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Step By Step Guide to Using Builder Gel for Beginners

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Nail technology means transforming your nails into a work of art, making them appear longer, stronger, and healthier. One of the most recent advancements in the world of nails is builder gel. This trending product is the perfect way to give your nails a stunning, smooth appearance ideal for any occasion. Why choose builder gel? Compared to traditional gel nail polishes, it’s much harder, adding an extra layer of protection to your nails, all whilst giving them that enviable, attractive appearance.

However, before applying this technique to your nails, you should abide by a few handy tips and tricks, all of which will help you achieve the perfect finish and use nail products safely. Read on to discover a step-by-step guide on how to apply builder gel.

A Step-by-Step Guide

Below, we’ve created a handy step-by-step guide to using builder gel nails.

1. Prep Your Nails

For the perfect builder gel nails, add a thin primer layer and base coat of builder gel to your nails. This should be applied after you’ve filed the surface of each nail. A slightly rough surface will help the builder gel to adhere to the nail, making your nails last longer. Run an electric buffer horizontally across the top of your nail for best results.

Once you have removed the shine from the surface of your nails, brush off any nail dust and wipe with a lint-free pad wet with isopropyl alcohol. This will allow for a clean starting surface and prevent dust from getting trapped underneath the builder gel.

Builder Gel

2. Add Primer

Add a primer, applying it in even layers to each of your nails, allowing it to air dry for between 5 and 10 minutes. Nail primer assists in removing oils or moisture from the surface of your nails, allowing the builder gel to adhere evenly.

3. Add Tips

If you’re planning on adding additional length to your nails, it is at this point in the process that you can apply artificial tips or nail forms. Add a base coat. This provides a protective layer between your nails and the gel finish.

Builder Gel

4. Apply Builder Gel

Apply the builder gel evenly and cure the nails under a UV lamp or LED light. Your nails should sit under the lamp for 1–2 minutes. For best results, use a brush to apply the builder gel, dabbing it onto the center of each nail and spreading it evenly across the surface area. Use a paintbrush instead if your builder gel doesn’t include a brush.

When you’ve completed this step, hold your hands upside down for ten seconds to encourage the gel to smooth out.

5. Decide on a Shape

Decide on what shape you would like your nails; this can be almond, stiletto, or square, and shape the tips using your favorite file. Finish by applying a gel nail polish or top coat, again curing for 1–2 minutes.

The longer and the more pointed the shape, the more glam the nails appear. Shorter, square, or round shapes are more suited for everyday wear as they boast a natural look.

Builder Gel

6. Attach nail forms or artificial tips for extensions.

Looking to add more length to your nails? As previously mentioned, artificial tips and nail forms are your go-to. Like plastic or paper templates that wrap around your natural nail, these help shape gel nail extensions.

For best results, shape the form to match the curve of your natural nail, tucking the edge underneath your nail. If applying nail tips, you’ll need to invest in nail glue, paint it onto the tip’s edge, and gently press it onto each nail’s surface for around five minutes or until dry.

Most people prefer nail forms, as they look more natural and are less harsh on your nails.

The Bottom Line

Achieving salon-worthy nails is an easy feat when you know how. The globally increasing market for nail cosmetics reflects the importance of the appearance of nails. Whether you visit a nail technician or opt for DIY gel nails at home, following the above tips will ensure enviable nails that look good and stand the test every time.

Builder gel is an asset to professional and at-home nail connoisseurs and is a game changer when adding length to your natural nails without using nail glue. This makes the entire process less invasive yet still ensures stronger, longer nails that can be any color of the rainbow.

Another advantage? If you’re into nail art, builder gel provides a strong, long, and smooth surface to apply various designs, too. These span from anything, including French tips to intricate designs and jewel embellishments.

Builder Gel

Applying the Builder Gel

Now comes the exciting part – applying the builder gel. Begin by applying a thin layer of base coat to your prepared nails. This helps the builder gel adhere better and provides a smooth surface. Once the base coat is cured, apply the builder gel in thin layers, building up the structure gradually. Ensure each layer is cured under the UV or LED lamp before applying the next one.

Pay attention to achieving an even application, especially near the cuticles and sidewalls. Take your time to avoid air bubbles or uneven surfaces. The curing process is crucial, so follow the recommended time for your gel under the lamp.

Shaping and Sculpting

After curing the builder gel, it’s time to shape and sculpt your nails. Use a nail file to shape the gel according to your desired nail shape – whether square, oval, or stiletto. Builder gel is versatile and allows easy sculpting to add length and structure to your nails. Be mindful of symmetry and balance, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes.

Designing with Builder Gel

One of the exciting aspects of using builder gel is the opportunity to create stunning nail art. You can keep it simple with a single-color application or get creative with intricate designs. If you’re using colored builder gels, apply them strategically to achieve the desired look. Consider adding additives like glitter or rhinestones for an extra touch of glamour.


In conclusion, using builder gel for nail enhancements opens up a world of possibilities for beginners and seasoned nail artists. This step-by-step guide has covered the basics of applying builder gel, from understanding the product to creating stunning designs. Don’t be afraid to experiment, practice, and let your creativity shine through your nail art. With builder gel, you can achieve professional-looking results and take your nail game to new heights. Enjoy the journey of creating beautiful, customized nails that reflect your unique style.

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