Assessing the Damage
So you woke up one morning, looked down at your finger nails and realized your gel nails are starting to lift. What a bummer! If left unattended, the lifted gel could lead to water getting trapped underneath, leading to mold, mildew, and bacterial growth which can be harmful to your nails.
It is important to assess the damage quickly and take action to fix the problem, preventing worse situations from developing.
Firstly, let us define what we mean by “lifted gel”. Lifting occurs when any part of the artificial nail or polish coating on top of the nail has separated from the natural nail, leaving a gap, or air pocket, between the two surfaces.
This may occur at different stages of the nail growth cycle. For example, if your nails have been exposed to water for a long period, they will become soft and more likely to lift. Additionally, if nail care has not been followed, causing dirt and oil buildup, the natural oils on the nails will not allow the artificial nail to bond well.
The first step in assessing the damage is to locate the lifted areas on the nails. This will often be in the free edge, where the nail tips have grown out beyond the artificial nail, or near the cuticle area where the nail is in contact with the natural cuticle.
Next, examine the extent of the lifting. If the lifting is minimal or confined to one or two nails, then the problem may be fixable at home. However, if the lifting is widespread across all nails, then it may indicate damage to the nail bed or cuticle area that needs professional attention.
Additionally, assess the nail to determine if there are any other issues like cracks, peeling, or ridges. If there are, treat them before proceed to fixing the lifting problem.
Once you’ve assessed the damage, you can decide whether to repair the lifted area yourself or seek professional help.
Keep in mind that it is better to deal with a minor lifting problem as soon as it occurs rather than waiting until the issue becomes bigger. Dealing with it early can prevent the need for a complete nail removal, as the lifted gel can usually be quickly repaired.
Prepping the Nail Surface
Before fixing a lifted gel nail at home, it is crucial to prepare the nail surface first to ensure that the repair will last longer. Here are the steps on how to properly prep the nail surface:
Step 1: Remove the polish.
The first step in prepping the nail surface is to remove the polish, if any, from your nails using a nail polish remover. This step helps in cleaning the nail and removing all traces of dirt and dust that may compromise the adhesive properties of the gel polish.
Step 2: Buff the nail.
After removing the polish, the next step is to buff the surface of the nail. Use a nail buffer to gently buff the entire surface of the nail. This step roughens the surface and smoothes out any ridges, ensuring that the gel polish adheres well to the surface of your natural nail.
Step 3: Cleanse the nail.
It is essential to clean the nail before applying the gel again to ensure that it adheres well to the surface of the nail. Use a lint-free wipe and nail cleanser or rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining residue on the surface of the nail. This step not only cleans the nail but also dehydrates it, ensuring that the gel sticks well to the nail surface.
Step 4: Apply primer.
Primer is an essential component in preparing the nail surface for gel application. It helps in creating a bond between the natural nail and gel polish, making it last longer. Apply a thin layer of primer on the entire surface of the nail and wait for five minutes before proceeding to the next step.
Step 5: Apply gel polish.
After prepping the nail surface, apply the gel polish according to manufacturer’s instructions. Start by applying a thin layer of base coat, followed by color, and finally, a top coat. Ensure that each layer is thin and appropriately cured using a nail lamp. Skipping any step or applying a thick layer may cause peeling, lifting, or chipping of the polish.
Step 6: Moisturize and protect.
After completing the gel application, it’s essential to apply cuticle oil to moisturize the skin around the nail. Dry skin can cause lifting of the gel polish, so it’s crucial to keep the skin around the nail hydrated. Also, avoid using your nails as tools or exposing them to harsh chemicals that may compromise the durability of the gel polish. Protect your nails by using gloves when cleaning or handling chemicals.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your gel nail repair results in a long-lasting and beautiful manicure.
Applying New Gel
Gel nails are a great alternative to traditional nail polish because they can last several weeks without chipping or peeling. However, one common problem with gel nails is that they can start to lift from the nail bed, leaving a gap where bacteria and fungus can grow. If you have gel nails that have lifted, it’s important to fix them as soon as possible to prevent infection.
Applying new gel to your nails may seem like a daunting task, but with a little bit of patience and practice, you can easily fix your lifted gel nails at home.
Step 1: Remove the lifted gel
The first step in fixing your lifted gel nails is to remove any gel that has lifted from your nail bed. You can use a cuticle pusher or a wooden stick to gently lift the gel away from your nail. Be sure not to use too much force or you may damage your natural nail. Once you have removed the lifted gel, lightly file the surface of your nail to remove any remaining residue.
Step 2: Prep your nails
Before applying any new gel, you’ll need to prep your nails. Start by washing your hands with soap and water to remove any oils or debris from your nails. Next, apply a primer to your nails to help the new gel adhere properly. You may also want to apply a base coat to protect your natural nail and ensure the new gel stays in place.
Step 3: Apply the new gel
Now it’s time to apply the new gel. Start by applying a thin layer of gel to your nails and then cure them under a UV lamp for the recommended time. You may need to apply several coats of gel depending on how severe the lifting is. Just be sure to cure each layer before applying the next. Once you have applied all of the layers of gel, cure your nails one final time.
Step 4: Finish with a topcoat
Once the new gel is in place, you’ll want to finish with a topcoat to add shine and protection to your nails. Apply a thin layer of topcoat and cure it under the UV lamp for the recommended time. If you want your nails to last even longer, you can apply a second layer of topcoat.
Step 5: Maintain your nails
Now that your lifted gel nails have been fixed, it’s important to maintain them to prevent lifting in the future. Avoid exposing your nails to water for extended periods of time, as this can cause the gel to lift. Wear gloves when doing household chores or using harsh chemicals to protect your nails. And be sure to apply cuticle oil regularly to keep your nails hydrated and healthy.
Fixing your lifted gel nails at home is easy and can save you time and money. Just be sure to follow these steps carefully and take your time. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to apply new gel to your nails like a pro.
Curing the New Gel
One of the common problems that people face with gel nails is the lifting of the nail from the base. This can happen due to a variety of reasons such as incorrect application of the gel, using low-quality products, or mishandling the nails. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take at home to fix lifted gel nails without going to the salon. However, before we start with the fixing process, let’s first discuss the process of curing the new gel nails correctly.
Applying gel nails is a delicate process that requires precision and patience. Ensure that you have a clean and dry workplace, and all the necessary tools before starting. Firstly, clean your nails and push back the cuticles to provide a smooth surface for the gel to adhere to. After this, buff and file your nails to remove any excess oil or shine. Once your nails are prepped, apply a base coat of gel and cure them using a UV lamp for the recommended time. After curing the base coat, apply the colored gel and cure them again. Finally, apply the topcoat of gel and cure them for the recommended time. After curing, remove the sticky residue using alcohol wipes, and you will get perfect gel nails that will last for weeks.
Curing your gel nails correctly is crucial to have long-lasting and healthy nails. However, sometimes even the correctly cured gel nails may lift or peel off from the base due to several reasons such as water exposure, oil, heat, or impact. If your gel nails have lifted or chipped, here are a few steps you can take to fix them at home:
Step 1: Assess the Damage
The first step is to examine the damage and determine whether it’s a minor lift or complete peeling off. If the damage is minor, you can follow these steps to fix the nail. However, if the nail has completely peeled off, you will need to remove the entire nail, allow it to heal for a week, and then apply a new gel nail. Remember to never forcefully remove a lifted gel nail as it may damage the natural nails underneath.
Step 2: Clean and Sanitize
The next step is to clean and sanitize the lifted area of the nail, remove any debris or dirt using a cuticle pusher or an orange stick, and wipe it with alcohol. This step is essential as it prevents the growth of bacteria on the nails and ensures that the new gel adheres correctly.
Step 3: Roughen up the Nail Surface
Before applying the new gel, it’s essential to roughen up the lifted surface of the nail gently. You can do this by using a buffer or a soft file to create a rough surface that the new gel can adhere to better.
Step 4: Reapply the Gel
After prepping the nail, you can now reapply the gel. Apply a thin layer of base coat and cure the nail under the UV lamp for the recommended time. Next, apply the colored gel and cure it, and repeat this step for the topcoat. Finally, remove the sticky residue using alcohol wipes. You should notice that the new gel will adhere correctly, and the lifted area would be unnoticeable.
In conclusion, fixing lifted gel nails is a simple process that can be done at home with the right tools and patience. Once you have cured your new gel nails correctly, be mindful of the products you use and avoid exposing your nails to prolonged water, oil, or heat, to ensure that your nails remain strong and healthy.
Finishing Touches and Maintenance
Getting a perfect DIY gel manicure not only involves the application of the polish but also the finishing touches and maintenance. In the previous sections, we have discussed how to apply the gel nail polish and how to fix lifted nails. The final steps involve touching up the nails to make them look perfect and maintaining them to extend their lifespan. Below, we’ll share some tips on how to add the finishing touches and maintain your gel nails.
1. Remove the Sticky Residue
After curing your nails, some residue may be left behind on the surface. The residue forms as a result of the reaction between the air and the topcoat. To remove the sticky layer, use a lint-free cotton pad and soak it in a solution of isopropyl alcohol. Gently wipe the nails until the residue disappears. This will leave your nails with a shiny and smooth finish. Once you have removed the residue, avoid touching your nails or soaking them in water for the next few hours until the polish is completely dry.
2. Apply Cuticle Oil
Gel nails can be harsh on the surrounding skin. Applying cuticle oil a few times a day will keep the skin healthy and hydrated. The oil also helps to lift any dry areas, making your nails look more even. To apply, use a small brush and gently massage it around the nail bed. Don’t forget to also apply the oil on your toes if you have a gel pedicure. Cuticle oil not only nourishes the skin, but it also protects the nails from any surrounding damage.
3. Avoid Tasks that can Cause Damage
Gel nails are strong, but they are not completely indestructible. Avoid exposing your nails to extreme heat or cold – hot water, for example, can cause the polish to lift. Avoid trying to open sodas or cans with your nails, as this can lead to chipping or even breaking. When doing tasks that require exposing your nails to water or chemicals, make sure to wear gloves to minimize any damage. With good care, a gel manicure can last for weeks, but it depends on how well you take care of your nails.
4. Be Gentle When Removing the Polish
The best way to remove gel nail polish is by soaking your nails in acetone for about 15 minutes. Be careful not to use too much pressure when removing the polish. If the polish does not come off easily, soak the nails for a few more minutes before retrying. Trying to pry the polish off can cause damage to the natural nails. Once the polish is removed, make sure to apply cuticle oil and a high-quality hand moisturizer to rehydrate and nourish the nails.
5. Don’t Pick Your Nails
As tempting as it may be, avoid picking or peeling your nails. Doing so can cause the gel polish to lift or even peel off the natural nail. If you notice any lifting, fix it immediately following the steps we have shared above. By being gentle with your nails and handling them with care, they will look perfect for weeks on end.