Can You Use Regular Nail Polish With a Gel Top Coat?

Hand holding Gel Genius Top Coat

One of our more frequently asked questions is whether or not you can use a gel top coat with regular nail polish. We get it; you want the ease of applying and removing a regular polish (which tends to be less damaging for nails in general), but the lasting power of a long-wear gel manicure.

The short answer? No—you shouldn’t. Here’s why.

Can You Use a Gel Top Coat with Regular Nail Polish?

No. Instead, stick to one manicure type from base to top coat to avoid damaging your nails, especially if you’re doing this at home. Under the watchful eye and care of a nail tech, however, there’s a safe way to combine regular with UV gel nail polishes by letting the polish dry completely—but even then, it’s not ideal, and experts still recommend against it.

So, How Do You Make Your Nail Polish Last Longer?

If you want the look of gel manicures without committing to a gel set, you’ll want to sandwich your lacquer with a long-wear base coat and top coat. Our most popular and gel-like duo—formulated to extend wear time and give your manicure and pedicure a cushiony, high-shine finish—is the Gel Genius Base Coat and Gel Genius Top Coat. The base coat preps your nail plate for a super smooth polish application while helping the lacquer grip to that foundation layer. The top coat creates a glossy, glass-like shield that “cures” with natural sunlight; as it dries, Gel Genius Top Coat hardens into a protective layer that helps prevent color fading, chipping, and peeling.

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