Watch out, gel and shellac, because there’s a new, extremely durable manicure option that doesn’t do as much damage to your healthy nails: BIAB nails.
We’ve long loved manicures with gel or shellac because they have so many advantages over regular nail polish, but they have a few catches. Gel manicures, for example, often have to be filed off the nail, which can cause damage in the long run and make your nail thinner and thinner. Shellac, meanwhile, can be removed from the nails with aluminum foil, but it lasts only about two weeks. The BIAB gel manicure, however, addresses these exact weak points and promises gentle manicures that last a long time.
So what is a BIAB gel manicure?
“BIAB stands for Builder in a Bottle,” says BIAB expert and cosmetician Sonja Landtrachtinger. “In terms of consistency, it’s basically the exact middle ground between gel and shellac, and it also hardens under a UV lamp.”
The advantage of this: BIAB has both primer and bonding agent directly integrated into one bottle, which means fewer steps are necessary and the gel adheres extremely well. Another plus is that it can be used as a base for other manicures as well as on its own. And it’s completely vegan and cruelty-free.
How long do BIAB nails last?
“BIAB gel adheres extremely well to the nails, which means it grows out with the nail,” says Landtrachtinger. “After about three to five weeks, you should have the gel refilled or removed from the nails.”
Should I do BIAB nails?
“BIAB nails are for anyone who is not allergic to the ingredients,” says Landtrachtinger. “With 48 nude and natural shades, there is also a suitable BIAB gel for everyone.” If you want colors beyond what’s available, you can supplement the Builder in a Bottle with normal nail polish or shellac over a nude-colored BIAB gel.
A video showing how BIAB gel can even help with nail biting as well as cracked and brittle nails just went viral on TikTok. Also genius: After only four applications, the nails are long again. This makes the new gel perfect for anyone who struggles with broken nails and wants to make them healthy again.
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How is BIAB gel applied?
BIAB gel differs in application from shellac and gel. Glamour Germany beauty editor Anna Bader tested the new trend and recorded the individual steps for you below:
“This is how my natural nails look before the BIAB gel manicure. My nails regularly crack on my heavily used index and middle fingers.”