Liquid Gel Nails: Everything You Need To Know In 2023

In a world full of overlays and glitter, the liquid gel is one of the choices that stand out. You should know whether it is worth investing in and if it is the one to choose as your go-to manicure in 2023.

Liquid Gel Nails/ Everything You Need To Know In 2023

Liquid gel is one of the forms of gel that falls under the hard gel category. A professional has to grind off the liquid gel to remove it, but it can also be filled and last 3 to 4 weeks. It provides strength and form to natural nails. The cost of liquid gel can vary between $50 and $80.

Recommended Liquid Gel Nail Product:

Liquid Gel Nails: Everything You Need To Know In 2023

Most questions around a particular nail overlay are all the same. But what can liquid gel nails give you, and is it worth splurging on?

Let’s find out everything there is to know about liquid gel nails.

a set of shinny gel nail polish done by Jane

What Is Liquid Gel Nails?

Liquid gel is one of the hard gels out there. That means the composition, once dry, can compare to that of acrylics. Thus, the bond is solid and hard to break. It comes in a bottle or pot, and a nail tech applies it with a nail brush.

The liquid gel finds form on its own, and an educated nail tech will make your liquid gel overlay look and feel like a dream.

How Long Do Liquid Gel Nails Last?

Most clients want to know how long a gel manicure will last, depending on how much money and time you have to invest in your chosen overlay to keep up with it. Luckily for liquid gel users, it could last you a long time. If you are willing to fill in the nails every three to four weeks, you can keep one set for three to four weeks.

Because it is a hard gel, there is no way that any colorants, additives, or chemicals, such as acetone or hair dye, will change the composition of your liquid gel overlay. The only thing that might happen is that the part of the natural nail with liquid gel overlay in regards to the amount of the nail growing out naturally differs in strength.

Leaving your liquid gel overlay to grow out can cause your nail to break or the liquid gel to lift where the grow-out starts.

How Are Liquid Gel Nails Applied?

The one who applies liquid gel should know what they are doing. Liquid gel isn’t only something you paint on and go. There are specific steps to take and things to consider when working with liquid gel.

Considerations With Liquid Gel

When working with liquid gel, you or your nail tech should keep a few things in mind. These will make or break the application and longevity of a liquid gel overlay.

  • Depending on the brand, the consistency of liquid gel may vary. This can be a huge downer when you need to sculpt a nail. You first need to test the consistency and determine whether it will be necessary to flash cure for 10 seconds while applying the liquid gel.
  • Using the right brush is vital. A dense brush will prevent the liquid gel from flowing and put you in control of the gel, not the other way around.
  • Don’t press too hard on the gel. It will cause air bubbles and ruin your set.
  • The correct file and manner of filing are essential when working with liquid gel. The nail should be rough but still, level to ensure a proper application.
a nail technician painting gel polish top coat

Application Of Liquid Gel

The preparation is as essential as the application itself. Here are the steps to follow when working with liquid gel:

Step 1: Push back the cuticles of the nail.

Step 2: Prepare the nail for the base coat by using a drill or file. Lightly start from one corner, moving diagonally until the entire nail has been covered. The rough surface provides a better adhesive for the gel.

Step 3: Paint on a thin layer of protein bond on all the fingers and add two coats. This completes the preparation part.

Step 4:  Pick up a small amount of base coat from the pot with the specialized gel brush. Another option is to scoop liquid gel onto a tile and work from there.

Step 5: Using the proper application technique, apply the gel to the middle of the nail and work it around to cover the entire nail.

uv curing gel polish

Step 6: Cure the base coat under a UV or LED light for 60 seconds.

Step 7: Add the color liquid gel over the tacky base coat.

Step 8: Cure the color layer.

Step 9: File and even out the color layer. Start at the edges, and file the entire nail.

Step 10: Remove sticky residue.

Step 11: Add the top coat and cure.

Step 12: Add cuticle oil and massage cuticles.

If you are unsure of how long gel polish takes to dry, refer to my other article, where I broke it down to the curing time of each layer.

How Are Liquid Gel Nails Removed?

a nail technician using a electric nail file to remove gel polish from acrylic nails

The liquid gel cannot be removed with an acetone soak. The connection between particles of the cured gel is too close and too strong for that. Thus, the liquid gel must be removed with a file or a nail drill.

The removal is part of the story that hard gel is terrible for your nails. The gel is not bad for your nails, but instead, the way amateurs remove it. It is a delicate process and time-consuming to get it right.

Cost Of Liquid Gel Nails

Liquid gel requires skill, time, and specific tools and gel. Thus, a standard liquid gel overlay can cost anything from $50, depending on the nail art you want and if you wish to add extensions. Some techs charge for their experience as excellent liquid gel applicators, and you might have to pay $75 for a standard liquid gel overlay.

Benefits Of Liquid Gel Nails

The best thing about liquid gel is that it levels out itself. Thus, the tech only has a little building and forming to do. Another perk is that it doesn’t air dry but dries quickly under the lamp. This way, you can take your time to get it perfect and cure it quickly when ready.

The liquid gel doesn’t have a strange smell like acrylics. Thus, people with sensitivity will be okay with it. It also comes in a pot or container with perfect combination and consistency. Therefore, the chances for lifting or cracking are less if the application is flawless.

Who Should Opt For Liquid Gel Nails?

Liquid gel nails can really be for anyone. It gives the look and feel of a professional application, lasts longer than other overlay options, and won’t stain or crack if the nail tech does its job. The removal, however, takes longer, and a professional will have to get it done to ensure no damage to your natural nail.

The liquid gel will be a perfect option if you love a manicure, need a little length, or want stronger nails.


Liquid gel is one of the most robust overlay options for those who want a solid manicure. Fill in every three to four weeks, and remove two or three times per year. The rest of the time, you have time to work on your 2023 goals while flaunting a flawless liquid gel overlay.