Can You Use Regular Nail Polish with a Gel Top Coat?

Gel manicures are known for being glossier and more durable than regular nail polish. But can you use regular nail polish with a gel top coat?

In short, you shouldn’t. Combining the two is just too risky and can damage your nails.

This article will explain why you should not use a gel top coat over your regular nail polish. 

What This Article Covers:

Can You Use a Gel Topcoat Over Regular Nail Polish?

Regular nail varnish takes about 24 hours to become completely dry. Your nail polish might become dry to the touch before that time, but it will still be vulnerable to dents and creasing.

On the other hand, gel polish dries within 30-60 seconds. When gel polish dries, it takes on a much harder consistency.

It might seem like a great idea at first, but you are actually confining the moisture from your nail varnish to your nail bed. This can create a breeding ground for fungus.

If you want to ensure that the moisture is not trapped, you should know how long to wait between coats of nail polish.

There is a whole protocol around the application of gel nail polish, which is why professionals advise against mixing regular lacquer with gel varnish. Even if your regular nail polish is marketed as having a “quick-drying” time, you should still be careful.

Even then, you should always make sure that you are using a good quality fast-drying nail polish top coat

For this reason, you should not use a gel top coat over your regular nail polish, since it can be very harmful to your nails.

Combining Regular Nail Polish with Gel

If you’re still set on combining the two, It is best to seal your regular varnish with a gel top coat after it has fully dried. In other words, you should apply the gel top coat after 24 hours.

You can also apply a gel base coat layer underneath the nail polish, and then seal it in with the gel topcoat.

can you put gel top coat over regular nail polish

Make sure you are sure about how many coats of nail polish you should use.

If your regular nail polish has not dried before you applied the gel top coat, then your nail polish will shrink and crease.

Why Do People Use a Gel Topcoat with Regular Nail Polish?

Many nail varnish users say that a gel top coat makes your regular nail polish last longer, and gives it a glossy appearance and a smoother texture.

Gel polishes are great, because they look glossy, and last for a long time without chipping or peeling. But, gel polish can be pricier than regular nail polish.

That’s why many beauty fans like to use a gel top coat with regular nail polish. They want the durability and glossiness of the gel nail polish while also saving money. That is why the “Gelly sandwich” has become so popular.

Make certain that you know how to use top coat nail polish before attempting it.

can you use regular nail polish with gel

The “Gelly Sandwich”

This technique requires that you seal a regular nail polish between a gel base coat and top coat. This results in a squishy inside and a colorful outside. If you are looking for colorful varnishes, then you need to look for the best matte nail polish brands.

But is this technique effective?

If you try the “gelly sandwich” then you will notice that your manicure will not last longer than a couple of days before it starts peeling.

This is due to the gel base coat.

What About a Gel Base Coat with Regular Nail Lacquer?

Similar to a gel top coat, you should not use a UV gel base coat with regular nail lacquer. Your regular nail polishes will not adhere very well to a gel base coat. 

A base coat’s function is to anchor your nail polish onto the nail plate. A gel base coat has a different chemical formation compared to regular nail lacquer. For this reason, the nail polish will not bond properly with the gel base coat.

If the nail polish does not anchor properly to the nail plate, then your polish will peel and flake more easily. 

You still need to invest in a good base coat. You can find out why base coat nail polish is important for your manicure.

The Takeaway

In short, you should not apply a gel top coat to your regular nail polish since regular nail polish has a long drying time and gel polish will trap moisture under the top coat.

We recommend that you stick with a regular base coat and top coat when painting your nails with regular nail lacquer.

Before starting your manicure, you should learn the difference between base coat and top coat nail polish.

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