I’ve been doing my own at-home gel manicure to keep my nails looking their best at all times. I absolutely love the look and lasting results of a salon gel manicure, but salon gel manicures can be very expensive. Also, they can’t be easily removed at home. You have to purchase specialized products that take time that as a busy mom, I just don’t have. So what’s a girl to do? Well, in this very easy tutorial I will show you how to achieve a salon gel manicure at home as well as a few tips on how to care for your nails and keep your manicure intact.
The at-home gel manicure tutorial
To achieve an at-home gel manicure you will need a gel polish, gel top coat, nail polish remover, cotton balls, cuticle remover, cuticle pusher, nail file, and nail oil. Wow, that was a mouth full! These items cost about the same as a gel manicure when purchased together, but will give you several manicures for months to come. So I think they are a really smart investment if you love keeping your nails polished like I do.
To begin place a towel down on your work space to protect your furniture from damage. You will then saturate you cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover and press the cotton ball onto your nail. Hold it down for 10 seconds and then begin to wipe with slight pressure to remove any previous polish. The nail polish I am using is the Sally Hansen’s Strengthening Polish Remover.
Next let’s work on the cuticles and get them looking their best! I like using the Mango Miracle Cuticle Remover because it’s paraben free and it works wonders. You just place a small dot of it on the base of each nail, allow it to set for 1 minute, then use a cuticle pusher to remove it and push your cuticles back. Wipe off the excess with a clean towel and your done! I also suggest wiping your nails once more with a cotton ball lightly moistened with polish remover to remove any excess product so that your polish will adhere to your nails properly.
The next step is to shape your nails using a nail file. I love using a crystal nail file to file my nails because it is less damaging. A good rule of thumb is to follow the natural shape of your nail bed for the most flattering nail shape. If your nail bed is a rounded square shape, then file your nails to match. Also, always file in the same motion to prevent creating too much friction on your nail which can lead to splitting nails.
Now select any gel polish of your choice. I currently have 2 favorites! The Essie Gel Couture Polish and the Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel. Both of these polishes are long-lasting and can be removed with any kind of nail polish remover. No wrapping your nails in foil needed! Just remove it like regular polish! I can usually get about 5-7 days of wear out of these polishes with only a few touch-ups during the week which is amazing. Apply 2 coats of polish and finish with top coat. Also, make sure to run the polish and top coat along the edge of each nail to seal your manicure.
Allow your nails to completely dry and finish with a cuticle oil of your choice. I am currently loving the Essie Apricot Nail oil. It keeps my cuticles hydrated and allows my nails to become flexible so they won’t break as easily! Keep this oil in your purse and apply it as often as you can. Preferably after you wash your hands, after bathing, or whenever your cuticles need some added moisture.
Bonus tip: Wear gloves whenever your hands are going to come in contact with cleaning products such as dishwashing, moping, or cleaning the bathroom. The chemicals can ruin your manicure as well as your hands and nails. Also, the moisture from the water can also ruin your nails and manicure. Water makes your nails soft and susceptible to breakage so keep your hands dry (out of water) as much as possible!
I hope this tutorial on how to achieve an at-home gel manicure was helpful! Do you have any tips you’d like to add? Please share them below. I’d love to hear from you. ♥
Products used in this tutorial
Sally Hansen’s Strengthening Polish Remover \ Mango Miracle Cuticle Remover \ Cuticle Remover Tool \ Glass Nail File \ Essie Gel Couture – Color used in “Hold the Position” (Also try Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel) \ Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil \ Pink Rubber Gloves