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Jan 8, 2020

Want A Long-Lasting Nail Color? Try DIY Gel Nails At Home!

Achieve that gorgeous gel nail manicure you've been dreaming of with the help of this step-by-step guide!

Regular nail polishes are prone to chipping within a few days, well, because of the oil production on the nail bed. So what can you do to have a longer-wearing nail color? Some girls resort to acrylic nail polish which lasts really long but gives off strong fumes upon application. For your information, there's a better way of having a long-lasting nail color. What is it, you ask? Gel nails! Gel nail polish is the latest trend for those who want to have the strength and longevity that acrylic nails offer but still want their nails to look natural. Gel polish comes with a thinner formula than traditional nail polish but is more flexible than acrylics so you can make sure that it will not chip easily from your nails. In fact, a luxurious gel manicure can last for up to 4 weeks!

You may now want to go to the nearest salon to get a gel nail job. However, the price could be extremely high for a gel nail appointment. Why not do gel nails at home? Yes, it can get pretty overwhelming at first, considering you have to juggle between different tools and stuff to have an awesome gel polish manicure while being in the comforts of your home. But, we are here to help you. We have listed the supplies you need to get started as well as the step-by-step instructions for your DIY gel nail polish. Read further!

What You'll Need

Pure Acetone

Nail polish remover or acetone is used to remove the polish off your nails. This is especially important when creating a clean canvas to work with for your gel polish manicure session. Make sure that it is 100% pure acetone.

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Cuticle Oil

To counteract the drying effects of acetone and other chemicals, you should have cuticle oil on hand. This will keep your nails healthy and lessen the risk of damage.

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Glass Nail File

High-quality glass nail files have a pattern etched into it, not glued. This makes them the best choice when you're looking for a nail file that will last you forever. This tool does need frequent cleaning, though, and is only recommended for personal use. For doing gel nails at home, you should have a glass nail file in your arsenal.

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Nail Buffer Block

When you're doing gel polish, you should lightly buff your nails so that the product can have a rough surface to stick on to. But, don't buff your nails too much as it will damage them. If you have already buffed your nails previously, you only need to buff the new nail growth, not the entire nail.

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Liquid Cuticle Remover

You will use the liquid cuticle remover to prep your nails for the gel polish. The formula helps to soften the cuticles and make them easier to push back.

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Steel Cuticle Pusher

Contrary to usual belief that cuticles should be cut or trimmed, it has been discovered that cuticles should only be pushed back to avoid nail infection. Cuticles are there on your nails for a reason. They serve as protection for the new nail growth. To achieve longer-looking nails, use a steel cuticle pusher to push the cuticle further to the nail bed.

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Top Coat and Base Coat

Gel polish must always be preceded by a base coat and finished off with a top coat. While these two products don't need to be the same brand, you still have to make sure that they cure well in the type of lamp you have.

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Gel Nail Polish

The most important part of the session: the gel nail polish. Gel nail polish is a long-lasting type of regular polish that doesn't dry but instead, will be cured under a UV or LED lamp. It can be a lot more difficult to remove compared to usual nail polish.

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Nail Lamp

Just so you know, gel nail polish must be cured under a UV lamp or LED lamp. UV light cures the polish in 1-3 minutes while LED cures faster in just 30-60 seconds. Although UV rays are said to be better at curing, it can't mask the fact that frequent exposure to UV rays could pose a health risk for your skin. The LED lamp has no known side effects, as of now. It's also recommended to wear some sunscreen on your hands and fingers before you lay them under the lamp.

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Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol comes in handy when doing gel nails. You will use the alcohol to cleanse the nails after buffing as well as to wipe off the tacky layer at the end of the manicure session. Make sure that you use an isopropyl rubbing alcohol with a 70% solution or higher.

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How To Do Gel Nails At Home

Step 1: File and Shape Your Nails

Start off with clean nails. If you still have nail polish on, remove it using a nail polish remover or acetone. Rub some cuticle oil on your nails to avoid drying them out. Trim your nails to the length that you want them to be. Use a nail file to shape the nails, whether round, square, pointy, almond, or oval. Finish shaping by rounding the surface of the nails with a buffer.

Step 2: Use a Cuticle Remover

Once you finished shaping your nails, apply a cuticle remover around the base of your nails. Using the steel cuticle pusher, push back any skin off of your nail plate for a smooth surface.

Step 3: Apply a Base Coat

To protect your natural nails from damage, you need to apply a very thin coat of base gel to the nails. Avoid applying the base coat very close to your cuticle! After application, cure the nail under a UV or LED lamp and let the base layer dry.

Step 4: Apply Gel Polish

Once the base coat has dried completely, apply an extremely thin layer of gel polish then cure the nail under the light. If the nail polish gets on your skin, wipe it off with a cotton swab soaked in acetone before curing the nail. Apply another layer of gel polish color and place your nails under the UV or LED lamp again. Lighter nail polishes need a third layer, and if so, do a third layer of polish and repeat the step.

Step 5: Apply a Top Coat

After the gel color has dried on your nail, apply a thin layer of top coat for a glossy look and cure it under the UV or LED light until it dries completely.

Step 6: Remove The Residue

If there's a tacky layer on and around your nails after curing the top coat, soak a cotton ball in isopropyl alcohol and wipe over each nail.

Step 7: Nourish Your Nails

After going through so many procedures, chemicals, and radiation, your nails might tend to dry and become damaged. Rub cuticle oil into the skin around the base of the nail to replenish the lost moisture.


Considering that this is your first time to do gel nails at home, expect that the outcome might not be what you expected. Remember, practice makes perfect. So be patient and you'll soon learn how to get it just right!

Here are some tutorial videos you can watch

DIY Gel Nails! how to do gel nails at home

DIY gel nail ideas at home - Modelones
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