Gel Mani Using Regular Nail Polish

Nothing to Disclose

I have loved my gel manicure system ever since I purchased it (read here).  It’s easy enough and gives me a chip-free manicure for about 2 weeks, and since I work with my hands a lot that is a huge lifesaver.  The only downside?  Being limited to only using gel polishes, when I have a huge stash of regular polishes that I have collected over the years.  Being the Google-savy person that I am, I searched to see if it was possible to use regular polish with the gel system.  Low and behold, there is a way!  Hallelujah!

Step 1:

Prep nails as you usually would (file, trim cuticles, buff, clean), just like if you were doing a regular gel manicure.  Apply base coat then cure (just as you normally would do).

Step 2:

Apply regular polish, use as many coats as you desire (just as you would when regularly painting nails).  It does not matter what color or type of polish you are using.  The trick is:

You have to let the polish completely dry.

That means, you have to play the waiting game.  This part is crucial, I wait at least 30 minutes before moving on to the next step.  If you don’t wait until it dries, the gel system will not work.  You do not need to cure in this step.

Step 3:

Apply top coat, then cure.  Wipe off excess using isopropyl alcohol, then you’re done!

Pretty easy breezy, right?  I do this all the time, depending on the polish it usually lasts a week  and a half until I see fading on the edges.  Now that is amazing wear time for someone like me, polish chips on me after a day.  Now I can enjoy the longevity of a gel manicure with my regular polishes, holler!

Do you get gel manicures?  What’s your favorite system?

Listen to your inner muse and take a chance.  –Iris Apfel

Drink water. Wear SPF.

About/Disclaimer: I am currently a makeup artist and esthetician in the Kansas City area. It is my life’s passion to make people look and feel their best! Click here to learn more about me.


About Peace Love and Glitter

I believe that everyone has the right to feel pretty.

15 thoughts on “Gel Mani Using Regular Nail Polish

  1. OO I’ve been wanting to try this for a while cuz I cant bear to let got of my huge polish stash! Thanks for being the guinea pig!
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  2. I am so going to try this!
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  3. Thanks for posting this! I have not tried this yet, but I JUST KNEW it had to work. I am doing it ASAP when I get home!

  4. DIDI

    So glad I found this! Doing this immediately!

  5. I’ll have to try this soon, thanks for writing about it.

    • NP Jeanie! I’ve done this several times since I wrote things, and I’ve actually found that if you cure the topcoat twice it lasts a little longer. Let me know how it turns out!

  6. Thanks so much for testing this out! Positively brilliant.

    • I love doing this technique! I hope you try it!

      • Anonymous

        Hi!! tahnks for posting this info. can you still use the UV Light with regular nail polish. Thanks

      • I haven’t tried it with a UV light, but I imagine it would work the same depending on what gel system that you use. The UV lights are said to be more harmful to the skin though, so just keep that in mind.

  7. Taylor Schiffelhuber

    I am trying this as we speak ! I hope it works I love my red carpet gel system but the polish is expensive and I have so much all ready !! Thank you for this idea !!!!

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