your nails but also the natural oils that are in them.

This will help make sure that the gel builder adheres properly to the natural nails. 

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Step 3: Apply Your Basecoat

The next step is to apply your base coat. If your builder gel doesn’t require a base coat, then you can skip this step. The base coat is usually used to help adhere the builder gel to the nails. 

Once you’ve applied the base coat, you need to cure it under the LED or UV lamp as per instructions on how long it should be cured. 

Step 4: Apply The Builder Gel

Now, you can apply the builder gel to your nails. If you have a brush-on type, you can simply open the bottle and use that brush to place some builder gel on your nails.

On the other hand, if you are using the builder gel that is in a pot, you need to use a brush to get some product and apply it to your nails. Make sure that you don’t put gel on your cuticles, and be sure to cover the free edge entirely. 

Make sure that you don’t put gel on your cuticles, and be sure to cover the free edge entirely. 

As we’ve mentioned earlier, builder gel tends to self-level. Wait for a few seconds and you’ll see that it evenly coats the area where you place it. 

Cool!

If you are creating a design, now is the time to do that. Once you are happy with the design that you’ve created, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Cure Under UV Light

The builder gel you use will provide instructions about the type of lamp that you should use and for how long you need to expose them under the light to be cured. Note that if you use the wrong nail lamp, you will run into problems.

Curing the gel builder will solidify it so the design you’ve created should already be final before you cure it. 

Step 6: Apply A Second Coat

If you need a second coat of the builder gel or if you are using other colors and your design requires you to add another coat, then it’s time to reapply. Remember to cure it under UV or LED light again after each coat. 

Step 7: Wipe Off The Tacky Surface

The surface could feel tacky or sticky at this point. To remove the sticky gel surface, use alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the stickiness. Some kits may include a cleaner, which you use instead of alcohol. 

Step 8: Apply The Top Coat

Finally, you should apply the top coat to seal the gel. The top coat will help make sure that your manicure lasts long. 

Topcoats can come in either a glossy or a matte finish. Just like your builder gel, they should be cured under UV light after you apply a coat to them. 

Written by Kayla Young

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