Tuesday, March 12, 2013

D.I.Y. Gel Nails

I know you all are sick of me posting about the crockpot. I decided to give you a break from food and go a totally different route today.

Have you guys ever gotten a shellac or gel nail manicure? I have seen so many people getting them lately! I never really paint my own nails, because 1.) I am TERRIBLE at being a girl, 2.) I cannot paint them without messing them up, and 3.) In a few days, they look like I put my fingers in acid or something. Once I started seeing people get these gel manicures though, I thought, "I totally could put up with that, it makes your nails SO pretty!" They stay nice for so long, and the polish looks so professional! Then I found out how much it costs... about $30 per manicure is what I have heard from friends. I am way too cheap for that! I will barely get a pedicure because it is also that expensive. I do not know how people can afford to get pedis and manis every month! You can also buy a kit to do your own gel nails at home that has the lights and everything. They start around $50 from what I have seen. I still couldn't cough up the cash for such an extensive set.
So I started having an issue...how was I going to get my beloved gel nails without breaking the budget?!
I started searching Pinterest (of course!) for a solution to my problem. One day, I ran across a pin about how to do a D.I.Y. gel nail mani at home! I found this girl's blog and she told me exactly what to buy and what to do. Here are some props out to her at Yours Truly for posting such a great post! Here is the original post. I also searched the web for how to do a proper manicure. I found a video about how to get a professional looking manicure at home. I combined this video with the post about gel nails to get the perfect gel nail manicure!

I am going to show you what I used and what it costs to get this type of look in your own home, so that your manis stop breaking the budget!

I started this adventure by going to Sally Beauty Supply. I have never been in this store before; it was an experience to say the least. It is filled with everything that it takes to be a true woman. I even told the gal at the cash register that I was now officially a GIRL for coming to this store.

I had to buy several items because my manicure kit at home was very lacking. I ended up buying the following...
1.) Nail buffer ($2.49)
2.) Pure acetone (I tried to buy the kind that is easiest on your nails and skin because I know how harmful it can be) ($3.49 originally, but it was on sale for $2.49)
3.) Glass nail file ($7.69... I know it was expensive... I think it was worth it, though)
4.) Gelous nail coat ($5.99 originally, but it was on sale for $4.49)
5.) Out the Door top coat ($5.49)

Then I went to Target and found everything else I needed...
1.) Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover ($4.99)
2.) Target brand angle brush ($2.29)
3.) Cuticle sticks ($0.89)

I already had regular polish and regular nail polish remover at home.

This is everything you need!

Now that I had bought everything, it took me awhile to set aside the time to do this manicure! I was looking forward to doing it on my day off, but I didn't have time and then we went out of town and then I had to go back to work. I finally got to try everything yesterday on my day off!

I started by filing my nails while my old polish was still on. I was told to do this so you can get a nice, even nail. If you look at the white part of your bare nail as a guide to get an even nail, you might get a crooked nail line because the white part isn't square to your cuticle. I used the Emery Glass nail file, and I loved it! It is worth the money in my opinion. After I got my nails filed and got the dirt out from underneath them, I started taking my old nail polish off with regular nail polish remover. Once the polish was off, I squirted some of the cuticle remover to each cuticle. I left it on there for about 20-30 seconds. Then I used the flat end of the cuticle sticks to push my cuticles back and get rid of them. Then I washed my hands with soap and water so I could start painting!

I started by using the Gelous Nail Coat. I did one coat and then let it dry before doing a second coat. Once the second coat was dry, I got out my regular nail polish (Fearless Fog by Sally Hansen) and did one thin coat. Once I waited for that to dry I did another gel coat. After that dried, I did one last regular polish coat before applying my top coat.

After my top coat dried, I got out a small glass mixing bowl (behind all the supplies in the picture), poured some acetone in its own cap, and placed it in the bowl so I wouldn't spill it. I got out my angle brush to clean up any mess around my nails. After dipping the angle brush in the acetone, I swept around the edges of my nails for a nice, clean edge. You can also use this technique for the back of your nail (where the cuticle is) to make a gap between your skin and your nail. I didn't try this technique this time, because I was afraid I would mess up my nails, and they (for once) looked so good! I was chicken, but I will definitely try it next time! The angle brush is way better than using just Q-tips to clean up around your nails. It is like using an angle brush to trim around the ceiling when you paint a house... it makes such a clean line. After you clean up the mess, you are done!!

So far, I LOVE it! I haven't officially totaled it with a calculator, but I ended up spending around $30. It is about the cost of a professional gel nail manicure, but now I can probably do about 200+ manicures for the same price at home! I am going to be posting an update about how the manicure is holding up from wear and tear. So far, it is totally worth the money. It has been a day now, and so far there is not a single smudge or chip (I usually have all sorts of mess ups already!).

I will update you how it is in a few days! Happy nail painting! :)


  1. No light needed for this polish! That's why it should be interesting to see how it holds up. I have read that the light activates the "gel" part of the polish, but I have heard good things about this Gelous polish. I will keep you updated!

  2. How long did your gel nails last?

  3. Here is my update about how long the nails lasted. http://jujueatcake.blogspot.com/2013/03/gel-nail-update.html

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