Gelish Nail Polish – How to Apply In 6 Steps

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Ever wished your home-manicured nails could rival those of a salon professional? Here’s a fun fact: Gelish Nail Polish, a soak-off gel polish, can help you achieve just that! In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process to apply Gelish nail polish perfectly at home.

Join us as we unravel the secrets behind long-lasting and glossy gel manicures!

  • The Gelish Fantastic Four Pack is a must-have for applying Gelish nail polish at home, as it includes key products like foundation, top coat, pH bond, and cuticle oil.
  • Using an LED or UV nail lamp is essential for curing the gel polish and achieving a long-lasting manicure.
  • Applying the bonding agent helps promote adhesion and enhances the longevity of your gel manicure.
  • Lint-free wipes are important for achieving a flawless gel polish application by removing residue without leaving behind fibers.
  • A nail file and buffer play a crucial role in preparing your nails before applying gel polish, creating a smooth surface, and promoting healthy nail growth.
  • Using a cuticle pusher ensures a professional-looking application by pushing back cuticles and creating a clean canvas for the gel polish.

7 Things You Need to Apply Gelish Polish

To apply Gelish polish, you will need the Gelish Fantastic Four Pack, your choice of Gelish color, an LED or UV nail lamp, bonding agent, lint-free wipes, a nail file and buffer, and a cuticle pusher.

Gelish Fantastic Four Pack

The Gelish Fantastic Four Pack forms the backbone of any professional nail kit. This pack is essentially a one-stop-shop for your manicure needs featuring four key products: a foundation, top it off sealer, pH bond and nourish cuticle oil.

First, the foundation works by adhering to the natural nail plate, allowing for optimal adhesion of gel polish shades you apply later on. The Top It Off sealer provides a high shine finish and prevents chipping or peeling, ensuring that your manicure lasts longer.

Additionally, there’s also pH Bond inside this fantastic pack which balances your nails’ pH levels for superior adherence of all subsequent layers while removing excess moisture from your nails in seconds.

Not forgetting the Nourish Cuticle Oil – its primary function is to rehydrate and replenish essential oils lost during sanitization and filing processes right into the skin surrounding nail plate enhancing overall health of your fingers too! All these elements combined in one package make applying Gelish Nail Polish not only a breeze but also delivers long-lasting results every time.

Gelish Color of Choice

Choose your Gelish color of choice to add a pop of personality to your nails. With a wide range of vibrant and trendy shades available, you can find the perfect color to match any outfit or mood.

Whether you prefer classic reds, bold blues, or shimmering metallics, Gelish has got you covered. The highly pigmented formula ensures rich and long-lasting color that will stay flawless for up to two weeks.

So go ahead and express yourself with Gelish – your nails will thank you!

LED or UV Nail Lamp

To properly apply Gelish Nail Polish, you will need either an LED or UV nail lamp. These lamps are essential for curing the gel polish and ensuring a long-lasting manicure. The lamp emits light that activates the chemicals in the gel polish, causing it to harden and adhere to your nails.

The curing time for each coat of gel polish varies depending on the brand and type of lamp you use, so be sure to follow the instructions provided with your specific lamp. Investing in a quality LED or UV nail lamp is crucial for achieving salon-quality results at home and enjoying beautiful, chip-free nails that last up to two weeks.

Bonding Agent

The bonding agent is a crucial step in applying Gelish nail polish. It helps to promote adhesion and enhance the longevity of your manicure. After prepping your nails and pushing back your cuticles, applying the bonding agent is the next important step.

Simply brush on a thin coat of the bonding agent onto each nail, ensuring full coverage from cuticle to free edge. This will create a strong bond between your natural nail and the gel polish, preventing chipping or lifting.

By properly applying the bonding agent, you can enjoy a beautiful and long-lasting Gelish manicure without any worries.

Lint-Free Wipes

To achieve a flawless gel polish application, it’s crucial to have lint-free wipes on hand. These wipes are specially designed to remove any residue or excess product without leaving behind fibers that can interfere with the final result.

After each step of the application process, use a lint-free wipe soaked in cleansing solution to gently clean the nail surface. This ensures that your nails are prepped and ready for the next layer of gel polish.

By using lint-free wipes, you’ll be able to achieve a professional-looking manicure without any unwanted fuzz or debris getting in the way.

Nail File and Buffer

To achieve a smooth and polished surface for your gel manicure, you’ll need a nail file and buffer. These tools play an important role in the preparation process before applying the gel polish.

First, use the nail file to shape your nails to your desired length and style. You can choose between different grits depending on the amount of filing you need to do. Next, use the buffer to gently buff away any ridges or imperfections on the surface of your nails.

This will create a smooth canvas for the gel polish application, ensuring that it adheres evenly and lasts longer. Remember to be gentle while using these tools to avoid damaging your natural nails.

In addition, using a nail file and buffer also helps with removing any excess shine from your nails after applying structure gels or other products in the preparation process. By doing so, it allows for better adhesion of each gel layer during application.

Furthermore, filing and buffering not only enhances the appearance of your manicure but also promotes healthy nail growth by preventing peeling or flaking due to uneven surfaces.

Cuticle Pusher

To ensure a professional-looking gel nail application, don’t forget to include a cuticle pusher in your nail polish kit. This handy tool is essential for pushing back your cuticles and creating a clean canvas for the gel polish.

By gently pushing back the cuticles, you’ll not only have a smoother nail surface but also prevent any excess polish from getting on the skin around your nails. Incorporating this step into your gel polish routine will give you better control over where the polish goes and result in a neater and more precise application.

Invest in a good quality cuticle pusher that is comfortable to hold and has a rounded edge to avoid any damage to your nails or surrounding skin. With its help, you can achieve salon-quality results right at home!

6-Step Guide to Applying Gelish Nail Polish

Prep your nails by filing and buffing, apply bonding agent and base coat, choose your Gelish color, cure under a lamp, and finish with top coat for long-lasting results. Keep reading to learn the proper techniques for flawless gel polish application!

Prep the Nails.

To get your nails ready for Gelish Nail Polish application, start by ensuring they are clean and dry. Use a cuticle pusher to gently push back your cuticles, giving you a neat canvas to work on.

Next, take a buffer and lightly buff the surface of your nails to remove any shine. This step helps the gel polish adhere better. By prepping your nails properly, you’re setting yourself up for a beautiful and long-lasting manicure that will make heads turn.

Apply Bonding Agent.

To ensure a strong and long-lasting manicure with Gelish Nail Polish, it’s important to apply the bonding agent. This step helps the gel polish adhere securely to your nails. After prepping your nails and pushing back your cuticles, apply a thin coat of Gelish Structure Gel from the cuticle to the free edge.

This will help build structure on your nail and create a solid base for the gel polish. Make sure to seal the edges of your nails as well for added durability. Applying the bonding agent is an essential part of achieving a beautiful and professional-looking gel manicure that lasts.

Apply Gelish Base Coat.

To apply Gelish Nail Polish, start with clean, dry nails. After pushing back your cuticles, it’s time to apply the base coat. Gelish Base Coat creates a strong foundation for your manicure, ensuring long-lasting wear.

Apply a thin, even layer of the base coat to each nail and be sure to cap the free edge. This will help prevent chipping and lifting. Once applied, cure the base coat under a UV or LED lamp for the recommended amount of time.

The base coat not only provides extra adhesion for your gel polish but also helps protect your natural nails from staining and damage.

Apply Gelish Color.

To apply Gelish color, start by ensuring that your nails are clean and dry. Push back your cuticles for a neat look. Then, apply a thin coat of Gelish Structure Gel from the cuticle to the free edge of each nail to build structure and promote longevity.

Seal the edges of the nails with the Structure Gel for added durability. Afterward, use a buffer to remove any shine on your nails before applying the Gelish color polish. Apply a thin coat of your chosen shade to each nail, making sure to cap the free edge.

Cure under a UV or LED lamp for 30 seconds for optimal results. For longer-lasting wear, you can apply a second coat of Gelish color and cure again under the lamp. Finally, finish off your manicure by applying Gelish Top It Off Gel and curing one last time under the lamp.

Cure Under Lamp.

To achieve a long-lasting manicure with Gelish Nail Polish, it’s important to cure the polish under a UV or LED lamp. This step helps to harden the polish and ensure that it stays in place.

After applying your desired color of Gelish Soak-Off Polish, place your nails under the lamp for 30 seconds. This curing process sets the polish and gives it its glossy finish. For an extra durable manicure, apply a second coat of gel polish and cure again under the lamp.

Remember, properly curing your Gelish Nail Polish is key to achieving beautiful and lasting results for your at-home manicures.

Apply Gelish Top Coat.

To finish off your Gelish manicure, it’s important to apply the Gelish Top It Off Gel. This top coat not only adds a beautiful shine to your nails but also provides an extra layer of protection for your gel polish.

After applying two coats of your desired Gelish Soak-Off Polish and curing them under a UV or LED lamp, simply brush on the Gelish Top It Off Gel and cure it for the final time under the lamp.

This will ensure that your manicure lasts longer and stays looking flawless. Don’t forget this crucial step in achieving salon-quality results with your Gelish nail polish!

2 Tricks for a Perfect Application

To achieve a flawless application, remember to apply thin and even coats of gelish nail polish.

Capping the Edges

To ensure a long-lasting and professional-looking gel manicure, it’s important to cap the edges of your nails. This means applying a thin layer of gel polish along the free edge of each nail.

By doing this, you create an extra barrier that helps prevent chipping and lifting. When capping the edges, make sure to swipe the brush horizontally across the tip of each nail, covering it completely with gel polish.

Remember to also apply a thin coat of gel polish over the entire nail for even coverage and curing under the UV or LED lamp as directed for a flawless finish that will last.

Avoiding Bubbles

To achieve a smooth and bubble-free gel polish application, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. First, make sure your nails are completely clean and free of any oils or residue before starting.

Next, apply thin coats of the gel polish instead of thick ones. Thick layers can trap air bubbles and lead to an uneven finish. Additionally, be mindful of how you apply the polish – avoid shaking the bottle vigorously as this can introduce air bubbles into the product.

Instead, gently roll the bottle between your hands to mix it thoroughly. Finally, make sure to cap the free edge of your nails with each layer of polish to seal it off and prevent lifting.

3-Part Removal Process for Gelish Nail Polish

To remove Gelish nail polish, you’ll need to prep the nails and soak them in acetone before gently removing the polish with a cuticle pusher. Discover the step-by-step process for a clean removal at home.

Prep the Nails.

Before applying Gelish Nail Polish, it’s important to properly prep your nails. Start by cleaning your nails and removing any old polish. Push back your cuticles using a cuticle pusher, and use a nail file to shape your nails to your desired length and shape.

Next, gently buff the surface of each nail to remove any shine and create a smooth base for the gel polish. This step helps the gel polish adhere better to the nail bed. Finally, use a lint-free wipe soaked in rubbing alcohol or cleanser solution to cleanse each nail thoroughly, removing any residue or oils that could affect the longevity of your manicure.

Remember, proper preparation sets the stage for a flawless application of Gelish Nail Polish.

Soak Off with Acetone.

To remove Gelish Nail Polish, you will need to soak your nails in acetone. Start by saturating a cotton ball with acetone and placing it on top of each nail. Then, wrap each finger with aluminum foil to keep the cotton ball in place.

Let your nails soak for about 10-15 minutes to allow the acetone to break down the gel polish. Once the time is up, gently push off any remaining polish using a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick.

Remember to moisturize your nails and cuticles afterward to keep them healthy and hydrated.

Gently Remove with a Cuticle Pusher.

To remove Gelish Nail Polish, you will need a cuticle pusher. Gently use the flat end of the cuticle pusher to lift and scrape off the gel polish from your nails. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or scrape too hard, as this can damage your natural nails.

Take your time and be gentle when removing the polish to ensure a clean and smooth finish. Remember to follow up with proper nail care and moisturize your nails after removal to keep them healthy and strong.


Applying Gelish Nail Polish is a simple process that can give you long-lasting, salon-quality manicures at home. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve professional results every time.

So go ahead and try it out – your nails will thank you!


1. How can I properly apply Gelish nail polish?

Applying Gelish nail polish requires a step-by-step approach, including nail prep, application techniques, and the curing process.

2. What should beginners know about applying soak-off gel polish?

Gel polish for beginners involves learning key tips such as proper gel manicure application and understanding the removal process of the soak-off gel polish.

3. Can I use Gelish nail polish at home?

Yes, with careful attention to instructions in the gel nail tutorial, you can conduct a successful home gel polish application.

4. Are there specific methods for drying and curing Gelish Nail Polish?

The drying and curing methods are crucial in getting long-lasting results from your manicure – using correct techniques helps avoid common mistakes when applying Gelish Nail Polish.

5. Is it possible to create art with Gelish Nail Polish?

Absolutely! With practice and creativity, you can master various gel nail art techniques using different colors of Gelish Nail Polish options available for stunning designs.

6. Can I Use a Different Method to Make Gel Nail Polish at Home?

Yes, creating gel nail polish at home with a different method is possible. You can explore using alternative ingredients and techniques to achieve long-lasting, professional-looking gel manicures without visiting a salon. However, be sure to research and follow instructions carefully for safe and effective results.

7. Does maintaining my nails after applying a layer affect its longevity?

Nail care and maintenance plays an essential role during post-application period – Properly following the steps on how to care for your nails ensures that your manicure lasts longer.

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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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