No clue about BIAB nails? Here’s why you need to try them

27 February, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by Alexandra Teleki

Image by @nailartbyqueenie

What is BIAB™?

BIAB™ stands for Builder In A Bottle. It is The Gel Bottle’s unique invention. It’s a specifically formulated soft-gel designed to be used as a soft gel overlay on the natural nail. 

It was created to provide extra strength and protection against breakages, allowing customers to grow their nails to longer lengths. The formula already includes a primer, base, colour and builder gel in the mix making application easy and quick. 

How do you apply BIAB™?

I start by prepping the nails, then I wipe it with pure acetone to remove any oils from the nail plate. Next, I apply a thin layer of BIAB™ directly onto the nails and cure it on low heat for 99 seconds using The Gel Bottle’s UV Lamp. I then use a medium bead of BIAB™ and apply the product in a zig-zag motion onto the nails. I then turn the hand and use gravity to even out the gel for a few seconds. Next, I turn the hand back and using The Gel Bottle’s detailed nail art brush I move the uncured gel into place. Try to avoid build up around the free edge and cuticles. Always remember to seal the free edge and for the best result work on one nail at a time. 

You can then continue with a colour or nail art, or for a classic manicure you can leave the BIAB™ on its own. 

What is the difference between BIAB™ and Acrylic?

BIAB™ not only cuts out all the additional nail prep liquids and gels but it also saves time. BIAB™ is a soakable hard gel which provides additional strength to the natural nails without damaging the nails and is also easy to remove.

The BIAB™ slightly bends with the natural nail giving a bit of flexibility therefore it is less likely to break whilst acrylic is a hard nail enhancement and in the event of any trauma to the nail, there is no flexibility to it which causes a higher risk of ripping off the top layers of the nail plate when it breaks and will more likely to damage the natural nail. 

Acrylic is also more likely to lift. BIAB™ nails don’t usually break unless there is extreme trauma and even if this occurs, the nails usually break from the pressure points over the tips therefore avoiding direct damage to the nail plate.

What are the benefits of using BIAB™?

BIAB™ provides additional strength to the natural nails to help them to grow out long and healthy.

Depending on the lifestyle and working environment I’ve seen clients come back after 2 months and the gel is still perfectly intact. I personally don’t recommend this but it is quite an impressive result that the BIAB™ can offer.

How do you remove BIAB™?

First, I debulk the BIAB™ by filing or you can carefully drill the product down without touching the nails. Then soak the BIAB™ in pure acetone for 10-15 minutes. If there is more product left on the nails and it isn’t coming off easily, don’t force it, just file it gently a bit further down and soak it for another 5-10 minutes and it should come off effortlessly. 

The application process is quick and simple but it doesn’t take away from the incredible results and the strength that the BIAB™ provides. BIAB™ feels light on the nails while acrylic nails could feel heavy and can look bulky.

How long does it last and how to have a long-lasting manicure?

The BIAB™ usually lasts between three to four weeks depending on your nail growth, aftercare and lifestyle.

For a long-lasting manicure, you should avoid heat such as prolonged hot showers, baths, saunas or other sources of heat for 24 hours as it is the gel settling time.Wear gloves when working with harsh chemicals especially dishwashing liquids and bleaches as these products are designed to remove anything from the surface and it could lift the gel.

Use an oil such as The Gel Bottle’s cuticle oil or even a face oil at least once a day, preferably at night before bed so the product can hydrate the skin around the nail bed. Lastly, don’t use your nails as tools! Instead of opening a can with your nails use a key, or the back of a spoon or any other safe tool and try to avoid removing the seal underneath the nails as it could result in chipping or lifting of the gel.

Why do I love BIAB™?

I’ve been using BIAB™ since the beginning of my career. I wanted to become a manicurist that puts care into nails and help clients with weaker or previously damaged nails to become healthy and naturally long which the BIAB™ has enabled. 

BIAB™ also comes in many different shades giving an inclusive range of choices for everyone. Depending on your skin tone, there are many shades to ensure that you get the most natural looking finish and a shade to suit all.

My favourite shade is BIAB™19 because of the transparency of the gel, it appears as a slightly different shade on different skin tones giving a very natural finish and also providing the strength and protection that clients desire. Having a quality product that provides healthy nails makes the experience more pleasant rather than a chore. 



IALH Editorial Team


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