Our 5 Best Tips for Perfect Gel Manicures

Le mini macaron - 5 best tips for perfect gel mani

We’ve talked application tips before, but these are the tips and tricks you may not know that will have you painting perfect, long-lasting gel manicures like a pro. Ready to love gel polish as much as we do?

Shake, Shake, Shake

Le Mini Macaron - 5 best tips for perfect mani

Because of the thicker texture of gel polish versus regular nail polish, gel polish really needs to be shaken before each use. This will help even out the texture for easier, more even application.

Prep Your Nails

Le Mini Macaron - 5 best tips for perfect mani

Say it with us: Prep is the most important step! (It even rhymes so you can’t forget it.) Having a great foundation before you paint can make or break your manicure. After you’ve pushed back your cuticles and filed your nails and nail surface, clean off dust and oils with a non-acetone polish remover. Do not, we repeat DO NOT, touch ANYTHING (not your face, your hair, your phone, nothing!) after you have cleaned off the dust and oils. Gel needs a clean, dehydrated surface for best, long-lasting results.

Paint A Thin First Layer

Le Mini Macaron - 5 best tips for perfect mani

The first coat must be an ultra-thin one! To get this thin first layer, we like to remove all excess gel from the brush by swiping it along the neck of the bottle until it’s almost transparent (enough that you can see the bristles). The second layer can be a bit thicker and while most of our gels only require 2 coats for full coverage it’s always better to paint 3 thin coats than 2 thick coats.

Avoid Retraction

Le Mini Macaron - 5 best tips for perfect mani

Due to its texture, it’s normal for gel polish to retract sometimes. To help avoid this, don’t let the gel polish get too much air. A good rule to follow: If the brush is not on the nail, the nail should be in the lamp. Remember to paint your nails one by one (with a Maxi lamp paint two by two). Also, painting your entire nail, all the way to the tip and capping the edge, helps with retraction.

Correct Mistakes Before You Cure

Le Mini Macaron - 5 best tips for perfect mani

Mani mistakes happen but be sure to clean imperfections before you cure. Gel polish cures dry under the LED lamp, so if you get polish on your skin/cuticles and cure it, it won’t come off. Use the opposite end of the cuticle stick or our Le Round brush dipped in acetone to clean polish off your cuticles BEFORE you cure.

Bonus Tip!

Le Mini Macaron - 5 best tips for perfect mani

Our most important tip is practice & patience. Gel polish like most new things has a learning curve. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. You may even learn more tips and tricks along the way. Give yourself time, practice, and patience to get it just right and you’ll be painting perfect gel manis in no time!