Hey Bella’s, in this post I will be guiding you on how you can do your own gel polish nails right in the comfort of your own home. If you’re like me you're always busy, cooking, working, and rushing to get tasks done. You can't seem to book an appointment at your nearest nail salon because their hours don’t suit yours, or maybe you struggle to always go in every 2 or 3 weeks for soak off and colour redoing. Well, I have some great news! You can just buy a gel polish kit and do it at home at the time that suits you best!
It may seem a bit complicated at first. Trust me I was in your shoes, but after reading and following these steps you'll see it's simple.
Before doing Gel Polishes at home: please take note of the following info.
- The brand of gel polish - All brands are different and there are some you may need to be trained or qualified in to purchase. But, there are some gel polishes you can purchase on Amazon or Ebay, like bluesky, which are good at a reasonable price.
- The kind of lamp you'll use - There are two types of lamps in the market. An LED and a UV Lamp. I personally recommend buying an LED lamp rather than a UV lamp because it's faster in curing and saves you more time.
- Right Table and chair - So, you'll want to make sure you have a medium size table to work on. Space is important to make sure that the table is not so low or high. It needs to be just the right height for you to work on. Get a comfortable chair that supports your back! If not, you will struggle and strain your neck and back, ouch!
- Protect your table - Line up everything you need on a flat surface and have a towel and a sheet of coach roll tissue on the table to cover any spillages as the products may damage the surface.
- Do not sit in direct sunlight - Make sure you not in direct sunlight as the gel polishes are light sensitive.
- Open a window - You'll need some ventilation going around the room, so there is fresh air travelling around.
- Have a natural light lamp on your table - If not, you will strain your eyes cause you can't see what you doing and make mistakes or apply the gel polish on your nails incorrectly.
- No cables lying around - Make sure there are no cables lying around, as this will prevent your ass from falling and hurting yourself.
What you need to do gel nails at home.
- Gel Base Coat (protects your natural nail from standing)
- Gel Colour of your choice
- Gel Topcoat (this is to steal the colour in and prevent the colour from chipping off)
- Cuticle oil
- LED or UV Lamp
- Cuticle Remover
- Cuticle pusher
- Cuticle knife
- Cuticle Nippers
- Lint-free wipes
- Orangewood stick
- File (240 grit)
- Buffer file
- Gel cleanser
- Cuticle oil
- Lotion / Moisturizer
How to Prep your nails
Prepping your nails is the most important step before applying the gel polish on your nails, so take your time with it. Having a clean, primed nail plate will ensure that the product will bond correctly on your natural plate and last longer.
- Wash your hands with hand wash and dry it thoroughly.
- Take a lint-free wipe and gel cleanser/ non-acetone and wipe all your nails. (this will remove the previous nail varnish and the oils from your natural nail)
- Apply cuticle remover to all your cuticles.
- Take a 240 grit file, and file to the shape and length you desire. (file in one direction, to prevent your nails from breaking).
- Move on to the cuticle area. Take a cuticle pusher and start pushing back your cuticles gently.
- Next, take a cuticle knife and gently scrape off all the white bits on your natural plate, these are known as dead skin. Make sure you remove as much as you can, otherwise if there are bits left on the nail plate it will make the gel polish lift and you don’t want that.
- If you have some hangnails nip them off with a cuticle nipper.
- Take a lint-free wipe with a bit of non-acetone and wipe the nails
- Use a buffer to buff all your nails till you see no shine on your natural nails. I do this step because gel products don't like shiny surfaces so it helps the product stick on the nail plate. This prevents the product from lifting or chipping off.
- Lastly, take a lint free wipe and wipe all nails, rubbing it in thoroughly and making sure there's no dust or dirt on the nail plates.
How to Apply Nail Primer
You may skip this step if you wish as we already buffed the nails to remove the shine and oils. For those that don’t know what a primer is, it works as a double-sided sticky layer which helps the gel polish stick onto the nail plate. I recommend you use these on those with oily nails or prone to lifting.
Just apply one coat on each nail and allow it to dry for 30 seconds before applying the gel (you don’t cure it under the lamp, as it air dries).
How to do Gel Polish Nails Application
When applying gel polish, think of as making a sandwich. First, we apply a base coat (bread), then 2 or 3 coats of colour (fillings like ham and cheese) and finish off with top coat (bread). I know its a funny way of putting it, but this helps me remember. Also, to avoid getting bubbles and lifting on your application, apply thin coats of each layer.
How to apply base coat
Before applying the colour, whether you using gel polish or nail varnish, you need to protect your nails from staining, so applying a thin base coat on the natural nail will prevent this.
- I always start off with 4 fingers on one hand and the thumb last.
- Shake the bottle thoroughly.
- When applying the gel, leave a tiny gap between the base coat, the cuticle, and the skin around the nail (if you do get it on the skin, the gel will lift). So, let’s say you do get a bit of the skin or cuticles. Just before curing under the lamp, take an orange stick and tidy it up and whola! Try to avoid using cotton buds or lint-free wipes as the fibres will stick to the product and you will need to start again.
- Lastly, cap the free edge.
- Once you are happy with the application, cure it under the LED lamp for 60 secs or UV lamp for 120 secs (depending what your product instructions say).
Do not, I repeat, do not touch your nails after taking them out of the lamp as the product is still too tacky as to allow each product layer to stick to the next.
How to apply the gel polish nail colour
Time for colour!! This is done just like you applied the base coat and capping the free edge on the first step. The great part about the gel is that you can take your time with it, do a few strokes, not like nail varnish where you can only do one stroke applications and be quick because it air dries. The gel only dries under the lamp! Neat hey?
- When you apply your first layer of gel colour, shake the bottle and take your time. Try to get the first layer as perfect as possible. Make sure it's thin and get in the corners of the side walls and cuticle area without touching the skin. It’s a bit of a challenge but it’s easier when you apply your 2nd layer.
- Make sure you tidy it with an orange stick if you accidentally get the product on your skin before curing. Otherwise, it will be a nightmare to get it off. Trust me, I've made that mistake and the only way I could get it off my skin was to file it (don't worry it's not sore but it's a mission to get it off).
- Cap the free edge.
- Once you're happy with the application, place it under a lamp and cure it for 60secs on LED or 120 secs on UV.
APPLY 2ND COAT
- Apply a second coat of colour. Make sure you cover up the bits you have missed and remember to cap the free edge. This is the step I always seem to forget and regret in the end.
- Place it under the lamp for another 60 secs on LED or 120 secs on UV.
How to apply gel polish nail top coat
- You apply the top coat just like you applied a base coat. Just make sure you don't miss any spots and seal the free edge!!
- Once again, avoid touching the skin and cuticles. Use an orange stick to tidy it up if you do get it on the skin.
- Cure it for 60secs on LED or 120 secs on UV.
- If you've chosen a no-wipe top coat you don’t need to remove the sticky layer, but if you have a normal gel top coat you will need to remove the sticky layer with a lint-free wipe and gel cleanser.
Repeat these steps, on the other hand, first 4 fingers and thumb last.
Finish with Cuticle oil and Moisturizer
Lastly, finish off with some Cuticle oil on all the cuticles and rub it in circular movements. This helps the blood to circulate. Oh, and don’t forget your hands! Apply some lotion or moisturizer as a finishing step.
Here’s some aftercare advice on keeping your nails and hands looking healthy and soft.
- Don’t use your nails as tools.
- When washing or working with cleaning products use gloves.
- After washing your nails, apply moisturizer or lotion.
- Apply cuticle oil twice a day.
- Drink 2 litres of water every day.
And there you have it, your very own set of gel polish nails right in your home. No need for appointments anymore, hehe. Hope you all liked this blog post.
Post in the comments your pretty gel polish manicure, I would love to see them.