What Is a Structure Gel Manicure?

What Is a Structure Gel Manicure
Structure gel manicures are gel-based manicures that strengthen and restructure nails. A damaged nail can benefit from this treatment.

Nails are an important part of our beauty that needs to be maintained. Taking care of your nails is as important as taking care of the other parts of your body. Nowadays people have become very passionate about beautifying their nails. For years, people, especially women, have used different nail polishes to make them appear exclusive. Besides nail polish, nail art, and different manicures became popular around the world. Structure gel is a popular manicure that provides additional strength and protection to your nails.

So, what is a structure gel manicure? A structure gel manicure is a thicker manicure that helps to restructure nails. This can work effectively for people with fragile, weak, or rigid nails. Structure gel nails are thicker than other gel nails. Structure gel nails are softer and more durable than other soft nails. These are also lightweight and so breathable on the skin. There are also some drawbacks of structure gel manicures. So, keep that in mind before choosing your manicure to get your desired nails.

Structure Gel Manicure: 3 Defining Characteristics


A structured gel manicure provides a supportive layer and protects your nails from further breakage. A gel manicure is applied only by brushing while a structured gel manicure is applied thicker than the gel manicure.

As this manicure is applied thickened, it gives more coverage than the other gel manicures. The formulation of structured gel nails is different and it provides additional strength and protection to your nails. People with rigid, fragile, or weak nails can get better results with structured gel nails. There are 3 primary defining characteristics of a structure gel manicure.

Characteristic 1: Using a thicker viscosity gel

A structure gel manicure must require a thicker viscosity gel. The viscosity is thick and will have a semi-hard texture, making it durable and long-lasting. Selecting a gel with higher viscosity is very important to form and manipulate the nails into their desired shape. Some nail technicians apply a colored builder in a bottle solution that is semi-hard and durable in nature.

Characteristic 2: Thicker Gel Nails

Structure gel nails are thicker and designed to strengthen weakened nails. These thicker top coats will help you to get more durable and healthy-looking nails. The advantage of thicker gel is it creates a stronger and more protective barrier on nails.  The disadvantage of thicker gel nails is they will prevent the glossy and smooth finish of nails.

Characteristic 3: Smooth Apex

Apex is the most sensitive and vulnerable area of our nails. The structured gel nails are applied here to strengthen the nails and prevent the breakage of the nail tips. Take your time to fill and shape the nails with gels until you get a smooth and beautiful transition between the apex and the other part of the nails.

Tools You’ll Need to Do a Structure Gel Manicure

For a structured gel manicure, you’ll need some of the tools. You may buy them separately or get all the tools in a gel kit online. The significant tools needed for structured gel nails are-

  • A UV or LED lamp
  • A base coat
  • A top coat
  • Cuticle oil
  • A nail buff
  • A gel nail polish

5 Steps to Follow in a Structure Gel Manicure

Following the steps properly is very significant for a structure gel manicure. There are some steps to follow for getting a perfect structure gel manicure.

1. Prepare the Nails

Nail preparation is the most significant thing to do before starting any manicure. For preparing your nails, you can fill, prepare your cuticles, and do a hand massage. Proper preparation of your nails will ensure clean and perfectly shaped gel nails. File off your nails correctly. Otherwise, the gel may not adhere to your nails properly.

Prepare the nails

2. Apply the Gel

After preparing your nails, apply the gel with one coat and two polishes of gel. Choose your desired color and apply the coat with a nail brush. The other gel nails may require only one or two polishes while a structured gel manicure requires two or three polishes over the nails. Choose your desired color or go for a clear coat to get a more natural finish. A layer of hard gel is applied to get it more strengthened.

Apply the gel

3. Shape the Nails

After applying the gel, structure your nails by plumping and shaping them. If you properly shape the apex of your nails, you’ll get healthier and more natural nails coming out. In this step, you need to apply the hard gel to balance your nails and ensure healthy nails.

Shape the nails

4. Create Extensions (Optional)

If anyone desires extensions, a metallic sticker must be placed under your natural nails. Afterward, apply the gel to create an extension. Remove the paper when you are done with your desired length and form.

Create extensions optional

5. Cure Your Nails

Finally, a UV or LED light is needed for curing your nails. You need to heat or dry up your nails under the UV lamp. Hard gels are available in different colors. If you prefer nude colors to avoid discoloration, a layer of soft gel will be applied over the hard gel. This will be again cured under the UV or LED light.

Cure your nails

Benefits and Drawbacks of Structure Gel Manicure

Structured gel manicures have benefits for almost all types of nails. But it has some extra benefits for some people. Structure gel manicures strengthen damaged and crooked nails. There are also some drawbacks of structured gel manicures along with the benefits.


  • Though structured gel nails are known as hard gels, these are softer and more durable than acrylic nails or soft gels.
  • The extensions of acrylic nails can crack while the structure gel nails protect your nails.
  • Structured gel nails are flexible and durable. It can stay for 4-6 weeks approximately. So, structured gel nails have longevity and less risk of damage.
  • Structured gel manicure helps to protect your natural nails from breakage or any other damage.
  • Structure gel manicure is versatile and can be found in many colors. It is totally fume free which is a plus point for the people.
  • Structured gel nails help the nail-growing process. It also reduces the sensitive points of our nails including the nail tips and apex of our nails.
  • Structured gel manicures are very beneficial for nail biters or people who damage their nails so easily.
  • People with any type of nails including short or long nails can do this. This feels so light and breathable on the skin.


  • After the procedure, your nails may get a little bit irritated. This may not happen with all but some may face this issue if they have sensitive skin.
  • The removal process may harm your nails as there will be more than two strong coats.
  • As structured gel nails contain more than two layers of coat, the nails may require more maintenance than typical nails.
  • Sometimes, structured gel nails require primers and bonders that make the nails dehydrated, yellow, and brittle.
  • A structured gel manicure may contain so many shades but when it comes to rebalancing, you need to remove all the previous gel products from your nails.
  • Structured gel manicure is not a time saver. Generally, it takes two and a half hours to complete the process which is too lengthy.
  • If you go to a professional nail technician for a structured gel manicure, it will be more expensive than other gel manicures.
  • In some cases, structured gel manicures may harm your natural nails. Especially at the time of removing structure gel nails, the nails may break or be damaged.

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How to Remove a Structure Gel Manicure?

Generally, the structured gel nails last 4-6 weeks. But some people may want to remove it before it gets removed on its own or they desire new gel nails. For removing the structure gel manicure, you’ll need some tools. The tools are as follows-

How to remove a structure gel manicure
  • Acetone
  • Cotton pads
  • A nail file
  • An orange stick
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cuticle Pusher
  • Cuticle oil

Firstly, buff your nails to remove the shine from your nails. Divide the cotton pads into 5 different parts. Pour pure Acetone on those pads and put them on your nails. Then, you need to soak the cotton in acetone and wrap your fingertip and wait for 15-20 minutes. For removing the gel, use the wooden orange stick and wait for some more minutes. You may use aluminum foil to remove it first. Use acetone to remove the layers from your nails and apply cuticle oil to maintain the moisture and hydration of your nails. This is how you can easily remove a structure gel manicure.


1. What is the difference between gel manicures and structure gel manicures?

The regular gel manicure requires simply brushing on the top coat or base layer. On the other hand, a Structured gel manicure is designed in a unique way that provides a supportive layer and protects your nails.

2. Is Structured gel the same as hard gel?

The main difference between structure and hard gel is in their molecular structure. Hard gels contain a tightly woven structure that is not affected by acetone while structured gel nails provide a stronger layer to protect your nails.

3. How many layers are in a gel manicure?

According to nail technicians, there should be at least two coats in a gel manicure. Some gel nails require more than two coats. After each coat, you should cure your nails.

4. Do you need a base coat with structure gel?

You don’t need a base coat with structure gel. This is not required rather this is optional when doing structured gel manicures.

5. Can you paint over the structure gel?

Yes, you can use any nail products and paint your desired designs after a structured gel gets completely dry.

Final Thoughts

A structured gel manicure is a popular manicure that restructures the shape and look of our nails. It is designed in a unique way that it provides additional strength and protection to your nails. Thicker viscosity gel, thicker gel nails, and smooth apex are the three main characteristics of a structured gel manicure. You’ll need some necessary nails including UV or LED lamp, nail buff, nail file, cuticle oil, base coat, top coat, etc. Prepare your nails and follow the steps chronologically to get better results. Removing the structure of gel nails also requires some precautions and steps. There are some drawbacks along with the benefits of a structured gel manicure. So, keeping the benefits and drawbacks in mind, you need to decide which nails you desire.

Key Points

  • A structure gel manicure is thicker than other gel manicures. it gives more coverage and restructures the shape of your nails.
  • There are three defining characteristics of a structure gel. Those include thicker viscosity gel, thicker gel, and smooth apex.
  • You’ll need a UV lamp, base coat, top coat, cuticle oil, nail buff, nail polish, etc.
  • For getting a gel manicure, you need to follow some steps including preparing the nails, applying the gel, shaping the nails, creating extensions, and curing the nails.
  • Remove your structure gel nails carefully so that it doesn’t break or get damaged.

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