New to gel polish...

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  1. They had a spa day at my workplace and we got gel manicures. We all loved them so we are looking into switching to gel. (We paint our nails at work... So bad!) So one of the girls I do this with was saying you could use a regular base and color and then just use a gel top coat and I was wondering if this is true. OPI has some colors I was going to buy tonight when I pick us up a light that aren't available in gel polish yet but I don't know if I should bother if you can't mix regular with gel polish. If you can't mix I'm going to try to find a gel color I like. The regular base, polish and top coat I applied yesterday has chipped on two nails already so I want to make sure I make the switch right!
  2. Regular polish is different from gel due to the fact that its not flexible therefore it chips because our nails bend and flex. If you use regular polish and put a gel top coat on it, the nail polish will still chip. My mom is a nail tech and I've tried it before and it was more of a pain to remove!
  3. I'm also a gel newbie and I see a lot of gel polish starter kits that have a bevy of stuff you "have" to use to prep your nails for gel...can anyone give insight on what is actually necessary to use? I'd rather spend the extra money on more colors than buying a kit with stuff I don't really need
  4. Hey girls, a great place for info is this thread you'll learn everything you need to know about SOG's. Anything else, everyone is here to help :smile:
  5. Thanks! I tried to find one first and I just couldn't find that.
  6. You NEED, lint free wipes (I cut up Viva paper towels, they are cheap and work great). 99% alcohol (91% ok but 99% better. If not available drug store then Walmart pharmacy will order it for you) Cuticle pusher, gel base, gel top, gel color, UV light, Acetone for removal.

    use the alcohol for nail prep and dehydration. Cuticle needs to be removed from nail plate. use alcohol to wipe sticky layer off after topcoat as well.
  7. The sticky thread SOG for Beginners will answer a lot of your questions - Layering gel base and top coat over regular nail polish (rnp) is called a "Gelly Sandwich" and some people are successful with it. It won't last as long as a gel polish mani, but it often is better than rnp alone. Just make sure you let the rnp dry thoroughly, even overnight before applying the top coat.

    Gel polishes really are a system, which is one reason why layering them with regular nail polish tends to have mixed results. In general, it is best to start with everything that the system requires, perfect your technique, and then eliminate what doesn't work or is unnecessary. Prep is very important with gel polish, so don't cut corners there. And although generic products often work fine, try the products for your system first and then branch out. Although I use OPI, Gelish, Just Gel, I swear by CND ScrubFresh which I used when I started with Shellac. And OPI Expert Touch works better than acetone on OPI Gel Color and doesn't leave the white dryness of pure acetone.

    Many of the gel polish lines, and certainly all of the consumer oriented ones like Red Carpet Manicure, GelShine or Gelish Mini, have starter kits that have everything you need. That is probably the lowest cost way to get into gel polish. And of course, a really good lamp is essential. Gel polish is a lot of fun and lets you have great nails for less money, especially as a DIYer. But it is an investment, so don't go cheap. Spending less and getting a less than satisfying result is a waste of your time and money.
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