A Guide To BIAB Nails
A Guide To BIAB Nails

A Guide To BIAB Nails

If you’re a gel manicure addict, you’ve probably heard of BIAB. Both a product and a technique, it delivers the same kind of glossy, hard-wearing finish as traditional polish, but also strengthens, protects and promotes better growth at the same time. We asked two manicurists to tell us more…
By Rebecca Hull

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

What It Is:

“It doesn’t surprise me BIAB is a hot topic in the SL Community. It’s been around for years but has really made waves on social media recently. BIAB stands for ‘builder in a bottle’ and was created by The GelBottle Inc. Since launching, we have expanded our range to include different colours, shimmers and formulas. It’s a nail strengthening gel that can be built up for a hardwearing finish.  Containing ingredients that are designed to strengthen and nourish the nail, the formula hardens and protects your tips as you wear it. BIAB can be used alone, with extensions or as a base underneath traditional gel for extra strength.” – Giorgia Cappella, session manicurist for The GelBottle Inc

How BIAB Works:

“BIAB is a medium-viscosity builder gel that works by mimicking the nails’ natural apex. It builds strength on the nail plate, and underneath gel colours and topcoats. Unlike a regular manicure, BIAB can protect the natural nail against breakages by providing structure to your nail’s stress point. While BIAB needs maintenance every two to four weeks, you will find you experience fewer breakages and less chipping.” – Giorgia

The Gel Bottle Inc via @Gel.ByMegan

The USPs:

“Unlike acrylics, which need to be filed off, BIAB can be soaked off using acetone which causes far less damage. It can also be used as a basecoat – so if you want a shade that isn't available in the current BIAB range, your nail tech can simply apply BIAB as a base, then pop any gel polish on top to achieve the same benefits and results. It can also be used to mend breakages. For example, you can sculpt short extensions to perfect their shape or use it to correct tears. Plus, infilled correctly, BIAB can last longer – you’ll get four weeks out of it regardless.” – Giorgia 

“In terms of how builder gels differ to traditional gels, first they’re a lot thicker in consistency, which is what helps them strengthen natural nails. They differ in the sense that they can be used to build extensions and fix broken nails. This is because they are so sturdy. I often refer to builder gels as a protective base.” Iram Shelton, pro nail artist 

BIAB ‘Infills’ Explained:

“To protect the natural nail from unnecessary trauma caused during the removal process, a thicker consistency product can be infilled. This involves removing the purpose-built apex and infilling the regrowth area with product, moving and recreating the apex back to where it needs to be. This gives new length to the nail and enough strength to help it continue growing. If nails are left to continuously grow without the maintenance of infill appointments, the apex is no longer sitting over the nail’s stress point and damage can happen.” – Giorgia

Who It’s For:

“Not everyone needs builder gels. I would say they are best suited to those who want to restore and improve the strength of their natural nails. It’s best for longer nails as they require more support and structure as they grow out. As mentioned, however, they are versatile and if you simply want to try it as a one-off, you can opt for it as a builder gel base to extend the life of a traditional gel mani.” – Iram 


Where To Go:

“Builder gels are becoming more and more popular. The majority of salons now offer this service. If in doubt, contact your salon beforehand and look at their social media to check they offer it.” – Iram

“BIAB is available widely now – look out for it in Townhouse salons, Soho House salons and also at Ruuby. Just be wary if a salon says they offer ‘BIAB treatments’. If they are not using official BIAB product, it’s a ‘dupe’ which we strongly recommend avoiding.” – Giorgia 

Final Advice: 

“To keep your nails healthy underneath BIAB, invest in a good hand cream. I recommend Peacci’s S.K.I.N Peach Mani-Pedi Cream and its scrub too. Both nourish skin and help to keep dryness at bay. As well as amping up the hydration, avoid basic things like doling the washing up in hot water without gloves – heat just lifts the product and causes it to peel prematurely.” – Giorgia

For more visit TheGelBottle.com and follow @IramShelton on Instagram.

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at info@sheerluxe.com.

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily