Monday, June 12, 2017


I've been doing my own nails for yearsssss and every now and then, I like to hit the salon and get my nails done - preferably SNS dip nails but since having Merrick, I haven't been able to get my nails done as often as I truly need (or like) so I've been getting back into doing my own gel manicures. It's not as hard or as expensive (definitely way less than getting them professionally done!) as one might think, so whenever I can talk anyone into taking the time, they always end up loving it because it's truly a huge convenience because you can save time AND dollars.
If you're starting from scratch, your total for all of the essentials listed will cost around $75 - Pretty much what I pay/paid for a mani/pedi weekly - ekkk!

To start doing your own gel nails, especially if you don't have anything to start with, there are a couple options.

One: You can buy your own starter kit
like this one $90
Two: You can piece out each item and get a custom "set", which is what I prefer.
Why do I prefer piecing out each item over buying a set? Because I definitely feel like I've tried every gel on the market, whether it be at a salon or by buying it myself and I feel like I've FINALLY found the magic combo in order to get that legit "two-week" manicure that really lasts🙌🏼

So speaking of two weeks; do gel nails REALLY last that long?? With the setup I list below, YES, they can. However, there are a few factors to take into consideration before totally expecting a full 14+ days of wear; like how gentle or rough you are with your hands. Are you playing sports, washing dishes, typing on a keyboard? All of these things can play a role in how long you can expect your manicure to last but the good news is, even if you do fall into the more "rough" side, your mani can still still last about a week, and personally, I think that's still a long time to have any one color on your nails regardless!
BUT in order to ensure you actually make it that far, you HAVE to make sure you follow each step below CAREFULLY. If you touch anything, even running your hands through your hair after you've buffed your nails and applied the pH bond, then that can drastically reduce your wear-time with the gels because even the smallest amount of oil on the nail bed can really make a huge difference in wear time.

I personally never wear gels for more than about 9 days because my nails grow so fast, I end up taking the gel off before they even have time to chip etc. So would I want to wear them for a full two weeks? Not really. But that's up to you and and personal preference at that point.




Start at Step 1 if you already have gel polish on -
▴ Start at Step 5 if you don't have gel polish to remove first and
▴ Start at Step 8 if you don't want to start with a manicure ▴

One ▴ Buff off the shiny top layer of gel, until polish is matte
Two ▴ Soak cotton ball in acetone polish remover
Three ▴ Place a small, acetone soaked piece of cotton on top of nail
and then use use the nail clip to hold the cotton in place for aprox 7-10 minutes
Four ▴Take off the nail clips and use the cuticle pusher to remove gel by gently
scraping the surface of the nail.
Five ▴ Once gel is completely removed,
Soak fingers in warm water for about a minute and then gently push back cuticles
Six ▴ Use cuticle cutter to carefully cut cuticles.
P l e a s e go slow if you've never clipped your own cuticles before - it can go wrong fast
Seven ▴ Once cuticles have been trimmed, Buff nail bed with fine-textured buffer
Eight ▴ Apply pH Bond to nails - let dry.
Nine ▴ Then evenly apply base coat of gel; a thin layer is best!
Then cure in LED light for aprox 45 seconds
Ten ▴ THINLY apply first layer of colored gel. REMEMBER: THIN LAYERS! At first, it will be streaky and sheer - that's okay! You don't want to apply with a heavy hand because it won't set right and could ripple/drip.
Cure for aprox 45 seconds with each coat
2-3 coats total is usually best
Eleven ▴ Once desired nail color is reached, most likely by layer two, thinly apply top coat.
Cure for one minute.

You're done!

If your top layer comes out feeling sticky, just wipe the nail with rubbing alcohol to remove all tackiness.

If you do your own gel nails, let me know how they turn out - I'd love to hear about it! XO



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