Hey.. kinda new myself, and yeah, gels can be a stinker! Be patient with yourself. I've found a good self leveling gel is magic... and cuts file time down!
Acrylics... the thing I've found that helps a lot with smoothing is a good light. Look at the nail from all angles and watch how the light...
Even before I started my training as a nail tech I felt these were wrong, wrong, wrong!
After months of training, my opinion hasn't changed. The science is sound, and Washington State nail techs, at least the licensed ones with good ethics, can't do them!
The images make me cringe!