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After a TON of requests to share a Gel Nail DIY tutorial on Instagram— Here’s a detailed guide on how to do your own gel nails at home! I’ve been using this same technique for almost 5 years and I’ll never go back to the salon. In all transparency, I could never afford the salon anyways haha. We were a broke grad student family with a loan bigger than you could imagine. Getting my nails done or hair did was definitely not in our budget.

One year, I pulled together my birthday cash from my parents and invested in learning how to do gel nails. So here was my alternative to the salon, featuring my BEST TIPS since I LOVE a shiny and hard polish that lasts for weeks. Hope you love it too!

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First, use SPF on your hands if you purchase a UV lamp. Years ago when I bought a lamp, LED lamps were precisely coming out and I decided to play it safe with the traditional UV lamp. My light has farseeing been discontinued !
I recommend buying an LED lamp for 2 reasons: 1. LED is safer on your skin 2. LED lamps will dry the polish in closely 1/4 the time ! This will save you a significant amount of time. Trust me ! besides, snag THIS KIT for the polishes + acetone + alcohol. You ’ ll need it all !

  1. PREPARE NAIL. Start out with a clean set of nails. Gently push cuticles back. Use 180 grit file to roughen surface of nail.
  2. CLEAN NAIL. Use a lint-free cloth (paper towel) soaked with 90% alcohol to clean the nail and cuticle from oil and debris.
  3. FOUNDATION COAT. Apply a thin coat of foundation gel, being careful to not make this coat too thick. Applying too thick of a foundation coat can lead to the polish peeling and lifting. Clean any excess that gets on the skin or cuticle by brushing it off with a brush dipped in 90% alcohol. It is important to make sure that none of the product bakes to your skin since your skin will slough off– those cells that are bonded to the product, and this will cause the polish to lift off the nail and chip.
  4. UV LAMP. Cure for 2 minutes. Follow the directions on your lamp. UV lamps take longer to full cure the polish compared to LED lamps. Here, I’m using a UV light. I really need to upgrade!
  5. ADD COLOR. Apply 1st coat of color polish. You’ll notice the 1st coat of color is slightly streaky and not very opaque – this is normal! Make sure to clean any excess off skin and cuticles. Favorite color kit is THIS
  6. UV LAMP. Cure for 2 minutes. Follow directions on your lamp!
  7. APPLY COLOR. For light colors, you may only need 2 coats. For darker polishes, you’ll need 3 coats. I chose to only do 2 coats of white polish since I would be doing an added glitter coat.
  8. UV LAMP. Cure for 2 minutes. Follow directions on your lamp!
  9. APPLY COLOR. Apply an optional 3rd coat if the color is still streaky. I used a glitter polish lightly brushed on, staying heavy surrounding my cuticle and very light along the nail tip (think, ombre-style).
  10. UV LAMP. Cure for 2 minutes.
  11. TOP COAT. Apply a thin top coat. Be careful not to apply too much–it is very thin and the excess will run off to the edge of the nail. If it does this, it will pool up and will lift off very easily within the 1st week. Keep all polish away from the edge and cuticle!
  12. UV LAMP. Cure for 2 minutes.
  13. REMOVE TACKY COAT. Use a lint-free cloth (paper towel) soaked with 90% alcohol to remove the tacky residue coat. Yes, you can use the same towel used in step #2.

Voila ! Enjoy your Gel manicure !

Scroll down for tips !

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tip :

  1. Do not waste your money on the starter kits. The pH bond is simply rubbing alcohol in an expensive bottle. Not necessary, but might help if you’re having problems in the future with polish lasting.
  2. Apply several very thin layers– no thick ones! Think, “thin to win”
  3. I find it easier to complete 1 hand at a time.
  4. Polish the edge of your nail tip. Meaning, brush the polish from the nail bed to the edge, and all the way over the edge of your nail to cap it off. Your mani will last longer!
  5. Yes, you can mix and match gel polish brands.
  6. To remove nails: Do no peal off your gel polish! This will damage your nails. Instead, gently file off the top clear coat — no need to file deep into the color coats. Soak 1/2 a cotton ball in pure acetone and secure the cotton ball against your nail with a small strip of aluminum foil wrapped around your finger tip. (This lets the acetone soak into the gel polish) Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Remove foil. Polish should lift right off!
  7. Polish lasts longer when your nails are strong. I use THIS GELATIN POWDER and it’s been a MIRACLE! It doubles my nail strength, which helps my mani polish last 2-3 weeks. Pedicures last at least 4 weeks.
  8. These exact foundation and top coat bottles lasts me 2 years. (and I’m a nail junkie!)
  9. Both UV + LED lamps work great. LED lamps are simply faster.
  10. Snag THIS KIT for all the polishes + alcohol + acetone in 1. Highly recommend!


Have you tried doing your own Gel Nails ? ? Have any questions or concerns ? Drop them in the gloss section below and I ’ ll answer !

source : https://nailcenter.us
Category : Nail tips

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