Gelish System – Products and Applications

What Gelish products needed to do a Gelish manicure? When should I apply the Structure Gel? What’s the difference between Gelish Gel Lamp and regular 36 watt lamp? Do you ship internationally?

These are some questions sent to us by customers.  I try to put together in this post so everyone can read. Feel free to correct me if there are mistakes.

1. What Gelish products needed to perform Gelish manicure?

To do Gelish manicure, here are the products and links to the products

2. What are the steps in Gelish application process?

Gelish Application

  • Sanitize the nails and your clients hands.
  • Push back the cuticle and clean the surrounding plate.
  • Shape the natural nail using nail file.
  • Gently remove the shine using the 100 grit side of a 100/180 Buffer.
  • Remove the dust and wipe the nail with Gelish Cleanser (Blue Liquid) using a lint free nail wipe.
  • Apply Gelish PH Bond to the nail plate. Apply in a very thin coat.
  • Apply Gelish Base Coat (Gelish Foundation Gel) – in a thin application and seal the edges of the nail.
  • Place hand in the Gelish LED Light for 10 seconds or a 36 Watt UV Light for 1 minute.
  • NOTE: For Clients with NAILS PRONE TO THINNING AND PEELING, add the following two Enhancement Steps:
    1. Apply Gelish Structure Gel in a THIN LIGHT APPLICATION from cuticle to free edge to build structure to the nail. Seal the edges of the nail & the free edge.
    2. Place hand in LED Light for 30 seconds or 36 Watt UV Light for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the tacky surface of the Foundation Gel with a clean dry brush or a clean dry lint free Wipe.
  • Apply Gelish Gel Polish of Choice – in a thin application from cuticle to free edge. Be sure to seal the edges of the nail.
  • Place hand in the LED Light for 30 seconds (20 seconds for light colors) or a 36 Watt UV Light for 2 minutes.
  • For darker coverage, apply another coat of polish and cure under the light with the same time duration
  • Apply Gelish Top Coat (Gelish Top It Off Gel) from cuticle to free edge using a thin, light application.
  • Place hand in LED Light for 20 seconds or 36 Watt UV Light for 2 minutes.
  • Wipe off the tacky surface residue with Gelish Cleanser (Blue Liquid).
  • Apply cuticle oil to the skin surrounding the nail.

How To Remove:

  • Using 180 grit file, gently file the surface of the Gelish to break the seal.
  • Apply Gelish SOAK OFF Remover to cotton or cosmetic pads, and apply over nail.
  • Wrap in foil for 10 minutes.
  • Gently remove gel with wood stick.
  • Use a buffer, lightly buff surface of nail.
  • Apply cuticle oil.

Here’s the summary for the curing times:

Under Gelish LED Light

Foundation Gel: 10 seconds; Structure Gel: 30 seconds; Top It Of f Gel: 20-30 seconds; Colors: 20-30 seconds

Under a 36-watt UV Lamp

Foundation Gel: 1 minute; Structure Gel: 2 minutes; Top It Of f Gel: 2 minutes; Colors: 2 minutes

3. When should I apply the Structure Gel?

Read the application process above to know when to apply and the curing time.

4. What’s the difference between Gelish Gel LED Lamp and regular 36 watt lamp?

The Harmony LED  is a ‘TRUE’ LED Lamp that cures gels more efficiently and effectively. The LED is faster and better for application than UV Lights. LED light can last up to 50,000 hours and do not diminish in power over its life span.

5. Do you ship internationally?

Yes, we ship Gelish products internationally.

6. Is Gelish 3-big free?

Based on the manufacturer’s response to this question, Gelish is free from Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP.

7. I’m not a nail technician/I don’t have license. Can I buy Gelish from you? Do you wholesale Gelish?

Anyone (has license or not) can purchase Gelish at our website We offer Gelish nail polish to consumer and professionals.

8. It’s difficult to see the gelish polish colors from the small pictures. Or, I need help with finding the colors I want.

Yes, we heard you. Many bloggers have done reviews on Gelish and posted their swatches. Feel free to search on the internet to find a specific color swatches. To see the complete Gelish colors that are available in the market, we recommend Nail Harmony website.

Some Gelish swatches I found on the internet.

Gelish Color Chart 1

gelish color chart 2

gelish polish color chart 3

gelish polish color-chart 4

Last but not the least, watch the video for Gelish application.

Alright, I hope this is helpful. If you have question or comment, feel free to post it here.


#1 Yvrtolax2000 on 05.06.11 at 7:09 am

Hi there – thanks for posting the gelish color swatches! I must be missing something but how do I link the swatch with the name of the gelish color? Thanks!

#2 Yvrtolax2000 on 05.07.11 at 5:51 am

Uh, I figured it out. Duh. Thanks!

#3 Thresa on 05.10.11 at 6:11 am

Thanks for the input. I’ve added a gelish color chart complete with numbers and names.

#4 Cindyhanson on 06.28.11 at 2:29 pm

Just want to add that I use the color BASHFUL, and while it looks super white, it’s actually a VERY natural looking color on my nails.  It has just enough opacity to cover any marks on my nails. 

#5 Cindyhanson on 06.28.11 at 2:29 pm

Just want to add that I use the color BASHFUL, and while it looks super white, it’s actually a VERY natural looking color on my nails.  It has just enough opacity to cover any marks on my nails. 

#6 Anonymous on 06.29.11 at 4:49 am

Thanks for the input. I guess it would be perfect for French Manicure then.

#7 Mary Masson001 on 09.22.11 at 4:30 pm

would you be able to send me the gelish colour swatches. Am looking at starting up but dont have all the information yet

#8 Anonymous on 09.23.11 at 5:10 am

Hi, I’m sorry we can’t send the gelish color swatches. The photo swatches are available in this post. You can also go to website ( to see the big photos of each color swatch. 

#9 Tracey on 12.16.11 at 10:43 pm

HI, I was wondering if you can help ,my colour coat won’t go into the edge of the need it seems to shink back I don’t understand as I am dry brushing the need can you help.

#10 Tracey on 12.16.11 at 10:44 pm

Sorry I mean edge of the nail.sorry

#11 Mandy on 01.01.12 at 5:28 pm

I have just started using the gelish collection and it seems like the foundation base comes off with the dry lint free cloth. Is this as it should be? I am using a 36amp uv lamp to cure the product.

#12 Torriehoskins on 01.04.12 at 6:38 am

I am doing gelish at home, and I am using the gelish structure
Gel due to my nails being weak and flimsy. My ? Is, the structure
Gel doesn’t seem to be adding enough strength to my nails
I am not using the foundation gel since I’m using the structure
Gel as a base. Woul I get more strength if I used the gelish hard gel and
Then the gelish color? Thank u

#13 admin on 01.05.12 at 10:48 pm

Are you dry-wiping (with a clean brush/lint free wipe) the base coat after it’s cured? Light dry-wiping the base coat would help. And apply thins layer.

#14 admin on 01.05.12 at 11:02 pm

Check your bulbs first, perhaps the base is undercured. Remember to cure the base for 1 minute. It also may help to increase the cure time.

#15 admin on 01.05.12 at 11:04 pm

Yes, using foundation and structure gel help to strengthen the weak nails. Use the foundation first then the structure.

#16 Dmleal on 04.06.12 at 9:45 pm

Would love to hear some replies.  I have the same question.

#17 Thresa on 04.14.12 at 4:39 am

You still have to use Foundation base together with Structure Gel to get optimal result. Apply Foundation base first then Structure gel. 

#18 Sandy on 04.14.12 at 4:39 pm

If I am doing color swatches on a wheel do I need to rough up the nail on the color wheel before I start? Also do I need to go through the entire process or can I just use the color and top it off?

#19 Bferguson on 04.15.12 at 10:23 pm

I used both on me and my BFF, foundation – cure – structure – cure – then polish x2 curing with each.  Just like it says up above it worked great after I figured out you have to do the thumbs separate and the more time spent under the led light the better especially for darker colors..  Hope this helps.

#20 Spacebunny on 04.24.12 at 3:26 pm

 You just need to colour and top it off, no roughing up or base coat needed!

#21 hazel rodriguez on 04.25.12 at 8:29 pm

i am a nail tyechnicianin one ofthe best salon in amman  jordan ,, i theowner to have a service for gelish aside from the ordinary or regular manicure,,,and i like it its so easy,,,we will bring tyhe gelish  harmony brand its so amazing 

#22 Legrand519 on 05.21.12 at 7:31 am

I get the same problem, the foundation base seems to shrink up, maybe we’re not cleansing it right.

#23 Rosyopsie on 05.26.12 at 8:21 am

Hi, this is a great article, really useful when starting out with Gelish.  Just have a question about the nail prep, am confused about the use of the 100 grit buffer, is this OK for the natural nail, as I thought 100 grit was just for artificial nails?
Thanks, any advise re this appreciated

#24 thresa on 05.29.12 at 10:49 pm

Grit 100 is what recommended by Gelish. Yes, you can use fine nail buffer with higher grade like this one:

#25 Cullenerinvanessa on 07.24.12 at 7:33 pm

Can you put more than one coat of gel top coat sealer? Do you have to cure under light between coats? Can you use opi polish for French tip manicure under the gelish top coat sealer?

#26 on 12.01.12 at 9:19 am

My gelish foundation is very thick and is not drying, nor is the polish and I have been under the uv 36 watt lamp FOREVER and still not dry. Could the foundation be old?

#27 Thresa on 12.03.12 at 8:31 pm

It’s normal that over time gel polish can get thicker. Try to use a gel polish thinner and see if that helps. If the polish is solid thick then it can’t be thinned. We have a gel polish thinner here:

#28 Beth Gray on 02.22.13 at 9:41 am

Hello ;), can you to me if the harmony hand and nail led hard gel can be processed in a UV 54 watt royal nails pro. Thank you!
Beth Gray

#29 Abby on 02.27.13 at 10:43 am

Hi. I have been doing gelish nails for 8 months now and have never had a problem… Untill now!! I bought the black polish but it doesn’t cure. I have 3 uv lamps and an LED lamp but it does not cure in any. Even after 20 minutes. Any ideas why???

#30 Annick on 07.24.13 at 11:01 pm

Hi Abby I have the same issue with the black Gelish…… have you found an answer in the mean time. Black is the only colour I bought so I thought my lamp was broken….. I use led also

#31 Abby on 07.25.13 at 4:07 pm

Hi Annick. Never got an answer off anyone. The people at the warehouse I bought it from just kept saying it was obviously something I was doing wrong. Since then I bought a bottle of black gel polish from eBay and it cures in a minute. Obviously there was more pigment than gel base in the black. I emailed the company direct in America and got fobbed off with the old ‘it’s you that’s not doing it right, it couldn’t possibly be our product’ story!! But after research I have found that quite a few people have had the same problem with the IBD black lava. These people didn’t get it resolved either. Hope this helps 🙂

#32 Judy on 05.03.14 at 8:13 pm

Can you use other polishs with this system?

#33 thresa on 05.17.14 at 9:18 pm

Yes you can use gelish with other gel polish.

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