Can you apply Gelish with plastic tips

Can you apply Gelish with plastic tips?

Have you ever used Gelish before? Maybe you’ve only heard the name thrown around. In case you’re in the dark, it’s a thin, pure UV gel enriched with different pigments that lend it color.

It applies just like a regular polish though. But the best part? It lasts so much longer. And that’s great news when you don’t have time for a manicure every day. Or for touch-ups.

Some compare it to shellac, but to me, there’s no contest. Gelish is a little thicker, and it lasts as long as 3 weeks. Plus, it protects the natural nails underneath. If you have weaker nails, Gelish is totally going to be your jam.

If you’ve ever been told you should take time off between your manicures to let your nails breathe freely, sorry, but it’s an old wives’ tale, because nails get all of the nutrients and oxygen they need from the blood stream as opposed to the air around you. Nails don’t need to breathe, and you could feasibly keep Gelish on there forever and never have a problem.

Well, sort of.

See, what we all do wrong is that we have to not be lazy about the application, removal, and aftercare products, particularly nail oils, that keep our nails in prime condition.

Gelish requires using a UV nail lamp, but there’s nothing to worry about since your exposure to the lamp is like getting a couple minutes dose of natural sunlight.

It’s worth it for a stronger polish that lasts much longer, letting you live your best life. Or you can use an LED light if you’d prefer.

Some of you naturally wonder if you can use it with plastic tips. I want to give you the scoop on all that, so keep reading!

Can you apply Gelish with plastic tips?

Gelish is strong but not strong enough for plastic tips. It can be done but it requires skill, however, the overall recommendation is that you shouldn’t use Gelish with plastic tips unless you are attempting a quick fix to cover nail damage.

You should note that Gelish is not an enhancement gel. It can cover things up like nail biting for example and allow you to nourish your nails while you get them back up to par.

While Gelish is strong, it can’t really help with those plastic tips. You can try it, but I can assure you, you’ll likely be disappointed when you do. It’s not very stable, but I do have a few tips below to help you if you wish to apply Gelish with plastic tips.

I have a few friends that have used Gelish over plastic tips on numerous occasions. As my friend Mandy explained, she wanted to lengthen a broken nail so that it matched with the others. My friend Cara wanted to just a full set.

Some say this isn’t the best idea since it’s not meant to last long in this case. It does help balance things out and can be easier to remove. If you bite your nails (stop that!), you will have trouble getting this hard gel to really stick. Doing it carefully (applying the Gelish, not biting nails) can help them heal though, and allow you to get the length either naturally or via tips to compensate for it.

Gelish is really strong though, so even with tip, that structure can hold up for a good 2 weeks without breaking or looking sloppy.

So, in short, it’s not ideal to apply Gelish with plastic tips, but it can be done if you absolutely want to.

How to apply Gelish with plastic tips

The biggest key to your success with applying Gelish on plastic tips is to make sure the gel is really thin.

Try doing a medium layer applied over the whole nail surface. Then drop a big bead on it at the apex to even things out. When you put it in the lamp after doing this, you’ll see it settle nicely.

I should mention this works for both the tips you glue on your fingers for extensions and for full cover tips.

You can try Gelish with both, though please remember to file those tips first. The surface should be roughed up a bit before applying Gelish.

Again, it’s not the most stable creation, especially with very long tips. It just won’t be strong enough.

Longer nails really need an apex built up, and this type of gel polish can’t really do it. Length doesn’t need to be astronomical.

I personally can’t keep my nails too long, or they get in my way in daily tasks. I keep them on the shorter side of long.

It’s important to know that builder gel and gel polish are two different things. The builder gel is strong and is applied in a thicker texture to add structure to nails.

Gel polish has all those pigments which dilute gel. But they have solvents too, which make application easier.

Do you have natural nails? You can use Gelish Structure to add more strength if you have brittle nails that chip a lot. This is a great option if you’ve decided to get rid of acrylics.

It’s simply a clear gel that you can cover with Gelish, and while it does have a thick texture, it will not make your nails look or feel that way. They become harder and stronger yet feel completely natural.

The Structure gel requires you to have a brush of your own since it’s in a small pot. Simply dip your brush into the Structure gel pot just for a small bit and thinly apply it, just like any polish.

Use the light to set it – UV will require 2 minutes, but LED will only take 30 seconds. After that, you can apply Gelish.

I know it’s exciting, but if please take the extra second to cover your Structure gel pot and move the brush away. The light will cause them to harden, and that’s a huge pain.

If you get any of this on your cuticle area, use a brush with acetone or alcohol before you put them under the lights. Another pain, yes, but you don’t want that bit on your cuticles to make it easier for it all to peel up before its prime.

How to apply Gelish

Gelish is making gals everywhere happy because there’s no more waiting to use your hands. It’s so annoying when you paint your nails and wait for them to dry, and then you get a text and accidentally smudge your nails. Ugh!

Both the UV and LED lights make it dry fast, and you can get right back to business immediately afterward.

Gelish makes it possible to have professional-looking nails without spending a fortune. They’ll last longer, and they take less time to deal with when applying.

Here’s what to do to get your awesome Gelish manicure:

  • Trim and file your nails the way you want
  • Push your cuticles back (use an orange stick)
  • Gently buff the surface of each nail
  • Cleanse your nails (you can use alcohol wipes), so you remove all traces of oil
  • Add the bond first
  • Add the Structure if using and cure
  • Apply your chosen Gelish shade
  • Cure it under the lamp
  • Add the second coat of Gelish and cure it again
  • Finish it with a Gelish top coat and cure once more
  • Wipe your nails with another alcohol wipe

Don’t worry if you mess up! You can fix it prior to the light-curing process. Remove the offending later of polish and then reapply it.


You can certainly apply Gelish with plastic tips, though it’s a less stable way of doing so.

It can help you keep the real nails healthy underneath while you try to correct nail-biting damage or hide a broken nail mishap though, which makes it come in handy.

Since Gelish is a pretty stellar product all around, you can use it for making your nails look awesome.

While it costs more than regular polish to get everything set up, it will last much longer than any other kind of manicure, plus it will cost bundles less than getting your nails done professionally.

Definitely a worthy option for getting your nails to look stunning.


My name is Hajer and welcome to my site. This is my little haven, my outlet, where I can express myself, and show you everything I've learned about makeup, skincare, hair tips, and so much more, as well as the different beauty mistakes I've made so that you can avoid them.

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