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How to Extend your Nails with Gel Polish

by Emma

Nail polish can be frustrating to say the least. We concentrate and concentrate, just for it to chip almost instantly. Luckily, we’ve by now uncovered a few longer lasting techniques to keep nails looking fresh. Some of the latest trends might have cracked the code. Longer nails with gel polish? Yes please. Today we’ll share how to extend your nails with gel polish. Never again compromise between length, durability, and that natural look? Stay tuned to find out how you can extend your nails with gel polish and unlock the best kept secret of the manicure world. 

Why choose gel polish to extend my nails?

Acrylics are the best friend to those who love long nails. Though their reign may be over, however, as they definitely come with more than their fair share of disadvantages. Acrylics thin your natural nails over time, making them significantly weaker. Not to mention, the application process releases all sorts of nasty chemicals, such as methyl methacrylate or acetonitrile. FDA advises against some of these chemicals. Each time you get acrylic nails, you and your nail artist are exposed to these harsh substances. Last but not least, acrylics famously look rather unnatural. 

Press on nail options certainly need less of an explanation and are without a doubt not a fan favourite. They’re unpredictable when it comes to their upkeep as they often spontaneously pop off. It goes without saying that some glues and adhesives can be dangerous to the health of your nails. Finally, they’re just generally not life proof. 

A bog-standard gel manicure is a pretty good solution to this nail predicament. Whilst your nails will get a little damaged over time, gel polish lasts fairly well. This is perhaps the ultimate solution to finding a realistic finish to your nails overall. It’s becoming increasingly affordable to buy your own gel nail lamp kit and whip these up yourself at home. Shopping the outlet stores can make for the perfect solution for those who prefer to avoid the salon. However, we then have to compromise the false length acrylics and press on options provide. Plenty of us feel forced to bare stumpy length nails, just with a fun colour when we opt for gels. Well, not anymore. Gel polish has seen an upgrade. Stay tuned to find out how to extend your nails with gel polish.  

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What are gel extensions?

Gel extensions are a happy middle ground. Fixing the downfalls of gel manicures, gel extensions bring you the added length you get from other fake nail options. Gel extensions execute the long nail look in a more natural, far healthier way, especially compared to acrylics. They’re also much quicker to pop on than their acrylic counterparts. 

How to extend your nails with gel polish:

The first step is to select a gel tip. These false tips mean that you don’t have to compromise on a perfect fit or your stiletto finish. They are available in various shapes, sizes, and widths but you can still cut, trim, file, and shape these as much as you like, before or after the application. 

So, once you’ve decided on and changed the shape, you’re ready to pop it on. A thin layer of clear gel bridges the gap between your nail and the fake tip. This is what attaches them together. The gel extension tip sits just above your own nail. Next, just like when you get a regular gel manicure, you pop your hand underneath the LED light. The gel will solidify in that all too magically short time, binding your nail to the tip. Not too dissimilar from an acrylic nail, the gel finds its way into the gaps. This means that the bond between your nail and the tip is stronger than ever. 

Aside from this step, treat your nails just like a normal gel manicure and they’ll last you just as long. You soak them off with acetone and foil once you’re ready to be rid of them. Much like acrylics, they feel strong and durable, but are much less chunky, giving your hands a more streamlined feeling. What’s even more exciting are the possibilities. Whilst you have your gel polish length, that’s where the rules end. Will you stick to one gel design? Or will you use normal nail polish, letting you put a fresh design or colour over the same perfect shaping each day?

How long to gel nail extensions last?

Everyone’s nails are different; the activities you get up to and rate of your nail growth all play a part. Gel nail extensions and regular gel manicures last roughly the same time. If you’re new to all of this, that’s usually around two or three weeks. Unlike acrylics, gel extensions won’t lift over time and their super thin finish helps to feed into that natural look and feel. 

Since you can file and shape your nails with the gel tip attached, you can maintain your look easily. As your gel extensions grow, you can continue to keep them tidy. Get your time and money’s worth and keep them looking well-polished and natural for as long as possible. 

Can I do it myself?

I personally love the salon experience, but it can be pricey no matter what nail style you opt for, especially if you’re looking to go regularly. Here is how you can get started to do your gel nail extensions at home. 

A staple for any sort of gel nail product is, of course, the LED lamp. You can nab one of these for yourself at all sorts of price points. Sites like Amazon offer lower cost LED lamp options. Or, if your budget can stretch a bit higher, bigger nail brands like CND offer the full, professional works. 

I don’t know about you, but I feel more put together when my nails are done. It’s worth taking a step back and looking at how you can optimise this treat. Get the most out of the options that are on offer. Next time you go to the salon or are ready style your own nails, give gel extensions a shot. You just might find your new go-to style. 

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