Builder Gel Technical Questions: Understanding the Slip Layer

Builder Gel Technical Questions: Understanding the Slip Layer

There has been a lot of misunderstanding about what exactly a slip layer is. With the evolving techniques in gel application—sometimes not for the better—and the influx of online reels and TikToks, there are mixed messages that confuse new nail technicians entering our industry. Some of these technicians are applying slip layers incorrectly, and these incorrect methods are causing significant issues.

To clear this up let's have a look at our "slip" layer and what its used for ! 

Are you having issues with any of the following ?

⭐️Are you struggling with builder gel application ?
⭐️Do you struggle with bumpy nails ?
⭐️Do you end up filing loads of product before gel polish application ?
⭐️Does your apex/structure bead not move where you want it to?

If you have answered yes to these questions then the slip layer could be your answer!

So what exactly is a slip layer ?

  1. Enhanced Control: The slip layer acts as a lubricant/vessel, making it easier to move and shape the builder gel without it sticking to the brush or creating uneven patches. Self levelling happens like magic. when applied correctly the apex bead is only applied down the middle 1/3 of the nail, eliminating flooding of the sidewalls and cuticles.
  2. Better Adhesion: It improves the adhesion of the subsequent builder gel layer, ensuring that the gel bonds more effectively.
  3. Smooth Application: By reducing friction, the slip layer helps in achieving a smooth, bubble-free application, which is crucial for a professional-looking finish. Application is also quicker and a smoother finish is achieved, eliminating the need for extreme long winded refining !. 

Now you know what a slip layer is, let’s clear something up….

You don’t cure a slip layer. Curing the slip layer would make it just a layer, not a slip layer!

With the trend of applying a huge bead of gel and dangling the fingers upside down to achieve the perfect apex, it's more important than ever to learn how to apply your builder gel correctly.

Good builder gel application is paramount to creating great nails, achieving excellent adhesion, and ensuring a flawless finish. It also eliminates any under-curing issues!

Builder gel is applied in layers, and we finish with our structure/apex bead in our slip layer. It's crucial to ensure that each layer is thin enough to go through the full curing process in our lamps, especially with cover pinks and solid colored builder gels now being popular.

Additionally, use the correct lamp recommended by your brand for a perfect and safe cure.

Following proper application protocols for builder gels could limit the increase in allergies and nail bed reactions (onycholysis) in our industry. It will also ensure your business stays professional and your clients keep returning for more!

Send "builder101" to my DMs for a completely free application guide!

And remember …. If you cure it, it’s a base coat or layer, not a slip layer ⭐️.

Slip = wet = success!!! 💦💦💦


Mel xx 

See video demo here !

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