How to do your own gels nails at home

The use of gel nail polish today is becoming increasingly popular in its use for a number of reasons including, the ability of the gel nail polish to last significantly longer than the regular nail polish as well as less damaging to the nail during its application than when getting an acrylic manicure.

If you're accustomed to having your nails done professionally at a nail salon or spa then you may have probably fallen in love with the idea of sitting back being totally relaxed and spoilt while having your hands and feet pampered. Nonetheless the average cost of having a gel manicure done can run you as much as over £20, which for most people including myself can be quite expensive, additionally costing even more if you're living in a commercial area. As a result a lot of women today have opt to having their gel manicure conveniently done at home for a more cost-effective experience. If you're considering doing your gel manicure at home, for your one time investment you'll definitely need a UV/LED nail lamp and of course the occasional cost of having to buy your desired gel polish.

As a personal recommendation I have found that the OPI UV/LED lamp is an excellent brand if you're planning to do your gel nails at home which gives you speedy results with a full gel application in about 5 minutes cure time.

The necessary materials you'll need to do your very own gel manicure at home includes your orange wood stick, nail file, cleansing pad, lint-free pads, cuticle oil or moisturizers, your gel bond/primer, base coat, top coat, gel nail polish color of your choice and your UV/LED nail lamp.

Let's get started:

  • First you'll need to prepare your nails. Using your cuticle pusher gently push back your cuticles. Then using your nail file, shape and file your nails to remove any unevenness.
  • Using your cleaning pad, clean your nails removing any unwanted dust from the surface of the nails.
  • Use your gel bond/primer and apply an even layer to you nails and allow it to dry.
  • Very carefully apply a layer of your gel polish base coat to your nails ensuring it does not come into contact with your skin.
  • Cure the base coat by placing your hands under your UV/LED nail lamp for the required time as specified by the included manual by manufacturer.
  • You'll notice that your nails will appear sticky after curing under the lamp, this is quite normal and expected.
  • Now you're going to apply a thin even layer of your gel nail polish in the color of your choice.
  • Place your hands under your UV/LED nail lamp for a second time to cure the newly applied polish. (Note: Try not to exceed the required time specified by the manufacturer)
  • Apply a second coat of your gel nail polish and cure once again.
  • Now you're going to apply your gel polish topcoat and cure using your UV/LED nail lamp.
  • You will notice a sticky layer on the surface of your nails. Clean your nail carefully using your lint-free pad soaked in 99% alcohol.
  • Pamper yourself by massaging your hands and nails by using your cuticle oil or moisturisers to keep your hands moist, smooth, relaxed and remaining healthy after your gel manicure. Ensure you apply cuticle oil twice daily as this will extend the wear of your gel and help prevent chips and peeling.

There you have it, you've just performed your first gel nail manicure in the comfort of your own home.

Below are a few tips you should take note of when performing your gel manicure at home.

  • Be sure to vigorously shake your gel nail polish to properly mix the ingredients before applying.
  • The use of a nail bonder is not required, however it will strengthen the bond between the gel nail polish and your nails for a lasting results.
  • In my experience as a professional nail technician I have found that be mixing and matching various colors such as using a particular color, then curing with my UV/LED nail lamp and then applying another gel nail polish color, I have been able to achieve some remarkable and exquisite results. Get creative!