Traditional nail polishes are prone to chipping within a few days, often due to more oil production on the nail bed, which prevents the shine from adhering for a prolonged duration. Doing your gel nails can seem intimidating, but it is SUPER easy and rewarding because of all the time and money you save. Gel polish is the latest trend for those struggling with long-wearing nail polish. Unlike regular nail polish, gel polish is a thinner formula and more flexible than standard acrylic enhancements, so it will not chip easily from your nails. This gel nails guide includes instructions, tips, and FAQs. Leave a comment if you still have questions.
Tools for Doing Gel Nails
- 99% Isopropyl Alcohol
- Cotton Pads or Lint Free Wipes
- UV Lamp or LED Lamp
- Gel/Shellac Base Coat, Color Coat, and Top Coat
DIY Steps for Gel Nails
- Begin with clean and trimmed nails. Use cuticle oil to remove any excess skin lying on the nail plate. You can also push the skin back with an orangewood stick for a smooth surface. A nail file will shape the nails to your desired length to get your nails ready for the gel polish. Then remove excess oil and residue with a cotton ball dampened with acetone.
- Apply a cuticle remover on your skin and then push back each cuticle with a metal or wood cuticle pusher. If you have tough ones, you can soak them in warm water to soften them for one to two minutes before you push back your cuticles.
- A base coat is essential to protect your natural nails from damage. Apply a skinny layer of the base gel to the nails, avoid applying the base gel polish close to your cuticle. Place your nails under a UV or LED lamp. The LED light will cure the gel polish in just 30 seconds, or 2 minutes with a UV lamp.
- Apply a skinny coat of gel polish color. Remember to use the thinnest layers step by step to prevent the gel polish from lifting off the nail. Cure your fingernail under the UV or LED lamp.
- Apply one coat evenly and cure for the prescribed time (typically 90 seconds-2 minutes). I like to layer on and cure a second coat to make the color bolder, especially if I’m working with a sheer polish.
- Finish with a thin layer of top coat for a glossy look and cure it under the UV or LED lamp. This coat is a critical step and is crucial in creating a long-lasting manicure. Apply a thin and even layer, then cure for the prescribed time limit.
- Wipe with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol. Now you will get a dry, smooth, and shiny pretty gel nails.