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Builder UV Gel in a Bottle – what’s the buzz?


There are always so many questions about a recommendation for a UV gel builder in a bottle. But do you know what it actually is? Let me help to explain it.

There are many, many properties that distinguish one UV gel coating from another. There is nothing wildly new that hasn’t been the case for years!

Research and development have certainly created products that have superior adhesion, especially those that do not need any buffing of the nail plate before application. There has always been a wide variety of viscosities available but, again, research has created certain viscosities that ‘stay put’ while, at the same time ‘self-level’! Now this doesn’t make sense! But it actually does!!

Originally, a ‘self levelling’ product meant that the layer became all the same thickness which is rarely what a nail pro wants to happen. (i.e. too thick at the sides and not thick enough at the apex or upper arch.) Then there were products that would stay where you put them but needed a high degree of skill with the brush to avoid dips and dents.

Now there are many products that ‘self-level’ but it is only the surface that self-levels, not the whole coating! This is something the nail polish top coats are formulated to do if you but knew it!

Before the event of UV gel in a bottle with its own brush, all gels were in a tub and required the use of a ‘gel brush’, usually a brush with man-made bristles as opposed to an L&P brush that needs natural bristles in order to hold the monomer liquid.

Then the bottles with brushes arrived. They were mostly a low viscosity (a bit runny) so they could successfully be brought out of the bottle with their accompanying brush. This is where shaking can become important as pigments can sink to the bottom as can be seen when a nail polish sits on a shelf for a period of time.

The technology moved on and a wider variety of viscosities and clever characteristics could be in a bottle and used successfully without the need for a tub and separate brush.

So, what exactly is this ‘magic’ builder that can come in a bottle?

Well, as its name suggests, it is a coating that can ‘build’ structure and, with it, a degree of strength for the weaker nails. The structure aspect is something that those educated in enhancements learn but not for the natural nail pros who only learn a UV gel polish. How many educated in natural nails know exactly what ‘upper arch’, ‘apex’, ‘lower arch’ and ‘C curve’ means? This is intrinsic to understanding ‘structure’.

So, at its simplest, a ‘builder’ is a specific viscosity (plus other characteristics) of UV gel coating that will provide some strength with a thin layer. This was always available with the earlier coloured hard gels. Now it is available in a whole variety of ‘soak off’ UV gels. Care must be taken in its thickness to ensure a proper cure and not leave unreacted monomers within the coating nor create a ‘heat spike’ that burns the client.

For those experienced in enhancements, it can also create a fabulous structure for both natural nails plus extended nails. Again, understanding of specific application and curing is essential.

All UV gel coatings are ‘magic’. The formulations of the highest quality products are nothing less than ‘magic’.

As for a UV gel coating that ‘builds’ and is in a bottle there is nothing special if you understand the characteristics of such products. There are countless products available today that will to the job, often better, that do not have this title!!  But they do the same job!

Understand the science and not be taken in by marketing!

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