Gel tip extensions are great for when you want to get a fresh new manicure without having to wait until your natural nails grow out into an even and perfect shape or you want to reduce the amount of chemicals that comes into contact with them. These tips are strong, very easy to apply, flexible, and can last for up to 6 weeks if applied properly. You can even apply nail polish and other nail art designs on top of them as if they were natural nails. With enough experience, you can even complete this process in under an hour.
In this short guide, we’ll show you how to apply gel tip nail extensions and a simple double french manicure. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll be using products included in Double Dip’s mini gel tip kit and dip powder kit. You are free to use other products and experiment with the way you apply your manicure. Just know that when it comes to gel tips, proper gel liquid application requires some trial and error if you’re a beginner at it. You might not get it right the first time, but what’s great about it is that it’s very forgiving of mistakes. So, without further ado, let’s right get to it.
Related article: How To DIY French Tip Dip Powder Manicure Tutorial
Step 1: Prepping Your Nails
Focus on your non-dominant hand first. Push back your cuticles then begin filing away at the surface of your nails to remove their shine. Grab a bottle of nail protein bond and paint a thin layer of it over your natural nails. This is a dehydrator which will make the gel adhere better to your nails and make your extensions last longer. Next, apply the adhesive primer to prevent your gel nail extensions from lifting over time. To finish prepping your nails, apply a layer of the 4-in-1 base coat over your nails, then cure them under the UV lamp provided in the mini gel tip kit for 30 seconds.
Step 2: Applying Nail Extension Tips
Assign a gelly extension tip to each of your nails, make sure to check if they are the correct size and shape to prevent gaps between the walls of your nails and the gelly tips. Start with any finger, then put a small amount of the 4-in-1 base coat gel under the gelly tip assigned to it (preferably underneath where the cuticle area would be on your natural nails). Place it over your natural nail and begin pushing down over the cuticle area then towards the edge. If you put the correct amount of the 4-in-1 gel, it should fill out the surface of your nails; too little will leave gaps where bacteria might grow and too much will make the gel drip underneath your natural nail and harm your nail bed when it cures. While pressing lightly on the tip and keeping it from moving around, cure your nail under the UV lamp for one minute. Repeat this process for the rest of your nails until you have a tip attached to each of your fingers.
Step 3: Filing the Tip
Grab your nail drill (sometimes called an E-File) and set the speed to around 6000 rpm. File around the cuticle area and the side walls until the shine of the extension tip is removed. You may use a hand file for this process if you don’t own a nail drill, but it will take longer to do.
Step 4: Applying the Dip Powder
As previously mentioned, you can apply any kind of nail polish over your gel extension tips, but for this process, we’ll be using strawberry mousse dip powder instead. Start by applying a thin and even layer of the dip base (labelled #2 in your dip powder kit) over one of your nails. Next, dip your finger into the dip powder then tap away the excess once you take it out. Do this for all the other nails in your hand. Afterwards, use a soft nail brush to dust away the extra powder in your skin and on your nails. Repeat this entire step to add as many layers of dip powder as you want. Since we’re using gel nail extension in this guide, you only need at least two layers. Adding more layers will make the color more pronounced, but it will also make your nails bulkier.
Note: Before applying dip powder, take time to read this article: What you need to know about Dip Flu?
Step 5: Applying the Activator
Grab your dip powder activator (labelled #3) and paint a copious amount of it over your dip powder nails. As the name suggests, this liquid hardens the nail powder and allows you to file it.
Step 6: Filing and Reshaping the Dip Powder
Use either a hand file or a nail drill to remove bumps on the surface and edges of your dip powder nails. This will also make your nails smoother and easier to apply the rest of your french manicure on.
Step 7: Apply More Activator
Add another layer of the activator liquid over your nails. Make sure to clean it afterwards using a lint free wipe so that the liquid doesn’t get into the brush you use to apply the top coat. If the activator mixes with the top coat liquid, the brush may harden as well.
Now it’s time to do the iconic French nail manicure. If you are a beginner, we suggest doing the next few steps one nail at a time. Otherwise, it is completely fine to do it all at once.
Step 8: Applying the Base Coat
Apply the base coat over your nail then cure it under the UV light lamp for one minute.
Step 9: Applying the French Tip
Get a powder pigment with the color of your liking. We’ll be using chrome powder pigment for this guide. Carefully apply the powder pigment over the area where you want the french tip to be. To make the application easier, you may use a soft brush like an eye liner applicator. Once you’re done, dust away the extra powder using a nail brush. Finish this step by applying top coat liquid and curing your nail under the UV lamp.
Step 10: Double French Outline
For that iconic double French manicure look, grab a bottle of gel nail art liner. Draw an outline of the french tip then add another line parallel to it towards the direction of the edge of your nails. Draw an outline for the rest of the french tip then cure your nail under the UV light lamp.
Step 11: Adding Rhinestones
This step is completely optional but gives your Double French manicure that extra shine (literally). Start by applying top coat over your nail. Next, pick up a couple small rhinestones using a pair of tweezers then place them over the cuticle area.
Repeat steps 8 - 11 for the rest of your nails if you haven’t already.
Step 12: Finishing Touches
After every manicure, rehydrate your nails by applying a generous amount of nourishing oil on them. Your nails are now good to go!
At this point, you should have a stylish new double French manicure for one of your hands, so it’s time to do the same for the other. If you want to check out more nail art designs and DIY manicure guides, check out the other guides we have here in the Double Dip Store website and our Youtube channel. Special thanks to KC Nails for showing us how she masterfully does her nails and providing useful tips.
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