Although Polygel had been around for a few years, it's still a newer, yet very popular, form of nail extensions. Polygel is also known as hybrid gel, as it's a hybrid between gel and acrylic. Hybrid gel typically comes in a tube bottle and is usually thicker than acrylic or gel, and while it is formed more like acrylic, it must be cured under a UV or LED lamp like gel. You also need a slip solution, or rubbing alcohol, to push the gel into whatever shape you'd like without it becoming too sticky. Polygel can also be formed on top of the natural nail with tips or forms, but most of the time it is formed inside of a dual form that is placed over the natural nail and pops off after it is cured. For this post, I will be using the Ohuhu Rainbow-12 color Polygel set, which can be found on Amazon, along with their UV/LED nail lamp.
This Polygel kit comes with everything you need to do your own Polygel nails at home. It includes:
- 12 colors of Polygel tubes (rainbow)
- UV/ LED Base and Top Coat
- Slip solution
- Dual forms
- Cuticle clippers, nail clippers, a 180/100 nail file, and cuticle pusher
- Dual-ended Polygel brush (one end is a scraper and one is the brush used for shaping the Polygel
- 4 glitters
The four glitter colors were a fine pink and dark blue, and holographic chunky/ fine mix of turquoise and green.
One thing to note about this kit is it only comes with dual forms. I personally found it somewhat difficult to work with dual forms as they don't fit the best with my natural nail shape, and dual forms tend to be a one size fits all situation. If dual forms don't typically fit your natural nail shape, you may prefer tips or forms.
To start off, I used their base coat. I buffed my nails and applied it to my natural nails. I cured it for 1 minute, but it still felt very tacky, so I cured it for another minute making it a total of 2 minutes. Even after 2 minutes, it was still tacky, but I figured it might just be the formula of the base coat.
After applying the base coat, I matched dual form sizes that fit my nails best. These specific dual forms did have a curve to them, but my natural nails typically don't curve which made it hard to find a good fit. When looking for a dual form, it's always better to go too big than too small. You want to make sure the form reaches both sides of your nails, otherwise, it may pop off before curing.
After choosing forms, I started to build the nails. For my pinky and thumb, I started with a plain color. I put a bead of the color Blueberry into the dual form and used my brush dipped in slip solution to form the shape.
After forming the shape, I placed it on my nail and wiped the excess from the sides, then cured it for 2 minutes. After curing, the forms popped off fairly easily for me, and I love how smooth the nail was on the top side, but I found it very difficult to get a smooth cuticle area as the form didn't lay flat on my nails. Because the dual forms didn't fit my nails properly, it also created air bubbles or sparse areas. It was also difficult to file the cuticle area and ridges down manually, so I think it'd be helpful if you owned an electric file. The filing also sometimes created white marks that didn't go away with top coat.
For my middle finger, I decided to try a marble design. I mixed one bead of the color blue and two beads of blueberry and swirled them around together on my table.
I then used the scraper to pick up the polygel and apply it to a dual form. Then, I used the brush to shape it like normal and repeated all the other steps.
For my index finger, I tried ombre. I put one bead of blue in the dual form and one bead of blueberry above it. I struggled a bit to get a seamless blend between the two colors because when forming it, it looked like a good ombre effect, but when I'd flip it over, it'd still be a harsh horizontal line.
Lastly, for my ring finger, I wanted to try the blue glitter. For this, I mixed the dark blue glitter with the clear polygel and repeated all the other steps.
To finish everything off, I went in with the UV/LED top coat to seal everything in and give a beautiful shine.
Overall, I highly recommend polygel to beginners or anyone looking to do their own nails at home. It's much more forgiving than acrylic as you can take as much time as you need to shape the nails without it drying before you finish. It's also thicker than gel, so it will hold its shape easily before you cure it. There is definitely a learning curve, and your first few tries might not be perfect, but I do think it gets easier the more you work with it. The only thing I really don't like about polygel is dual forms. If you don't have the perfect nail shape for the dual forms, it's very difficult to achieve a smooth transition near the cuticle and prevent air bubbles. Many of the issues I encountered during this first try were due to the dual forms. If you have straighter nails like me, I'd recommend trying polygel with tips or forms. With that being said, I had no issues with the polygel itself, and it was fairly easy to work with. I would rate this specific kit a 9/10!