For the past six months or so, I have been doing my own gel manicures at home. When Shellac and Gellish (and all the other versions) came out, I went to the salon and had it done a few times. I loved how they looked and how long it lasted, but it was pricey. I think it cost me about $40 each time I had it done! I decided to see if I could get the supplies to do it at home. After doing some YouTube research and using my google-fu skills, I found everything I needed on Amazon.
I purchased a UV light (this one) from Amazon for less than $40, and the basecoat, topcoat, and a polish color for around $13 a piece (here's a kit). There is also a brand called "Red Carpet Manicure" that is sold at Ulta, and I've started using their products, as they're a little cheaper and seem to work just as well.
So the basics of doing your at-home gel manicure are:
Step One: Remove all traces of polish from nails.
Step Two: Apply one thin layer of your base coat (Red Carpet calls their's "Structure"), and cure under the UV light for the recommended time your brand calls for.
*Note* There will be a sticky film left after you cure the polish. This is intended. DO NOT try to wipe away the film yet. We'll get to that part at the end.
Step Three: Apply a thin coat of your color of choice and cure under the light.
Step Four: Repeat a layer of color and cure under the light again (notice the trend?).
Step Five: Apply a thin layer of your top coat (Red Carpet's is called "Brilliance"), and cure under the light.
Step Six: Apply alcohol to a cotton pad and use this to remove the sticky film from the nails.
Step Seven: Voila! Sit back and admire your at-home gel manicure!
I also forgot to add that I usually apply some SPF 15 to my hands about 10 minutes prior to beginning the manicure. The light is a UV lamp, and there is exposure to UV rays while using it, so I take the extra precaution.
Have you had a gel manicure? Did you love it, or were you less than impressed? Any tips and tricks you'd like to share for doing your own gel manicures at home?
*Note: I am not being paid for this posting, nor am I in any way affiliated with Red Carpet Manicure. I just happen to enjoy their products and wanted to get the word out, so others can try them too!