Semi-cured gel nails are everywhere right now, but what are they?

Get the lowdown on the lazy girl's answer to the gel manicure

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / April 23 2024

If applying polish by hand is not a skill you've yet mastered, then perhaps it is time to change your approach. 

Let us introduce you to semi-cured gel nail strips, a far easier alternative to any shaky application one may attempt when left to their own devices.

Applied like a nail sticker and cured under a UV lamp, this manicure option is without a doubt the least messy form of nail art we've ever come across. Plus, it's simple to achieve a flawless result in under 10 minutes. 

Keen to know more? Ahead, you'll find our favourite semi-cured gel nail strips to use, as well as our application and removal tips.

2024's Top 3 Semi-Cured Gel Nail Strips

1. Sunday Nails The Starter Kit, $64.99 (usually $88), Sunday Nails
2. Edgeu Perfect Gel Nail Wraps Ash Pink, $10.74 (usually $15.34), iHerb
3. NKA Semi Cured Gel Nail Polish Strip Pastel Rainbow, $16.99, Amazon Australia

Sunday Nails The Starter Kit
from $64.99 (usually $88) at Sunday Nails

This starter kit from Sunday Nails includes everything one could possibly need to nail a semi-cured gel manicure form the comfort of one's homes. There's a portable UV lamp to cure and set your manicure, a cuticle oil to nourish the skin around the nails, and two sets of semi-cured gel nail strips of your choosing. 

Key features:

Customisable starter kit includes UV lamp, cuticle oil and 2 semi-cured gel nail strips
108 nail styles to choose from
Made with real liquid gel that is 60 per cent cured
Can be 100 per cent cured under a UV lamp in just 60 seconds

Available at:

$64.99 (usually $88) from Sunday Nails

Edgeu Perfect Gel Nail Wraps Ash Pink
from $10.74 (usually $15.34) at iHerb

There's nothing quite like a rose-hued nude manicure on the days when you may struggle to find the perfect nail shade. The process is made all the more simple thanks to this easy to use semi-cured gel format, which cures in just a few short minutes under a UV lamp. 

Key features:

1 sheet of EDGEU gel 16 strips, prep pad, mini file, wooden stick
Cures and sets in one minute

Available at:

$10.74 (usually $15.34) from iHerb

NKA Semi Cured Gel Nail Polish Strip Pastel Rainbow
from $16.99 at Amazon Australia

Although a rainbow manicure may not be an everyday nail look, we do love the idea of being able to achieve the colourful aesthetic in less than 60 seconds if we so wish. 

Key features:

Cures to hard gel in 60 seconds
Vegan, non-toxic and cruelty free
Non-damaging, easy to apply and remove
Includes 20 strips, nail file, cuticle stick and alcohol wipe
New stronger formula

Available at:

$16.99 from Amazon Australia

NAIL n THINGS Semi-Cured Nail Wraps Blue Cloud
from $32.89 at YesStyle

When adopting colour into one's nail wardrobe, the brightest hue is not always the best. This muted, modern blue allows you to enhance your natural nails with a touch of colour that's still office appropriate.

Key features:

Self-Adhesive Nail Polish Wraps of 10 different sizes (20 pieces)
Includes a nail file and alcohol wipe
Available in 17 nail colours

Available at:

$32.89 from YesStyle

What are semi-cured gel nail strips?

Semi-cured gel nail strips are made from real gel nail polish, which is then cured at about 60 per cent to create a flexible nail sticker that can be applied directly to the nail plate. It is then cured to 100 per cent using a UV lamp for at least one minute, and the nail is then shaped using nail clippers and a nail file. 

How long do semi-cured gel nail strips last?

Semi-cured gel nails are more durable than traditional nail polish, but they do not last as long as a gel nail polish manicure. Typically a set of semi-cured gel nails will last roughly two weeks before showing general signs of wear. At this point they should be removed to avoid potential damage to the nail plate.

How do you remove semi-cured gel nail strips?

Soak a wooden cuticle stick in acetone nail polish remover, using the cuticle stick to gently lift the edges of the nail strip and slowly separate it from the nail plate. Remove any residual adhesive on the nail plate using a cotton round soaked in acetone. 

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).

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