Gel polish has this feeling of being "complicated". Before the advent of at-home nail kits, you had no choice but to go to a salon for BOTH application and removal, but in the last couple of years, gel manicures have become more and more accessible with companies making it straightforward and easy to mimic salon quality. I used to get my gel polish applied at a salon too and when I realized that all you need to know how to do is APPLY POLISH, I started saving myself the $50 every month and used it towards buying my own polish!
One thing that I have had to research is how to do nail art with gel polish as the consistency is much thicker and never dries. Gel polish wants to goop and be applied thickly, but it actually needs to be applied in "thin" coats and cured with a UV or LED light in between. I definitely cannot do any fine detailing with gel polish like I can with regular polish, but one nail art technique that is PERFECTLY suited for gel polish is needle marbling or creating that "smokey" nail!
I was still super excited about discovering J & S Nails Gel Polish and decided to experiment with a couple of shades. Looking at this manicure now, I realize this is quite appropriate for Valentine's Day! I started by curing one thin coat of the hot pink J & S Nails - J2P*. I then applied a second coat of J2P and randomly dotted on S5R* (red), J1BLK* (black) and J1W* (white) at the tip of the nail. Using a thin dotting tool, I swirled all of the colours in a "figure 8" motion, making sure to pull out the swirls towards the cuticle for an extra smokey effect.
I have done this technique before with regular polish and though it works, polish starts to harden fairly quickly so you need to work quickly. Gel polish never dries so it honestly feels like you are swirling water giving an overall more seamless result. I cured two nails at a time as the polish starts to run if you don't at least flash cure it for a coup...