Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gel Nails

Okay. I have to admit I am proud of myself.  For about a year now I have been debating starting to do my own gel nails. When you go get a fancy manicure for a wedding and such many people opt for a gel mani as it lasts for up to two weeks. Gel is different than normal nail polish as it has to be cured. It requires a special lamp to do this. I will admit that it was intimidating while researching how to do this at home. I did a ton of research on it and then started figuring out if I wanted to do a starter kit or just buy random products and start painting away. I bought a kit. It took me numerous manicures and I now feel comfortable enough to share my process for how I do my nails as well as some friendly tips to help you too.

What you need~
nail buffer
nail file
pure acetone
paper towel or lint free wipes
rubbing alcohol or gel cleanser
gel primer
base coat
color gel polish
top coat
LED lamp

Start by making sure all your nails are filed/trimmed to your liking and are clean. If unsure wipe with rubbing alcohol. I prefer to leave my nails a little longer so I have a lip on them to apply each layer under the nail a bit as well. I will explain why this is important later.  Buff each nail lightly to remove any excuse oils.
Curing in the LED lamp.

At this time you want to prime your nails by applying a thin layer of the gel primer to each nail and
let this dry completely. I usually allow this to dry for about 2 minutes.

Start with your base coat. I found that I cannot fit my whole hand under my LED light. Therefore I always do both thumbs first. Apply a thin layer of base coat to your thumbs. Do not get on your cuticles at ALL. This is important so that the polish will adhere cleanly to your nail and not pull up on the sides or peel. Cap the polish on the tips and slightly under your nail as well to prevent chipping. Cure the thumbs under your lamp for 30 seconds. My lamp has two time settings 30 and 60 seconds. If yours does not then use your phone as a timer. Your nails will be tacky that is normal at this time.  Apply the base coat to the rest of your nails with the same steps above.

Apply three layers of color to your nails using the same steps above careful to not get any on your skin and cap each tip of your nail and the underside of that nail. Remember thin layers are your friend here.

Apply two layers of top coat. When I apply the top coat I let them cure for a full 60 seconds each time.

At this time your nails will still be tacky or sticky. Using your paper towel or lint free wipes if you are fancy apply rubbing alcohol or gel cleanser (if fancy) to your nails. It is okay to rub the nails at this time as they are cured and dry. Once each nail is no longer sticky go do whatever the heck you want. I went and washed dishes last time I was done.

To remove the gel follow these steps!
DO not chip or pick at the polish it will remove part of your nail bed with it. Please follow the steps listed in the post above. I have got it down to removal in about a half hour now.

EMERGENCY fixes. Sometimes you get paint on your cuticle and you have it pulling up in the corner. It may happen or even a chip can occur. That is okay. Buff off the top coat and apply a "full" service to the spot that needs the attention. Do a full manicure to the section of your nail that chipped. Since it is only one nail and most likely a small spot it will only take a couple minutes to do.

Tip: You can also add another layer of top coat to your tips a week into wear to make them last longer since that is where most of our wear comes from.

I really love the wear I can get out of a manicure now. The longest I have worn a manicure has been about 10 days and I removed the polish due to being bored with the color mostly. I am always grumpy by out growth as well. I hope this helps you see that you too can do your own nails at home and have the salon quality you want. If only you are a little brave and patient.

Until next time~
XoXo Emily

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