Portrait of a beautiful young woman with hands on her face and blue nails, looking sideways and  isolated on pink studio background
Our Guide To BIAB Nails: The Gel Manicure That Has Actual Benefits
A new nail trend taking the world by storm on Instagram and TikTok is the BIAB — Builder in a Bottle — manicure. Since our nails have pores, it’s crucial to make sure that what we put on them won’t seep into our bodies and harm us; luckily, many new nail formulas like BIAB are emerging with more health benefits than risks.
What Is Builder Gel?
Builder gel is an overlay that is applied to the nails in order to provide them with a protective barrier, making them stronger, healthier, and more durable. BIAB is a hard builder gel, so it can be used instead of acrylic to build a “base” for a nail extension.
The Main Benefits
Not only is BIAB free of harmful chemicals, it aids in nail growth and allows you to go longer between appointments without chipping. Its self-leveling formula is able to reshape and repair weakened areas of the nail, and causes less damage when applying and removing.
Is BIAB Like Acrylic?
While acrylics work by combining powder and liquid, gels can be thought of as “pre-mixed acrylics” that require a UV light to harden. Builder gel works in a similar manner, but it focuses more on your natural nails by filling in cracks and adding a protective layer.
Differences From Gel Polish
Builder gel is like gel polish or shellac’s new and improved successor. BIAB is a thicker, harder gel, so it can be extended with nail forms for a short to medium-length tip; in fact, after a base has been created, you can apply a gel polish to achieve the color you're looking for.