What’s The Difference Between Mega Stick, PBD, & Excel Clear Gels

What’s The Difference Between Mega Stick, PBD, & Excel Clear Gels

Paola PonceMarch 17, 2022

So whether you’re just finding out about Kokoist, or you’re venturing into trying Kokoist Clear Gels, today’s video will make sure that you leave fully understanding the difference between all of the foundation gels Kokoist offers, including Mega Stick Base, Platinum Bond Duo, and Excel Builder.

Let’s begin.

Hey there and welcome back. If you are new here, welcome, my name is Paola of paolaponcenails.com and I’m  happy to be hosting another episode for Kokoist USA.

Remember, Kokoist gel nail products are soak-off and made in Japan.

So maybe you are already using Kokoist Color Gels and are wondering how to get started with Kokoist base gels. And this is where I want to focus today. 

The 3 clear gels we will be talking about today are all foundation gels, meaning they go under the color or art layers.

These three clear gels are Mega Stick Base, Platinum Bond Duo, and Excel Builder. And they are all used to overlay the natural nails… but do you use one, all of them, or a combination of them. That is exactly what we will be talking about today.

So, let’s start with Mega Stick Base. 

Mega Stick Base. Is Kokoist’s adhesion gel. It is primarily to be used on its own, or under Excel Builder, or to adhere to Kokoist's line of full coverage tips, Gelip.

On its own you simply float a thin layer on the nail, one or two nails at a time and that is because it’s consistency is a bit runny. And so, if you overflow your brush you may have run-off into the cuticle area and as a result, if cured, you will experience lifting.

Kokoist offers the Mega Stick Base Formula both in a bottle or pot. The formulation is exactly the same, simply choose your preferred method of application. Personally, I like to work with pots because they allow me more control when I use a separate brush, and I prefer using the bottle option to apply Gelips or pedicures, but there is no right or wrong, work with what feels easier to you and provides you and your clients awesome results.

So how exactly does the formula feel?

It is the softest texture out of all of the 3 foundation gels we’re talking about today.

This means that it has flexibility to it and wears well with just about any nail type. 

Mega Stick Base is true to its name and has a high adhesion component which makes it long wearing to both the natural nail and the attachment of full coverage tips.

Let’s now move on to Platinum Bond Duo.

Platinum Bond Duo, or PBD is a two in one formula. It has both adhesion and structure capabilities. This means that in order to apply a structured gel manicure or short extension with PBD you do not need to first apply a layer of Mega Stick Base. You can, especially if you’re experiencing pop-offs but it is not a requirement in order for it to last a very long time.

What I would suggest if you experience popping-off or lifting, is to instead consider the texture of this gel. This gel has a semi-hard texture. This means that it cures and files like a hard gel. Just a bit thinner, and with more flexibility. I would use this gel on clients whose natural nails are already naturally hard, or to make a short extension. Yes, you can create extensions with PBD, but only up to half the length of the nail plate attached to the natural nail. Extend longer at your own risk.

Now Platinum Bond is also offered in bottle-form. But! Because the formulation is slightly different (it’s thinned down to apply with ease from a brush-on bottle) it carries a slightly different name, and that is Bonding Duo in a bottle.

Fun fact: Platinum Bond Duo and Bonding Duo in a bottle both contain Platinum Nanocolloids which are microscopic platinum particles with antimicrobial properties. So you never have to lose sleep over you or your client getting the “greenies” under your overlay. 

Bonding Duo in a bottle is also a hema-free option, if you are sensitive to monomer irritations.

Lastly, Platinum Bond in pot or bottle can be used to rebalance or fill your Gelip applications.

Alrighty, so that leaves us with one last foundation gel to talk about and that is Excel Builder.

Excel Builder is strictly a builder, it does not have adhesion/base gel component to it, and yes, you will have to add a thin layer of Mega Stick Base underneath it. I want to be clear, so I’m going to say this a different way. Excel Builder cannot go directly on the natural nail. The clear foundation gel you apply before applying Excel Builder is Mega Stick Base.

Excel Builder is only offered in a pot. It is viscous, but still flows nicely. You can use this gel (remember over Mega Stick Base) to overlay natural nails and also to extend them. The recommended max-length with a soak off gel is the total length of the nail plate attached to the nail plate. Extend longer at your own risk.

Ok, so let’s recap. Let’s bring all home.

Kokoist offers 3 core foundation gels.

Mega Stick Base is the base gel. It goes before color, before builder, and it is the gel used to adhere Gelip Full Coverage Tips. It is offered in both a bottle and pot. The formulation is exactly the same.

Platinum Bond Duo is a base and builder in one. It is used for natural nail overlays and short extensions. It is offered in both a bottle and a pot, and the bottle version is slightly thinner than its potted form. Bonding duo in a bottle is hema-free.

Excel Builder is a soak-off builder gel with a strong semi-hard texture. It is used to give the nails structure and also artificially add length to natural nails. 

And remember! As mentioned in our past videos, no bonder or dehydrator is needed prior to applying Mega Stick or Platinum Bond Duo, as the adhesion component is already in the product.

I hope you enjoyed this Kokoist Foundation Gel Debrief. Let us know in the comments section what you will like to learn next. We’ll see you next week, stick around for our next video, and bye for now!


Paola Ponce is an independent nail educator helping the Japanese gel nail niche and its nail techs grow! You can follow more of her work at www.paolaponcenails.com and @paolaponcenails on Instagram. Save & support her work with affiliate code PPN10.


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