Tech Talks Lifting of gel



As a nail stylist you want your client's gel nails to last up to 4 weeks, wether it's a new set or a refill. You want your clients to be happy with the result and the durability of their nails. A stylists' biggest nightmare is a gel customer that comes back dissatisfied and in urgent need of repair or worse, a gel customer that never comes back again!

Gel that has lifted or the gel that has cracked is not only bad for your reputation or your business, but you want to avoid nail fungus at all cost! You don't want the extra repair work and your clients want healthy and beautiful nails up till their next refill. 



Lifting can be caused by several different reasons. That's what makes it hard for you as a stylist. We can't give you a miracle solution. We will give you multiple solutions, one for each reason that causes gel to lift. 

  • incorrect preparation of the natural nail
  • incorrect product application technique
  • over-filing of the nail plate
  • mismatch of products used vs nail type
  • type of primer and base product used on the nails 
nail problems
nail problems
nail problems


Gel that lifts from the natural nail is annoying for your clients. Not only do their nails get stuck in their hair or clothing, but the gel nail is also less strong. In the end their nails might break and you don't want this to happen. Not only because the gel may detach from the nail, but what if their natural nail breaks in a very unpleasant and painful way? True horror for you and your clients. 

And another big concern of lifting is that air gap is formed between the natural nail and the gel. This means that there is litteraly some space for water, dirt, baceteria and more to nest and grow there. If your client doesn't pay attention to it, she might end up with a nail that is infected with fungi. And you know that this can take months to recover from and regain a healthy natural looking nail. 



They key to preventing lifting of gel is to adapt a personal approach when it comes to servicing your gel customer. It's up to you as a professional to adapt your products and techniques accordingly. Here's what you need to do if you want to stop lifting from ruining your set of gel nails. 

  1. examin your clients nails
  2. prepare your clients nails correctly
  3. do not over-file
  4. use the right products
  5. apply the right technique
Natural Look
Base Gels
Right Technique


Preparation is key to any good set of nails! Here's some tips you should keep in mind when peparing your client's nails.

  • Grease is not your friend
    Your client's nails should never be greasy. Any greasy residu on the nail will cause bad adhesion. Use Pro Septic, which is highly concentrated in alcohol, to degrease the nails and remove moisture from them. 
  • Stop touching the nails
    You might have the tendency to touch your client's nails while you're working on them, but try to loose this habbit. 
  • Use the right tools
    If you are using a nail drill, use the right bits to prepare your client's nails. Only use a Sanders Fine 180 at the correct speed (6000 RPM) on a natural nail (otherwise you might end up over-filing the nails). Also use Pro Septic and a nail brush to remove dust after filing.
    Never use a file or buffer block in case it's a gel refill. 
  • Don't use too much product
    The Primer is a great product that will ensure the perfect adhesion of the gel to the nail. But, if you use too much Primer, it will loose it's effect.


Many stylists have the misconception that in order to provide the perfect adhesion of the gel to the nail, they need to file the natural nail thouroughly. Of course this has the complete opposite result. As a result the natural nail is thinner and more flexible, resulting in lifting of the gel from the nail and in an over-sensitive nail. 

You don't only need to know what you need to do, but also which tools to use. Using a wrong bit on your nail drill to work on your client's nails can cause a lot of issues. If you use an agressive and hard bit, that is designed to easily and swiftly remove Hard Builder Gels, on a Flexi Builder or natural nail, you might end up scraping of layers off natural nail in just one simple movement.

For you as a professional it is crucial to understand how to correctly file your client's nails without overworking them.


Getting a good adhesion of your gel is essential. In our ProNails gel range we have 2 types of products that are curcial for avoiding lifting: primer & base gels.

Match the right primer to the right nailtype.
Before you start applying your base or builder gel it's crucial to prepare the nail first. Use a primer to prepare the natural nail plate. The primer will guarantee a perfect adhesion of the gel, but you need to chose the right primer for the right type of nail and apply it correcly.

  • Acid Free Formula Primer: this is a 100% acid free primer. Perfect for dry, brittle, normal & sensitive or damaged nails. Also recommend for clients with sensitive skin. 
  • Universal Formula Primer: this primer ensures a perfect adhesion of base & builder gels on greasy nails.




2 doses for 1 hand. Apply first dose on thumb and index finger. Then the second dose from middle to little finger. (2+3 method). Gently push the primer into the nail surface from the cuticle to the free edge (only place on the natural nail surface). Do not touch the cuticles with the primer.


1 dose for 1 hand. Start from thumb towards little finger. Gently push the primer into the nail surface from the cuticle to the remaining gel area (only place on the natural nail surface). Do not touch the cuticles with the primer.


It's the base gel that ensures the right adhesion of the builder gels to the nail. We have different types of base gels: very runny ones (very low viscosity) and runny ones (low viscosity so it won't run into the cuticles if you work more slowly). It's up to you as a nail stylist to chose the base that works for your client and that works for you in terms of working speed. All base gels are applied 5 fingers together and are cured in just 30 sec SOFT in the Smart Light. 

Flexi Base

This is the miracle solution for clients with very flexible nails. It's a brush-on application and the gel is very runny. This type of base requires a high working speed since it's so runny. No external gel brush needed, no cleaning and no product loss.

Base Perfect

This base is suitable for all nail types, also very greasy nails. This base is the all-time favourite of experienced nail stylists: very runny, so it requires a high working speed.

Base Clear

This base is a flexible medium viscosity bonding gel which is easy to apply. This transparent base gel can be used under any builder gel and offers a perfect adhesion to normal, dry and strong nail types. Also recommended for clients with spoon nails.

Base Pink

This base gel is easy to use, it's less runny and therefore also perfect for beginning nail stylists and students. When this pink bases dries it has a touch of baby pink finish so it's the ideal base for a soft french manicure look. Also recommended for clients with spoon nails.

Which brush do you use for your base gels?

Very runny base gels

Very runny base gels

Very runny base gels like the Base Perfect require no pressure on the brush when applying the base on the nail. The Premium Brush N°5 is ideal for applying the Base Perfect and also all your colour gels.

Medium runny base gels

Medium runny base gels

Medium runny base gels like Base Clear and Base Pink are applied with little pressure on the brush. For the best application you should use Premium Brush N°2 Unlimited M or Premium Brush N°3 Unlimited L. These brushes allow you to apply more pressure because of the shape and form of the brush hair.





Do you want to discover more Tech Talks? Check out all the topics.

Perfect your Skills

Are you doubting a certain technique or do you want to perfect a skill? Book an extra workshop in the ProNails academy. 

Gel Guide

Prevent lifting by using the right products on the right type of nail. Discover what product to use when.