Can You Use Regular Nail Polish With Gel Top Coat? + #3 Usage Tips

Gel manicures are famous for having more gloss and longevity benefits than traditional nail polish products. However, nail enthusiasts often come across various challenges when using these products.

One common question most gel nail users ask is: “Can you use regular nail polish with a gel top coat?”

In short, you should not use regular nail polish with a gel top coat. If you still wish to do so, realize that you might have to wait up to two days between coats. This time period reduces moisture and bacterial confinement to your nail, which can raise health concerns.

Is it Possible to Cure Nail Polish With a Gel Polish Coat?

can you turn regular nail polish into gel
Source: Unsplash

It’s possible to cure a gel top coat over regular nail polish. However, you must be cautious when using this approach to nail care.

One of the main reasons is that traditional nail varnish products require up to one day to dry completely. While the nail polish might dry before the one-day limit, it will still be new and prone to high impact forces such as from sharp objects. 

However, gel polish dries fast, with the most you can expect for any product to dry being two minutes. Once gel polish dries, it becomes exceptionally hard in its consistency.

Although using these two products might seem feasible initially, you are doing more harm than good to your nails. 

The first reason is that combining these two products confines moisture and dirt to your nails. Such an issue provides the perfect habitat for fungus and harmful bacteria.

There is a process involved in using gel nail polish, which is why nail specialists don’t recommend that you use these products simultaneously. 

Even if traditional nail polish products often have labels such as “fast drying formulas,” you still have to be careful. This same answer also applies when you ask the question, “can you use regular nail polish with gel base and top coat?”

Based on these reasons, it’s best to avoid using a gel top coat over your regular nail polish. Specifically, it can cause long-term damage to the structure of your nails. 

How to Use Regular Nail Polish with Gel Top Coat? – #3 Recommendations 

can normal nail polish dry under led light
Source: Unsplash

If you have your mind set on using both products simultaneously, you must coat the layers at the right time. To help save you time in the gel and nail polish application process, consider the following steps and recommended products:

Product Recommendations 

Products DescriptionLink 
Fast drying polishUse it because it helps improve the drying times of your nail polish.Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Nail Coat, Clear – .5 oz. Oz
Nail file.Use it to sanding your nail bed to be ready for the nail coat.Nail File 10 PCS Professional Double Sided 100/180 Grit Nail Files
Acetone padsUse it to clean your nails.Diamond Wipes Acetone Nail Polish Remover Pads Box of 50ct
Cotton balls Use it to soak the acetone. Diane 100% Cotton Balls, Pack of 100, DEE051
Nail prep kitA nail prep kit is a better alternative when you want better organization.ZIZZON Professional Nail Care kit Manicure Grooming Set
Nail top coatUse it over your nailsSally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish 101 Top Coat
Acetone removerYou need this for how to remover regular nail polish with a gel top coat.Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Remover, 6 oz

Recommendation #1. The Waiting Time 

The first step is to wait for the nails to dry because it’s important to maintain the nail’s structure and hygiene. On average, you should wait between one to two days when using regular nail polish with a gel top coat.

Recommendation #2. Use Thin Coats 

how to remove regular nail polish with gel top coat
Image source: Unsplash.

You must also use thin coats when applying nail polish with a gel top coat. We suggest you apply thin coats and wait a few minutes for them to dry. Doing this will ensure your coats look stunning regardless of the number of times you apply them. 

While it may take longer because of the amount of effort required, this method works exceptionally when you want to apply thick coats. The reason is that applying thick coats requires lots of time.

The thicker coats might also drip down on the edges of your nail bed, which might compromise the appearance of nail coats. 

When using the lighter coats, realize that the color gets better based on the number of layers you will use. You may have to apply each coat after a few minutes for the best results

Recommendation #3. Fast Drying Top Coat 

how to make regular nail polish last like gel
Source: Unsplash.

Fast-drying nail polish is highly convenient for anyone who wants to use regular nail polish with gel top coat. Based on our research, the fast-drying polish has been particularly helpful for those asking, “can you use regular nail polish with the Miracle Gel top coat?”

Using this product involves the same steps as using thin coats.

However, you might want to start the process by using some acetone to clean the surface of your nails

Remember that a manicure often includes several layers, so the drying time is crucial for you to consider. It’s crucial for you whether you want to apply a top, polish, or base coat. On average, a 2 minute wait time should be perfect for your needs. 

Now that you have all the correct techniques for applying these products, it’s good to learn about the removal process (thankfully, it’s SIMPLE!). 

You may also ask, what is the best method for how to remove regular nail polish with a gel top coat? You just need an acetone-based remover and cuticle oil to restore your nails.

As you have seen, it’s possible to use regular nail polish with a gel top coat. While we suggest you avoid such a practice, there are some steps you can use to use both products correctly. With an informed approach, you will get excellent results, especially for your nail health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to Apply Gel Top Coat Over Regular Nail Polish?

The best way to apply a gel top coat over regular nail polish is to wait up to 24 hours between each application process. It helps to reduce any instances of moisture that can be confined in between the two layers. You also have to perform a few key nail prep steps.

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

Yes, you can use regular nail polish with an Essie Gel top coat. However, as with all other gel and nail polish applications, you must perform nail prep procedures first. You also have to wait up to 24 hours between each coat of products you use.

What Happens if You Use Regular Nail Polish With Gel Top Coat?

Nothing can happen when you use regular nail polish with a gel coat. However, expect the health of your nail to deteriorate over time, which necessitates nail prep procedures. You also have to use these two products as required.

Can You Turn Regular Nail Polish Into Gel?

No, turning regular nail polish into gel is impossible because it requires lots of effort. These products’ chemical structures are incompatible, and you need specialised procedures to achieve such a result.

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

Yes, it’s possible to use regular nail polish remover with a gel top coat. You have to be careful, though, because using these products requires an informed approach to safeguard the overall health of your nails. 

Katharyn Riedel

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