Looking to re-create your most loved gel nails manicure at home? We’re breaking down the step-by-step how to so you can achieve your favorite mani while at home.
Gel nails have exploded in popularity within the past decade thanks to their long-lasting wear. The fast drying polish is great for busy people who don’t have time to wait for the polish to dry.
Also, gel nails are great because they’re resistant to smudging and keep their shine for nearly two weeks. While removing gel nails polish takes a bit more effort than your traditional polish, it is definitely worth it.
How to Do a Professional Gel Nails Manicure at Home
Here’s what you’ll need and a step-by-step guide for gel nails at home.
Supplies You’ll Need for a Gel Nails Manicure
- Cotton Pads
- Nail Polish Remover
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Nail Buffer
- Cuticle Cutter
- Nail File
- Gel Top/Base Coat
- Gel Nail Polish
- Nail Stick
- UV/LED Lamp
- Nail Clippers
- Cuticle Oil
Step-by-step Guide for a Gel Nails Manicure
Step 1: Clean and Prep
Start by removing any nail polish that you may already have on your fingernails. Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure your nails are free from any polish and oils before starting or they gel polish may not adhere to your nailbed.
Step 2: Style
Cut down or file your nails to your desired length and style. After this, push back your cuticles and cut off any excess. Be careful to not cut too much cuticle as this may lead to infection.
Step 3: Protect
Next, because you will be placing your hands under UV light, you will want to protect the skin around your nails with sunscreen. Apply a thin layer around your nails to protect the skin only — very important that you avoid getting any sunscreen on your nails.
Step 4: Base Coat
Apply a thin base coat on your nails. Make sure you are using thin layers as gel polish tends to be a bit thicker than regular polish. After you polish your nails, place it under the lamp to cure.
Step 5: Cure
Cure your nails under the lights for 60 seconds. Try to avoid touching the edges of the lamp as you insert your hands into the lamp.
Step 6: Add Color
Paint your nails with your desired gel nails color. After applying one thin layer, return your hand under the light and cure again for 60 seconds.
Step 7: Repeat
Apply a second thin layer of gel polish on each fingernail and return to the lamp to cure again for 60 seconds. Depending on your gel polish color, you may decide to apply a third coat before proceeding to your topcoat. Some polish may be sheer and require three coats for even application.
Step 8: Apply Topcoat
After you achieve your desired color, apply a thin layer of gel polish topcoat to each fingernail. Place hand under the LED lamp to cure for a final 60 seconds.
Step 9: Clean up Edges
It may take some practice to perfect the technique and you may find some cured polish on the sides of your nails. If this happens, you can take your nail file and gently file away the excess that may have run over your nail bed.
Step 10: Wipe Rubbing Alcohol
Apply alcohol to a cotton pad and wipe down each fingernail to remove any residue.
Step 11: Cuticle Oil
Apply some cuticle oil on your cuticles and massage to nourish and hydrate. Finally, wash your hands.
That’s all you need to do to get your gel nails manicure at home. Again, it may take some practice but you’ll get the hang of it. Most importantly, make sure you’re applying thin layers to keep the polish from drying too thick.