Gel nails are perhaps the most natural looking of all nail additions and are definitely worth considering if you want to have longer and stronger nails which appear to be your own. You create gel nails by applying layers of an acrylic gel to the surface of your nails. These layers then combine and set to produce a solid nail.
To harden the nails, they are then normally placed under an ultraviolet light or even sometimes simply an ordinary room light. It can be difficult to apply gel nails yourself, although it is quite possible. It's certainly a lot simpler to get a nail specialist to do the job for you, but if you do wish to try it yourself, the following is a method for using the acrylic overlay technique.
1. Buff the natural surface of your nail using a buffer to remove the shine. Don't overdo it! Then shape the free edge of the nail plate to the correct size corresponding to your finger nail. Use a medium-grade emery board to do this. 2.
Apply a drop of nail adhesive to the nail tip whilst holding it at a 45 deg angle with the tip against the outer edge of your own nail. Then slide the nail tip back and press it down when in position. Hold it in position for a few seconds until it is held securely by the adhesive.
3. Apply a single coat of acrylic bonding agent to the surface of your own nail only. Don't get it on the acrylic tip. 4. A small amount of acrylic liquid and acrylic powder should be poured into separate glass containers.
Using a brush, dip it into the acrylic liquid, then press it lightly against the dish to release any excess acrylic. Then sweep the tip of the brush across the surface of the white powder until it has picked up as much of the powder as it is able to carry, and the resultant ball is big enough to cover the entire nail. Then take the brush and place te tip with the acrylic ball in the center of your nail. 5. As quickly as you can, but without rushing, commence by pushing some acrylic into the cuticle region, working towards the sides and forwards to completely fill in your nail behind the acrtlic tip.
6. When completed and dry, tap your nail gently on the infilled area using the brush handle. The familiar clicking sound will indicate that the acrylic has fully set. 7.
To finish, file and buff the nails as you require. Then apply a base coat varnish, some polish and a top coat. It is also a good idea also to apply a drop of cuticle oil to the cuticle. Note that all nail enhancements will need filling every two to four weeks, depending upon how quickly your nails grow. This means filling in the area in front of the cuticle to blend in with the existing acrylic fill.
You can find more information on gel nails by Bianca Tavares in her regular contributions at Makeup Girl's Makeup Tips.