What’s BIAB: Are they good for Nails, How to DIY, Best BIAB

What is BIAB: Are they good for Nails, How to DIY at Home, Best BIAB
What is BIAB: Are they good for Nails, How to DIY at Home, Best BIAB

BIAB which means Builder in a Bottle is quickly becoming extremely popular both for at-home applications and for nail salons.

This is because BIAB is one of the easiest ways to create overlay nails. They allow you to shape your nails to your liking and at the same time prevent them from breaking which allows them to grow out.

Now in this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about BIAB Nails, so keep on reading.

What are BIAB Nails

BIAB is a form of Gel that is applied to your nails like polish except when it is cured it becomes harder and thicker than polish, similar to a builder gel used to make extensions.

The texture of BIAB is thinner than builder gel but thicker than a gel polish. This allows it to be applied using a regular nail polish brush. It has the ease of application like gel polish with the strength and thickness of a builder gel.

BIAB is a soft gel meaning that it can be removed by using acetone. Unlike a hard gel which acetone can’t work on and thus require the use of an electric nail file to be removed.

What are BIAB Gel Used For

BIAB gels are mostly used to create an overlay on your natural nails which is a strong thick nail product applied over your natural nails. This works to:

  • Reinforce weak and brittle nails which work to protect them and allow them to grow out without breaking or getting further damaged.
  • Make your nails thicker which allows them to be shaped to your liking and create a nice apex.
  • Cover over any ridges on your nails – I usually use BIAB for clients with a lot of ridges on their nails to give them a nice smooth manicure.
  • Acts as a base for your polish – this protects your natural nails from being constantly exposed to acetone
  • Make extensions – BIAB gels can also be used to make nail extensions, I have a whole article dedicated to this, click here to read more.

You can click here to learn more about What are Overlay Nails and what products you can use to make them.

Is BIAB good for your nails

BIAB nails once applied and removed correctly are safe for your natural nails and can even help them to grow out without breaking or chipping.

This is because they form a hard layer that reinforces and protects your nails. They also help to protect your natural nails from constant exposure to acetone.

BIAB Overlays are durable enough that you can remove the polish on top of it without the BIAB overlay being affected. So you can change the color of your manicure without affecting your natural nails.

And because of this, I have used BIAB on many of my clients who have weak and brittle to help them grow their nails out.

Related Articles – 7 Tips to Quickly Heal Damaged Nails After Acrylic Or Gel

Hard Gel Extensions: How to Apply, Benefits & Risks

How Long Do BIAB Nails Last

BIAB nails will last 3-4 weeks without peeling or lifting. But this will vary depending on the brand of BIAB and how much wear and tear your BIAB manicure was exposed to.

But I have worn BIAB nails for over 4 weeks with a fill-in of course.

Related Articles:

BIAB: How to Remove at Home & When & How to Infill

How Long Do Gel Nails Last & Tips to Make them Last Longer

What is the Cost for BIAB Nails

A BIAB manicure will cost around $30-65 which will vary depending on your location and exactly what your manicure entails.

What is the difference between gel and BIAB – which is better

Gel especially hard gel used to make extensions tends to be more durable and long-lasting and better for extensions.

Whilst BIAB is better for overlays, it is easier to apply and less damaging to your nails. Since it is easier to remove and apply and requires less harsh chemicals.

BIAB is applied with a regular nail polish brush and will have thinner consistency when compared to a builder gel which is thicker and you need a special brush to apply gel.

Related Articles:

Rubber Base Gel vs Builder Gel- Differences & Which to Use

Soft Gel Nail Tips 101 – What are they & How to Apply Them

Gel Overlay: Cost, How to DIY – vs Gel Polish vs Extensions

How to Apply BIAB Nails at Home

  1. Firstly, you need to prep your nails by pushing back your cuticle and then buffing your nails with a medium grit nail file.
  2. Now, clean your nails by wiping them with a cotton pad soaked in acetone.
  3. Then apply a layer of gel base coat onto your nails and cure for 20 seconds
  4. Next, apply a thin layer of your BIAB gel onto your nails and cure for 45 seconds
  5. Then take a bead of the BIAB gel and apply it onto your nails at the top end and then slowly spread it down your nails
  6. Now, once your nails are to your liking cure them, and then if you want you can apply your polish.
  7. Finally, finish by applying a gel top coat and then wipe away the sticky layer.

Video of How to Apply BIAB Nails

Best BIAB Gels to Use

The Best BIAB gels are:


IBD is my favorite BIAB gel, it has an excellent thick formula that is easy to use yet creates extremely durable and long-lasting manicures.

It is self-leveling so you should get a nice smooth finish. Now IBD BIAB cures within 30 seconds once you have a decent UV Led Lamp.

You can click here to see the current price for a bottle of IBD BIAB gel on Amazon.

2- Orly GelFX BIAB

Another great BIAB is Orly GelFx, it is just as good as IBD, except it is a premium product so it is more expensive.

You can click here to see the price for a bottle of Orly GelFX BIAB on Amazon.

How many layers of BIAB should you use

For BIAB overlays I usually use 2 layers of BIAB – one thin layer and then one very thick layer. But this will vary and will depend on how thick you want your nails to be.

For BIAB extensions you can use 3-4 layers or more.

Related Article: How to tell if Gel Polish is Cured & 5 Tips to Dry it Fast

Can You Apply Polish to BIAB

You can apply both gel polish and regular nail polish onto your BIAB.

When applying regular nail polish onto BIAB nails just wipe away the sticky layer and then apply the polish.

But to apply gel polish you don’t need to wipe away the wet layer, just apply gel polish as you would normally.

Related Article – 5 Alternatives to Gel Nails: Safe, Healthy & Durable

Removing BIAB Nails & Fill-ins

I have an entire article on how to remove BIAB nails at home and to guide you when and how to do an in-fill, click here to read it.