I love doing my own nails. I think it has something to do with not having to pay upwards of $30-50 every two weeks to get my nails done with gel polish. The best thing about doing your own gel nails is that it is so easy. It’s intimidating at first, but don’t let the idea scare you. I promise I can teach you how simple it is to do your own gel nails at home.
Let’s break down the cost of doing your own nails for a moment. If you paid $40.00 every two weeks at a salon to get your nails done ($30 for service + $10.00 tip), you would have paid $1,040.00 per year. The initial supplies to do your own nails is under $100.00. I’d say that was a deal. If you are looking for ways to cut your budget or your husband can’t believe how much you spend on nails, doing your nails yourself at home is the way to go.
So, let’s get the party started!
How to do your own Nails:
Supplies you will need:
- A UV Nail Lamp
- Base Coat Polish – I use CND Shellac Power Polish
- Top Coat Polish – I use CND Shellac Power Polish
- Color Polish – I use CND Shellac Power Polish
- Dehydrating Polish – I use IBD Dehydrate
- Lint-free Nail Wipes – I use these
- 99% Isoprophyl Alcohol – I use this one
- Cuticle Oil – I use Sally Hansen Cuticle Oil
How to Paint Your Nails:
Step One – Prep your nails:
Before starting to paint your nails, you need to prep them first. This is the most important step. Go to my other article here before beginning this process.
Step Two – Turn on your lamp:
To start, get out your beginning supplies, mainly the polishes and your lamp. Turn on your lamp so that it warms up. If the lamp has a timer, set the timer for two minutes. I use a cheap lamp called Uspicy which I have had for several years, but it does not look like it’s for sale anymore. I can found another lamp that has a lot of good Amazon reviews here.
Step Three – Use the dehydrator:
First use the dehydrator polish. This removes any moisture or any oils from the nail for better absorption. When I first started doing my own nails, I didn’t use a dehydrator. My nail polish would come off within a week. After switching and using this little baby, my polish stays on for 3-4 weeks. It’s a game changer. Don’t skip this step. Simply brush the dehydrator onto your nails like you are applying polish. I only apply it once, but you can apply multiple times if you feel the need to. The dehydrator should dry within seconds. You do not need to use the lamp with the dehydrator.
Step Four – Apply the base coat:
Next is the base coat. Apply with smooth strokes starting at the top of the nail bed. Don’t get too close to the cuticle line. I usually leave a little space between the cuticle and where I apply my polish. I have experimented with various polishes and I have found that CBD is the best brand to use. A lot of people like Gelish, but it’s never worked for me. CBD stays on longer and it’s a quality polish.
Gradually draw the base down the nail.
Make sure that you get around the edges and sides of the whole nail. Try not to get the polish on your skin. If it gets on your skin, the polish will lift within a day. This takes practice (I’m speaking from experience).
Step Five – Use the UV Lamp:
Once you have put the base coat on all five fingers, use the UV lamp for two minutes. My lamp has an automatic timer and will automatically turn off after two minutes. After two minutes, proceed to putting on your color coat. Don’t touch your fingers, as the polish is sticky and will keep your fingerprint on it.
Step Six – Put on the color coat:
For the color coat, I used Hot Pop Pink. Use the same process as applying the base coat. Use even strokes and don’t over-apply. At the same time, less is not more. Make sure that the polish is applied evenly and that there are no lines.
Once the color coat is applied, use the lamp for another two minutes.
I usually apply two color coats. Use the lamp for two minutes after each coat.
Step Seven – Apply the Top Coat:
After the two color coats have been applied, it’s time for the top coat. The top coat will seal the polish and provides a shiny finish. Apply the top coat just as you did for the other coats. Again, be sure not to get it on your skin or touch your cuticles with it.
After applying the top coat, it’s back into the lamp for another two minutes.
See how shiny the nails are now?
Step Eight – Remove the stickiness:
To remove the stickiness, you will need 99% Isoprophyl alcohol and lint-free wipes.
Put a dab of the alcohol on the wipes.
Gently rub the wipes over your fingers to remove the stickiness. I only do this once per finger to avoid rubbing off the polish. After rubbing each finger, the stickiness should be gone. You now have beautiful gel-polished nails.
Step Nine – Use cuticle oil:
The whole process of doing your nails really dries out your nail beds. Use cuticle oil to moisturize your nail beds. This is an important step, as you want your nails to look healthy and not dried out. Simply put a drop of oil on each finger above the cuticle and rub in all along the nail bed.
That’s how to do your own gel nails at home. The up-front cost of the supplies is a little costly at first, but will save you money in the long run. I have been doing my own nails now for two years. Apart from buying the occasional new color polish, I haven’t bought or paid for any supplies in over a year.
I have found that doing my own gel nails at home is super satisfying and easy. I hope that this article helps you on your journey of doing your own nails at home as well!
See some of my other articles: