Gel pitted and dull after only a day.


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Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2007
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Worksop, Notts
I just repaired a set of gel nails. They were smooth when i left, but when i returned a few days later, the surface had gone like little pot-holes.
This is what i done. Firstly, i etched the nail, dusted, applied tip, blended tip,then primed. I then applied the first layer of gel then cured for 3 mins, then i let sit for a few seconds then cleansed. I filed to smooth over, then applied 2nd layer of gel & cured again for another 3 mins. I always noticed the clear gel would be dull once i cleansed. Anyway, i would use a smoothing block to a smooth finish then apply cuticle oil, then use a buffer to a high shine, then use a base coat then top coat. And i would leave them in a lovely smooth, high gloss shine. We were both pleased with the finished result.
This is were the problem would occur. When i would go back a few days later, the surface of the gel has gone pity, like tiny little pot-holes. And i cant understand why.
Do you think i am over curing or cleansing to soon after leaving the lamp. It is a new lamp that i got because i read about the gel going dull due to old bulbs. I also read from someone else who used The Edge gel, that the clear didn`t seem to come out shinny.
Also, when i blended the tip, when i went back, i looked like the tip was separating from the nail plate. I changed my glue & can only assume that the glue wasn`t strong enough or cheap, as i got it from superdrug.The madning things is, there was no obvious line when i applied the gel. The seam went straight across the middle of the nail plate. I can only put it down to cheap glue. Our teacher at college told us we could use any glue. Obviously not.
Has anyone any ideas please.
Oh..just another wee question. Can you put acrylic over gel ? I know you can put gel over acrylic, but can you put acrylic over gel ?
Hiya ...what gel are you using ?? also ditch the glue from professional adhesive from who ever your supplier is.

Firstly pitting is usually caused by the gel either not being cured enough (could be time to replace bulbs) or by not applying a thick enough and even layer.

This is what i do....

bonder layer gel (worked into the nail using circular motions)
Builder layer (pink or clear)
POW (paint on white)
Clear gel in zone 2 and 1 only (this protect the POW)
Wipe, buff to shape, dust off/clean
Top gloss layer

I am using The Edge. I have just bought a new lamp, so it must be the layering is to thin. I have only been putting on 2 layers, so i will have to put on 3. I am changing to NSI anyway as i have never really liked The Edge. I have always found it too rubbery.
Thanks for the advice,

Was just wondering why you buff to smooth after your first layer of gel then apply second layer and then buff again? Would it not be quicker to just do your refining after the last coat of gel is applied? Also do you do a full prep (cuticle removal and dehydration) before applying your gel as you just mention etching the nail?

Sorry for asking questions but just comparing my procedure to yours and I agree with Bagpuss regarding not applying enough gel as I used to do this and it caused pitting due to shrinkage and undercuring.
Yes sorry, i do the full prep,but i guess maybe i am just being a tad too cautious, as you said, i shouldn`t smooth & buff everytime, as it does add on extra mins that could be avoided. I think i will apply 3 layers in future instead of 3.
Thanks girlies (& guys),
Hi ,

Well what jumps out at me is why are you using cuticle oil , then buffing , then applying base coat and top coat ?

Seems to me that you may have oils left on the nail from applying cuticle oil and it is the base coat and top coat that have pitted NOT the gel.

Apart from refining shape you should not need to buff a gel . You should be able to ( after finishing ) apply a top coat gel for the shine . Cuticle oil should be used at the very end of the service not inbetween.

If you are applying two layers of gel then do NOT wipe or buff inbetween . Just apply your second coat of gel directly over the first :)
This has just explained alot to me. I am only doing what i was taught in college & it sounds like i was not taught too well. I have learned more from this great site than i did at college. I will have to member this advice for the future. As you have said, it must be the basecoat & topcoat. I done a new nail & applied a uv topcoat & the end result is beautiful. So i now know.
I think i am gonna march on down to the college & personnaly thank my ex tutor for not teaching me properly & causing me these problems & telling her that the pitting of the gel & the crystalisation of the acrylic has lost me the new clients i got. I just hope i can get somemore. I have this horrible thought that all these dissapointed clients (all ten) have told the whole town & surrounding villages about me & put them off. I know i am being daft & that this cant be true but that is what it feels like.
Anyway, thanks again,
Can you not give a follow up call to those new clients and explain what the problem was?
If it was just the base and top coat pitting then shouldn't you be able to just use polish remover and remove it and apply uv topcoat?

I'm just thinking out loud :)
When they say they have had a problem, i go round and fix it for them for free. I even did a full new set of gels for free the other day, then i tell them that if they still have any other probs,to get intouch within 3 days & i will come round again, but after the 3, they will have to pay for repairs. But they dont, they just cancel their next appointment, so i can only imagine things have gone wrong. There is nothing else i can do.
So, just plod on as they say,

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