The evolution of nail art from mere coloring techniques to an industry in itself is commendable. The nail art industry has seen quite a few fads over the years – pop colors, the neon trend, embellished nails, the classy French manicure, etc. And now adding to this list is the latest trend – gel nail strips. Convenient, easy to apply, low maintenance, and available in numerous splendid designs, nail strips have taken the fashion-conscious generation by the rage.
Nail Gel Strips are typically composed of several layers that serve definite functions to create a neat, salon-like finish at a much lesser cost.
Though extensively popular for their non messy formula and easy application, the longevity and neatness of the product lie significantly on the method of application and maintenance. But fear not! ‘Cause we are here with all the necessary info and suggestions to make your nail art experience a memorable one!
Definition And Composition Of Gel Nail Strips
To ace your first DIY experience with gel nails, it’s best to start with the basics. Nail Gel Strips or Gel Nails as it is sometimes called is a gel-like nail product that hardens on curing, giving almost a similar appearance to that of natural nails.
Gel nail strips are typically composed of several layers, each serving a specific purpose:
The topmost layer is made of a durable, flexible, and glossy gel material, providing the desired nail art design. This layer is the visible part of the final product and is designed to resist chipping.
The middle layer binds the nail strip to the natural nail. The adhesive is just strong enough to hold the strip in place but gentle on the nails.
The base layer is peeled off before applying to the natural nail. This peel protects the product while not in use and prevents premature hardening.
The three layers in combination work to achieve a smooth seamless finish with minimal damage to the natural nail bed.
How Gel Nail Strips Differ from Traditional Nail Polish and Nail Extensions?
Gel nail strips enhance the appearance of nails just like conventional nail art methods but differ in their methods of application and maintenance. The major differences that set the strips apart from the rest are listed below.
Gel nail strips are by far the least messy way to get attractive nails! They come designed to make the process easy, with a simple peel-and-stick method. The gel strips are malleable until the protective layer is peeled.
The chip-resistant gel combination guarantees higher durability than conventional nail products. They can easily last up to 1-2 weeks with proper maintenance.
The removal technique for strips is much gentler on natural nails than acetone removal for conventional nail polish.
Nail gel strips have become popular due to their easy application techniques, but more so because they offer a cheaper alternative to professional salon-prepped nails. Hence they offer quality of nail extensions at the rate of conventional nail techniques.
Benefits Of Gel Nail Strips
The popularity of nail strips can be attributed to several of their benefits:
Nail strips offer a quick and efficient way to achieve salon-quality nail art without spending hours at a nail salon.
The gel layer in the nail strips provides long-lasting wear, resisting chips and cracks for extended periods.
3. Quick action
Unlike traditional gel nails, gel nail strips do not require UV lamp curing (2), reducing the risk of smudges and saving time.
4. Vast Design Options
Nail strips come in various designs, from intricate patterns to simple solid colors, catering to diverse tastes and occasions.
5. Less damaging to natural nails
This would be, by far, the most important – how strips provide better quality with better protection to the natural nail bed, even with fairly frequent application and removal.
How To Apply Gel Nail Strips?
The application of nail strips is simple, hassle-free and even satisfying for some! With some extra care, you can make your nails last much longer. Here we are taking you along a simple step-by-step routine to apply your gel nails in the correct manner.
Step 1 – Preparation
Start by shaping and cleaning your nails to ensure a smooth surface for application. Push back cuticles and remove any excess oil or polish from the nails.
Step 2 – Selecting the Right Size
Choose the gel nail strips that best fit your natural nails. It’s essential to have a strip that covers the entire nail bed without overlapping the skin.
Step 3 – Peeling and Applying
Carefully peel off the protective backing from the gel strip, taking care not to touch the adhesive. Align the strip with the cuticle and press it onto the nail bed, ensuring it sticks firmly.
Step 4 – Trimming
Once applied, use a nail clipper or scissors to trim the excess strip at the tips of the nails for a perfect fit.
Step 5 – Smoothing and Sealing
Gently smooth out the strip over the nail to remove any air bubbles or creases. Seal the edges and tips by pressing down firmly.
You may further apply some clear topcoat for some extra shine and you are ready to go!
Maintaining And Removing Gel Nail Strips
To ensure your nails look flawless for an extended period, follow the right aftercare practices for gel nails and these maintenance tips:
Maintaining Gel Nail Strips
Removing your nail strip is as simple as it gets, but some extra care can go a long way in maintaining the health of your nails.
- Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Refrain from using acetone-based nail polish removers (1), as they can weaken the adhesive and damage the gel layer. Opt for non-acetone removers instead.
- Be Cautious with Water: While gel nail strips are water-resistant, prolonged exposure to water may cause them to lift at the edges. Wear protective gloves when doing household chores or prolonged submersion.
- Avoid Nail Biting: Chewing on nails can cause the gel strips to peel prematurely. Break this habit to maintain the longevity of the nail strips.
- Use Top Coat: Applying a clear top coat over the nail strips can add an extra layer of protection and shine, further extending their lifespan.
- Prepare the Nails: Start by washing your hands to remove any dirt or oils from the nails. If there are any existing nail polishes for nail art on the nails, remove them using a non-acetone nail polish remover.
- Gently Lift the Edges: Take a cuticle pusher or a wooden cuticle stick and gently lift the edges of the gel nail strip at the cuticle area. Be careful not to apply too much force to avoid damaging the natural nails.
- Peel off the Strips: Once you’ve lifted the edges, use your fingers to peel off the strips from the nail bed. If the strips are not coming off easily, avoid forcing them and try gently lifting the edges from different angles.
- Buff the Residue: If there is any remaining adhesive or gel residue on the nails after removing the strips, you can use a nail buffer to lightly buff it away. However, be gentle to avoid thinning or damaging the natural nails.
- Cleanse the Nails: After removing the strips and any residue, use a cotton pad or lint-free wipe soaked in rubbing alcohol or nail cleanser to cleanse the nails. This will remove any remaining traces of adhesive or gel and prepare the nails for any subsequent nail treatments.
- Moisturize the Nails: After cleansing, apply a nourishing cuticle oil or hand cream to moisturize and hydrate the nails and cuticles. This helps to maintain the health of your natural nails after the removal process.
Choosing the Best Gel Nail Strips
There are numerous brands of gel nail strips in the market catering to different clientele. Here are some pointers to look at while making your pick.
Quality of Gel Material: Look for strips made from high-quality gel materials that provide durability, chip-resistance, and a glossy finish.
Check for nail strips with strong adhesive properties that ensure the strips stay in place for an extended period without peeling or lifting.
Choose brands that offer a wide variety of designs, patterns, and colors to suit your personal style and preference.
Nail Size Options
Ensure that the nail strips come in various sizes to fit different nail shapes and sizes accurately.
Ease of Application
Opt for strips with user-friendly application methods that require minimal tools and no curing lamps.
Look for nail strips that are gentle on the natural nails and do not require excessive filing or buffing during application or removal.
Recommended Gel Nail Strip Brands
Some quality products you can try are:
- Paintbucket The Concrete Jungle Nail Wrap Bundle
- Ohora Semi Cured Gel Nail Strips
- Artips Mani Nail Wrap Kits
- ORLY x Lisa Frank Zoomer & Zorbit Nail Wraps.
All Set to Go!
Gel Nails Strips are an incredible addition to your nail care ensemble. With its hassle-free application techniques and splendid range of designs, gel nails are clearly in season. So, why wait? Grab your kit and go crazy!
Relatively not. As compared to traditional methods of nail care and nail art like nail polish and nail extensions, nail strips offer a barrier between the gel composition and natural nail, hence reducing the damage.
The two types of gel nails defined by their method of application are Gel Nail Polish that requires curing under a UV lamp and Gel Nail Strips.
With proper care, gel nail strips can last easily up to 1-2 weeks. Durability of the product depends majorly on the quality of the strip, the application technique and maintenance.
Nail strips are relatively low on chemicals and toxic substances, but like any artificial cosmetic poses the chance of rashes. Always test any product before use.
Gel Nail strips can be easily removed by a cuticle pusher, by pushing along the nail bed and lifting the edges. Always make sure the nails are cleansed and prepped before removal to avoid any infection.
Gel nails last relatively longer as they are chip resistant and durable.