Express Refills & filling technique

Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started


The most frequent procedure that is done in the salons is a refill. It is important to learn a proper filling technique to save the time and avoid problems that wrong application can cause.

E-file normally speed the time of the procedure up, but it is possible to do an express refill using only standard files! You can get amazing results with the right manual files and buffers.

All you need to do is to learn all the steps of the filling technique, understand and start practising it until you master it.

Most common salon nail shapes:


Emery board files – the files are attached to several layers of soft cardboards and are made of two different grits or same grits, can be used for the natural nails as well as gels

The grit is a nail file’s surface. It tells you how fine or coarse the file is and how rough it will feel on your nails, the higher the grit number – the smoother the file

80 – very coarse and only for acrylics

100– effective for eliminating some length on artificial

120, 150 – we use them to shorten and shape gels, or to take off the thickness from gels

180 – can be safely used on both real and fake nails

240 – This is perfect for preparing weak/damaged nails.

E files

Nail drill bits: make filing nails easier and quicker, it takes practice to master the use of this kind of nail file, it is ideal for those that do not like hand filling

Mandrel/Sanding Band (180 or 120 coarse) – one use paper bids , used for surface work or removing gels

Carbide bits – long lasting as made of carbide metal, great tool for advanced technicians, ideal for removing gels, cannot be used on the natural nail, can be sanitized

Ceramic bits- long lasting, coated with ceramic, ideal for removing gels, can be sanitized and sterilized

Diamond bits- the hardest bids, coated with natural or synthetic diamond, ideal for removing the built-up product by scratching it off, but they create more dust, friction and heat compared to the previously other bits

Stone bits- ideal for removing dead skin

Express Refills

  1. Old Product Removal:

Depending on the condition of the nail enhancement you may need to remove more or less of the old product, all shine has to gone and thickness from old apex area, nails need to shortened and reshaped

-standard hand file 150 or 120 can be used

-ceramic, carbide, or diamond bid

-Sanding band 120                   

2. Cuticle Work

Depending on the condition of the skin you may need to use cuticle softener or do a dry manicure. Correct preparation for new product application is extremely important to avoid future lifting, splitting, cracking, or breaking. It must be done with a special care to avoid damage to eponychium.

Chose one for the option for your clients:

-Cuticle softener + Cuticle pusher + cuticle nipper + scissors-Stone drill bid + scissors

3.  New Product Application:

Dust needs to be removed, nail cleansed, primer applied to natural nail, thin layer of base gel from cuticle are to edge on the whole surface.

In the next step when you are applying build gel you need to make sure that apex placement is correct and control thickness of the product. Work on one nail at the time and ‘freeze’ for 5-10 sec rather than applying build on 5 nails at the time! Once finished, cure for 120 sec each hand. Remove sticky layer with cleanser.

4. Filling Technique depending on shape:

Please watch Trainer’s demonstration and make a note on attached diagrams

5. Colour and Topcoat application:

Dust need to be removed, cuticles gently pushed back with cuticle pusher or wooden stick. Now you can apply two thin layers of colour, curing each coat for 30 – 60 sec as per manufacturers recommendations. Topcoat need to be applied in one thin layer and cured for 30 sec in LED or 2mins in UV lamp. If application of the color or top coat is hard with original brush that comes with the bottle, you can use different brush, just make sure it is cleaned properly. If you want to paint really close to cuticles you can use very thin art brush.                                                                                  

We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience. By clicking “Accept”, you consent to the use of ALL the cookies. Do not sell my personal information.