Monday, June 4, 2012

Gel Manicure

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! 

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