I used to wear acrylic nails for a long time. They were durable and fairly inexpensive, but you had to get a fill every other week. I feel like that was kind of a time suck, and I was ready to not pay money to have my nails done. I had Sue (my favorite nail lady in the world) do gel nails one day. IT'S SO EASY!
I have paper thin nails, so the gel isn't as durable as the acrylic, but the gel does make your nails significantly stronger. Besides missing Sue, seriously it feels like we have broken up, doing my own nails has saved me a ton of time and money.
*Side note: One day when G and I were still dating, I was getting a pedicure on my disgusting
ANYWAYS, on to the gel nails.
Here's What You Need:
Light (Buy It Here)
Acetone (Buy It Here)
99% Isopropyl Alcohol (Buy It Here)
Base Coat (Buy It Here)
Color (Buy It Here)
Top Coat (Buy It Here)
Good TV shows on the DVR
*Please pardon the poor photography and the fact that my wedding ring is coated in hairspray
Step 1: Removing the old gel polish
First, take a coarse nail file and gently file the nail beds. You want to take the shine off of the polish and just gently buff them. This helps the acetone really soak in.
Next, pour a little acetone in a glass bowl. Just enough to cover your fingernails when dipped in there. It will end up looking like this.
Some people do the cotton and foil thing, but I'm not into it. I feel that this is easier and takes less time.
Step 2: Prepping your nails
If you have nothing on your nails, start at this step. Take a "zebra" nail file (I've tried others and this works the best), and file the last bits of the polish off.
|Purchased at Sally's|
|Before: You can see little bits of remaining polish, file that off.|
|After: This is what they should look like when you're done|
Next, take a paper towel (cotton rounds shed) and get it wet with alcohol. Rub the alcohol over each nail. This removes dirt and oil from your nail beds and helps the foundation stick.
Step 3: Putting on the foundation
Ok, this is where shiz gets real. It's super important to take your time. Being sloppy will cause your manicure to peel, so be careful. Apply the base coat or gel foundation (whatever your brand calls it). You want to paint your nails like regular, but DO NOT let it touch the sides of your nails. Once you let it cure, it spreads out a tiny bit, and if it hits your cuticle, it will peel in a few days.
Keep an imaginary 1-2 mm border between polish and your nail. After you have the base coat on, put your nails under the light for 2-3 minutes. They will still be tacky when you take them out, but don't worry.
Step 4: Applying the color & top coat
Apply the color the same way you applied the foundation. Let cure 2-3 minutes between each coat. I always do two coats.
Next, apply the top coat, and you guessed it, stay away from the edges of your nails. Let it cure for 2 minutes.
When you take your nails out from under the light, they will have a tacky coating on them. Take a paper towel wet with alcohol and rub it over the surface of your nails. This removes the stickiness and makes your nails super shiny.
That's it! Enjoy!
Anyone else do their own gel nails? Do anything differently?
Don't forget to link up with Kylie and I and let us know your favorite things for November! Link up on Nov. 1st