GELibility: Turn your regular nail polish into gel polish! – Chickettes: Soak-Off Gel Polish Swatches, Nail Art and Tutorials
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GELibility: Turn your regular nail polish into gel polish!

Hello readers!  Many of you reached out and asked me to review GELibility, and it’s finally here!  For those of you that don’t know, GELibility is a custom formulated clear gel that can be mixed with regular nail polish (RNP) to turn it into gel polish.  That’s right, you can turn ANY regular polish into a gel polish.  It cures in a UV or LED lamp, is instantly dry and has the long-lasting wear of a gel polish.

My sample of GELibility was waiting for me in the mail when I returned home from Cosmoprof in Vegas, and the timing could not have been more perfect!  I attended a couple of amazing parties in Vegas that were hosted by indie polish makers (read Work / Play / Polish’s write-up of the parties here), and brought home some really beautiful indie polishes that I was dying to try.  As you know, I normally write about gel polish so I was trying to think of how to incorporate some of the indies into my blog… and then along came GELibility!  Perfect!

GELibility:  Turn regular nail polish into gel polish!

How It Works

There are two major components to GELibility; “Stick It!” and “Fix It!” Stick It is basically the base coat that you apply first, and Fix It! is the clear gel that you mix with your regular polish, and also doubles as the top coat. Application steps are as follows:

  1. Apply a thin coat of Stick It! to your clean, dry nails and cure it in your UV or LED lamp.
  2. Cleanse the tacky layer from the nails using alcohol and a lint-free wipe.
  3. Put equal amounts of Fix It! and your regular nail polish of choice on a palette or in a small dish. Wipe off the brush from your regular nail polish with a lint-free wipe and alcohol.
  4. Using the regular nail polish brush, mix the GELibility Fix It! and the nail polish well. *
  5. Using the regular nail polish brush, apply a thin coat of your mixture to your nails.
  6. Cure in a UV or LED lamp. (Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you get the desired opacity.)
  7. Apply one final thin coat of GELibility Fix It! and cure.
  8. Remove the tacky layer with alcohol and a lint-free wipe.

Curing times: 60 seconds LED, 120 seconds UV

* It’s recommended that you use the regular nail polish brush instead of the Fix It! brush so that your Fix It! remains clear and doesn’t get tainted with color, shimmer or glitter. I accidentally used my Fix It! brush and now my clear gel has some shimmer mixed into it.  Oops!

This little flower-shaped mixing tray is included with the GELibility kit. This is what mine looked like as I was mixing some of the polishes. I put 4 drops of polish and 4 drops of Fix It! in each little section, and that was just enough to do three coats of each color on a swatch wheel. The downside to the tray is that it has lots of corners so it’s not very easy to clean. I would prefer a regular little paint pallet with rounded edges for easy clean-up.

GELibility mixing tray


The first indie polish that I wanted to try is called What Happens in Vegas… Ends Up on Instagram by Girly Bits Cosmetics.  This is a Limited Edition polish that was specially made for this year’s Cosmoprof show.  It will be released for sale in mid-August for $12.  Don’t miss out on this one… it will only be available for a limited time!  It’s a very dense magenta holographic polish with fine pink and purple glitter.

Below is a picture of what it looks like in it’s regular nail polish form:

Girly Bits Cosmetics:  What Happens in Vegas... Ends Up on Instagram!  Swatch by Chickettes.comGorgeous, right!?  And here’s a side-by-side picture that shows what it looks like before and after it’s been gelified with GELibility:

Girly Bits Cosmetics:  What Happens in Vegas... Ends Up on Instagram!  Regular nail polish, and after being turned into gel polish with GELibility!

It’s still gorgeous!  I was very pleasantly surprised at how well this worked.  Both swatches above show this polish with 3 coats of color.  After applying my third coat of gel color I touched a nail to see if it was completely cured… it was, but it was much more tacky than a normal gel polish.  After I applied my Fix It! top coat, cured and wiped, they were perfectly smooth and glossy and completely dry to the touch!

Now, adding the clear gel did dilute the color so it’s not quite as dense and it also lost some of the holo effect.  I wondered what would happen with other types of finishes, so I began testing on a swatch wheel.  Here are the results (3 coats each RNP and gel):

Holographic

I’ve been wishing and praying for a pure holographic gel polish (not just holographic glitter), and soooo hoped that GELibility would deliver.  Unfortunately, the gel dilutes the polish too much and the holographic effects are lost.  The holo finishes now appear to be shimmers instead.  Bummer… still waiting for someone to formulate a holo gel.  You can see that the colors are also slightly lighter and less opaque.

The three colors used in this test are all from Girly Bits Cosmetics; What Happens in Vegas… Ends Up on Instagram, Bird is the Word, and D!ck in a Box.

GELibility and holographic nail polish

Glitter

GELibility worked really well with glitter polishes.  Yes, they are a little diluted as expected, but the glitter still shines and sparkles and I actually prefer the glossy hard finish of the glitters in gel form.  RNP glitters can feel a bit textured or rough, but they are perfectly smooth to the touch after being mixed with GELibility.  You can just increase the number of coats to get the same density as the RNP form.

The three indie polishes that I used in this test are; Emerald & Ash Cuddle-Butt, KBShimmer Hexy Bikini, and Different Dimension Big Bang.

GELibility and glitter nail polish

Duochrome

So what about duochromes?  They still have duochorme effects and do show color shifts, though the effects are a bit muted and not quite as impressive.  Even my photos didn’t pick up on all of the color-shifting goodness of these two polishes from Llarowe; Show Me Da’ Money and Show Me Again! Show Me Da’ Money was pretty much opaque in one coat in RNP form, and so in gel form it still has great opacity with a couple of coats.  Show Me Again is just a real stunner with amazing purple and blue/teal shifts, but doesn’t look quite as good when diluted.

GELibility and duochrome nail polish

Cream

I expected that GELibility would work well on a cream finish and might just be a little thin, and that proved to be true.  With the creams you just just need more coats to achieve the same color.  The color used here is Morgan Taylor One Cool Cat (I couldn’t find a pure cream indie).

GELibility and cream finish nail polish


Overall, I am really impressed with GELibility and can’t wait to try it out on more polishes. It’s a great way to use up old bottles of RNP or to turn some of your favorite RNP shades into gel and make them last longer. I haven’t done a full wear test on this product yet so I can’t say for certain that it lasts as long as it claims, but I did wear it for several days with absolutely no signs of wear, chipping or peeling so it seems very durable.

It is important to realize that you are diluting the RNP with a clear base, so you may need to apply additional coats to achieve the same level of opacity. Also, special effect finishes like holos and duochromes may be diminished. (That’s probably why it’s impossible to find these finishes in gel form in the first place!)

If you’re interested in learning more about GELibility, please visit their website at http://www.gelibility.com.  The website has detailed application and removal instructions.

You can also purchase GELibility Fix It! and Stick It! in a set for $37.95.  The set is recommended as they are specially formulated to work together.



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62 Responses

  1. Gail says:

    How cool is this product! I’m very intreagued! I have lots of RNP so this might be a great way to use it! Thanks for bringing it to our attention! And I don’t know about the other ladies out there but as for myself, after about a week of my wonderful gel mani (that I did myself!) I’m actually ready to change colors! So if this product can give me a solid week of wear – it’s golden in my eyes! :) thanks again Andrea!

  2. NancyG says:

    Thanks so much for this test and review. There is another product, MegaMix which is getting great reviews on salon geek, but is is only available in the UK. I was able to get MegaMix when I was in Londonand found that it performs very much like Gelability. I am glad to see that there is a product we can get in the US.

  3. Liszt Fanatic says:

    Joss had a line a holographic gel polishes that they were selling on llarowe.com for a while. I got the red, but haven’t used it yet.

    It looked like nobody was buying these polishes. They were marked down to $5 so llarowe could get rid of them, and I can’t find swatches on line — except of Joss’s rnp.

    I guess you and I are the only ones interested in holographic gels? I’ve managed to find a few duochromes by by Orly GelFX and Fingerpaints, but mostly I’m sandwiching to gets these too . . .

  4. Wanda says:

    Fantastic review! Thank you. I have been wanting just such a product. I am going to see if they will ship to Canada.

  5. Jo Collins says:

    Thanks for an awesome reveiw. I wonder how textured polishes (LiquidSand, etc) would work, and how about matte polishes.

  6. Ana B says:

    Wow!!! This product is truly amazing. I am so curious on this. I will def gonna check on this.

  7. Jeanie says:

    I have a decent sized collection of Chanel and dior rnp and I’m thrilled to see this product! I ordered it straight away on amazon as soon as I read your article! I’m a huge fan of gels on my tips but keep buying my Chanel’s for my toes. This opens up a new page for me :0). Thank you !!!!

  8. Wanda says:

    Follow up. The seller on Amazon.com does not ship to Canada. I will continue to look for one who does.

  9. Casey says:

    Great review as always, thanks Andrea!! I have a lot of RNP I’d like to use, but for some reason, I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to try a “gel sandwich”! Maybe I’ll experiment with that technique before I buy the GELibility. Awesome product, though!!

    • Wanda says:

      I probably should know the answer to this, but what is a “gel sandwich” exactly?

      I do have several gel polishes, but I do like the variety of color that I have in my RNP. So sometimes, I use gel foundation and one or two coats of gel top coat. I use the alcohol wipe to clean it and then i do two layers of RNP followed by a layer of UV topcoat. It does not lat as long as the gel polish, but I can 5 days out of it before I see any chips. They usually come on my right index finger and middle finger about day 6. Then I do do a mani again. My gel manis usually last me a good 10 days. I usually take it off just because of growth lines.

      I am going to check the website for GELibility to see if they ship to Canada. Nail Polish Canada said they will not be carrying it for awhile, yet.

  10. Kristy says:

    Hello Andrea. I absolutely *LOVE* your blog and I am totally addicted. I check for new posts 3 or 4 times a day. I have a question. With GELibility, can you save the mixed product? For example, mix in empty gel safe bottles? That would be a perfect way to have your regular nail polish for your toes and matching “gel” for your nails.

    • Andrea says:

      I don’t believe so. You’re only supposed to mix what you need at the given moment.

      • Sharon says:

        I did mix RNP with gel topcoat in a glass nail polish bottle. It got hard and blobbie? a mess, this was after about a week. But mixing when you use it works fine. Don’t know about GELibility. hth

        • Andrea says:

          It it’s exposed to light it definitely won’t keep. That’s why gel bottles are solid and not clear. GELibility isn’t meant to be kept – you mix it and use as needed and discard any excess.

          • Sharon says:

            Why didn’t I think of that, used a clear glass bottle? duh I like most colors I have in Gel so don’t mix often. But nice to know it’s there if wanted. thanks

    • Andrea says:

      And thank you for being a loyal reader! :) You can sign up for email updates in the right sidebar. I typically only post 3-4 times a week.

  11. Ann Binder says:

    This is an awesome idea!! Would love to know if you can save the polish….thank you!!

  12. Lesley says:

    Wonder what would happen if you did the same thing using a top coat from one of the other lines. Just mix with polish. May have to try that.

    • Mia says:

      I was wondering the same thing, Lesley. I ordered the Gelibility also, but I’d be curious to know if this would work with something like the Gelish Top-It-Off that I already have. I am just too lazy or cowardly to experiment.

      And Andrea, I too love your blog, but you are costing me so much money! Hehehehe!

      • Andrea says:

        I know, I’m a terrible enabler! :)

      • Sharon in KY says:

        I just tried this with Gelish, Top it Off. Mixed equal amounts top it and Sinful colors. Used the fondation gelish then cured under UV, first. Wiped off the sticky then put one coat of polish mix and cured. Only used one coat of polish mix cause it looked ok. Next used the Top it Off and cured. It worked for me. So now I wish someone else would try it. HTH

        • Wanda says:

          I will give this a try. Maybe not the next mani, as I need it to last long enough to see me through a business trip and a wedding. But the one after that, I will do it and post my thoughts.

          What did you mix it in? How much at a time?

          Do you always wipe the foundation coat? I on;y wipe once to remove the stickiness, always after I have the final top coat. I htought the stickiness was part of what helped the gel layers adhere. I need to go read up on the science of this product, I see.

          • Sharon in KY says:

            I did wipe the fondation coat (stick it) because the instructions for GELibility ” cure it in your UV or LED lamp.
            Cleanse the tacky layer from the nails using alcohol and a lint-free wipe.”
            HTH

          • Wanda says:

            Good to know. I would have totally overlooked that step.

        • Sharon in KY says:

          Well I peeled the polish off and it came off really easy. Do you think I should have used 2 coats of base coat? Never had polish come off so easy. I’ll try it one more time making sure I clean my nails really good before. If it doesn’t work then I’ll buy some Gelibility. But $20 per bottle plus shipping is a little expensive for me.

          • Lesley R Logbeck says:

            Mine is still going strong. Looks like it did the day I did it: no lifting, chipping, peeling, etc…

            I only removed the sticky layer on one hand. I always end up with lint no matter what I use, so I skipped that step on hand #2. Both are holding up the same.

            Sharon – what kind of polish did you mix it with? I wonder if different polishes work better than others.

            Regarding how I mixed and how much: I just mixed it on a paper plate. I ended up mixing enough for both hands and then some, and I had no problem getting both hands done (it didn’t dry out on me).

          • Wanda says:

            That is good to know, Lesley. Thanks for posting to let us know how it is lasting.

    • Lesley says:

      I tried this last night and it worked like a champ. Now to see how long it lasts. I used a Nicole polish from Sally’s and some left over top coat I had from Red Carpet. I did a Gelish foundation layer, two coats of top coat + polish (50/50 mix) and a layer of top coat (Gelish). Everything cured in the same amount of time it always takes and was just as “set” as normal gel polish. My only problem was finding a brush to use, since I didn’t want to contaminate the base coat with the polish color I was mixing with. I ended up with a LOT of leftover polish, so don’t mix too much.

      • Ann Binder says:

        Hi Lesley-
        quick question- what topcoat did you mix with the RNP? You mentioned “red carpet?” is that a gel topcoat?

        • Wanda says:

          Red Carpet is a line of shellac polish. Personally, I hate it. The color polishes in the RC line go on streaky and do not cover well. I have two of their colors. Both are not opaque after even three coats. For me, they do not last as long as either Gelish or OPI gel polish does. Plus it takes longer to dry under a LED light. Because of my bad experience with their colors, I have not tried the base coat or top coat.

          • Lesley says:

            I’m not a big fan of Red Carpet either, especially the polish (peels REALLY fast., colors aren’t true to the bottle, takes too many coats, etc…). The base and top coats are okay, but I used it because if I ended up wasting it, I wanted to waste something I wasn’t going to use (I much prefer Gelish). I mixed 50/50 Red Carpet top coat and polish (Nina, not Nicole like I said earlier). I used Gelish base and top (I used two coats 50/50 Red Carpet + polish and then put a single layer of Gelish top coat over everything). My nails look great today and now I’m anxious to bust out all of my regular polish and try other combos!

      • Sharon in KY says:

        The polish I used was SINFUL COLORS, it was rated # 1 for non pro manicures. Only used one coat but to be fair I never prepared my nails like I should have. I have just started polishing my nails and don’t have a big collection. Plus I don’t have a RNP that I’m Just MAD About. If I did I would be more into giving this method more of a chance. I 27 RNP and 11 Gel/Shellac. I really like the one called Cuddle Butt, gonna look for that.

        • Ann Binder says:

          Just used the gelibility with a Sinful color this weekend- had a bit of an issue trying to get equal amounts of each polish, and I think I may have ruined the RNP brush- how should I clean that brush after use? Other than the fact that I mixed way too much, the manicure looks fabulous, it worked really well.

          • Andrea says:

            Clean the brush with a lint-free wipe or paper towel and some alcohol. Be sure to keep the brush away from the lamp when curing.

          • Sharon in KY says:

            I used Acetate and it worked just fine. Maybe use both alcohol then acetate wipe off real good after both. hth

            I mixed drop by drop, 6 drops each painted one hand with one coat. But I could have done at least another coat with what I had left. I use to make my own Mineral Make-up so have lots of little jars. Next time I’ll mix in it and try to save. But if you only mix by drops and not much at a time you won’t waist so much.

          • Lesley says:

            I’ve now had mine on over two weeks and it still looks fantastic. I can see how this might not work as well with deeper, opaque colors (like dark red), but for others I’m very excited about using my regular polishes!

    • Lesley says:

      I suspect this is made by the same company that makes GELeration polish. Same bottle, same play on “GEL” in the name. Wondering if this is just a repackaged top coat.

      • Brandi says:

        Just saw this comment. I am the creator of Gelibility and I am not affiliated with any other manufacturer. This is my one and only product. To the question whether this is just a top coat, the answer is no. Gelibility was designed specifically to mix with regular nail polish whereas gel top coat is not. You will find that a Gelibility manicure is much more durable than one made by mixing polish with gel topcoat. Mixing products together that are not designed for that purpose can also cause contact dermatitis, so be careful.

  13. Kathryn says:

    Hmmm, I wonder if a gel sandwich would work with this product? I’m not crazy about how mixing the product changes the color of the polish in some cases. Although I totally want this anyway hahaha.

  14. Mike says:

    Has anyone tried any other gel in the same way. For instance, Gelish Top It Off Gel mixed with nail polish? Does that work as well? Are the ingredients in Gelibility any different from the Gelish Top It Off Gel or any other top coat gel from any other system? Does anyone have the product that can list the ingredients? The ingredient list in Gelish Top It Off are:
    Di-Hema Trimethylhexyl Dicarbamate, HEMA, Hydroxypropyl Methacrylate, Isobornyl Methacrylate, Hydroxycyclohexyl Phenyl Ketone, Violet 2
    Thanks in advance.

  15. Jinal Shah says:

    I wanted to place the order….kindly revert

  16. Wow such an amazing product. Can’t wait to buy one. I am very fond of experimenting with nail colors so I am definitely going to try this one. Thanks for sharing :)

  17. Nikole says:

    Has anyone tried using only the “fix it”? Meaning, has anyone used a base/top coat that was not “stick it,” the one in the set?

  18. Wanda says:

    I used Gelish base coat. But I really did not care for the Gelibility product. It was very difficult to get the polish mixed well with the Gelibility product. It was very streaky, even after a lot of mixing. I used it once and did not try again. I had high hopes for the product, but it was a disappointment.

  19. Brandi says:

    This is Brandi, Gelibility’s creator. I am so sorry to hear you had trouble. Perhaps if you add an extra drop of polish, you’ll find the ratio easier to mix and apply. Just do thin coats and build the color. I use it everyday on my clients and it works really well. I hope you don’t mind my chiming in, it’s just that I am very proud of Gelibility and I want my customers to be happy.

    • carol lee hiers says:

      I Love the Gelibility product! Have been using it for 3 months and my customers are loving the fact that they can use any color they prefer. Just wish it came in dropper bottles to make it a little easier to mix. I have used it with gelish top it off and it did just fine but have found gelibility to be most durable when used as a set. Wear time either way has been 2-3 weeks!

  20. Sophie says:

    I’ve used this product for pretty much this exact reason – I love indie polishes but want the durability of gels. Have to say though I’ve not been that impressed. I’ve found it dilutes the polish too much so I end up having to do 4 layers (and even then it wasn’t perfect), it handles weirdly and looks streaky. On the plus side, it cures quickly, and has great shine once the tacky layer is wiped off.

    My main issue though is that didn’t stay on! Within a few hours the whole lot just lifted off my nails. No chipping or anything, it just lifted clean off. I followed the instructions to the letter, wiped nails with alcohol to remove oils etc.
    it’s a great idea and really I want it to work, but I’m unlikely to use it again. Think I’ll get some Shellac or Gelibility to and base coats and try a ‘gel sandwich’ instead.

  21. Some interesting experiences here. I’ve used my Gelibility a few times and although it does take a bit of effort to mix the colour up, you can create any cokour you want in gel! The application has a lot to do with the brush you use. I use a brush I bought in a set from the craft store and it’s worked great. I find the first coat of Gelibility to be super thin but after that it improves in opacitY. Yes it does dilute the colour but it would have to due to the mix ratio. I’ve found the wear to be the same as I get with Gelish. I use Gelish Vitagel as my base for ease of removal. When I used the Gelibility base I had a terrible removal, the product would not come off! So I use my Vitagel now.

    • Wanda says:

      What kind of brush is it that you used? And how did you clean it afterwards, so that it did not go hard? How did you get the product to be non-streaky when mixed?

      I could not for the life of me get tit to mix so that it was not streaky. I tried it once and never again. I feel like I wasted nearly $40.

  22. April says:

    Loved your sharing! Would like to know whether would be any problem if replace stick it with other base coat (e.g. Gelish)? Just worried the fix it would have sort of chemical reaction if not used with stick it…

    • Andrea says:

      I haven’t tried it with any other brand so I can’t say for sure. I’ve heard that it lasts best with Stick It. I’m sure it would still work with other brands but may not last as well.

  23. Eugenia says:

    Hi. Thank you for article. I just have a question. Is it easy to remove this mixture from nails? Thanks

  24. Alaina says:

    I’m curious to hear how the Gelability wore–the usual 2-3 weeks? This would be incredible, if so. Then I wouldn’t have to waste my 60 bottles of RNP! Would love an update! (Or perhaps I missed it somewhere in the above comments?)

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