Gimme Some Sugar!

Whether at brunch or work, everyone’s talking about gel nails, gel nail polish – gel, gel, gel! So what’s the difference between gel nail polish and traditional nail enamel? Read on, for the nail experts here at Sugar Skull are more than happy to break it down for you.

Sugar Skull Gel Nail Polish

Formulated with photo-reactive ingredients, gel nail polish requires curing (or drying) under a light-emitting diode (LED) or ultraviolet (UV) nail polish lamp. The curing process creates a powerful bond to the nail, delivering 14 days of long lasting color and shine. Much like a traditional enamel manicure, most gel nails are applied with a base, color, and top coat.

How does it all work, you ask? Each layer is applied and cured to a hard gel finish via a UV nail lamp, or, as in the case of Sugar Skull Gel, LED lamp. Each layer is formulated to work seamlessly with the layer underneath, making the bond very powerful.

There are a few different types of gel nail manicures you can get (see our Gel Nails 101 article for details!), but lamp-cured gel manicures are most often done in a nail salon.

What makes Sugar Skull Gel nail products different? First, they’re only compatible with LED lamps. Some UV gel brands require that you cure the color and top coat for 2 minutes per layer – Sugar Skull Gel is only a 30 second LED cure for the color coat and a 1-minute cure for the topcoat. So, Sugar Skull Gel delivers a super-fast mani-pedi service. Second, Sugar Skull Gel polish lasts for up to 14 shiny, happy days. It creates a rich, cushiony shine and a glossy finish that shields nails giving them you the ability to take on your daily activities, without chipping, peeling or looking scratched. And of course, Sugar Skull Gel comes in over 90 fashion-forward nail polish shades that are uniquely Sugar Skull. Talk about gel performance that deserves an encore!

Sugar Skull Gel Nail Polish Removal

Removing gel nail color is a bit more involved than traditional nail enamel. Here’s the step-by-step gel nail polish removal system we recommend to our salon partners and essie nail technicians:

  1. Thoroughly saturate an absorbent pad with acetone nail polish remover and place on nail.
  2. Wrap nail in aluminum foil snugly. A secure fit is essential for thorough removal. Let soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Gently lift foil and check if polish has lifted away from the nail. If not, re-wrap and soak another 5 minutes.
  4. Gently massage the foil at top of nail and pull foil wrap away from nail. When gel has lifted from nail, carefully remove any gel excess on nail with an orangewood stick (from cuticle to tip).
  5. Rub nail with a lint-free nail pad soaked in polish remover to remove any residue.
  6. Re-hydrate nails & cuticles with apricot cuticle oil.

Gel-like Nail Polishes

Looking for the strength and endurance of gel nails at home? Have we got a solution (or two) for you! Based on a new nail technology, gel-like nail polishes deliver the long lasting power of gel nail color with the ease of traditional nail enamels.

Traditional Nail Enamel

One of the benefits of a traditional nail manicure is the do-it-yourself aspect – it can be done at home at your convenience as well as by an expert nail technician at a salon. As traditional nail polish has also been available a lot longer than gel-like polishes, you have more color options to choose from when perusing the nail polish shelf. Traditional nail manicures generally consist of three coats; a base coat, the polish and a top coat, the main difference is that they air-dry without a lamp. Here’s how they work.

Base Coat

Applied first, a base coat is a clear or milky coat of polish that is used to smooth the surface and help polish adhere to nails.

Nail Color

Applied next, the color is your moment to make a major fashion statement. At Sugar Skull, we have more than 300+ shades of nail polish colors to choose from; the delicate, pale pink of ballet slippers, the dark, edgy, luxurious night shade of midnight cami. Apply two thin, even coats before moving to the next step.

Top Coat

Applied last the top coat is a clear polish that seals and protects freshly-applied nail color with a glossy finish to prevent chipping, scratching or peeling.

Traditional Nail Enamel Removal

Sugar Skull Gel nail colors swipe off with a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover.

Now that you know the difference between gel nail products and traditional nail enamel, you’ll be free to explore these fantastic nail options at your leisure. After all, changing her mind (and her look!) is every girl’s prerogative.

And who gives her the shade selection to match her ever-changing mood? Her nail color bestie, Sugar Skull Gel of course!

Looking for even more information? Explore the rest of this blog!

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