How To Apply Nail Foils With Gel | 2 Ways to Master Transfer Foils

Transfer foils, are they not so beautiful to create easy and fun nail art?

But chances are if you’re watching this video not only are you super curious about how to do a foil transfer but also… how to get it to stay without lifting.

So in today’s video I’m going to show 2 ways to master your transfer foils, step-by-step.

Hey there, I am Paola Ponce, years ago perhaps just like you, I started doing nails from home with non-paying clients. Soon after taking a full leap of faith, I rented a small little corner in a salon w/ just one client. A couple years later and after my fair share of sweat, pain and tears I achieved booked-solid success, and a near 6 figure income. But after maxing-out my own   growth in the chair, I decided to quit and make my success no mystery.

I created this channel to fast forward the next generation of nail techs.

Here we talk gel nails and entrepreneurship, and together we explore the freedom of being your own nail boss. I’ll help you find your niche in nails and expand your opportunities beyond the nail table. So if you’re new here, and are oh-so intrigued, ready to grow and take … YOUR next big leap of faith, Welcome! And please consider subscribing. 

Now back to today’s topic.

First things first, when doing transfer foil art, you must have the right products.

Thankfully, now you don’t have to search too much too long to find the right type of adhesive for transfer foils.

2 of my favorite Japanese gel nail companies have started carrying excellent quality foil transfer gel.

Kokoist offers theirs in a pot, and Leafgel offers theirs in a bottle via their sister brand Lily Gel. And I’ll link you in the description box below if you’re interested in buying these.

Alright so the cat is out of the bag,  the new way to achieve a successful foil transfer is by using foil transfer gel. I believe you could use this foil gel sandwiched in between regular polish coats, but for this video we’ll be using it with nail gel.

Oh! And by a successful transfer we mean one that is more solid, without too much crackle and most importantly one that does not wear off at the free edge.

Foil gel is going to give you that successful transfer by attracting the foil via a very sticky layer, almost like a double-sided sticky tape.

Foil gel is very forgiving, and even if you don’t like your first transfer, you can actually just scrub it off and start over w/o having to reapply it.

Here is the step-by-step for a partial foil transfer. This type of transfer is especially good for the new trend of 3d jewelry on the nails.

Step 1: Apply your foundation gels and desired color, then top coat with a non wipe matte top gel.

Why a non wipe matte top gel? Because it is going to ensure that your foil does not transfer unto areas that you don’t want it to transfer. However, if you do need to clean any unintended areas, just grab your towelette and alcohol cleanser and scrub away.

Either Kokoist or Leafgel carry excellent non-wipe matte top gel.

Step 2: Design the area you wish.

I’m going to be using Vetro’s Extension Clear Builder because I find it to be the firmest in my Japanese collection of builders. And remember, in this design, I am going for that raised, 3D look.

Fully cure your design. 

Step 3: Using your foil gel, overlay your design or whatever you will want your foil to adhere to. For partial transfers or jewelry designs I do prefer Kokoist’s potted gel version, it’s just easier to dig into.

Fully cure this layer.

Step 4: Cut out approximately the amount of foil you will be using. Try not handling it too much with your finger tips, as you will leave oils or moisture from your fingertips on the foil. This can mess up the success of your foil transfer.

Step 5:

With one firm press, place your foil unto the desired area. Do not continuously press it on the same area, or you will cause it to crackle. Unless, that is the look you are going for.

Once you are happy with your transfer, flash cure it.

Step 6: Finish the design with a thick viscosity top coat, or seal your design using a thin coat of base and then non wipe top gel. A slightly thicker seal will ensure your foil does not become exposed should your thin top coat wear down. Cure it.

Now time for a full foil transfer.

Step 1: Apply your foundation gels… base, builder, or both.

Step 2: Apply a color that compliments the foil you choose should you have any stubborn areas that do not transfer. One coat is fine. Cure that layer.

Step 3: Apply a generous layer of foil gel on the entire nail’s surface, and avoid capping the free edge. The reason why you want to skip capping the free-edge is because for some odd reason, although foil gel does really good at attaching foil, and it is gel, it doesn’t do so well at bonding with other gels. I’m not too sure why, but I can only imagine that it is like putting a layer of gel on a double sided sticky tape… that sticky tape almost has a rubbery oily silicone -type of feel. And if you own a silicone practice hand, you know very few things adhere to silicone.

Fully cure this layer of foil gel.

Step 4: With one firm press attach your foil and rub the rest until it attaches. Continuously keep rubbing until the foil becomes unloose. If you do not like your transfer, simply scrub your foil off with a towelette and alcohol cleanser. Let that alcohol evaporate and simply press on your foil again.

Most transfer foils will allow you to  re-apply your transfer w/o applying more gel. But if your foil gel does not do that, no worries simply reapply a thin layer. Or slightly buff the old layer off and re-apply.

Step 5: Apply bonder at the tip, and flash cure.

Step 6: This is the time you’ll want to try and make sure your next gel layers make contact and cap with your foundation gels. Apply a thick viscosity top gel or a thin layer of base gel and then non-wipe top gel. Fully cure your design and you’re done!!

Woohoo! I hope after these 2 step-by-steps you feel like a total Foil Transfer Master.

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