When you’re getting a gel manicure, your nail technician will apply a base coat and two coats of color. She’ll then cure each layer for 30 seconds or so before applying the next one. Finally, she’ll cure the entire nail again for three minutes.
The curing process hardens the gel layer and gives it its shiny finish. But some salons don’t use a bonder on their clients’ nails before the curing process — and that can be risky, says Jessica Krant, Nail Director at New York’s Stephen Nails Spa.
A bonder is a special liquid that’s applied to your nails before you get your gel manicure. It helps the polish adhere better to your natural nail, which makes for a longer-lasting manicure. Without it, there’s no guarantee that your polish will last as long as it should — especially if you’re going in for weekly fills instead of just one long session (which is recommended).
Last modified: November 14, 2022