A while ago, I posted a couple stories on Instagram about my latest obsession with Gellen gel polish and my new gel curing machine. A lot of you couldn’t believe that I did my own nails and I surprisingly got a ton of questions about it. So, I decided to write a post about how I DIY the perfect gel nails from home! A while ago, I posted a couple stories on Instagram about my latest obsession with Gellen gel polish and my new gel curing machine. A lot of you couldn’t believe that I did my own nails and I surprisingly got a ton of questions about it. So, I decided to write a post about how I DIY the perfect gel nails from home! And just FYI — none of this was sponsored 😉
For a while, I was spending recklessly on getting my nails done regularly at the salon because I hated how regular polish would chip off in just a couple days. Not to mention, the drying time really sucks. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to NOT leave a dent in my nails when using regular polish. Plus these days, strong nails are a must to pry off my Invisalign trays before meals. Those pesky little attachments underneath make them so difficult to remove. So, gels all the way for me.
I recently discovered an affordable, quality gel nail brand called Gellen on Amazon. Their products have raving reviews so I decided to start myself off with their gel curing machine and a couple sets of polishes. I got a base/top coat set, some fall/winter appropriate colors, and two glitter polishes. I felt a little guilty starting an all new collection when I literally have 100+ regular nail polishes sitting in my cupboard… there’s actually a product you can add to regular polish to transform them into gels but I haven’t gotten a chance to try that yet. If you have, I’d love to hear your experience! If it’s easy to do, I may just have to do that so my old polishes don’t go to waste.
Everything came out to under $75 which to me, is a steal. At the salon, I was paying $30+ to get my nails done every two weeks! This set pretty much pays for itself after 2-3 uses. Since getting this, I’ve been doing gels on my toes too. My toenails don’t grow as quickly as my fingernails, so the gels stay on forever. I only have to do my toes probably once every 2-3 months now, unless I feel like matching my fingers to my toes (which is almost never).
I’m still getting the hang of shaping my nails perfectly like how they do it in salons, but I’m getting there. I usually like the square shape on me, but then again I haven’t had the courage to try the pointy style yet. Now that I don’t have to pay to get my nails done every time, I feel more inclined to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. Perhaps in the near future you’ll see me with pointy nails. Until then, I’m sticking with what I know.
Let’s get started!
Before getting started with the actual gel curing process, it’s important to prep the nails…
Shape them as desired
Remove all old polish
File down ridges
Trim cuticles as needed
Smoothen each nail so that the base coat can effectively stick to the nail
Wash away the debris and get ready for the fun part!
The gel curing machine has 3 settings – 10, 30, and 60 seconds. I use the 60 second setting the most because I’m paranoid and want to make sure the polish is perfectly cured each round.
On clean nails, apply an even layer of the base coat, and cure for 30 seconds.
Keep in mind that gels are messy and difficult to clean up after it’s been cured. Be sure to touch up any “mistakes” with a Q tip before placing the hand in the machine for curing.
Paint an even layer of desired gel polish color and cure for 60 seconds.
Repeat this twice to get 3 even coat colors.
Lastly, finish off with a layer of top coat, and cure for 60 seconds.
Voila — you’ve got salon-quality nails from the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the cost!
My gel nails typically last 2 weeks before I need to redo them. This is pretty standard since my fingernails grow out quickly. Unlike the gels from my salon, I find these ones to be easy to peel off when it’s time to remove them. I know this is not the recommended way to remove gels but I haven’t had any issues. This is a plus for me as I hate having to worry about how to remove the gels after enjoying them for half a month.
I know this was a super lengthy post, but hopefully it has inspired you to try DIY gel nails! If you have any more questions about the products used or the steps, let me know in a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Have you DIYed gel nails before?