What happens if you use nail polish over gel nails?

Gel nails have been a game-changer in the world of manicures, providing durability and a glossy finish that lasts for weeks. However, a common question that arises is whether using traditional gel nail polish over gel nails is a viable option. In this article, we'll explore the potential effects and implications of applying nail polish over gel nails, focusing on how these two mediums interact.

Gel Nails and the Long-Lasting Charm

Gel nails have gained immense popularity due to their extended wear and chip-resistant properties. They involve the application of a special gel product that is cured under UV or LED light, resulting in a sturdy and glossy finish.

The Intersection: Applying Nail Polish on Gel Nails

Applying traditional nail polish on top of gel nails is indeed possible, but the dynamics of these two mediums differ:

  1. Adhesion: Nail polish typically adheres differently to gel nails compared to natural nails or a traditional polish base. The surface of the gel may not provide the ideal texture for nail polish to adhere effectively, potentially resulting in shorter-lasting polish.

  2. Texture and Appearance: The texture of the gel surface may alter the appearance of the nail polish. The polish may not appear as smooth or vibrant as it does over a traditional polish base, affecting the overall aesthetic.

  3. Durability: The durability of the nail polish may be compromised. Nail polish applied over gel nails may not last as long as it would on a traditional polish base.

  4. Removal: The removal process of the nail polish could be slightly more challenging due to the gel base underneath. It may require more effort to completely remove the polish.

Striking a Balance: Achieving the Desired Look

Despite these potential challenges, many individuals successfully achieve their desired look by using nail polish over gel nails. Here are a few tips to optimize this combination:

  • Proper Preparation: Ensure the gel nail surface is adequately prepared, buffed, and cleaned before applying nail polish to enhance adhesion.

  • Thin Layers: Apply thin layers of nail polish to prevent a bulky appearance and to help with adhesion.

  • Quality Products: Choose high-quality nail polish that provides better adhesion and a smoother finish.


In conclusion, while applying traditional nail polish over gel nails is feasible, it's important to understand the potential effects and considerations. Adhesion, texture, and durability may be influenced, but with proper preparation and quality products, you can achieve your desired look. Gel nails and gel nail polish offer their unique advantages, and experimenting with them can result in creative and appealing manicures. Explore this fusion cautiously, considering the longevity and aesthetics you desire. Ultimately, striking the right balance between gel nails and nail polish can result in a manicure that reflects your style and personality.

Back to blog