BIAB nails: All your questions answered - Irish Country Magazine (2023)

BIAB nails blew up last year and are not going anywhere for 2023. Here is all you need to know about this popular nail trend

There’s been a shift in beauty trends over the last couple of months to focusing on emphasising your natural beauty. And yes, that includes nails. BIAB nails or Build in a Bottle nails are the latest treatment that celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid are asking for. It works pretty much the same way gel and shellac do, but is it better? Read on to find out.

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Is BIAB good for your nails?

The application and removal of BIAB nails is less likely to damage your natural nails so yes, they are as far as treatments go. They’re ideal if you’re looking to grow and strengthen your nails whilst still having them looking good. If you’re a nail biter who wants to kick the habit, they are a great option.

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How long do BIAB gel nails last?

Three to four weeks is the usual lifespan of BIAB nails however experts do recommend getting them redone every two to three weeks to maintain that freshly done look.


Biab Application 💅🏻 Using @Glitterbels by Annabel Builder in shade Cotton Candy 💗 #nail #nails #biab #biabnails #biabapplication #nailtech #buildergel

♬ Made You Look – Meghan Trainor

What is the difference between gel and BIAB nails?

Build in a Bottle is of a thicker consistency than gel and actually woks to strengthen the nails rather than weaken it. Being a thicker polish also means that it is less likely to chip in between salon sessions. The beauty of BIAB is that is can be used on its own or as a base underneath gel nails to minimise any damage gel polish may cause. The only downside is that BIAB sometimes does not fit into the edges or creases like gel or shellac does. However it does dry harder, meaning it is more durable against chipping.

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Can BIAB nails cause an allergic reaction?

It is important to note that some people have shown allergic reactions to BIAB nails. There has been multiple at-home users of Build in a Bottle, as well as salon professionals, reporting allergic reactions to it. Experts have warned people who are looking to do DIY treatments, to always buy their products from reputable retailers.

In some cases, users who experience allergies may be able to use shellac or gel without those causing a reaction. It is always best to ask a professional for advice when trying out a new treatment for the first time.

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How do I remove BIAB nails?

When your BIAB starts chipping or lifting and you want to remove it at home, the best way is to soak your nails in acetone. It’s thicker than normal polish so it will take longer to remove but it can be done. Firstly file off the top layer before wrapping them in cotton pads soaked in acetone and tin foil over top for 15 minutes. Remove any excess with a cuticle pusher.

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How many times can BIAB be refilled?

“I refill my BIAB for about a month or two, until I find that the nail begins to change shape,” says Aine Beirne, a nail artist from Co Leitrim. “The nice thing about BIAB though is that you can file it down flat without taking it off fully and just rebuild from there, it’s really easy.” (@ainerose.nails)

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Can you have BIAB on short nails?

Build in a Bottle is suitable for short nails. If you’re prone to brittle nails or have a habit of biting them, this treatment can really help to increase growth. The thickness of BIAB protects the nail and helps to stimulate strength.

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@tildathemoon on TikTok shows her 10 week BIAB transformation after years of biting her nails. How gorgeous are the results?


ur sign to get BIAB (builder gel in a bottle) to help grow ur nails 🥰 so crazy to see the growth in only 10 weeks, ive never had nails past my fingertips in my entire life!! my hands dont look stumpy anymore lmfao #biab #biabnails #biabjourney #nails #nailgrowth #nailgrowthjourney

♬ suara asli – gabut woi – gabut woi


Are BIAB nails worth it? ›

So, is BIAB polish good for nails? Short answer: Yes. Natural nails can benefit from trying the BIAB technique over other manicures. Plus, the application and removal process is less likely to damage your nails than classic styles like acrylics, gel or dip powder.

What is the difference between BIAB and gel nails? ›

Unlike gel or shellac polishes, BIAB is made of ingredients that work to strengthen and nourish the nail, so it helps to harden your natural nails while you wear it. BIAB can be used alone, together with extensions or as a base underneath traditional gel polish to add extra strength.

How much do people charge for BIAB nails? ›

The costs will vary from salon to salon but expect to pay around $65/£45 for your first set, the same again for infills, and $20/£15 for removal. "BIAB is growing in popularity amongst our customers.

Does BIAB weaken nails? ›

It works like a gel but it dries strong and durable, meaning you're less likely to chip between sessions. Almost all treatments pose a risk to your nail health, but BIAB works differently from the gel polish you might be used to, and can actually strengthen your natural nail rather than weaken it.

How many layers of BIAB should I use? ›

BIAB can be used as a base coat, meaning it goes straight onto the nail bed and bonds to it under UV or LED curing, effectively adding another layer to the nail to strengthen it. We can even use two to three coats on weaker nails, which can make the nail virtually indestructible!

How long does a BIAB last? ›

How long does BIAB last? The BIAB treatment only lasts around three to four weeks, then it can be either soaked off and re-done, or infilled. To fully restore the nails to a perfect look, we'd recommend regular appointments every 2-3 weeks.

How do I stop my BIAB from lifting? ›

If your BIAB nails keep lifting, there are a few things you can do to fix this. Remember to remove all the cuticles on the nail plate (sometimes it is not visible). Use a cuticle pusher, then buff away the rest with a nail file.

How do I get my BIAB off? ›

BIAB™ should be buffed first and then soaked off using neat acetone. This can take between 10 and 12 minutes but this time may increase if extensions are longer or if a higher apex is built.

How many times can BIAB be infilled? ›

The Gel Bottle BIAB Nails

~ A maximum of two infills is recommended before a soak off of BIAB and replace new, to maintain good health in the nails.

How much do you tip for a $40 gel manicure? ›

The widely accepted minimum tip in the industry is 15 percent, Kandalec says, but the most common tip at a nail salon is 20 percent. This is similar to what's expected when tipping at a hair salon, or for a massage or spa treatment.

Can I do BIAB myself? ›

BIAB can be used alone, or extensions can be added for customers who prefer longer nails. It can also be used as a base underneath gel polish for extra strength – but as the BIAB itself comes in multiple nude shades, it's often used as a standalone product.

Can you refill BIAB nails? ›

BIAB is simply refilled instead of soaked off unlike regular gel polish. The refill process requires coloured gel to be filed off to allow for reapplication of BIAB to fill the new growth of the natural nail.

What are the dangers of BIAB? ›

“BIAB products can contain certain ingredients that could cause onycholysis, which is the separation of the nail from the nail bed. This can be very serious when it occurs, and treatment may take months involving cutting away the separated nail as it grows out and a prescription of antifungal medications.”

Are BIAB nails better than acrylic? ›

Why is it better than acrylic? The BIAB is a lot thinner when applied to the nail so it isn't as heavy on the natural nail helping them grow longer and keeping your natural nails healthier.

Is BIAB toxic? ›

They explained why BIAB can be dangerous for some, adding: “BIAB products can contain certain ingredients that could cause onycholysis, which is the separation of the nail from the nail bed.

Can you peel off BIAB? ›

It goes without saying, but don't ever pick off gel, BIAB or acrylic because you risk peeling away layers of the natural nail, causing thin, brittle and sensitive nails that have to be grown out.

Can you put gel on top of BIAB? ›

Yes, but only over BIAB or Cover Nude Base to add bulk.

Do you need base coat under BIAB? ›

BIAB™ does not require base as it includes Rubber Base within its formula - however if you purchase CLEAR or WHITE BIAB™ this requires Rubber Base underneath.

Can hand sanitizer mess up gel nails? ›

Alcohol-based products, including hairsprays, perfumes, and even hand sanitizer, can dry out nails and lead to premature chipping, according to Bustle.

Why do my gel nails peel off after one day? ›

The most common reason why the top coat starts peeling after one day is because the top coat isn't cured properly. Sometimes this is a top coat formula and lamp compatibility issue - or that you just need to cure the top coat for longer.

Can you put BIAB over tips? ›

Can I extend with BIAB™ ? Absolutely! BIAB™ extends beautifully over nail forms and creates a strong, restorative extension which not only does not damage the nail - but actually enhances it's strength and growing capabilities.

Do I need to take a break from BIAB? ›

A BIAB mani can last up to three weeks, but with proper nail prep it can last much longer. We don't advise keeping a BIAB set on for too long though, after around four weeks they can either be infilled or soaked off.

How often should you take a break from builder gel nails? ›

For gel nails, take a break for a week at least once every eight weeks to allow the nails to rehydrate and to allow repair of the underlying structures. “An emollient applied directly to the nail and cuticle oil will also aid recovery,” said Batra.

How long does it take for BIAB to grow? ›

Of course it doesn't give you immediate longer nails but within a few weeks you will be surprised by how much they grow! In fact some of my acrylic ladies who have had B.I.A.B on for the past 8 weeks have found their natural nails are now the same length as what their acrylic nails were!

Is $5 a good tip for a nail tech? ›

To avoid making etiquette mistakes, our experts offer some additional tips for tipping at nail salons: Try not to tip less than $5. If you're only getting a nail polish color swap for $20, consider rounding up the tip to $5.

Is $20 a good tip at a nail salon? ›

If the original price of a manicure is $100, then you should tip $20. The final cost you should expect to pay for the service is $120. This follows the standard 20% tip rate for nail salons.

Does BIAB contain formaldehyde? ›

The GelBottle Inc™ gel polishes and BIAB are rich, highly pigmented, chip-resistant and offer extreme long lasting shine. The good news doesn't end there because they are also VEGAN, CRUELTY FREE and 10-FREE (they're products don't contain formaldehyde, Dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin or camphor).

Why is BIAB so good? ›

BIAB is a form of gel polish, which has a stronger base — this is why it assists growth. An upside of BIAB is that it can be soaked off just like gel polish. Both gel polish and BIAB give that incredible, long-lasting shine that regular nail polish can't achieve, as you can see on these nails by @gel.

Do nails grow faster with BIAB? ›

It provides armour for nails which are prone to bending, snapping and chipping, allowing them to grow longer. Like a gel mani, it's cured under a UV lamp and comes off in the same way, via filing and soaking with acetone. It's gone viral on TikTok with hashtag #biab reaching over 128 million views.

How long does it take for BIAB to dry? ›

No 'prep-and-wipe' or 'scrub-fresh' solutions. Apply an even coat of clear Rubber base (if using white or clear BIAB) or a thin coat of your chosen nude BIAB to the natural nail. Cure for 60 seconds in the TGB light the way lamp or 99 seconds if using low heat mode. We do not recommend the use of other lamps.

Is builder gel better for your nails? ›

Some people find that builder gel nails work better than other types of nails because they last longer and are harder to chip. Nail builder gel: Contains a number of ingredients that help to rebuild the nail structure. Often used as a base coat before other polishes are applied.

Does BIAB make your nails look longer? ›

It can be used to add length to your natural nails, creating longer tips. You can also layer BIAB on top of your natural nails to give them strength and prevent breakage.

Can you have tips with BIAB nails? ›

BIAB and Cover Nude Builders are a range of soak off gel builders that are ideal for sculpting and tip extensions.

Can BIAB be used on toe nails? ›

Absolutely! BIAB™ extends beautifully over nail forms and creates a strong, restorative extension which not only does not damage the nail - but actually enhances it's strength and growing capabilities.

Why does my builder gel keep lifting? ›

Builder gels are not as flexible as gel polish, so therefore need a layer in-between the natural nail and the gel to cushion the flex and prevent separation. When the builder gel is applied directly to the nail, it can flex more than the natural nail, meaning they don't move together, and this can cause lifting.

Can BIAB cause Onycholysis? ›

BIAB products can contain certain ingredients that could cause onycholysis, which is the separation of the nail from the nail bed. This can be very serious when it occurs, and treatment may take months involving cutting away the separated nail as it grows out and a prescription of antifungal medications.”

Is BIAB and builder gel the same? ›

What is BIAB? BIAB – which stands for builder in a bottle – also known as builder gel is a range of strengthening gel products that are applied to the natural nail, much in the same way regular gel polishes are, but it has a thicker consistency that improves the nail's strength.


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