A few months ago I decided to hop on the D.I.Y. gel nail bandwagon, and since then I haven't looked back. I was never really one to indulge in bi-weekly manicures because I couldn't justify spending close to 100$ a month on my nails. Since I bought the Sally Hansen Gel Polish Kit I've been doing my nails every week and I can't get over the results. I painted my nails a pretty coral colour for Florida a few weeks ago and they lasted the entire 12 days. The process is relatively easy and takes about an hour to do. I'll go through the steps with y'all and talk about the cost if you keep reading...
The Gel Polish Starter Kit is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart. If you have a Walmart in your area I'd recommend getting it there because it's about 10$ cheaper. It retails for about $70. The started kit includes a base coat, top coat, gel colour, LED lamp machine, gel nail polish remover, and little nail cleansing wipes.
Step 1: PREP YOUR NAILS - Remove any nail colour that you may have had on your nails. Use a cuticle cutting tool to cut your cuticles and a nail file to file them to your desired shape.
Step 2: CLEAN NAILS - Clean your nails before applying any polish. You'll notice in the starter kit that there are 10 little packs of nail cleansing wipes. I just use a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. It works better.
Step 3: APPLY BASE COAT - The kit comes with a Sally Hansen base coat that is relatively good. When I ran out of mine I started using the Sephora by O.P.I. gelshine one, and it's amazing. There's a lot more in the bottle than the Sally Hansen one and it does a really good job ($21). Apply one coat of base coat making sure not to get any on your skin. Put your nails in the machine and push the button. The light automatically goes off after 30 seconds.
Step 4: APPLY COLOUR: Once you take them out of the machine apply a thin layer of colour to your nails. Once again, be sure not to get any on your skin. Put them in the machine and repeat 2-3 times. I've tried out a bunch of different gel polish brands and I find that the gelshine ones from Sephora have the best staying power. They're about $21 each.
Step 5: APPLY TOP COAT - Once you're satisfied with how your colour looks, apply a thin layer of top coat and put them in the machine. I'm using a top coat from QUO. I find that it's a bit liquidy so you have to be really careful when applying it. The bottle says that it can be used as a base coat too but I wouldn't recommend it. My nails peeled right off after a day when I used it as my base.
Step 6: CLEAN NAILS - Once your nails come out of the machine you'll notice that they feel sticky. Use the same cotton ball with rubbing alcohol that you used in step 2 to remove the sticky residue.
Step 7: MOISTURIZE - Finish off your mani by moisturizing your hands. I've been using the O.P.I Avojuice Skin Quenchers and they smell and feel AMAZING.
So there you have it ladies! My nails look perfect all the time... they don't chip or peel, but most of all they don't break the bank! I can't recommend these amazing products enough.