Want to save money and time by doing your own gel nails at home? Luckily, there’s a fabulous range of new at-home gel nail kits that you can use without stepping foot in a salon.
We love these kits because they allow you to create a professional, long-lasting finish and you can touch up your nails whenever you need to, plus you can have a salon-quality manicure for 2-3 weeks for a fraction of the price it would cost in a salon.
Sure, you’ll invest in all the tools and products upfront, but if you think the average price of a salon gel manicure is around R400, you’ll be saving thousands in the long run.
Where can I buy gel nail polish?
When you purchase your kit, ensure it contains all the necessary items for a gel manicure, because mixing and matching different brands can affect how long your manicure will last.
Plus, a gel manicure is a little more special than your average mani so the kits contain specialised products you need to create the perfect gel manicure at home. We like the Gelish – Home Use Starter Kit with 36W UV Lamp, R1,799, Naild.Ink because it contains everything you need, plus a 36-watt UV lamp, so you can get started right away.
If you want additional colours you can order your nail colours online, by clicking here.
Step-by-step guide to do gel nails at home
1. Remove old nail polish. Acetone-free removers aren’t as drying on nails.
2. Prep your nails as you would for a normal manicure. Clip, file and buff them, then finish off by pushing back the cuticles and cleaning the nail bed. You want it to be as smooth as possible.
If you don’t have an at-home nail kit with all the tools including nail files, clippers and cuticle sticks, we suggest you purchase one now, and you’ll never need to step foot in the salon again.
3. Next, use a cleanser to clean each nail. Buffing and dehydrating the top surface of the nail is an important step to ensure a long-lasting gel manicure.
4. Apply the pH Bond nail prep and let it dry for 30 seconds or according to instructions.
5. Then apply your foundation coat to each nail making sure to cap the free edge. (Cure for 1 minute under the UV light).
6. Now paint. Apply a thin layer of your chosen gel polish to your nails. Take your time! (Cure for 2 minutes after you’ve painted each nail). If you want a deeper colour, apply a second coat and cure again for another 2 minutes.
7. When you’re done with the polish, finish off with a thin coat of the Top It Off Sealer Gel. (Cure for 2 minutes).
If you’re short on time and want to speed up your gel mani process even more, opt for a quick drying lamp with UV and LED light, like the Nordik Beauty Professional Portable Gel Nail Dryer UV & LED Lamp, R695, Takealot.com
How to keep your nails healthy
Best advice? Get into the habit of seeing your own natural nails for 2 weeks in between your gel nails. This will give them the chance to air.
Wear non-UV gel-effect polish, and layer up with top coats with real staying power. Apply your gel top coat in natural daylight to help harden the finish so you get longer wear.
- By freelance writer, Tammy Jacks