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Soft Gel Extension Application and Removal


Gel nail extensions tutorial for nail tech beginners, home users, and professionals. Gel products are to be used with professional safety standards. 

Many people ask how long do gel nail extensions last? No matter the nail shape or length the answer is usually an astounding 3-4 weeks! At this time is it recommended to either infill the gel nail application or do a complete gel nail removal.

The following video will show you the steps to apply Quick Gel Tips with our Cactus Gelly Plus formula. You can also follow below for a step-by-step written instructions on how to apply gel nail tips. Keep reading further to learn how to safely remove your gorgeous nail art and gel extension nails.

Gelly Tip Application:

  1. Remove any dead cuticle from the nail plate using an orangewood stick or cuticle pusher.
  2. Take a small nail file or buffer block to gently "etch" the nail plate. Pay attention to the sidewalls and the back of the nail. This is often where lifting can happen. Try to avoid too much pressure or over filing the natural nail.
  3. Fit each Quick Gel Tip to the natural nails. *Pro tip - file the gel extension for a perfect fit.
  4. Using an electric file or regular nail file to etch the inside of the nail tip. This will allow the gel to adhere better to the nail gelly tip.
  5. Using a lint free wipe and 100% alcohol to clean and degrease the nail plate. *Leaving natural nail oils can increase the likelihood of product lifting.
  6. If using our Original Formula Kit apply Prime Time to the nail *avoiding skin contact. Let air try for 1-2 minutes. *If using our Cactus Gelly Plus Formula and Kit you can go straight to step 7 (Primer is optional but does help with adhesion)
  7. apply a thin layer of Cactus Gelly Plus or Original Formula to each nail plate avoiding contact with your skin. Cure in our Keep It Boxy full size lamp for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Swipe a small amount of Cactus Gelly (Plus or OG) inside the Quick Gel Tip nail extension. Apply 1-2mm from the cuticle area starting at a 45 degree angle slowly press the nail tip onto the natural nail. Place under the Sidewinder Flash Cure Lamp for 15-20 seconds until the gel begins to harden. *avoid skin contact
  9. After flashcuring all nails on one hand, place the hand under a full size nail lamp, like our Keep it Boxy, and cure for 1-2 minutes.
  10. After applying all nails and fully curing, buff nails before painting with our selection of gel polish. You can also use our Rubber Base gels or Color Base gel coats for added strength before applying color. 2-3 layers of color *curing completely between it layer.
  11. Top coat and fully cure.
  12. Try with our large selection of different types of nail shapes.


So you are ready to remove Quick Gel Tip nails? Proper removal of your nail tips is essential to make sure you do not damage your nail plate or nail bed. Applying nail extensions safely can take practice and safely removing your nail tips is also as equally important.

This Video Shows the Removal Process for Quick Gel Tips by e-file. See Below for our article on removing gelly tips in readable steps. Filing can be done with a regular hand file or an electric nail file.

Here are some Easy Steps to Remove Gel Nail Extensions:

  1. Clip down nail extensions as much as possible with nail clippers.
  2. Use a nail file to gently remove as much of the top coat, gel polish, and gel extension that you can. It is safer to leave a small layer of the Quick Gel Tip Extension or Cactus Gelly than remove it completely.
  3. Soak a cotton ball in acetone. This must be 100% acetone. Place a soaked cotton ball on each nail and wrap in aluminum foil.
  4. Keep the cotton ball and foil on the nails for minimum of 10-15 minutes. Sometimes 20 minutes is needed if there is still a lot of product on the nail plate. **
  5. After the 10-15 minutes remove the foil and gently scrape the product off the nail plate. If there is remaining gel do not force it off. Re-wrap or continue to soak the gel polish and Cactus Gelly until it is dissolved enough to scrape off again.
  6. Gently buff off any remaining gel product from the nail plate.
  7. Once all the gel is removed wash hands and the apply cuticle oil if you are not re-applying nail extensions.

** you can soak nails in acetone instead of wrapping them. We recommend using an acetone safe dish. Be sure to apply a generous amount of cuticle oil to the fingers for this process to avoid dehydrating the skin too much if this approach is taken.

**Please note you cannot use regular nail polish remover. You must use 100% acetone to remove gel products.