February 27, 2023
Salon-Quality Designs at Home: Gel Nail Strips
Love the look of gel nails but want something a bit more — well — foolproof? Enter gel nail strips! With gel nail strips, you can get premade designs already styled how you want them. Also, they’re less likely to chip or peel like regular nail strips, and they look better once they’re on and cured. And doing them at home means you’ll save on the cost of hitting the salon every month or so!
How do you use gel nail strips?
Gel nail strips are similar to other nail strips, but they do need to be cured under a gel nail lamp. They will arrive semi-soft. They are about 60% cured already, meaning they can still be molded to your nail, but they need to go under the light to fully harden.
To apply your gel nails, first find the appropriate size for each nail. Take off the piece you want, and line up the bottom with your cuticle, then press it firmly onto your nail. Using a small pair of scissors or a nail clipper, cut off most of the excess strip on top, then fine-tune the shape with a nail file. The final placement should cover your nail without going over it. Continue this process with all of your other nails. After a final check, it’s time to set the polish under your gel nail lamp. Check the instructions on your gel nail strips for how long to do this for. And you’re all set!
How long do gel nail strips last?
Just like gel polish, gel nail strips last about two weeks! Many find that they can last even longer, but for your nails’ health, it’s a good idea to remove them after two weeks.
How do you prepare gel nails for strips?
Prepping can make all the difference in how long your gel manicure stays and how nice it looks, so be sure to prep your nails before applying your nail strips. Remove your cuticles, or else you risk the part covering your cuticles coming off (not to mention it’ll look bumpy and unsightly). Then, file your nail tips to the desired shape/length. Buff your nails for smoother results. Finally, brush and clean your nails well to remove any leftover particles, ensuring that your cleaned nails are completely dry, and you’re ready to apply your gel nail strips! Important note: Don’t apply any oils to your nails before application! They need to be free of water AND oil in order for the strips to go on right.
Can you use gel nail strips without a UV light?
No! You definitely need a UV light to finish curing the strips. They are slightly cured in order to maintain their shape, but that doesn’t mean that they’re ready to go like regular nail strips. They still need to be cured to bond to your nails and harden into the shiny gel look we all know and love!
How to remove gel nail strips
Apply remover and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, using a flat, hard surface (a cuticle pusher is great for this), slowly push away at the edges of the gel polish strip. If you feel any resistance, stop and add more remover.
What can I do with leftover nail strips?
Save them! You might have enough for a second application, especially if your nails are short!