Is Color Gel Nail Polish Safe to Use on Natural Nails?

Gel polishes are safe on natural nails if placed over a gel base coat.

Photo: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Who doesn't want a beautiful, fade- and chip-resistant, semi-permanent nail color? Colored gel nail polishes have hit the main stream, no longer restricted to artificial nails. Base coats specifically formulated for use with gel polishes protect your natural nails from permanent tints and other damages. As long as you have a gel clear coat protecting your nails, you can take advantage of a long lasting gel nail color that won't come off until you take it off!

Prepare Your Nails

Just like any other nail polish application, gel base coats and colored polishes adhere better with a clean, dry nail. Make sure you have removed any previous nail polish and wipe each nail clean with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. Push your cuticles back with a wooden cuticle stick. If you are going to have a shiny, long lasting nail color, you want your natural nails to look their best.

Add a Base Coat

A normal clear base coat will not protect your natural nails from the effects of colored gel polish. A clear gel polish works best to not only prevent the gel color from permanently tinting your natural nail but maximizes the staying power of gel polishes. Apply one layer of the clear gel base coat to each of your natural nails and let air dry for a minimum of three minutes.

Pile on the Color

After the gel base coat has dried, you can add the colored gel polish of your choice. Gel polishes are extremely well pigmented and shouldn't require more than one or two coats to capture your desired color. Paint each of your natural nails in a normal fashion, letting the polish set for three minutes before adding another layer. Colored gel polishes dry quickly, but may still smudge in the first couple of minutes.

Removing Colored Gel Polish

Colored gel polish won't come off with your normal non-acetone fingernail polish remover. This gel polish has some serious staying power. When you're bored with your current nail color or need a color change to match your new outfit, soak each of your nails in acetone for 10 minutes and wipe off any remaining colored gel polish with a cotton ball.

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