Polygel nails are one of the easiest ways to create long-lasting manicures. This nail enhancement can be applied in many ways, you can apply it on your natural nails directly, or sculpt the with dual or paper form. That’s why it has become one of the convenient ways of doing a manicure at home.
The following article will walk you through step by step the different methods of applying Polygel Nails at home.
What are Polygel nails
Polygel nail enhancement combines the benefits of both acrylic and gel techniques. It’s a gel acrylic hybrid material you apply with a brush or a spatula and then cure with a UV or LED lamp. Polygel nails are designed to be more flexible and lightweight than regular acrylics while providing the strength and durability of gel nails.
Polygel is taking the nail art industry by storm as nail technicians praise its flexibility and customizability regarding shapes and lengths. Moreover, it’s easily applicable, and celebrities like Tom Bachik and Elle Gerstein have even used Polygel to create stunning nail designs for their clients.
In an interview with Allure, Bachik confessed that Polygel had become a game-changer in the nail industry because of its durability and customization ability.
Polygel is one of Gerstein’s favorites while working because it holds up well under pressure, making it an ideal option for clients who lead an active lifestyle.
In a nutshell, PolyGel is a nail enhancement product that’s very effective for people who do not have a lot of skills or experience with nails, such as nail filing, shaping, or using nail brushes.
4 Easy Methods: How to Apply Polygel Nails for Beginners
Now that you are fully aware of the different types of poly gel nails available in the market, I’ll give you four different methods to apply the polygel nails like a pro.
Dual Forms: The easiest and quickest way to use Polygel is with Plastic Dual Forms. The forms are placed on the nails, and Polygel is applied over them.
Paper Nail Forms: Though it allows great control over the shape and length of nails, it is only recommended for skilled people. The paper nail forms method requires a little more practice and skill but is quite attractive.
Nail Tips: it’s similar to the traditional way of applying artificial nails. The tips are glued onto the nails, and Polygel is applied over them, creating a natural nail part extension.
Apply directly on natural nails: just like painting nails with nail polish, apply polygel directly to your natural nails.
Method 1: Apply Polygel with Dual forms
Polygel Dual Forms are my recommendation for beginners, especially because they are the easiest way to apply the material. Furthermore, dual forms have a smoother texture at the end, requiring less buffing.
- Prep your nails: push back and align your cuticles. Then, using a medium-grit nail filer, file your nails and create a smooth, even surface.
- Clean your nails: wipe your nails using pure alcohol or acetone and remove any oils or residue. Apply a dehydrator and a nail primer to help the Polygel stick better to your nails.
- Apply a gel base coat: Apply a thin layer of gel base coat to your nails and cure it for 60 seconds under a UV LED lamp.
- Sort out the dual forms: Choose dual forms that match the size and shape of your nails to ensure complete coverage. It’s better to choose dual forms that are slightly wider than your natural nails.
- Add Polygel into the dual forms: Use a spatula or a brush to add a small bead of Polygel into the center of the dual form. Wet your brush with a slip solution to help spread the Polygel smoothly.
- Spread the Polygel: Use the brush to spread out the Polygel evenly in the dual form. Ensure the Polygel covers the entire inner surface of the dual form and is evenly distributed.
- Press the dual form onto your nails: Carefully place it onto your nail, ensuring it covers the entire surface of your nail and is well-positioned around the edges and tips. Press the dual form firmly onto your nail to ensure a smooth and even application.
- Cure under a UV LED lamp: To set in place and harden, cure the Polygel under a UV LED lamp for 60 seconds.
- Remove the dual forms: peel off the dual forms from your nails carefully once the Polygel has hardened and wipe them with rubbing alcohol to remove the sticky layer. Shape the edges of your nails with a nail file to your desired shape.
- Apply a gel top coat: Finish with a gel top coat and then cure for at least 60 seconds before filing and shaping the edges to your liking.
Pro Tips when Working with dual forms
- File down the dual forms if they’re too big for your natural nails.
- Make the Polygel thicker in the middle and thinner at the edges to prevent overflow.
- Using a brush, neat up the underside of the dual form for an even look before curing.
- Cure underneath the dual forms to ensure the entire nail is cured completely.
Method 2: Apply Polygel with paper nail forms
Unlike dual forms, paper nail forms require more skill and take more time. But thanks to their flexibility, you can design your acrylic nails to any shape and design. However, you should be a nail expert if trying out polygel with a paper form to get that salon-style manicure results.
How to apply step by step
- Prep your nails: Push back your cuticles and file your nails using a medium grit nail file for a smooth surface.
- Clean your nails: Wipe with rubbing alcohol or acetone to remove any oils or residue.
- Apply nail dehydrator and a primer: Let the base coat cure for 60 seconds, then apply a nail dehydrator, a nail primer, and then a gel top coat.
- Sculp out the polygel: After you apply and sculpt the Polygel, you can remove the nail form and put it back on
- Cure the polygel: After 60 seconds, cure your Polygel and smooth your nails until you get your desired shape.
- Apply Top coat: Finish with your gel topcoat or polish.
For a visual guide on sculpting the Polygel using paper forms, watch the guide below.
Method 3: Apply Polygel with nail tips
When Polygel is applied to nail tips rather than free-standing, it tends to remain more durable throughout nail length. As a result, the tips act as a base and keep the polygel from breaking.
Steps to apply
- Using a medium grit nail file and pushing back your cuticles is the first step in prepping your nails.
- The second step is to wipe your nails with rubbing alcohol or acetone.
- After that, apply a coat of nail primer and dehydrator to your natural nails.
- Stick the nail tips on after that.
- Then apply your Polygel over the entire nail after applying your base coat
- After applying your slip solution, you can shape your nails to your liking using your brush.
- As soon as the polygel has been sculpted, cure it for 60 seconds and remove the sticky layer with rubbing alcohol.
- Apply your nail polish or top coat after smoothing your nails out.
Method 4: Directly apply Polygel to nails
Using Polygel is similar to applying gel nail polish directly to natural nails. Polygel is more durable than gel polish, so it is the better choice.
Steps to apply
- Preparing your nails should be your first step
- Using a medium grit nail file, push back your cuticles and file your nails
- Afterward, wipe your nails with rubbing alcohol or any nail surface cleaner to clean them.
- To finish applying the gel base coat and nail plate, apply a coat of dehydrator, nail primer, and a 60-second cure gel top coat.
- Finally, apply a thin coat of polygel.
- Spread the slip solution evenly over your nails using your Polygel Brush dipped in slip solution.
- To remove the sticky layer, you can cure your nails with rubbing alcohol for 60 seconds before wiping them with rubbing alcohol.
- Finish by smoothing the nails out, then applying a gel top coat and curing it for 60 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Working with polygel nails is comparatively easy than traditional acrylic or gel nails as they allow more time for shaping and sculpting before curing under a UV lamp.
Additionally, Polygel nails require fewer steps than traditional acrylic nails, making them more persuasive for beginners.
There can be several reasons why polygel nails pop off. Still, some of the main reasons are improper preparation, wrong application technique, oily nails, excessive water exposure, and using poor quality products.
To prevent Polygel nails from lifting or popping off, it is highly recommended that nail technicians follow step-by-step application techniques by experts and do proper nail preparation. That includes filing the natural nail, removing cuticles, and degreasing the nail surface, and your polygel manicure will last a full month.
Polygel nails are generally considered more safe and more lightweight than acrylics because of their hybrid nail enhancement formula. Moreover, they take fewer steps in the application and removal processes, making them less time-consuming than acrylic.
Additionally, Polygel nails contain less harmful chemicals, therefore, are less likely to have a strong odor, making them more comfortable to work with for both technicians and users.
polygel nails come in only white and pink shades; however, you can mix them with gel polishes or other standard nail paints to experiment with different designs.
Though you can easily remove polygel nails with an e-filer or hand filer, if any residue remains, you can easily soak it off with acetone.
Soak some cotton balls with acetone, then wrap them around your fingernails. For better results, you can also wrap an aluminum foil around the cotton ball. Keep it wrapped for 10 minutes, and the polygel will be removed easily.
Ensure you have all the necessary tools and products to create beautiful nails, including a nail primer, topcoat, and a file when doing polygel nails at home.
Additionally, ensure that the Polygel products in the kit are high-quality and suitable for your skill level. Here are some best DIY polygel nail kits you can try.