Do You Need A Primer For Gel Nails?

Most of the time, your client's gel manicures will be pretty perfect. But there will be times when you have to work with problematic nails and clients who struggle with chipping and lifting - no matter how good your prep work is.

Enter primer: the perfect product to solve your client's nail troubles and to ensure all your hard work doesn't go to waste after a few days! Using a small amount of primer pre-manicure can be the key to long-lasting gel manicures for plenty of people.

What is a primer?

A primer can be used at the very start of a gel nail manicure to prime the nail. Primers will remove any remaining oils and grease on the nail plate, which can otherwise lead to your base coat not adhering to the nail. It also prevents the creation of any air bubbles for better adherence.

What types of primer are there?

There are two types of primer: acid-free and acid primer. Acid-free primer is the most commonly used primer, with a gentle formula that helps greatly with adhesion. Acid primer works best for more problematic nail plates and those with hormonal problems. It’s a stronger substance that etches the nail plate to help the gel polish stick to the nail.

Why use a primer?

Who needs to use a primer?

A primer is perfect for people who struggle with chips or lifting with their gel manicures. It provides flawless adherence of the product to the natural nail plate, acting as a bonding element for the base coat which is then applied on top of it.

How do you apply primer?

Your primer is always applied first. Apply acid-free primer with an almost dry brush to each nail and let it dry for around 40-60 seconds. Acid-free primer won’t fully evaporate, and it’s okay to work on it if it’s still slightly wet. If you’re infilling, make sure you only apply a primer to the natural nail plate.

When applying an acid primer, put 1-2 small dots on the nail. It will then spread by its own across the nail plate. With acid primer, make sure it has fully evaporated before continuing with your client's gel manicure.

What are the main benefits of using a primer?

Acid-free primer is great for those who struggle with any lifting, chipping or peeling with gel manicures. Sometimes, nails hold onto oils and even wiping with a cleanser wipe doesn’t remove all excess grease from the nail plate. By using an acid-free primer, the oils are then fully removed which means long-lasting, chip-free manicures!

Acid primer is best used for any client who has very problematic nail plates or anyone who may suffer from any hormone problems or is on specific medication, which can affect the nails. It’s a stronger substance that can greatly help in situations such as this.

How to use gel polish primer

Do I need to use a primer for my clients?

If you find that your client's gel manicure already lasts 2+ weeks with no chips or lifting, then adding in an extra step isn’t always necessary! Make your own judgement call on whether the client needs a primer or no based on the current longevity of their manicure and any problems with their nails.