I’m Michelle from Manic Talons and gel polish is my “thing”. If you’re a gel user you know firsthand that gel polish is seriously lacking in certain finishes, such as crellies, unique glitter bombs, duo and multi-chromes, and linear holos. All of these are areas that KBShimmer has covered in spades! So I’m going to show you three ways to get the best of both worlds by pairing KBShimmer polishes with soak off gel polish.
Layering Polish on Top of Gel
Layering is the simplest way to pair traditional polish with gel.
1) Do a complete gel manicure start to finish.
2) Once you remove the tacky layer from the final top coat, apply the KBShimmer lacquer directly on top of the gel. There’s no need for a separate base coat as the gel takes care of that.
3) Finish with a fast dry top coat and you’re done.
Layering in this manner is awesome for several reasons. First, the gel provides serious strength to your nails. Second, regular polish dries much quicker over gel, so the wet nail wait is decreased. Third, regular polish applied in this manner over a soak off gel manicure wears like iron! I have had regular polish last for over a week on top of gel with minimal tip wear. Finally, you can remove the polish with non-acetone remover without harming the soak off gel manicure if you want to change things up!
Want to see a layered manicure? I started with a basic white soak off gel manicure using Couture Ooh La La French. I then applied two coats of Oh Splat! on top of the gel and finished with a fast dry top coat. The result is this gorgeously opaque mani with incredible depth.
The Regular Polish (RNP) Sandwich
The second way I like to pair regular polish with gel polish is to sandwich the regular polish between layers of gel. This one can be a bit tricky, but once you know the method the possibilities are endless! So, how do you create a successful RNP sandwich?
1) Apply your soak off gel manicure. This is your usual process with one slight modification. When applying each layer of gel, be sure to wrap the tip a bit deeper than you might usually. I like to wrap the gel so that it overflows approximately 1.5 mm under the tip of the nail. If your nails are shorter, you may not be able to wrap quite this deeply, but wrap as deep as you can without getting the gel on the skin under your nail.
2) After removing the tacky layer, apply a thin coat of your KBShimmer polish of choice. Cap the tip as usual, but not quite as deeply as you did with the gel. The trick is to leave a margin of gel exposed under the tip of the nail so that the final gel top coat can bond with it unobstructed. Allow the coat of polish to dry before applying a second coat if needed. At this point, you might choose to apply a fast dry top coat to speed things along, but it is completely optional.
3) Now we wait for the polish to COMPLETELY dry.
If you used only 1 thin coat, wait at least 1-2 hours before proceeding to step 4. If you applied two or more coats or used a thicker coat, allow a minimum of 4-6 hours. The dry time is crucial to creating a successful RNP sandwich. If the RNP is not completely dry before adding the gel top coat, the top coat will chip off within hours. Or worse, the RNP will wrinkle under the top coat and destroy your beautiful manicure.
4) Once the RNP is completely dry, apply a layer of gel top coat. Be sure to wrap the top coat deeply like you did with the base gel manicure. This allows the top coat to grab the gel under the tip of the nail and completely seal in the RNP. I usually apply two coats of gel top coat just to be sure I have completely covered the RNP, but that is definitely optional as it tends to add thickness to the nail.
5) Remove the tacky layer, apply cuticle oil, and enjoy your longer lasting manicure! I just removed a RNP sandwich mani from my right hand that lasted the full 2 weeks without a single chip. It could have gone longer, but the growth was driving me nuts. 😉
Want to see an RNP sandwich? I thought you might. I started with a base gel manicure and used Couture Royalty as my gel color. I then topped it with one coat of KBShimmer Clown Puke, waited for it to dry, and finished with two coats of soak off gel top coat. The gel top coat pairs really well with this one and smooths the glitter effortlessly. I seriously LOVE this polish! Every time I dipped the brush, I discovered a new glitter I hadn’t seen before. I’m quite certain there are more shapes, colors and sizes in the bottle that are not represented here!
Nail Art and Accents
The final way I like to use regular polish with gel is for basic nail art. In this manicure, I did a RNP sandwich on the index and pinkie nails and dotted the middle and ring fingers with Pigment of My Imagination. I also use RNP for stamping regularly. When using RNP for nail art, it still needs to dry completely before adding the gel top coat, so the amount of time will depend on the thickness of the layers in the artwork.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned a few new tricks. I invite you to swing by my blog at www.manictalons.com for gel polish swatches and nail art combinations.
Thank you, Christy, for inviting me to share these methods!