How To Do Gel Nails At Home

Madi Kraemer, Reporter

If you are interested in a gel manicure, but you don’t want to spend tons of money constantly getting your nails professionally done, you can follow these steps on how to do your own gel mani at home!

These are a list of items you might need:

  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Cuticle nippers
  • Nail pusher
  • Gel base coat
  • Gel polish colors
  • Gel top coat
  • UV LED lamp

Step 1: Cut/ File Your Nails To Shape

When starting the gel process on your nails, you need to do the proper nail care first. So, the first step to nail care is trimming your nails to the desired length and then smoothing out the rough edges with a file.

Step 2: Cut/ Push Back Your Cuticles

Cutting and pushing back your cuticles is an optional step; however, it makes your nails look professionally cared for. Not only this but cutting your cuticles actually prevents dead skin from building up as quickly. Also, pushing the cuticles on your nails gives you more room to paint your nail, and it also doesn’t give the effect of grown-out nails. 

Step 3: Buff Your Nail Bed

Buffing your nail bed is the third step, and probably one of the most important steps. Taking the oily layer off of your nails makes the gel polish adhere significantly better. This way it lasts from one to two weeks of wear.

Step 4: Apply Gel Base Coat

Applying a gel base coat is what ensures your gel nails stay on for as long as possible. It helps create a strong bond between the natural nail and the gel polish.

Step 5: Cure Gel Base Coat

This step is where your UV lamp comes into action. As you apply each coat of anything gel, you will need to use your UV lamp or it will not cure properly. 

Make sure to cure your nails in the lamp for one to two minutes.

Without a lamp, gel nails wouldn’t be possible! You can find the best UV lamps on Amazon for sure.

Step 6: Paint Your Nails With Gel Polish

The sixth step is the best step… it’s where all of your creative intuition gets to experiment! If you are just looking for a simple gel color on your nails, you can move on to the next steps, if not, keep reading this section! 

When you want to have fun and mess around with unique designs on your nails, you need to make sure to cure your gel polish in between each layer of gel. This will prevent your nail design from being ruined as you add more to the nails. The best tools to create funky new designs are liner brushes and dotting tools. These two are necessities when it comes to nail art, plus it makes it easier in the long run. 

Don’t forget to cure for one to two minutes in the UV lamp after you’re done with gel polish!

Step 7: Apply Gel Top Coat

Applying a gel top coat is the final step! After smoothing out a thin layer of gel top coat on each nail, you need to cure them in the lamp for one to two minutes like usual. 

After this, your nails will have a glossy or matte finish on them, depending on what kind of top coat you prefer! 

If You Want To Remove Them

To remove gel polish from your nails, you need 100% acetone (make sure it’s 100% or it won’t work proficiently) and a bowl. Pour the acetone into the bowl, and wait for about 15 minutes until you see the gel getting mushy. 

If you want to speed up the process, add a heated pad/ a warm damp paper towel to the bottom of the bowl with acetone.