6 Common Mistakes When Applying Gel Polish 

6 Common Mistakes When Applying Gel Polish 

Applying gel polish on your own is very useful for saving money and making your look beautiful.   

However, there are some challenges that you must consider beforehand. If you are not careful enough, your nails might be damaged, the polish might chip, or your nails may not be as neat and beautiful as expected.   

Thus, it is necessary to be aware of six main problems that may occur while applying gel polish and the ways to solve or prevent them.   

Therefore, following these tips will give you the maximum results possible. 

1. Inadequate Nail Preparation 

Nail hygiene and care fingers held in water

Preparation of nails is crucial before applying the gel nail polish to enable it to stick well without being blotchy. If your manicure lasts only a short time and chips easily, it could be due to your nails being dirty, greasy, or rough, as this makes it impossible for the polish to stay put.  

The first step is to wash your hands to remove any oil or dirt that may be there. Then, trim your nails. Use an orangewood stick to clean under your nails and remove any loosened cuticles. It is advisable to lightly buff your nails so that the polish adheres well to your nails. 

Lastly, wipe your nails with a lint-free wipe in rubbing alcohol so that they are clean and free from ridges before polishing. 

2. Skipping the Base Coat 

Remember to apply a base coat before applying gel polish. This is beneficial because it prevents nails from staining and enhances the adherence of the nail polish.    

Besides, it ensures that your manicure lasts longer. If you don’t apply the base coat, your polish may chip early, and your nails may get spoiled. Therefore, make sure to use a small amount of base coat and let the nail harden under a unique lamp. 

3. Applying Thick Layers of Gel Polish 

When applying multiple coats of gel polish leads to issues such as bubbling, uneven drying, and giving the nails the appearance of a novice gel nail artist. Also, applying thick layers on your nails is dangerous because it will be easy for your nails to chip and peel.  

For the optimal outcome, you should apply thin layers of gel polish and avoid thick application. It is much better to apply several thin layers instead of using one thick layer to achieve the desired color.  

Also, when applying each coat, allow the polish to cure for the recommended time under a UV or LED lamp. Doing so is easier as thin layers enable you to achieve a better finish and ensure that the polish stays on longer on nails. 

4. Inadequate Curing 

Hands holding menstrual cup side view

One disadvantage of gel polish is that if you use a dryer and dry gel polish too soon, it becomes sticky and can be broken easily. This means that one can only have a long-lasting manicure if the nail polish has sufficient time to dry.    

Here’s what you can do to avoid this problem: Ensure that you follow the curing times suggested by the manufacturers. Select a UV or LED light which is compatible with your gel polish.  

Generally, the time taken for the layers to dry may take between 30 seconds and 2 minutes depending on the polish and the type of light. For the manicure to be complicated and able to endure various activities, guarantee that the base coat, color coat, and top coat are totally dry before applying the next one. 

5. Painting Over the Cuticle and Skin 

Woman using a Pink lacquer

Sometimes, the gel polish can chip off too early if it goes on your cuticles or the skin around them. This will occur if you apply the polish on your skin with many blotches.   

But do not despair; there is a remedy for this! Just make sure you don’t get it on your skin or cuticles—this is why you must be very precise when applying the polish. You can also take your cuticles back with an orange stick or a little brush before you begin.   

In case any polish touches the skin, a brush that has been dipped in acetone can be used to wipe it off. If you take your time and use the polish carefully, you can achieve an extended and even manicure. 

6. Skipping the Top Coat 

Ensure that you apply the top coat when doing your gel manicure. It is highly crucial because it gives your nails a shiny look and protects the nails.  

With the top coat, your manicure would look more appealing, and it can chip or get scratched very easily.  

So, always remember to paint a fragile layer on your nails and then lock it using a special light. That way, your manicure will be more long-lasting and will continue to look fabulous! 


With the appropriate methods and a little effort, you can accomplish a faultless gel manicure at home.  

You may get long-lasting, polished-looking results by avoiding frequent blunders like poorly prepared nails and heavy layer application. To keep your nails healthy, don’t forget to employ gentle removal techniques, adhere to recommended curing periods, and invest in high-quality materials.  

You’ll have gorgeous, long-lasting nails and will be well on your way to perfecting the application of gel paint with these pointers.