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Is Gel Base Coat Supposed To Be Sticky?

If you’ve ever applied your own gel nails, you know there is a particular process and it typically involves several steps. One of those important steps is the base coat, which acts as a bonding agent for nail polish. But is gel base coat supposed to be sticky? 

In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about your gel base coat in terms of stickiness and why it’s so essential to get the application right. Read on to discover all the answers…

Is Gel Base Coat Supposed To Be Sticky?

Why Does Gel Nail Polish Need To Be Cured With UV Light?

Gel nail polish needs to be cured with UV light, under UV lamps, in order for it to last for a long time and maintain its shine. This is because the curing process ensures that the different layers of the gel hardens, providing a durable finish.

Once applied, the gel polishes will appear instantly as if it’s freshly painted, but unfortunately this won’t last because it doesn’t provide enough outer layer protection or be strong enough to withstand wear-and-tear. 

Without being cured with UV light, your nails can still look nice until you wash your hands, but after that, they won’t have staying power. 

When applying gel polish and during the cure set process, ultraviolet (UV) radiation helps polymerize monomers into polymers which allows for stronger adhesion between layers of nail polish and also helps create a stronger protective layer that seals in colors, giving them a glossy shine you want in your manicure.

A better adhesive bond also results in chip – resistant manicures that last longer than traditional polishes.

The UV light acts as an accelerator by quickly drying the topcoat, so even if you were to accidentally put your hand underwater right away before it had properly dried; there would only be minimal damage or smudging of color. 

The curing process provided by UV lights also helps lock in moisture, which can help prevent cracking and splitting of nails caused by external dehydration; making them look healthier over time. And since most people use their hands daily, it becomes especially important to get a manicure that can stand up against pressure and day-to-day living activities – plus more.

Why Does Gel Nail Polish Need A Base Coat?

Gel manicures come with many advantages, including a longer lasting and more durable finish compared to regular polish. However, to enjoy these benefits and make sure the gel nail polish is applied properly, it needs a base coat before the colored coating can be added. 

A base coat helps protect the natural nail from staining or discoloration that can occur from using the gel color.

 It also helps make sure the entire nail is evenly coated in the layer of gel, and that no air pockets form under the polish, which could cause it to chip or peel prematurely.

Having a base coat will help ensure proper curing of the gel manicure when exposed to either an LED or UV lamp. Without this extra step at home, it may not cure properly, which results in a weak adhesion and poor durability of the finish. 

Using a base coat before applying your gel nail color also makes removing it easier, since acetone won’t penetrate as deep underneath your nails because it forms an additional layer between them and your chosen color.

Acetone is commonly used for soaking off gel manicures at home instead of filing them down due to its fast-acting properties on both artificial and natural nails without damaging them too much like sanding would do if done for too long.  

Overall, applying a base coat before coloring your fingernails with gel nail polish gives you a high-quality manicure that lasts for weeks without chipping or peeling – something you wouldn’t achieve with regular polishes even if cured under a powerful LED or UV lamp at home.

Can You Skip A Base Coat When Applying Gel Polish?

Can You Skip A Base Coat When Applying Gel Polish?

When applying gel polish, it is not recommended to skip the base coat. The purpose of a base coat lies in its ability to bond and adhere to the nail plate.

It is an additional layer between the nail plate and topcoat that helps maintain adhesion while protecting the nails from staining and discoloring when using dark colors.

When you apply gel polish at home, it doesn’t cure unless exposed to a UV or LED nail lamp – no matter how much time passes. 

Failing to use a base coat can keep your color from adhering properly to your nails, leaving them feeling dry or even damaged after removing the color.

Applying both a top coat and base coat is essential for any manicure — regardless if it’s with traditional polishes or with more modern gel products.

A base coat helps prepare your nails for polishing by creating an adherence surface for your chosen color.

Without it, gel polish won’t last nearly as long — especially if you’re frequently washing dishes or engaging in other activities that require frequent hand-washing throughout the day/week/month.

After coating each fingernail with your chosen shade of polish, wait two minutes before placing hands under your LED/UV light lamp until each nail is cured (about 30-45 seconds).

Top coats provide extra protection for detailed designs — making sure the colors stay true without wearing off prematurely due to weather conditions or dirt particles settling onto your design work over time – extending the lifespan of any given manicure look.

How To Apply Your Gel Nail Polish Base Coat?

Applying your gel nail polish base coat is an important step in achieving a beautiful and long lasting manicure.

The first thing to do is make sure that you have all the necessary supplies, such as a thin layer of gel polish, an LED lamp, gel cleanser, cuticle pusher and lint-free wipes. 

Start by pushing back your cuticles with the cuticle pusher and then wiping down your nail surfaces utilizing the lint-free wipes and some gel cleanser to remove any debris from natural oils that could prevent proper adhesion. Make sure not to wipe away too much of your skin’s natural oils, as it can cause your skin to dry out.

Once prepped, apply a thin layer of the base coat over each nail bed using either a side-to-side or circular brushing motion.

Apply light pressure when brushing as this will help ensure proper coverage of all areas on each nail bed, plus avoid prolonging curing time under the LED lamp since thick layers are difficult to cure properly.

Try not to forget corners where humps sometimes occur during the application or curing process – gently brush over those areas multiple times for even coverage there too.

Once done applying, use whatever excess product around the edges with a lint-free wipe so no residue remains on cuticles or skin afterward – this step is essential in order for the rest of nails’ layers (color + topcoat) to adhere correctly. 

Once finished with base coat application, place hands underneath the LED lamp until fully cured before proceeding with color coats, then finish off with topcoat layer which will seal in everything together.

Why Is My Gel Polish Sticky

Is Gel Base Coat Supposed To Be Sticky?

Gel base coat has been said to have a sticky layer, which can be an issue for many people trying to apply their gel nails.

The tacky layer on the nail is actually part of the curing process, as it helps your gel nails dry and adhere better; however, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything about it or that you must leave them sticky.

You can remove the sticky layer once your nails have dried completely, by wiping your nails with an alcohol-based cleaner, like rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. This will take away any trace of tackiness without damaging or affecting the quality of your gel nails.

However, if after you’ve wiped off the sticky residue from your nails, and they still feel very tacky, then it may be because either didn’t cure properly or was too thickly applied.

In cases like this, you need to wipe down your nails again before applying a second coat of gel polish to ensure all excess sticking is removed.

Remember not to reapply more uncured gel polish over an already applied coat, as it won’t help whatsoever and can result in damage to your gels.

In conclusion, having some stickiness on your gel base coat isn’t always necessary, but for those who don’t want that textured feeling on their fingernails, it is important that you perform extra steps to remove the sticky or tacky layer first before adding another coat of gel polish.

To avoid complications, make sure you thoroughly wipe your nails to remove any excess residue from each nail, so there won’t be any leftover residue on your nails once the new coat is applied; otherwise it might become difficult later when it is time to take off the topcoat and remove them altogether.

Why Is My Gel Polish Sticky?

The stickiness usually occurs when the proper steps aren’t taken to protect the top coat of your gel polish. When this happens, the coat becomes sticky, and you need to remove it if you want soft, smooth-feeling nails.

If your gel nails remain sticky, no matter what you do, one easy way to fix the problem is to wipe away the sticky residue with a lint-free cloth or paper towel and 91% Isopropyl alcohol solution.

This helps loosen up any extra layers of topcoat product that may have been applied and also draw out any oils from hand creams that may have been absorbed into your fresh manicure.

Always make sure that you apply a fresh thin layer of clear gel top coat after every color application in order for it not to become tacky over time.

If all else fails, using a no-wipe gel top coat is another easy way to prevent sticking and ensure lasting shine and color on your manicure.

Although this type of topcoat won’t leave behind an unpleasant tacky feeling, sometimes bubbling can occur if too much product has been used, so take care when applying!

After letting your nails dry completely following color application, a swipe with non-acetone remover can help disperse any sweat or natural oils which accumulate on nail beds during drying time.

And could cause sticking if left alone on finished product – however, keep in mind that acetone should never be used directly on finished nails without wiping them clean first, as doing so will damage them.

Always make sure that you prep properly before starting your nail art journey by wiping down each nail bed with either an alcohol solution or gel cleanser before painting.

Then follow through by sealing each coat with a thin layer of clear base or no-wipe soft finish sealant before beginning the removal process, in order for stickiness not be present upon completion and for longevity of wear.

How To Get Rid Of A Sticky Residue When You Cure Gel Nail Manicures?


Gel base coat is an essential part of any gel manicure. It helps protect your nails from staining, keeps colors even and chip-resistant, and ensures proper curing with UV or LED light.

While some people may find the stickiness of a gel base coat uneasy, it serves an important purpose in making nail polish last longer, with a glossy finish. 

To help avoid sticky residue, make sure to prep your nails properly before starting your manicure, as well as to gently wipe away any extra product on each nail bed after application. Lastly, don’t forget to add both a clear topcoat and a no-wipe soft finish sealant layer each time you apply the color – this step is key for long lasting wear without stickiness.

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