Ever since I was in high school, I have almost always had painted nails. When they are not painted, I feel a little bit naked. In the hard lockdown last year when we couldn’t visit nail salons, I painted my nails with normal nail polish. After a day or two, they were chipped! I found I was painting my nails every 3 or 4 days because the chips were irritating me! So because of this I decided I need to try my hand (no pun intended) at DIY home gel manicures. I did all the necessary research and bought myself the Lola Lee Starter Kit – a little gift from me to me on my birthday. I just knew I had to give it a try! Since then and if I do say so myself, I like to blow my own trumpet and call myself “pro”. I do my nails every two or so weeks because my nails do grow quite quickly and I also do my moms nails. If you would like to make a booking, you may contact me on …. Jokes!
Here are my tips and tricks for doing your own gel manicure at home:
• You need to make sure you have all the right supplies before you attempt your own gel manicure. You will need a UV lamp, a cuticle oil, a nail buff, a top coat, a base coat and the gel nail polish. You can either buy all of these things separately but I love that my Lola Lee Starter Kit has all the supplies. I have bought an extra few pink shades also for my collection.
• Prep your nails so they’re clean and ready for gel polish. Start by pushing back your cuticles. Then file your nails to a desired shape – I have found that doing round nails is the easiest. You will also need to lightly buff the nail surface so it is smooth for the gel application. Once nails are clean and ready, just before the application, wipe the entire nail surface clean with acetone.
• Apply very thin layers at a time of gel polish. This is because thin layers make for a smoother application. If the layers you are applying are too thick, this will affect how the gel polish cures and sticks to your nail. The very first time I did my gel nails, I definitely learnt from this mistake. I applied the gel polish too thick and had to redo it.
• If you are right handed, paint your right hand first. And if you are left handed, paint your left hand first. I found this way to be easier especially because in the beginning your concentration span is so high.
• Don’t be in a rush and have patience when you do your gel manicure at home. Otherwise you are going to end up with nail polish all over your skin, polish that isn’t cured properly and an all round terrible job! I like to watch my favourite YouTube channels when I do my nails and find the whole process to be so therapeutic. I make a cup of tea and just relax and make sure I have enough time to spare so I don’t feel like rushed and pressurised to finish.
Do you do your own gel nails?