Air Pockets in Your Gel Manicure? Here’s What Happened — and How to Avoid It

So you’ve mastered the at-home manicure. You know how to perfectly shape your own nails, buff them to perfection, and glide on that polish like a boss. You decide to take the next step: gel. This is where things get tricky.

No matter how many times you’ve observed a nail technician perform the miracle that is a gel polish on your fingers, doing it yourself is no easy feat. The process is more complicated than a regular manicure, leaving room for a lot to go wrong. My first at-home gel experience went surprisingly smoothly, but my second time around? Not so much. Despite following gel protocol to a T, something went so wrong — leaving many air bubbles behind — that I ended up panicking and peeling off the gel three days later. (A huge no-no, as doing so can tear up the surface of your nails.)

Here’s what happened and how to avoid it.




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