Your Easy 8 Step Guide to a DIY Gel Manicure
Jul. 29, 2020
Don’t you just love the feeling of a fresh manicure? Heading to the salon for a gel manicure is always a great experience, but it’s also not all that budget-friendly. While we should definitely all be comfortable spending money on things that make us feel good, sometimes it’s also necessary to save some money.
So, whether you’re totally new to gel manicures and want to introduce yourself with a DIY project, or simply want to save $50+ a month, you’re in the right place.
What You Need for an At-Home Gel Manicure
Firstly, there are a few things you’ll need:
- A nail lamp. There are plenty of options depending on your budget, but most decent nail lamps shouldn’t cost much more than $50 or $60
- Acetone and cotton pads, in case you get any of the gel on your skin or cuticles
- Cuticle oil
- Rubbing alcohol
- Paper towels, just in case anything is spilled
- Gel nail polish. When it comes to picking your favorite hue, there are lots of options online – just shop around until you find the color(s) you like best
- A few hours where no one will interrupt you (that goes for furry family too)!
- Something fun to watch or listen to while you do your manicure!
Here’s Your 8 Step DIY Gel Manicure Guide
1. Carefully cut and file your nails to the shape you’d like them; aim for equal lengths if you can.
2. Make sure those nails are nice and clean. Assuming this is your first time applying gel nail polish, and you don’t have to remove an existing manicure, you will want to make sure your nails are unpolished and free of chemicals.
3. Buff your nails gently, just to give your nails a little extra texture and prevent the natural oils on your nails from building up too much.
4. Apply your cuticle oil. This will soften up your cuticles and allow you to push them back with ease. Make sure to wash your hands after applying the oil, otherwise the excess oil could cause your lovely gel nails to lift.
5. Apply your base coat. Start off with an extremely thin layer of your base coat gel polish. Try and apply this base coat carefully, and if you get any of this coat on your skin or cuticles, use some acetone to wipe it away.
6. Let the polish cure under the lamp for about two minutes, then add another layer and repeat. It’s worth mentioning here that the amount of time that is required to cure the nails depends on the type of UV lamp you buy.
7. If your polish has a lighter texture, feel free to add a third layer.
8. If your top coat feels a little sticky, don’t worry. Simply soak a small cotton wool pad in some rubbing alcohol and thoroughly rub every nail to cleanse it.
If you find that your nails feel a little dry when they come out from under the lamp, feel free to add a couple of extra drops of cuticle oil for some post-manicure hydration. Once you’ve finished doing your nails, your gel manicure should last you a few weeks. When the time comes, you should be able to remove the gel by soaking your nails in acetone, but it may be a process that requires you to go to a salon.
One thing that’s worth remembering is that the maximum amount of time you should keep each gel manicure on is about 2 weeks. After any longer than that, your nails will continue to cure in direct sunlight, which is liable to cause some damage. For this reason, it’s a good idea to remove your gel manicure, even if that means immediately applying it again.
What if I’ve never done this before?
Try not to panic! This process is always done best if you relax and take your time (that’s why we recommend you find a great show or podcast and take an hour or two to do it slowly – enjoy it)!
Remember, getting your nails done is a relaxing activity, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be just as enjoyable if you do it yourself! Be patient and remember that practice makes perfect. This type of process is one that will only get easier if you do it a number of times, so don’t expect your results to look exactly like you just walked out of the salon. You’ve invested in the tools you’ll need to get your nails done, so why not invest in a little time? With a little perseverance, this gel manicure guide, and the equipment mentioned above, you’ll be a nail pro in no time! And who knows, maybe after a few tries, you’ll be so proficient at it, you’ll never need to go to the salon again!
A Journey of Self 🌹
I figured Black History Month was as good as any opportunity to talk about my self finding. Growing up in a small yet old family, I always had questions about my roots and family history. I also struggled with self conscious doubts about my appearance. Why is my nose this big? Why is my hair this curly? Why am I taller than average? These weighed heavy on my mind growing up because honestly, sticking out sucked. So, I finally dove deep into my family’s origin and decided to do an Ancestry DNA analysis. I immersed myself with every corner of the site. I only got the chance to finish my maternal grandmas side of the family tree, but even that has plenty of gaps. Yet, when I received my DNA results I was stoked. Then I realized, I don’t know much about any of these places. So I dug even deeper. I have a little journal of things I’ve learned and want to know, but this was quite the experience. It was heartbreaking and satisfying at the same time. I highly recommend for every race and background to do this DNA Test. The best part of this was scrolling through photos of the people of the respected countries I was DNA matched to. I swear I saw a girl who looked like me, but everyone else thinks I’m tripping lol. In the end, I’m satisfied with my results and findings. Relatively speaking, this way of self discovery has been the most effective.
Clear skin the gentle way?
Thank you @cheriefor this amazing gift 🤩 “buh-koo-chee-all” HERBIVORE - Bakuchiol Anti-Aging Serum I’ve already become a diehard Herbivore lover. So to receive this beauty was super exciting. When I started my acne journey on Cherie I was (and still am) a Differin Acne Gel stan. This was my choice of retinol and I wanted it strong to treat acne and boost my cellular turnover. Now that my acne is currently under control and it’s getting hot again, I definitely want something smooth and gentle. Bakuchiol is a gentler alternative to the very popular ingredient retinol. So essentially you’ll get overall youthful results for your skin. I haven’t tested this on my acne theory yet, but overall my face has been smooth and irritation free. This serum does not have a smell which I love for products of this caliber. I also love that it’s light and not drying at all. I use this at night and since i have a tolerance to retinol I use it every night. I haven’t been using it long enough to see results (about 12 weeks) but I definitely can’t wait to finish this. Have you tried Bakuchiol?
Wednesday Wellness 🙏🏾
This past week has been rather hard and long for me. I ultimately decided to get back on track with my wellness plan. My main wellness goal for 2021, is to indulge in myself more. I definitely am a firm believe in “as within, so without”. I started my day with: #Four Sigmatic - Mushroom Elixir Mix with Chaga[products]#[FiveStars] I have been getting back into adaptogen and herbal medicine. What we put into our bodies is just as important as what goes on the outside. Adaptogens are apart of ancient medicinal traditions traced all over the world. I also drink Tulsi “Holy Basil” Tea. If you need a pick me up or emotional boost I highly recommend! SUNDAY RILEY - U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil is my treatment of choice I used during the day. Do not be afraid to use salicylic acid during the day. I applied plenty of sunscreen afterwards as well! This is a GODSEND for clearing up acne and acne scarring. It’s by far the best acne treatment I’ve tried and its mostly due to the immediate results I get. This is a dry oil, so it should be used before a heavy moisturizer or sunscreen. THE BODY SHOP - Spa of the World Thai Makrut Lime Firming Oil is a staple in my night time routine. When I want to relax and really unwind I use a body roller with this oil. It smells like a fresh key lime pie and it’s so hydrating. This is great for firming, especially when paired with a body tool. What do you do for wellness?
Stay Young Forever? ✨
That’d be great right? Well in taking those steps, I definitely recommend these amazing serums. I was gifted the: Intoxicated Cosmetics: Snake Serum Bee Serum Snail Serum I started using the Snail Serum last night first and wow did I notice a difference. The Snail Serum mainly targets dryness. I used this in place of my usual night time serum and boy did I notice a difference. I N G R E D I E N T S : All Serums contain: ✨Niacinamide Bee Serum: Bee Venom Plant Based Stem Cells Royal Epigen Snake Serum Snake Venom Green & White Tea Extract Peptides Snail Serum Snail Peptide Hyadisine Echinacea Moronga Oil Extract I definitely will try the other serums in my routine as I get used to the Snail Serum but so far my skin is definitely happy. What serum would you like to try?
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
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