If I can do it myself and save some money, I’m all for it. That’s why I started doing my nails at home. It took me a few tries to finally perfect it and get it to last a full two weeks without it chipping. Now I can use the extra $30 every two weeks to buy unplanned things at Target! Here are some of the tips and tricks that I’ve learned through trial and error and some research on how to get the perfect DIY gel manicure.
Tips For A Perfect DIY Gel Manicure
Applying sunscreen is my number one tip for whether you do your nails or get them done at a salon. Wearing sunscreen will protect your hands from the UV light used to cure the gel nail polish. Before I start, I slather my hands in broad-spectrum sunscreen and leave it on until my manicure is complete.
Do Not Wash Your Hands.
Washing your hands can leave oils from the soap on the surface of your nail. The water and the oils can cause the gel not to adhere to your nails and cause lifting. Dry manicures are the way to go!
Focus On Your Prep
The prep is more important than applying the gel polish. If your prep is not correct, it will cause chipping or the gel polish completely pilling off. Do not smooth your nails. The shine on your nails needs to be buffed off with something course. The gel polish needs something to adhere to. But make sure you do it lightly not to compromise the integrity of your nails. Make sure to push back your cuticles and clean all the dead skin off your nail plate. Again, that can cause lifting. Here is my favorite Youtube video that demonstrates the proper way to prep the nail.
Before you start applying anything to your nails, make sure to sanitize your nails. I spray some alcohol and let it dry before continuing.
Primer and Dehydrator
I always apply a dehydrator first to remove any surface oils. I then use a protein primer. This Protein Bond primer completely changed how long my gel manicure lasts. It helps the gel polish adhere to the natural nail. It’s amazing.
Base Coat, Polish, Top Coat
In that order. And make sure you apply thin, even coats! It prevents the polish from running to the cuticle or over the side of the nails. It also ensures that the polish is cured all the way through.
Make sure to use a cuticle oil without petroleum or mineral oil. Those type of oils can cause lifting. Use a natural oil instead. I prefer jojoba oil.
Don’t forget to cap the tips and edges. Again this prevents chipping!
Hopefully, this helps you get the perfect at-home gel manicure and start putting that money towards more important things, like target shopping sprees.
What are some of your tips and tricks for doing your nails at home?
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* I am not a nail tech. I’m just someone that loves doing my nails at home. Do your own research before trying any of my tips.