Gel polish manicures started to become popular in the past 4-5 years as an alternative to regular nail polish manicures. Whereas nail polish requires 20-30 minutes of air drying time (and can still be smudged or dented in the hours after application), gel polish contains a special polymer that must be “cured” under an LED or UV light – allowing it to harden during the curing cycle and become instantly dry. Gel polish is much easier to control as it doesn’t air dry (it only dries when it’s curated under the LED light), that’s why you can take all your time to perfect your application. It’s also much thicker than regular nail polish.

Traditionally, gel polish manicures needed to be done at a salon by a professional nail technician using professional equipment. The cost of a gel manicure would be higher than a regular nail polish manicure as well, but the results and benefits were worth it:

  • Brilliant, glossy shine (shinier than regular nail polish).

  • Chip-free results (gel won’t chip off like regular nail polish – which can start to chip within 2-3 days – even with activities like dishwashing or excessive typing).

  • Up to 7-10 days lasting (salon or professional 3-step gel manicures).

The removal process for gel is also different, as it requires a “soak-off” method vs. acetone "wipe off" removal.

Our 1-step gel is meant to last for 7 to 10 days chip-free. It’s designed to be easy to apply but also easy to remove so you can change up your color whenever you want.

If you’d like to extend the lasting for an extra week, we recommend you our Gel Top Coat (one of our best sellers!) and you can paint a layer over your gel manicure and this will really seal it in & give you that 3 week total salon lasting (chip-free and shine).

If you are a new user of gel polish, please give yourself 2-3 manicures (tries) to get used to how to apply gel polish.

There are many tips and tricks to applying gel polish that make the difference between a good application and an application that is too thick or doesn’t last long enough (i.e. chips easily). Often, new users of gel polish make small mistakes during the application process and then think that any chipping is due to the formula of the gel.

We have tested our gel polish countless times and it truly is an amazing 1-step formula. You won’t find a better 1-step formula on the market (really!)…so please be patient, read our application instructions carefully, and take your time to familiarize yourself with LMM gel!

Once you get used to the application process, you will find that this is a fantastic gel that will give you a shiny, colorful, and chip-free manicure for work, play, and travel!

  • When you start your nail prep, you just need to push your cuticules back (we include a cuticle pusher in our kits). Trim loose skin or snags (with a cuticule nipper). This is an optional step; you don’t really need to do it as longs as you use cuticule oil and hand cream regularly and push them back sometimes. This keeps them groomed on an ongoing basis.

  • File the edge and the surface of each nail. Filing the surface allows the gel to adhere better and filing the edges helps keep the gel from chipping. File in one direction using light strokes. You don’t want to saw away (back and forth) at the edge of your nail as this wear it down quickly and it’s easy to get an uneven shape.

  • Make sure the first coat of gel polish is VERY thin (with barely any gel in the brush). Do NOT lob on a bunch of polish the way you would do with regular nail polish. This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to ensure that the base layer is not too thick, which will affect the lasting. You can remove excess gel polish from the brush (before applying) by wiping it along the opening of the bottle. This will help in ensuring a VERY thin first layer.

  • If you get it on your skin, use the cuticle stick or your thumb nail from the other hand, to just remove the excess before curing the nail with LED Lamp.

  • If you smear it BEFORE you go into the lamp to dry it, you just need to wipe off the entire nail with the remover + a cotton pad and re-paint it.

  • Cure the nail as soon as the gel is applied (instead of applying gel on all five fingers then curing one by one). It’s important to cure each nail immediately to minimize the amount of time the gel is exposed to air, as this will negatively affect the result. The mini macaron is a 30 sec cycle, and the maxi macaron (larger lamp) is a 60 sec cycle.

  • Apply a second layer of gel polish and cure again. Make the 2nd coat slightly thicker with even strokes of gel polish. This will create a nice, smooth top layer, which can last longer.

  • "Cap" the tip of every nail by running the brush along the edge. This will also protect from chipping by providing a thicker layer of gel along the nail edge.

  • Let the lamp rest for 30-60 seconds between application on your left and right hands. This will allow the lamp to cool down.

  • Close the bottle of gel polish when not in use, and while you are waiting for each curing cycle if possible (or at least set the cap over the bottle while you are curing to minimize the amount of air and light that enters the bottle). This will prevent the gel from drying out, as gel reacts to both LED light and also natural light. Avoid having the LED lamp shine directly on an open bottle of gel, as this will also dry out the gel.

  • Be sure to shake the bottle well each time before applying because our gel polish is a 3-in-1 gel (base coat, color and Top coat all in one formula). Sometimes if the bottle has been sitting for a long time, the Top coat component can separate, so shake well to mix the formula.

  • For new users, when you’re drying the nail under the LED light, it’s possible to accidentally move the nail (if you’re not paying attention). It’s important to keep the finger still so that the light dries all around the entire surface (including the edges of your nail). You can always cure your nail for an additional 5-10 seconds to ensure that you have completely dried the nail before moving on to the next one. This will make sure that even the edges are fully cured. If you are still experiencing chipping issues, we recommend curing for an extra 5-10 seconds to make sure that the chipping is not caused by nails which aren’t fully dry.

  • Don't apply hand lotion or cuticle oil BEFORE or DURING the gel application process. This will cause the gel to slip and not adhere well.
  • Don't buff your nails after filing them . Filing creates a rough surface, allowing the gel to adhere better. Buffing reverses this effect by making the surface smooth again (which will cause the result not to last very long).
  • Don't apply the gel on or too close to the skin . If you get gel on your skin, use the cuticle stick to remove it before curing. Curing gel on your skin will affect the lasting (easier to the gel to come off).
  • Dont apply gel polish in direct sunlight (outdoors or in a sunny room) as this can cause the gel to harden (as this is what happens with LED light). Work in a cool, dark space with interior light. (The same goes for storage of your gel polishes).
  • Our nail care line is designed to be used to rebuild your nails between gel manicures. It is not recommended to be used under gel polish as this will affect the lasting of your gel manicure and cause chipping. You can, however, use our nail care line as a base for regular, air-dry nail polish. Our cuticle oil can be used to nourish and moisturize cuticles after your gel manicure is cured and complete. This can also be used between gel manicures or over regular nail polish manicures.

    If you have followed all the basic tips on the application do’s, and you are still face chipping issues, it may be because of the natural oils in your nails. In fact, 20% of women have naturally oilier nails just due to body chemistry.

    We recommend that you wipe your nails before you apply gel polish. You can use regular nail polish remover to quickly wipe each nail after filing the surface. This will remove the dust from filing and create a non-oily surface to start your application.

    Gel Polish is different from regular nail polish in that you need to “soak” it off.

    Le Mini Macaron has a variety of products to facilitate the elimination of the gel or any kind of nail polish from your nails.

    To remover your old manicure:

      1) File the surface of the gel manicure that you wish to remove. This step will eliminate the top layer of the gel polish (which is the hardest one) and will allow the remover pad to work even better. For a gentler filing, we suggest you to try our Sanding Block . Make sure NOT to file the gel until you see your natural nail, only file slightly the upper coat.

      2) Tear open the Remover Pad and insert your finger, with the cotton pad over the nail. The acetone from the cotton pad will soak into the gel.

      3) Wrap the packet around your finger, removing the sticker on the packet to ensure that it’s air tight. For better results, insert each finger with its correspondent pad into our Remover Clips . Wait 15 minuttes.

      4) Remove the packet. The gel polish will have a shattered effect. Use our Gel Polish Remover Tool or the cuticle stick that comes on each LMM Kit to scrape off the gel.

      5) Wash your hands to remove any debris. If your cuticles are dry use a little bit of hand cream to moisturize them.
      6) Last but not least, if you want to revitalize and and give your nails a break from any kind of polish, our nail treatment Rescue Moi , with Vitamin B5 and C, will help to re-build, restore and rejuvenate the surface of your nails in just one week.

      Voilà, there you have it!

    LED lamps use LED light (the kind of light in an office building or a school) to “cure” the gel polish to dry. UV lamps use UV light (the kind of rays in sunlight) to also “cure” the gel polish to dry. LED bulbs are thought to be safer than UV bulbs, as they transmit weaker rays. With prolonged exposure to LED light (vs. UV light), it is considered not as hazardous, as for example with excessive tanning, which can darken the skin and may lead to skin cancer with prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays.

    All of our LMM lamp products use only LED light. Additionally, lamps with LED light use a newer technology compared to UV lamps. The LED bulb is able to cure gel polish dry in half the time needed vs. UV bulbs. Also, LED lamps don’t generate heat in the way that UV lamps do, and the LED bulb never needs to be replaced.

    Our light is actually LED (not UV) so it dries quicker and also doesn’t contain UV rays!

    Our LED lights are timed to go off automatically. The mini macaron is a 30 sec cycle and the maxi macaron (larger lamp) is a 60 sec cycle. So you don’t have to think about it!

    Gel polish is VERY thick. It needs to be applied ULTRA thin. If you apply it too thick, it can feel like it’s burning under the LED lamp. It’s OK if the lamp feels a little warm on your nail as you’re curing it, but it shouldn’t burn. If this happens, wipe off the gel and re-apply a super thin coat.

    For first time users , we recommend that you can cure for a few seconds more (4 - 5 sec.) as sometimes first-time users paint a bit thick. You should paint a thin layer, but if you find it’s not totally dry after 1 cycle under the lamp (30 sec), just cure for a little longer and this should do the trick.

    Our standard, single-finger classic and glitter mini macaron lamps are 3W and require a 1A or higher adapter, while the full-size Le Maxi lamp is 5W and requires a 2A or higher adapter.

    Yes, the lamp can work with any gel polish, if the gel is good quality. We can’t necessarily guarantee the results if it’s not our own gel, but it should work with other ones. Also different gel polishes matched with different lamps sometimes require different “curing” times. If you use our LED lamp with another gel, and you find it’s not dry enough, we recommend 2-3 cycles under the lamp (30 second cycles, two or three times).

    By the way, we have heard of some people trying our LED lamp with NAIL polish and telling us this doesn’t work. Nail polish requires air drying, whereas gel polish contains a polymer that must be ‘cured’ by an LED lamp in order to harden (dry). Nail polishes are NOT meant to be used with LED lamps and no nail polish will dry from being under an LED lamp. ONLY patiently air drying nail polish will work!

    All of our nail care items dry with air. There is no need to use the LED lamp to dry. Just apply 1 or 2 coats to bare nails and let them air dry.
    The power charger included in this kit is NOT designed to be used with mobile phones or other electronic devices . It is meant to be used only with the LED lamp included in the kit. Usage with other devices may lead to overheating or damage. Please take care to ensure that you only use the charger with LMM’s LED lamp. However, you can feel free to use the LED lamp and USB cord with any computer, portable charger, or any other mobile adapter with a USB outlet.
    Our LMM products are safe to use during pregnancy , but we understand that some women like to limit the amount of beauty products that they use (in general) while pregnant. It is up to each woman to decide. If you feel comfortable to use regular nail polish products, then you can feel comfortable to use gel products, which contain little to no fumes and no harmful chemicals. And unlike UV lamps (which contain UV light), our LMM lamps use LED light – the same kind of light you get from inside an office building – which is safe to be exposed to on a daily basis.
    Yes! We are proud to say that our gel polish contains no toulene, DBP, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP or xylene. Also our polish is cruelty-free and vegan.
    We are proud to say that we do not test on animals. In the beauty industry, the highest standards of safety and compliance would be the regulations in the EU (European Union), which are the strictest in the world. The EU bans over 1,300 items in their cosmetics (vs. the US, which bans only 11!). Our products are EU compliant and approved to sell in the European Union. One of the requirements to pass EU compliance is NOT testing on animals. So there you go!

    It’s very important to use and store your gel polish correctly. Gel polish is light sensitive (that’s why it hardens when exposed to LED light). It will also react to sunlight or natural light if exposed for an extended period of time. If you store the product near a window or around a light source, it’s possible that it can harden inside the bottle over time.

    The first time you open your bottle of LMM gel, you will find that it’s very thick (compared to regular nail polish). This is perfectly normal. Please take the following precautions to properly use and store your gel polish to ensure that you can use it for as long as possible:

    • Don't keep the bottle open for an extended period of time.
    • During the application process, open the bottle to apply the gel onto one nail. While the nail is curing, we recommend you to close the bottle or at least place the cap back over the bottle to cover it. This will minimize the amount of air and light that can get inside.
    • If the bottle is open,

      don’t set it too close to the LED lamp, as any exposure to the LED light may affect the gel inside the bottle. It’s better to either keep the bottle closed or farther away from the lamp when the LED light is on. Never shine the LED light directly onto an open bottle.

    • Store gel polish bottles in a dark place or inside a drawer, away from windows or other light sources. Do not store in the refrigerator. Always keep bottles at room temperature.