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If you’ve been to a nail salon recently, you’ll know that builders are all the rage. They’re a more durable and strengthening alternative to conventional gel polish, resulting in gorgeous nails that can handle whatever life throws their way. The Gel Co London team created this short guide to flawless application.

A lot of nail techs make the mistake of treating builders like gels, which can result in unsightly application issues. Builders are a completely different entity, and come with their own unique application methods. 

So, are you ready to perfect your builder game and avoid much-dreaded pocket lifting? Read on to discover the best tips for flawless application. 

Why Some Builders Cause Lifting?

It can be boiled down to one simple thing: builders just aren’t as flexible as conventional gels.

You can counter this by adding an extra layer between the nail and the gel. Applying builder directly to the nail puts it at risk of flexing more than the nail itself, which causes the unattractive lift or pocket that has separated from the nail. 

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

How To Avoid Pocket Lifting When Using Builders 

One of the biggest differences between builders and regular gels is that builders require a bit more prep work. You’ll need a base to keep your builder manicure beautiful and smooth:

  • A gel base (not to be mistaken for a gel polish base coat), which will allow the gel to properly stick to the nail plate while providing the structure and thickness required to build the nail. 

Don’t be fooled by marketing that says these products aren’t needed. Real pros will know that they’re an essential step in any builder manicure. 

Now, let’s talk about your lamp! For best results, you’ll want to choose one that matches or has been tested with your builder. This ensures perfect curing. If you haven’t confirmed your lamp’s compatibility with the builder you’re using, be very mindful about heat levels. Stick to a low heat mode or avoid insertion for the first layer. Instead, hold the nails in a downwards position close to the lamp to create a slow and gentle cure. You can go back to your usual techniques afterwards. 

Other important routines include correct maintenance procedures, alongside a gentle nail prep and application. Damaged nails are more prone to lifting, so make sure you’re treating your clients’ fingertips with love and care. You’ll want to be extra mindful on larger nails like thumbs; the more curved the nail plate is, the more prone it will be to lifting.  

So there you have it! By following these practises, you’ll be a builder pro in no time!