Gel Polish Routine


Wash your hands thoroughly before wiping over both sides of the client’s hands with a mild antiseptic cleanser to clean the hands without softening the nails. Ask your client to remove any jewellery and store this away safely. Always protect the surfaces that you are working on from spills and ensure that the client is also well covered and protected.

Remove Polish

You may need to remove any nail varnish before assessing the condition of the client’s nails. Apply nail varnish remover with a cotton wool pad. Press the pad firmly onto the nail for a few seconds then slide it off the nail, squeezing gently against the nail plate to remove all traces of dissolved varnish. Carefully, pull back the nail walls from the sides of the nail plate to expose any hidden varnish. Use cotton wool wrapped around an orange stick, which has been dipped in nail varnish remover, to work around the nail border to ensure it is completely clean. Check for any contra-indications and discuss any conditions which may need addressing during treatment. Then proceed with the full manicure or pedicure routine prior to applying the gel polish.

Applying Gel Polish

Using the hoof stick resting on the nail plate, gently push back the cuticle working in small circular movements. Once this has been done, use a cuticle knife to gently loosen the eponychium from the nail plate. Work around the border in small circular movements, keeping the cutting edge towards the main body of the nail, and then repeat the procedure on the other hand. Hold the cuticle knife at a 45-degree angle to the nail plate and stroke in one direction only. It is important to use the correct technique when using the cuticle knife to prevent damage to the nail plate. If the free edge needs to be trimmed, then you should do so at this point.

Remove Surface Shine

You will need to remove the surface shine from the nail as if this is present, there will not be enough grip to bond the surface with the product. Never use a file that has less than a grit of 240 as this would cause too much damage to the nail place. Use the end of the fine grit file to work in the direction of the nail growth, towards the free edge. Do not remove any layers of the natural nail as this will cause damage. Keep your pressure light. Once you have removed the shine, shape the free edge with your file.

Over Exposure

Allergies are common when providing gel polish treatments and the therapist and client can both develop these through coming into contact with the products used. You will need to keep all your tools and work surfaces clean and disinfected, ensuring that there is no nail dust left over. Make sure you do not allow any of the gel products to touch your own or the client’s skin by avoiding the skin surrounding the nail and not touching the gel brush.

Dehydrating the Nail Plate

You will need to make sure that there are no traces of oil or moisture on the surface of the nail before the application of a gel overlay. This is because moisture will prevent the overlay from bonding to the nail. Wipe a dehydrating solution over the nail using a cotton wool pad and work from the edge of the nail in towards the finger. This should remove any dust created by filing. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a dehydrator. Apply primer to the nail plate, avoiding the cuticle and nail walls. Allow this to dry thoroughly.

Applying Gel Polish

Use a clean nail brush to apply the first coat of gel to the nail plate, near the cuticle. Repeat this on the other nails of one hand. Ask the client to put their hand in the lamp and cure the gel, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Repeat the process on the other hand. You can also add a gel topcoat or a sealing topcoat, which will give added shine to the nails. Add this in the same way, curing after application. Wipe the nails with a cleanser to remove any stickiness. Apply cuticle oil and massage in around the cuticle. Clients should be advised to return to the salon every two weeks for the gel polish to be removed and renewed if required.


  1. Welcome client to the appointment.

  2. Ask client to wash and sanitize hands upon entry, if they are not wearing a mask then ask them if they would like one from yourself.

  3. Client COVID questionnaire and general beauty client consent form.

  4. Once filled out ask client if they would like a refreshment (at this current time only bottled water is allowed) normally clients love a hot drink and a natter.

  5. Clean nail plate with acetone and nail wipe.

  6. Start to prep the cuticles, pushing back and then nipping.

  7. Ask the client what length and shape nail she would like and then file accordingly.

  8. Dehydrate the nail with solution and nail wipe (for gel bottle this is acetone)

  9. Ask client what colour they would like to choose.

  10.  Apply base coat and put into lamp (according to manufacturer’s instructions)

  11. Apply 2/3 thin layers of your colour making sure you cap the free edge (according to manufacturer’s instructions)

  12.  Apply topcoat and seal (according to manufacturer’s instructions)

  13. If your topcoat is tacky then wipe with nail cleanser (gel bottle is a nope wipe topcoat)

  14.  Apply cuticle oil

  15.  Finish with hand cream.

  16.  Advise clients rebook every 2/3 weeks.