Like everyone else, I am a stickler for having my nails well painted. The problem is, I don’t want to pay a lot of money to get them done over and over again at the nail salon. So I would do them at home using just regular nail polish. The problem with that is they don’t last very long at all. Maybe 3-4 days for me. And considering how long and tedious it is to do nails and then wait for it to completely dry (heck, a lot of times, I was too impatient, I would end up dinging them), I would only change them when they were getting abysmally bad.
It wasn’t until I tried gel nails at a salon that I actually enjoyed getting my nails done. They didn’t chip at all! Except, of course, after a while, my nails grew so long, it looked weird that the top part wouldn’t have polish while the bottom did. It was not at all like an ombre hairstyle.
But after once or twice of going to the manicurist for gel nails, I really couldn’t justify paying the cost so I recently thought I’d try it at home.
Guys, I’m seriously hooked.
My nails are always on point these days and I’m saving a boatload of time and money!
HERE’S WHAT I BOUGHT:
- UV+LED Nail Lamp
- Cotton balls
- Pure acetone
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cuticle softener
- Polish scraper and cuticle pusher tool
- Nail clips (instead of aluminum foils)
- Gel polish
I think total as my ‘initial investment’, I spent less than $50 which would have been one trip to the nail salon.
HOW TO DIY GEL NAIL POLISH AT HOME:
- Remove your cuticles by massaging some cuticle softener on. Then, using the cuticle pusher tool, gently push the cuticles against the skin and wipe off the excess. I am personally not a fan of removing cuticles so I do this very lightly, if at all. If you really want to do a more in-depth removal, you may need extra tools such as cuticle trimmers or the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover.
- Do what you regularly do with your nails, i.e. trip, file, buff, etc.
- Apply a thin layer of the base gel polish (okay, I actually skip this step because I was trying to save money initially but I plan on getting it soon!) and put your hand under the nail lamp for 60 seconds.
- Apply a thin layer of colored nail polish carefully on one hand and put your hand under the nail lamp for 60 seconds. Repeat this step 2-3 times.
- Apply a thin layer of top coat on top and put your hand under the lamp for, you guessed it, 60 seconds. Sometimes I do another 60 seconds. At this point, your nails are going to be sticky. That’s normal.
- Just dab some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe your nails.
Et voila, you’re good! No more waiting hours upon hours waiting for your nails to dry to go about your day.
In two weeks, when your nails have grown out, it’s time to redo the whole process.
HOW TO DIY GEL NAIL POLISH OFF AT HOME:
- Dab ten cotton balls with pure acetone and stick them in the nail clips.
- Then, with the cotton balls attached, clip those nail clips onto your nails.
- Wait 10-15 minutes and remove.
- Your nail polish should come right off. If they don’t, try again. It’s better to let the acetone do the work than to scrape the polish off your nails.
- Otherwise, use the scraper and scrape the remaining polish off.
Et voila! That’s how you remove gel nail polish at home.
From start to finish, it takes me about 30 minutes for my nails or a whole Lydia Elise Millen vlog.
TIPS ON DOING DIY GEL NAIL POLISH:
- Let me reiterate once again to apply thin layers and build up. The first few times that I did this, I acted like I was regular nail polish and globbing it on, thinking they’d just wash off of the skin around my nails during a shower. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. It stayed like a blob of a mess.
- If you feel any of the nail polish on your skin, clean it up before you put your hands under the lamp. Otherwise, it’s kind of stuck like that.
- Top off your nails on the bottom part to lessen the risk of chipping.
That’s about it! At the moment, I only have two colors in my collection, which I think I’ll do a separate blog post on, but I love having the ability to do gel polish at home that I’m sure this collection will grow at a decent rate.
Have you done gel nails at home? Are there tips that I missed out on?