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What is Builder Gel?

Builder gel is used when you want to add length, thickness, or strength to the nail. You can apply builder gel to either natural nails for a non-chip overlay or use it with nail tips to create extensions or enhancements. It’s much stronger than regular gel polish base coats, and the formula has a much thicker consistency than a normal base coat. They have high self-levelling properties, which ensure a smooth foundation layer.

Benefits of using builder gel

Builder gel provides a hard, strong surface on your nail, helping to prevent any breaking, cracking, or flaking. Builder gel allows some flexibility, which a nail needs. As it’s a hard overlay, it also protects your nails from anything unpleasant they might come into contact with, such as chemicals or heat.

How to apply builder gel?

Before applying gel nail polish, your natural nail needs to be prepped. This means your nails should be cleaned, filed, and buffed, and your cuticles need to be pushed back and trimmed.

Check whether the builder gel you plan on using needs a base coat. To start, apply a bead of gel to the highest point of your nail bed and glide the brush to spread it over the whole of your nail, from cuticle to tip. 

Builder gel should be applied with small horizontal strokes to gain full coverage, which is a little different from the long, vertical strokes traditional nail polish uses. 

The gel then needs to be cured with a UV lamp to harden and set. This will give you a smooth surface, and you’ll need a topcoat to finish. Once your topcoat is cured, wipe the nail off and apply cuticle oil to help with the health of your cuticles.


Is builder gel good for your nails?

Builder gel can be great for your nails, depending on the results you want to see. If you hate how your nails never grow and are constantly flaking or breaking, then using builder gel will help resolve this.

It’s less damaging than certain other options, especially if you go for soft builder gel, which soaks off easily. It allows your nails to remain healthy and grow strong while the gel is protecting them.


How do you remove builder gel?

The removal of builder gel depends on the type you’ve used, as hard and soft builder gels have different removal methods.


Soft builder gel can be soaked off like traditional gel. You just need to buff the top layer and soak it in acetone for 10-15 minutes. If you’re not happy dipping your fingers into a bowl of acetone, you can get your hands on foil wraps that allow you to leave an acetone-soaked cotton ball on your nail and keep the rest of your hand dry.

Once the nails have had a chance to soak, you can gently scrape off the excess gel polish before tidying up with a cotton bud to clean up any bits still clinging on.


It’s probably best to have hard gel removed at a salon, as removal takes quite rigorous filing. 

Once most of the hard gel has been filed away, the nail needs to soak in acetone for 10-15 minutes to help get rid of the excess. Much like soft gel, after the soaking stage comes the scraping to rid your nail of any bits of gel clinging on, then finally just tidying up with a cotton bud. After removing either type of gel, you might want to buff the nail and finish it with some sort of strengthening treatment.


What colours of builder gel are available?

NS Nail Supplies offers a professional range of Bluesky builder gels available in three different shades.


Shop our bestselling builder gels online at NS Nail Supplies

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