Gel nails are the hottest trend in nail artistry, and they have been for a while now. More durable than acrylics and more flexible than shellac or dip powder.
Gel requires a UV or LED light to cure and harden into its final shape. The process sounds simple: apply a base coat, two layers of color, topcoat, cure, and voila! But, is it possible to do gel nails without a base and topcoat?
Yes, it is possible. However, they will last a couple of weeks without a top coat and about a week without a base coat, but the gel will not be sealed so it can easily be damaged.
You should always apply base and top coats on gel nails, especially if you want them to last over two weeks or survive during your daily activities. Without either one, the gel polish won’t last as long, it will be easier to damage, and it won’t look as good.
Basecoat is used to protect the nail from being discolored by the color polish. If you want to put on color polish on your nails, then I would recommend using a base coat first. The base coat also makes it easier to remove the color polish when it is time to take off your gel nail polish.
The topcoat is used to seal in the color polish and make it glossy at the same time. Without the topcoat, your nails won’t look as shiny and smooth as they could be. Topcoats also help prevent chipping and wearing down of the color polish on your gel nails in the long run.
You could do gel nails without base and topcoat, but why would you? They are easy to apply, inexpensive (compared to a manicure), and help extend the life of your gel nail look.