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DIY Manicure Gel Extensions

DIY Manicure Gel Extensions, Montreal Manicure

DIY Manicure Gel Extensions, Montreal Manicure

Have you seen gel nail extensions on Instagram? They add length, strengthen nails, and are more versatile than acrylics for creating fun designs.

Acquiring a set will require at least an hour in the salon chair; however, application should be quick and painless if you know what to expect.


One of the most exciting developments in nail services of late has been gel, a longer-wearing type of polish cured by UV or LED lights. Now there’s another option available to nail technicians: gel extensions which use photo-initiated polymers as base coat and color.

Nail techs start off the process by lightly prepping their client’s nails by filing, buffing, and pushing back cuticles. A cuticle softener or warm water soak may be used as well to speed along this step of preparation.

Next, the technician uses a nail form resembling a paper sticker beneath each free edge of natural nails and then applies gel onto each tip until they achieve the desired shape and length. “One benefit of gel manicures is they reduce application times significantly as you can do them quicker without needing separate base coat applications,” according to Park.


Once nails have been prepared, a technician applies bonder for strength and applies a gel base coat. Following that step, builder gel is applied to extend nail shape until desired length has been reached before hard gel curing under an LED or UV lamp and polish color applied over it.

Nail art can be added to a gel extension for a customized look, and their thin nature makes them easy to manipulate, according to Boyce. “Plus they’re gentler on your natural nails so you can still add your own nail art!” she notes.

Gel-X differs from acrylic nails in that its application does not produce an intense monomer smell, making the application process faster and less messy according to Tokyo. Once their manicure is finished, clients can use non-acetone polish remover to quickly take off and reapply tips as soon as their tips have dried off before wearing again! With proper care they may last weeks!


Once a nail technician has finished prepping their client’s nails (push back cuticles, trim dead cuticles and buff the nails), they will apply a pH bonder to dehydrate their natural nail before using an non-acidic gel primer “to avoid oily residue from interfering with adhesiveness of extension,” according to Boyce.

Pre-cured gel strips are applied to each nail and then pressed down to ensure an error-free application, before being flash-cured under either UV or LED lamps for 60 seconds.

Gel top coat is then used to provide additional protection and shine to the nails, lasting three weeks before needing replacement or removal. Because gel extensions are more flexible and natural than acrylic ones, they’re less likely to crack or peel when removed compared with acrylic manicures – plus, when they go, there’s no dulling effect left behind on the nail plate – unlike their acrylic counterparts which leave an effectful dulling effect behind when they go.


Gel extension removal might seem complex, but it’s actually easy if you follow these steps. Your nail tech should provide this service, but if you prefer DIYing it here’s how:

Before beginning, cut out some aluminum foil that can fit around each fingertip (avoiding moisture-boosting varieties as these won’t work as effectively), and soak cotton pads with acetone before placing one on each fingertip – leaving this solution on for 15-20 minutes before taking further steps.

Park emphasizes the convenience of soft gel extensions for home removal as they’re less glued on and stick more loosely to your natural nail bed, similar to regular gel polish. Hard nails may require additional filing or longer soak times before removal can take place; as long as this process goes according to plan, these gel extensions are considered healthier alternatives as they don’t contain harmful chemicals like methyl methacrylate or toluene that acrylics contain.

DIY Manicure Gel Extensions, Montreal Manicure
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