Builder gel?!

Hi sorry to bother you i am currently using IBD gel. Its just the 2 types have thrown me?! can you just explain what the difference between builder gel and clear gel is please?!

Sassy Hassy

Well-Known Member
There are normally three stages in applying gel. There is the thin bonder layer, which you work into the nail plate. Then the builder layer which you build up your apex for maximum strength. Then there's the finishing layer, usually a very thin layer to give a high gloss finish. Some company's may call their product different names but this is the usual procedure.

Moving on from this, you then get two main types of gel, one component or 3 phase. One component does what it says on the jar! You use the same gel for all three steps. 3 Phase gels are exactly that, three different gels for each step, (so one for bunding, one for building and one to finish) each gel is designed to do it's job to maximum potential so these are often better IMO.

So a builder gel can be clear, pink etc, it's the job that it does rather than the colour of it.
I use IBD Gel and their builder gel (comes in pink and clear) and as sassy said this is for the building layer it is a hell of alot thicker than the clear gel which is the finishing gel or you can use ultra seal etc for this.




Gel Junkie
chrogers said:
Hi sorry to bother you i am currently using IBD gel. Its just the 2 types have thrown me?! can you just explain what the difference between builder gel and clear gel is please?!

hi ya....have you had any training with ibd? or did you get a dvd or instructions with the kit?

The BUILDER gel is a thicker consistancy to the normal just 'clear gel'.

For extra strenght and building your stress area (apex) use your builder.

SO if its tips your doing.....thin bonder gel....cure.....thin clear.....apply whites if your doing french.....builder gel......wipe buff to shape then either clear to finish/intense seal or ultra seal.

normal clears perhaps best for natural nail overlays

Im not a master with ibd but i have used it and do like it to work with.


amb x


Well-Known Member
A bonder gel is to act like a double sided sticky tape sort of, to help the other gels adhere to the nail plate.

A builder gel is a thick consistency, with very little movement (doesn't self level) for 'building' the nail and the 'arch'.

A self leveller is exactly that, it self levels without any bumps. It's a runnier gel that you can not really build with UNLESS you do it in sections and levels as I describe below.

A gloss is also a self leveller that is very thin and is for the finishing 'shine'.. though all gels will shine.. gloss is just shinier.

"clear" refers to 'color' or absence of it, and not the kind of gel it is.

Ok, the way that I build witha self leveller is similar to a technique that I was taught to use with Gel-Resins and I adapted it.

Prep nail etc, apply tip.
- apply gel only along seam of the tip and natural nail only along the middle of the seam, and not going all the way to the sides.
- semi cure 1min
- apply gel over seam, overlapping on either side and either end. (bring it back to halfway to the cuticle...)
- semi cure 1min
- Apply gel over 'new' seam, overlapping again, either side and either end (should reach the margin next to the cuticle now) and all the way to the end of the free edge & cap
- semi cure 1min
- apply gel over entire nail, cap again.
File and buff as necessary.. apply gloss....

voila :)


Gel Junkie
i find that the ibd builder DOES self level unlike say.....akzentz for instance...that stays where its put.

i think thats why i like it....its easy !

As far i as was told by my IBD REP

The clear gel was for over natural nails after the bonder and the builder gel was for artificial tips after bonder??