What Is Solid Gel Polish

Why You Need To Try Solid Cream Gel Polish

Tired of your gel polish running into your cuticles? We have an answer for you: solid cream gel polish! This type of gel polish is completely solid, but applies smoothly, and can be stored safely in palettes without the risk of spilling. Keep reading to find out why we absolutely love solid gel polish palettes.

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What Is Solid Gel Polish?

Solid gel polish is a long lasting gel nail color with a thick consistency. It stays put (doesn’t drip or run like bottled gel polishes) so it can be stored in palettes and pots without spilling. A gel brush is needed for application. Even though solid gel polishes appear to be quite thick in its packaging, they apply smoothly and with ease over the nails. To ‘dry’ or cure any gel nail product, you need to put it under a LED (30 seconds) or UV nail lamp (2 minutes).

Is Solid Gel Nail Polish Something New?

Not really - Nail gels come in all sorts of different consistencies. Solid gels have been available to professional nail techs for many years now, but they have just recently entered the consumer market. 

Thin & Runny Consistency - Gel Nail Polishes

We have gel polish (the stuff you find in bottles), which is the thinnest. It’s most similar to regular polish, and has a runny consistency. Gel nail polishes are great for adding thin layers of long lasting colour.

Honey Consistency - Builder Gels (Soft & Hard Nail Gels)

Next we have builder gels, which are a bit thicker, but still runny (think honey). They can be made of soft or hard gel, and are used to add structure to flat or unbalanced natural nails. These types of gels are relatively easy to use because they are self-leveling. This means when they are applied properly, the gel will adjust itself into a nice, even layer.

Solid Consistency - Sculpting Gel, Art Gel & Solid Cream Gel Polish

All of these gels have a solid consistency. If you turn the container upside down, nothing will spill out. However, they can be ‘scooped’ out quite easily with a gel nail brush or spatula.

Sculpting Gel

This type of hard gel is used for nail extensions. Its solid consistency makes it easier to build long, artificial nails that are strong and durable.

Nail Art Gel

Art gels are thick and highly pigmented. These features make it easier to draw fine details for nail art designs. Unlike gel polish which tends to move with gravity, nail art gels stay put until you’re finished with the design and ready to cure under a LED lamp.

Solid Cream Gel polish

Solid gel polishes are similar to art gel in the way that it stays put and doesn’t flow with gravity. The main difference is that solid polishes are less pigmented and have a softer texture. The softer texture makes it easier to apply the polish to the entire nail. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using Solid Gel Nail Palettes? 

Here are some of our favourite things about solid gel polishes in palettes:

Doesn’t Run Or Move

This is great if you have issues with gel polish running into the cuticles. It also saves time because you can work on several nails at a time before curing them.

Saves Space

Solid gel polish palettes are flat and compact, and can be stacked up. In terms of storage, you’d need much less space compared to bottled gel polishes.

Great For Mobile Nail Artists

Since each palette contains so many different colours, and the polishes cannot spill, it’s much easier to travel with solid gel polishes. A huge bonus for mobile nail artists who need to bring a variety of colour options with them!

Ideal For Nail Art

Some types of nail art are nearly impossible to do with bottled gel polishes because the consistency is too thin. With the thicker texture of solid gel polishes, you can easily create nail art that has finer details.

Thin Application

Since solid gel polishes are quite pigmented, you can usually get a great colour payoff with just two, thin coats. This results in a sleek, natural looking nail.

What Are The Cons With Using Solid Gel Polishes?

You Need A Gel Brush

Solid cream gel polishes don’t usually include a brush like bottled gel polishes do. You have to buy one separately. In addition, you have to clean and care for it properly. If a gel brush isn’t cleaned between different colours, you’ll risk mixing the colours. The last thing you want is to get the leftover pieces of glitter from a previous polish in your next non-glitter gel application.  

Thicker Consistency

Most of us are used to applying bottled gel polish because the consistency is similar to regular polish. However, with solid cream gel polishes, the consistency is much thicker, and may take some practicing to get used to.

Small Quantities

Since solid gel polish palettes include many different colours, the trade off is that you get a small amount of each. If there’s a particular solid gel polish you like, you may have to buy the entire palette again.

How Do You Use Solid Gel Nail Polish?

What you’ll need:

Step 1

Prep nails with a manicure - Trim and file nails, push back and trim cuticles if necessary, buff the surface of the nails with a block buffer.

Step 2

Use a nail brush to get rid of any nail dust.

Step 3

Use a nail wipe with alcohol to wipe the surface of the nail to remove any excess oils.

Step 4

Apply a thin even layer of gel base coat and cure under the LED lamp for 30 seconds.

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Step 5

‘Scoop’ up the solid gel polish with your gel brush and brush an even layer over the nail. Cure for 30 seconds. Repeat layers until you get the coverage you want (usually 2 coats).

Step 6

Apply a layer of gel top coat to seal everything in. Cure for 30 seconds.

And you’re done!

TIP: Cover your gel brush and close your solid gel polish palette when using the LED nail lamp. Any exposure to the light will harden the gel.

How Do You Remove Solid Gel Polish?

Solid gel polishes are soft gel, which means you can easily remove them by soaking in acetone. Check out our How To Remove Gel Polish Easily At Home article!

Summing Things Up

Solid cream gel polishes can be used by both experienced nail techs and enthusiasts. There is a bit of a learning curve, but the results are definitely worth it!


How long does solid gel polish last?

Can you air dry gel nail polish?

Does solid gel polish need UV light?

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About the Author Catherine

As a kid, I discovered the world of Japanese nail art through a magazine and since then, I haven't been able to stop thinking about anything related to nails! After following a more traditional educational path and earning my Bachelor's of Science in Food and Nutrition, I decided it was time to pursue my childhood passion. In 2015, I earned my diploma from Blanche Macdonald’s Nail Technology Program. After that, I got certified with YUMI Lashes and opened Sunday Beauty Boutique in 2017. These days, I'm focused on providing a 'no rush' experience to a select clientele, teaching as a nail instructor at Blanche Macdonald, as well as providing resources on beauty related topics to clients and estheticians on my blog.

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