Reusable Nail Dual forms are very popular right now. You probably saw tons of videos where people were using dual forms with acrylics and with hard gels. Dual forms can make your work super easy and fast with minimum filling, but if you don’t use dual forms correctly, your nails won’t last a day.
At first glance, Dual nail forms look like plastic nail tips, but unlike regular tips, they are reusable and filled with hard gels or acrylics and then applied to the nails, no tips, no glue, and no paper forms needed.
One of the best things about dual nail forms is once you apply the dual form to the nail (with gel or acrylic) you get a beautiful arch (the arch so many of us try to achieve). Unfortunately, if you will make the nail too thin, it will break before you know it.
I saw so many people fail with their nail extensions, simply because they didn’t use them correctly. The reason why is simple, they didn’t add strength to their nail stress point. This step is significant to get a long-lasting manicure.
So, after so many people who did this wrong, I want to help you do this right. This is the full guide on how to use reusable dual nail forms / popits with gel and acrylic powder.
How to Use Reusable Dual Nail Forms (Popits) with Hard Gel?
“Popits” or reusable nail forms are created to make your job a lot easier and faster. One of the main reasons why dual nail forms are so great is they save you a lot of filling time simply because there is not much filing needed.
There are several issues you need to address before applying hard gel with dual nail forms. Hard gels tend to be super sticky, and they tend to run and slip from the sides and flood the cuticle area. Also, when applying popits on your natural nail, the under-nail area may need some filling work (with a nail drill).
Having that said, after knowing where our problems could be, we can avoid them and get an amazing long-lasting nail extension with dual forms and hard gel.
Hard gels are less durable than traditional acrylics. So, when I do my hard gel nail extensions with dual forms, I usually use the dual form and then add strength with an overlay of hard gel to secure the nail’s stress point.
Tip: You can also do the dual form application on tips (no matter if you’re using gel or acrylics) that way you will save filing under the nail time. (see the video below)
First step: pick which hard gel you’re going to use
There are some great hard gel brands and products, such as young nails hard gel and Gelish Polygel. For dual forms, I prefer the Gelish Polygel just because it isn’t sticky as the other brands (also I feel it would be less messy for beginners). The Polygel is great because it “moves” like acrylics but doesn’t have the time limit like traditional acrylics.
Second step: Nail preparation
With a cuticle pusher or with an orange stick, gently push the cuticles back and efficiently remove any dead skin of the nail plate. Then, with a nail file, gently remove shine from the surface of the natural nail. After removing the shine from the natural nail use, a cotton ball dipped in alcohol and swipe the nails clean from any dust. After doing that apply a nail dehydrator and primer before applying the hard gel.
Important: Some hard gel brands don’t use dehydrator and primer and use other products instead. Read the hard gel manufacturer’s instructions for use before gel application.
Third step: How to pick the right Dual form Size?
The trick with fitting dual forms is that you need to rise the dual form up a bit and then to make sure it fits from sidewall to sidewall. The reason you need to rise up the form slightly is you need to save some space for the product to lie in it. The way you need to hold it and rise the free end for about 10-degree Engle. Check all ten fingernails has a fitting dual form.
Fourth step: Apply Hard gel to the reusable dual nail form
Some hard gel brands require applying a base gel before the hard gel, so do that if you use hard gel such as “young nails”. Then, take a medium-sized bead with a gel brush and place it on the inner side of the dual form, move it gently and create the length of the nail. Fill sides and check if there is no product missing (don’t make it too thin or too thick). After preparing the dual form gently apply the dual form to 2/3 of the nail – do not do it all the way to the cuticle. Then cure in an LED/UV lamp for 60-120 sec (depends on the hard gel manufacturer’s instructions of use).
Fifth step: hard gel overlay
You can gently use a pinching tool on the sides of the dual form, and it will pop off. After removing the dual form take a bead of hard gel and apply it to the nail and lightly pillow the bead as close to the cuticle area without actually touching it.
Then, gently bring it down to the tip and cure the nails in LED/UV lamp again. After the gel is set, take a cotton ball dipped in alcohol and wipe the nails on the top and bottom.
Sixth step: Shape and finish
Shape and finish the nails. Remember to buff the surface if you want to use a gel top coat and cure. Finish by applying cuticle oil.
How to Use Reusable Dual Nail Forms (Popits) with Acrylic Powder?
Usually, I do acrylics with dual forms differently than with gel, and the reason is acrylics are simply more durable than gels. So, with acrylics, I love to do a full nail dual form. The key to using acrylics with dual forms is to put enough product and build a good, beautiful, and strong nail.
First step: preparation
Clean your nails with water and soap then use a cuticle pusher or an orange stick to push back your cuticles. Remove gently any dead skin from the nail plate. After doing that, gently remove shine from the nail plate with a gentle hand file. After removing the shine from the surface of the nail, clean the nails with alcohol (remove dust and derbies). Then, Apply a dehydrator and a primer to your natural nail.
Second step: Acrylic Dual Form-Fitting
When using acrylic powder with dual forms, the fitting process is a bit different from fitting them with hard gels. After your nail is prepped and your cuticles are pushed back, use a dual form and put it on your nail. Lift, it up a little (10-degree angle) Check if it fits at the cuticle area and from sidewall to sidewall. The reason we lift the dual form a bit is to save room for the acrylic powder.
Third step: apply the acrylics to the dual form
Take a medium-sized bead of acrylic powder (with monomer) and with an acrylic brush, apply it to the inner side of the dual form. With acrylics, I don’t tend to do an overlay, so make sure there is enough product inside the dual form. Shape the acrylics on the dual form then in a 45-degree angle motion, gently apply the dual form from the cuticle to the whole nail. (see in the video)
Press gently and remove with an acrylic brush the excess product that popped out from the sidewalls.
After the acrylics get a bit warm, you can remove the dual form by gently pinching it with a pinching tool or with your hand.
Fourth step: file shape and top
File and shape the nail. Usually, when using dual forms there is an excess product under the nail. You can file and it with a UNC bit (nail drill) or if you want to avoid using a nail drill you can use nail tips on your natural nails and then use dual forms/ That way the area under the nail will stay perfect, and you avoid using a nail drill.
Buff the surface of the nail to remove shine and use a top coat.
Reusable dual nail forms can actually make your work on your nails much easier. It doesn’t matter if you’re using dual forms with acrylics or hard gels, Dual forms will shave off a lot of your manicure work time. Reusable nail forms are super easy to use, just pick the right size form and prep your nails correctly.