How to Apply OPI Gel Nail Colors

Every time you paint your nails with regular nail polish, you see it starts chipping after some hours or a day or so. The old formula nail polishes are not meant to provide your nails a better coverage for week after week.

But, lately, with the rising cult of the nail industry, you are given more choices for painting your nails. Among the most trending nail techniques and the latest nail formulas, you can get your nail painted with a gel nail color. Gel nail colors are stronger, make your nails healthier, and never cause chipping as compared to classical nail colors. OPI has made its name by introducing an array of gel nail colors. OPI gel nail polish colors are popular among nail enthusiasts and nail technicians for creating a perfect manicuring look for up to two weeks.

Having a perfect salon-like manicure at home by using gel nail color is intimidating since you are not a nail technician. But once in a while, you might have probably tried to DIY your nails. Haven’t you? And what were the results? The flaky and smudged nails? Well, this is so because you don’t know how to use gel nail colors. There is a proper technique involved for applying gel nail colors.

So through this piece, we have guided you on how to apply OPI gel nail colors all by yourself without hiring the services of an expert nail technician.

Keep scrolling down:

Step-by-step guide for applying OPI gel nail colors

The first thing comes first. Rest assured that you have prepared your nails for wearing an OPI gel nail color manicure. If not, then simply go for the following steps:

Preparing nails for gel nail color manicure

Wash your hands

File your nails to give them the desired shape

Use a cuticle pusher to reveal the true cuticle

By using a wipe, remove the residue left behind

Buff each nail and wipe out excess dust by using a brush

Again clean the nails using a wipe

Done! Now once you have prep your nails, you need certain things for applying OPI gel nail colors.

Things you need for this procedure:

Gel Color Stay Classic Base Coat

Gel Color shade

OPI Dual Cure LED Light

OPI Gel Color Stay Shiny Top Coat

Nail wipe soaked with N.A.S. 99


Shake OPI Gel Color base coat vigorously and apply a thin layer evenly on your prepped nails.

Cure it under OPI dual Cure LED light for 30 seconds to let it cure.

Now comes the main part, choose your favorite gel nail color from a palette of OPI colors and shake the bottle vigorously to disperse the product completely.

Now apply two thin layers of your favorite gel nail color by ensuring not to flood the product near cuticles.

Cure it under LED light for 30 seconds.

At the last, apply a thin layer of OPI Gel Color Top Coat and cure it under LED light for 30 seconds.

By using a nail wipe, remove the excess gel residue to create a perfect finished look.

This is it! Since gel nail polish is different from regular nail polish as it requires LED light for curing. You can’t air-dry it as you do with regular nail hues. So you need a LED light accessory to create a perfect iconic gel color manicure at home. If you can arrange the one, painting your nails with gel nail color wouldn’t be any longer a hassle.

Now after learning how to apply OPI gel nail colors, you may need to know what is OPI Soak-off gel lacquer. Well, OPI Gel Color and OPI Soak off Gel lacquer, both are soaked off formulas. Yet there exists a very thin line of difference between the two products.

Both products use UV lamps to cure. OPI gel nail colors can be cured within 30 seconds by keeping nails under LED light whereas soak-off gel lacquer needs to be cured by using a UV lamp for 2 minutes.

OPI gel nail colors have a smaller color range as compared to OPI Soak-off gel lacquer range, so you have more choices with soak-off gel lacquers.

OPI Gel Color nail hue is thinner as compared to soak off gel nail lacquer and requires more than one coat to create an even and consistent surface. But both are great as far as keeping nails chip-free for one week or two.

The removal procedure is also the same for both products. Both can be removed by using pure acetone. But with the difference that a gel color takes up to 10 minutes for removal while soak-off gel lacquer requires a longer time for removal. OPI soak-off gel color may need about 30 minutes for removal.


This is what you may need to know about them. Both do share some similarities but are different when it comes to their application and removal.

Which is better? Well, it depends on your desired color. I may get my favorite nail color from OPI gel color set while you would find your favorite from the line of OPI Soak-Off gel nail lacquers.

Either way, soak-off gel nail colors by OPI will give your nails a glossier look for many days to come with zero chippings.