Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

Here’s why nails may look dull after applying cuticle oil

By Katie Barnes | 07 February 2023 | Expert Advice, Feature

Cuticle Oil Nails

You’ve created a beautiful set of nails; you apply cuticle oil then go to capture a photo and notice that the glossy sheen has suddenly gone dull. So, what causes this?

Firstly, ensure that your gel polish is fully cured. If it has not completely cured, then the shine will be removed from the enhancement when you apply cuticle oil or wipe over it. To ensure that your gel polish is fully curing it is important to:

  • Use the correct lamp for the product which you are using. I know this is a debated topic with many questions raised about whether this is needed. As independent brand owner without a gel polish range, I conducted an experiment to find out if it is needed. You can check it out here. 
  • Work in thin layers
  • Roll or shake your bottle to ensure the pigments are fully mixed, especially if that colour has been sitting for a long time.
  • Check there is no colour cured onto the bulbs
  • Ensure the customer is placing their hand in the lamp correctly – is this just happening on the thumb for example? If so, the hand positioning is the likely culprit.

To check if your gel polish is curing and there are no issues with your lamp such as the bulbs needing to be replaced, test black and white – the two most pigmented colours. Apply these onto nail tips, and check for any wrinkling or under curing. If these are not curing, you need to address your lamp.

If all is okay with your gel, then the issue most likely lies with the cuticle oil. When the nails are cured and removed from the lamp, they often still hold some warmth in them. When a cold liquid touches this warm surface, it can cause the shine to become dull. While this shine may return over the next few hours, you don’t want to send your client out of the salon like this and it can be good practice to reapply top coat or buff to a shine.

However, getting to the direct cause is important. To prevent this chemical reaction and dulling from occurring, simply wait around 30 seconds after removing the cured nails from the lamp, then apply your cuticle oil.

Follow these steps and you should never lose that shine again!

Love Katie B x