How to Apply Gel and Shellac FAQ

Instructions for the correct application and removal of uv led gel nail polish, shellac nail polish and one step gel nail polish.


We recommend you shake the gel polish bottle vigorously for a minute or so prior to use. This helps thin the viscosity of the gel polish as well as distributing any glitter particles and pigments evenly. This makes the application process easier and more even.

Thin precise layers will result in a better application. To remove excess polish from the applicator, circle the brush inside the neck of the bottle and press excess polish from the brush stem.

Apply the Gel Polish Base, Colour & Top in thin, even coats. Be sure you don’t get any on your skin or cuticle, just get as close as you can. Check you have covered the complete nail and there are no bare spots. Wait a few seconds for it to smooth out, then place nails in lamp to cure.

In addition, when applying Gel Polish Base, Colours & Top Coat to your nails, run the brush along the tip of each nail to seal the edges. Most chips start at the tip of the nail so brushing the tips creates a stronger seal and helps your manicure last longer.

If you have a smaller lamp apply the gel polish to both thumbs first and cure them together. Then apply to the other four nails on one hand and cure. Repeat this for the other hand. 


We recommend using Gel Polish Removal Wraps for a cleaner, handy way to remove gel polish without all the hassle. Simply buff nail and wrap. Gel Polish foil wraps keep the natural heat around each nail, making it easy for the gel polish to lift off. After 10-15 minutes, simply push gel polish away with a manicure stick or removal tool to reveal clean, healthy nails. 

You can also use pure acetone, which you can purchase in most chemists.  If using acetone saturate a lint free pad on a square of tin foil before you wrap them around each individual nail.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Gel polish won’t stay on the sides and tips of nails after application, why?

This is known as "slippage" of the colour. To prevent this, take a dry lint-free wipe and remove the moisture layer after curing the base layer. DO NOT use cleanser. You want the surface to stay slightly tacky and cleanser will remove it completely. Another option is to apply the first layer of color and cure one nail at a time, not allowing it time to slip.

Gel Polish is going hard in the bottle, why?

Gel Polish is light sensitive. If the product is placed near a window or under a light it may cure in the bottle over time. Be sure to store your gel polish away from sunlight, in a dark place or a drawer. Do not put it in a refrigerator as this will cause the gel to thicken, store at room temperature. Keep bottle well away from you nail lamp, always replace the lid tightly between uses during manicure process.

KEEP OPEN BOTTLES AWAY FROM UV/LED LAMP stored in a dark place at room temperature.

Will Gel Polish chip?

Gel Polish should be slightly flexible and last up to 2-4 weeks (depending on brand). If it is chipping prematurely, this indicates something went wrong in the application process,  be sure to follow our application instructions carefully for a longer lasting manicure when you re-apply.

Can Gel Polish peel off?

Gel polish will not peel off as long as your nails are properly prepared prior to application. Here are a some tips for a lasting manicure:
Thoroughly wash your hands and nails AFTER you remove your regular nail polish.
Use Gel Cleanser to cleanse your nails. Do not cleanse nails with acetone or alcohol.
Once you have shaped and pushed back your cuticles, buff the entire surface of your nails. Do not over buff as this could damage your nails.
Remove the dust and clean your nails with a lint-free wipe using cleanser. Then proceed with your application.

Why won’t my nails cure properly?

Gel Polish cures with a sticky layer which is the moisture coming to the top of the Gel Polish while it is curing in the lamp. This moisture "sticky" layer does not need to be wiped off until the very end, making it appear that the nails are not cured. If you feel the gel is not cured, wipe the sticky layer off with the Gel Cleanser and see if the gel is hard. If it is hard continue your application. If the gel is not cured it will wipe off and then the next step would be to reapply and cure. Check your lamp, UV tubes need replacing frequently.

Can I miss out the primer coat for easier removal?

The primer helps your gel polish colour to last longer. If you change colours frequently then for easier removal only apply a thin circle of primer to the outer edges of the nail. Alternatively you can leave the primer completely for easy removal.
What should I do if my gel polish brush goes hard?
Simply remove the hardened gel from your brush by soaking in pure acetone to dissolve the gel polish, then wipe dry with a lint-free pad.

Will Gel Polish damage my nails?

No but damage could occur if you are too aggressive when buffing during the prep or removal process. Make sure you buff your natural nails carefully.

1. Avoid skin contact. If redness or other adverse reactions occur, discontinue use immediately.
2. Keep tightly sealed. Keep out of sunlight. Keep out of reach of children.

Is acetone dangerous for my nails?

Soaking nails in acetone is completely safe if done correctly. If you are having some issues with this process, apply petroleum jelly to your cuticles and fingertips before soaking, this will help protect your skin.  Always read the label for safe usage!

How to Apply Gel and Shellac Nail Polish?

1. Prep nail surface by pushing back and removing cuticle.
2. Gently remove surface shine with buffer and remove dust.
3. Apply primer (optional).
4. Apply base gel and cure with led or uv lamp.
5. Apply colour and cure with lamp, then repeat with a 2nd coat.
6. Apply top coat to seal and cure with lamp.
7. Remove residue with cleanser wipe of alcohol solution.
8. Apply cuticle oil.

Note: Each layer will leave a sticky residue, DO NOT remove this before step 7 as this helps each layer stick to the nail.

A few more tips:
You can add additional layers of color before using the top coat.
If you get polish on your cuticles or skin, remove it with alcohol or nail cleanser BEFORE placing your nails under the light.
If you let the polish on your cuticles or skin cure it could cause the polish to peel.
If you do mess up a layer of polish, it’s easy to fix as long as you fix it BEFORE curing your nails under the UV/LED light.
Simply wipe the layer of polish off with nail cleanser or alcohol (use a lint-free pad or paper towel) then you can redo the layer.
For long lasting results apply cuticle oil and push back any excess cuticle on a regular basis.

Drying times when using a 36w UV lamp or 12w LED lamp are as follows: Base coat 60 sec (UV) 30 sec (LED). Colour coats 120 sec (UV) 60 sec (LED). Top coat 120 sec (UV) 60 sec (LED). Some darker colours may need slightly longer to cure fully.

How to Remove Gel and Shellac Nail Polish?

1. Place cotton pad soaked with remover (acetone) over the nail.
2. Wrap with foil for 10-15 mins, gently remove gel with wood stick.
3. Use buffer to lightly buff surface of nail.
4. Apply hand and nail nourishing cuticle oil.

How to Apply One Step Gel Nail Polish?

1. Clean nails then trim nail surface as normal manicure process. 
2. Fully shake the one step gel bottle, this helps make the polish colour balanced. 
3. Apply a thin layer of LVMAY One Step Gel. Make sure to apply a smooth even coat, then cure under a UV light for 2 minutes or an LED light for 1 minute. 
4. Apply a second thin layer of LVMAY One Step Gel, cure with UV lamp for 3 minutes or with LED lamp for 2 minutes. For some lighter colours, you may need to apply a third layer to get a deeper colour effect.
How to Remove One Step Gel Nail Polish?

1. Place cotton pad soaked with remover (acetone) over the nail.
2. Wrap with foil for 10 mins, gently remove gel with wood stick

How to Use Remover Wraps?

1. Tear open the top of the wrap along the dotted line.
2. Peel the tape off the outside of the wrap revealing the sticky strip. 
3. Insert finger with nail against the pad inside the foil wrap.
4. Secure tightly around the finger by folding the wrap onto the sticky strip.
Soak off time around 10 minutes.
Some gels may require the top coat to be lightly buffed before removal.
Ensure foil is wrapped tightly around the finger for best results