During lockdown, I started doing my own gel manicure (as I’m sure lots of you did too!), and now that we are approaching a second lockdown in England, I hope this can be helpful. I used to have a gel kit when I was in uni, but honestly it wasn’t very good and I could barely make my nails last 1-2 weeks.
Obviously that’s around 5 years ago, so there are lots of better products on the market now, and with these products and steps, I’ve managed to make my at-home shellac or gel manicure last for 4+ weeks every single time! And today I’m spilling the beans on how. Please note I’m not a trained nail technician.
It sounds boring, but I spend a lot of time prepping my nails. Ensure your old gels are completely removed and buff your nails until they’re as smooth as possible.
Before you move on, wash your hands, dry them completely and use a cleanser to ensure your nails are completely clean of dust and oils. I use this from Candy Coat; it’s affordable, smells lovely and a little goes a long way. I apply it with their lint free wipes.
Next up, I truly think that this product from Candy Coal has made 80% of the difference for me. This is their Primer & Bonder, which is to be applied before any base coat. This product disinfects and aid adhesion of gel to the nail, and it’s brilliant. Another affordable-little-goes-a-long-way product.
Take your time
I know, it might sound obvious, but if you’re only doing your nails every 3 weeks, you can afford to take your time between the steps. After prep and clean, I use the Aimeili base (and top) coat. Take your time to ensure you’ve applied an even but thin coat, and dry in your UV lamp.
Move on to your colour of choice, depending on the pigmentation I usually do 2-3 coats, and ensure not to do the coats too thick. I find that all the gel brands I’ve tried work the same, I like Candy Coat, Aimeili, BlueSky and YaoShun. I find all of these, apart from Candy Coat, on Amazon!
Top tip! Make sure the gel doesn’t get on your skin before you dry your nails in the UV lamp. If it does, it’s easier for the gels to lift and they won’t last as long, so I always use a wooden stick to clean around my nail beds.
Et voila! I’m really enjoying doing my own gels and it’s much more affordable than going into a salon every month.