Gel Nails

Hello Hello Hello!!

I honestly don’t even know if people will read this blog, but I’m just gonna keep yapping away anyway & hopefully people will have a gander. I’ve been able to do my gels myself at home for a few years now since I managed to pick up a Sensationail Gel Nail Kit at a bargain price from Boots when I used to work there. But I hadn’t really started using it until a few years ago because A. The first time I used it, it all went horribly wrong & I was so deflated by it I just put it away…outta sight, outta mind right & B. I just thought the official varnishes were too expensive I mean £15 for a small bottle just seemed a little steep to me! Having said that you can pick up some nice gel varnishes on Amazon.

What you need to get started

Doing your own gels at home really isn’t hard at all. You can pick up a kit from Amazon for a pretty decent price. I’ve put together a little list of what you need, but like I said you can usually pick up most of it in a starter kit for a decent price…So to get started doing your own gel nails at home you’ll need…

  • UV Lamp – To dry or ‘cure’ your nails after each coat, it basically just sets the varnish so its ready for the next step. (The one I have is tiny! So I would definitely get one you can fit your whole hand in, it’s just less faffy!)
  • Gel Base Coat – Just like your normal base coat it provides a protective layer, stops your nails getting stained & provides a nice tacky layer for your colour coat to adhere to.
  • Gel Colour Varnish – Speaks for itself really, your colour coat.
  • Gel Top Coat – Just like your normal top coat giving a protective cover to your colour coat with a super shiny finish.
  • Small Flat Brush – I just have this on hand to clean up any mess I make at the edge of my nails. Gels aren’t like normal varnish in that you can correct after they’re done. Well you can but it’s fiddly & frustrating.
  • Gel Cleanser or Nail Varnish Remover – Used before, during & after application.
  • Cotton pads – To cleanse your nails before & after the process.

What’s the actual process?!

So it’s a little long winded to explain so I’m gonna try & do a little pictorial for you guys below. Fingers crossed it makes sense!! 🙂

Buff & files your nail into the shape you want & follow the below process…

Hopefully that made sense! Remember to use your gel cleanser or a little nail varnish remover before your base coat & wait for it to dry so you have a nice clean base to start with. During the process use the nail varnish remove & your flat brush to tidy up any mistakes of colour that leaks onto the side of your finger BEFORE you cure them. Then run a little more over your nails at the end of the process to remove the tacky residue that’s left behind. Then you’re done! 🙂


Removing the gels is so simple, it’s as easy as 1..2..3!!

  1. File the top of your nails to scuff & break down the top coat.
  2. Soak your nails in acetone (I like to soak cotton wool in acetone, wrap it around my nails & then wrap the soaked cotton bud in tin foil so you can just sit & chill out)
  3. After about 15-20mins rub the cotton wool off your finger & the gel should come away with it, if doesn’t, add a little more acetone & pop the cotton wool back on & let it soak a bit longer, then try again. Just keep checking it until it’s all off.

Once all the gel is off give yourself a little hand massage with some moisturising hand cream & add a little cuticle oil to focus on your cuticles & you’re done!!

Tips & Tricks I’ve Picked Up

Just like anything else this gets so much easier & you get quicker doing it the more you do it. But it can’t hurt to have a little heads up for certain things.

  • Take your time – This might seem really obvious, but I’ve tried to rush through doing this. I made a right mess, hated the end result & wanted them off straight away, so please just take your time when you do it & don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have to get it right first time. Practice makes perfect!
  • Have a small flat brush – It’s a good idea to keep a small stiff flat brush on hand when your doing this to fix any slips or mess that goes over the side of your nail or onto your cuticles. It’s a good way to neatly tidy up any mistakes you make with total control. Just take your time when you are doing it, don’t rush or you might take too much off.
  • Turn your normal nail varnish into ‘gel varnish’ – Have a favourite colour varnish but it’s not gel? Here’s a little tip that I saw on wikihow for turning your normal nail varnish into gel varnish. Take the normal nail varnish & mix it with your gel top coat. You want to mix the two in fairly equal quantities, so I would normally let the nail varnish drip & then mix the same number of gel top coat drops with it. If I’m being really lazy I’ll just pour it out, but you tend to end up wasting varnish & no one wants that! But it’s as simple as that, save yourself some cash & get your favourite colour as a gel as well!
  • Always fix whatever you need to BEFORE you ‘cure’ or set your nails – Always & I cannot stress this enough, ALWAYS fix whatever you need to BEFORE you set your nails under the UV lamp. Once your nails are ‘dried’ under the UV light there is no taking it off like you can with a cotton bud using normal nail varnish at the end. This basically sets as a plastic sheet so even if you tried to peel a bit off chances are you’ll take a big chunk of it off by accident….I’m speaking from experience here! Lol it was not pretty and I was vex!!
  • If you really need fix something after you’ve used the UV lamp – So ideally you want to fix anything before you cure anything BUT, if you really need to fix an edge or something like that after you’ve been under the UV light grab a small nail file and get to work! File down the edge as much as you can without damaging or splitting the coating, you might find that this leaves a bit of a blunt edge so try to flatten that back down if you can. All while trying not to scuff the top coat, hey I said it was fiddly!! The other thing with doing this is where you have filed the edges down, you might find that because of that blunt edge the gel might lift a little allowing water to get underneath. If this happens your gel will start to lift & peel off…not always in one piece either so you might find little pieces start to chip away. Like I said it can be a RIGHT FAFF, so just make sure you fix any mishaps before you use the UV light & save yourself the stress.

So there you have it gel nails at home, easy as pie! I swear whenever I start these I’m always like this is gonna be a really quick post so I’m not rambling on & every time I feel like I’m rambling on! Sorry to anyone reading this haha! I’ll keep trying!

See you on the next one!! I hope!

The Beauty Montage xx

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