DIY Gel Nails: The Ultimate Guide to Home Gel Manicure
Jul. 27, 2020
. Learn what tools you’ll need to get enviable nails from the comfort of home.
You can boast beautiful nails without having to step foot outside your front door. We list the necessary equipment and lay the process out from base coat to top coat.
What Do You Need for Gel Nails?
Before you get to the DIY gel manicure part, you’ll need to prepare a few must-have items.
Don’t worry—you probably have most of these in your cosmetics bag. If not, we suggest the best gel polish to try and other recommended products:
You’ll prep your nails the same way you would for a standard manicure, meaning you should have the following:
- Cotton pads
- Quality clippers
- File and buffer
- Nail sticks
- Acetone (nail polish remover)
- Nail oil
These are things you might not have readily available, but you’ll have to invest in:
- Gel base and top coat
- Gel polish
- UV drying lamp
- Alcohol wipes
How to Do Gel Nails in Your Home Like a Pro in 10 Steps
You’ll show off your DIY gel manicure on Instagram before you know it—just a few tips before you start.
Place your tools around you so that you don’t have to scrabble for anything with sticky nails. Don’t forget to work on a surface you won’t mind getting polish-stained.
Finally, don’t be disheartened if your first try isn’t 100-percent flawless: you’ll get better with practice!
Step #1: Clean Foundation
Wash your hands thoroughly. You don’t want residual cream, oil, or anything else (like pet hair) interfering with the process.
Step #2: Shape Your Nails
Grab your clippers and nail file and get to work. Ensure each nail is more or less the same shape, and that there aren’t any sharp or uneven edges.
Step #3: Treat Your Cuticles
Apply nail oil to soften up stubborn cuticles. Then, carefully use a nail stick to push them back.
Next, wipe each nail down with acetone to prep it for the gel polish—that will help it bond to your nail better.
Step #4: Buff and Smooth
Use your nail buffer to get an even surface to work with—splits or cracks can prevent that sexy-smooth look you’re after.
Step #5: Apply Base Coat First
Apply one layer of your base coat (or dual base-and-top coat) to each nail. Dry it underneath your UV lamp—check the recommended time for your specific model.
Step #6: Ready for Gel Polish!
Don’t panic! You can apply the gel polish as you would regular polish.
The only difference is that you will dry your nails under the UV lamp between each layer.
You may need to add several layers if you chose a light color: the result should be opaque with no streaks.
Step #7: Carefully Remove Excess
Dip a nail stick in some acetone and get rid of any accidental splatters.
Step #8: Apply Your Top Coat
The finishing touch is a layer or two of top coat. Remember to stick your nails under your UV lamp between each layer, if you apply more than one.
Step #9: Wipe with Alcohol
If you have a no-wipe polish, you won’t need to do this. Otherwise, grab an alcohol wipe and run it over each nail to remove residue.
Step #10: Nail Oil (Optional)
For a little extra TLC, apply a dash of nail oil. Admire your efforts and show off your DIY gel nails to the world!
Drunk Elephant- The Littles 🐘
I won this cute little kit in a raffle & I couldn’t be more thankful! I have always wanted to try these products but never wanted to spend the money on all of them incase I didn’t like them! Inside this kit are the following products: DRUNK ELEPHANT - Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser Deluxe Sample DRUNK ELEPHANT - B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Cream DRUNK ELEPHANT - C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream DRUNK ELEPHANT - T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum DRUNK ELEPHANT - Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil DRUNK ELEPHANT - Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 That’s literally a whole skincare routine! So far I started out my day with one of Drunk Elephants infamous “Face Smoothies” I washed my face with Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser & then combined C-Firma Day Serum, Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, & Protini Polypeptide Cream together on my mixing trey with a disposable skincare spatula! I applied it all over my face & neck. Once that absorbed, I applied Umbra Tinte Daily Defense SPF 30 over my face & neck & was done! I love how the kit comes with steps to walk you through different routines you can use in the morning or at night! I will do a follow up review after I have used all the products for a few weeks! But so far, my skin feels & looks great! I have been breaking out lately & haven’t felt the best about my skin so I really needed this pick me up!! Thank you for reading! You guys are the best!! ❤️ @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick
DISAPPOINTED BY THESE 100% NATURAL PRODUCTS 😩
I was so excited to try these out because I love moisturizers & I am always in search of a good one! These looked & sounded very promising! They’re from a woman owned company, completely natural, vegan, & cruelty free! However, I was quite disappointed. EARTH HARBOR - MERMAID MILK Nutrient Glow Moisturizer This moisturizer claims to give you a glow right away & it contains spirulina + matcha. I was excited about the matcha because it has so many amazing benefits for skin. It has a very whipped consistency which I like. However it always contains essential oils that were strong, although not toooo strong for my liking. But I’m really just not a fan of essential oils in my face creams. The moisturizer did make my skin appear a little brighter but the cream just sat on my face. All day long I could touch my face & still feel the cream sitting there! I hate that feeling! It also almost gave me a greasy appearance after a while? Not a fan. EARTH HARBOR - SIREN SILK Multi-Tasking Hydration Creme This one was absolutely awful. If I could give it 0 stars I would. It says to use it at night time & the apply it at least 5 minutes before bed so it can absorb on your face & not your pillow. It contains Sea Retinol + other Superherbs which normally make me love a product! But that just wasn’t enough here. First, when I put it on my face my eyes started to actually burn & I felt suffocated from the scent. It was THAT strong. Guys, I’m not being dramatic at all. The smell like attacked me it was crazy! I have never had something like that happen with a face cream! I couldn’t believe how strong the fragrance was. & to top it off, it wasn’t even a pretty smell. My husband described it as smelling like floor cleaner. But I powered through. The longer I had it on, the more “used” to the smell I got. So, I wore it overnight. But then I woke up even more upset with it! I had pilling all over my face. It almost looked like my face was peeling but it wasn’t, it was jus the cream. One thing I cannot stand about a moisturizer is pulling. That’s enough for me to throw it out! It also didn’t really even moisturize my face that well! All in all, I hated this experience. But if you want, you should try them out for yourself, don’t let my experience deter you from trying something new! I however, will be sticking with my Youth To The People Dream Mask & Superfood Whipped Moisturizer! Love those two!! YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE - Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE - Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream 💗💗💗 @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick
Skin Barrier Skin Savior 🙏🏾
Thank you @cheriefor this amazing gift 🤩🤩 Something thing I am very particular about is my moisturizer. My skin barrier tends need the extra TLC and the best thing to give it is moisture. So when I look for a moisturizer I need something that gives me instant hydration and doesn’t clog my pores. So when I received the : BASE BUTTER - Radiate Face Jelly Aloe Vera Gel Face Moisturizer I was so excited! The Brand : ✨Black Owned ✨Women Owned ✨Cruelty Free ✨Non-Comedogenic ✨Vegan ✨Paraben Free 🔑 Ingredients : ✨Aloe Vera Juice ✨Shea Butter ✨Evening Primrose Oil Okay, as you can see your girl woke up DULL! The only thing I did for this video was wash my face and use this to show y’all the transformation! I was using this EVERY night but last night I used my acne treatment routine and your girl FELT THAT (salicylic acid can be so drying to my combo skin). What’s my favorite part? This baby doesn’t have a smell or heavy greasy feel, so it perfect year round! At $21 this is a DEAL ! (The line I used on my cheek covered the entire bottom portion of my face!) Have you tried this brand?
Do It All Toner 🍃🍃
I have been loving the brand Truly lately ✨ I recently purchased this: 🍃TRULY - CBD Jelly Toning Solution 🍃 And it’s by far one of my favorite toners. Ingredients: 💚100MG CBD 💚Glycolic Acid 💚Tea Tree Oil 💚Organic Aloe 💚Rose Petal Extract This brand is also: 💚Vegan 💚Cruelty Free 💚Clean I use this every other night and it as tremendously helped my skin barrier and acne. I was really concerned about the glycolic acid irritating or drying my skin but it didn’t at all 🤩 I highly recommend this to combo and oily , acne prone skin. This will be a toner I keep in my night routine. I got it from Ulta (of course) for $24 (I paid $15 after coupons) Do you use CBD products? 🍃
HOLY GRAIL SPF 🌞🌞🌞
Okay guys as I have said before I am guilty of rarely ever wearing sunscreen. I just never liked the feel of it on my skin. I always felt like it made me greasy & clogged my pores. However, once I heard about this product I was very intrigued. NIOD - Survival 30 It actually isn’t sold in the United States for some reason so I had to purchase it on a UK website. (Beauty Bay) It is an antioxidant serum with SPF 30. At first, it appears to be tinted but it’s actually not. On NIOD’s website they state: “The slight tinted appearance is derived from the active technologies including Lutein, Fractionated Melanin and Pycnogenol.” It blends in with your skin so easily & does not leave a white cast like some other SPF products. However this serum literally makes my skin tone soo even & perfect! It also contains silicone so it completely smooths over my pores. AND besides all that great stuff, it’s a mineral sunscreen! So it protects against environmental & lifestyle issues. Like UV rays, blue light, etc. I have never loved a product as much as this one! I literally cannot believe how good my skin looks while using this stuff! For a 30ml bottle, I paid $33 on the Beauty Bay site. For me, that is completely worth it! It comes in this adorable packaging & pretty glass bottle. It also has a pump dispenser & squirts out the perfect amount for a single use! I really can’t recommend this stuff enough guys! It’s wonderful!! @cherie@Cheriebeauty@CheriePick
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