How to Prevent Uneven Color in Gel Nails

The proper application will keep gel colors even and bright.
The proper application will keep gel colors even and bright. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Gel nail polish has many added benefits. The polish dries almost instantaneously, lasts for up to two weeks, and produces a high shine that is both elegant and durable. Gel nail manicures also require some practice to create an even color because the polish is rather thick and sticks to the nail so effectively. Producing an even, blended color and preventing fading or unevenness can be accomplished during the application process to create a high-quality manicure you can set and forget.

Things You'll Need

  • Nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Four-sided nail buffer
  • Gel manicure base adhesive
  • Gel nail polish
  • Gel nail LED light

Apply a small amount of nail polish remover to a cotton ball and sweep over all of your nails to remove any dirt, oils or leftover nail polish. Wipe off any excess nail polish remover with a clean cotton ball.

File your nails using a gentle four-sided nail buffer to remove any ridges or bumps on the overall surface of the nail. This step will create a smooth base for even nail color application.

Apply the base adhesive coat to one nail. This coat will be very tacky on the nail and should be applied as evenly and thinly as possible. Start from the base of the nail and work up to the tip of the fingernail in smooth, even strokes. Start with a center stroke. Follow up with a stroke on the right side of the nail and finally on the left side.

Apply the gel nail polish on the same nail right after you have applied the adhesive base. Sweep even, gentle strokes up from the base of the nail to the tip of the fingernail to get even coverage. It should only take 3-4 sweeps over the nail to create an even, solid foundation of color. Be sure to paint over the top edge of the nail to seal in the color across the entire surface.

Repeat the adhesive base and gel nail polish steps with each fingernail until all of your fingernails have been painted.

Set the color with an LED light. Most gel manicure sets will come with this light which works to set the gel coating and keep the color intact for around two weeks. This final step will ensure that the nails do not fade or become uneven. Keep the nails under the light for about one minute to set properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint your nails in bright, good lighting so you can tell that the base coat and color is even.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for any type of gel manicure you purchase.

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