At Home Gel Manicure Guide

Wednesday 25 March 2020

With everything going on in the world right now, I asked on Instagram if anyone wanted information about how to do an at home gel manicure and what products I recommended and it was a resounding yes! I have a video over there if you want a nosey (Link) and I thought I'd do a blog post to tie in with any links you might need.

The Basics

You Will Need:

Cuticle Tool (Link)
Nail File (Link)
A Nail Lamp (Link)
Dehydrator (Link)
Bonder (Link)
Gel Base Coat (Link)
Gel Colour (Link)
Gel Top Coat (Link)

These all link to Amazon to get everything from one place for ease and speed of delivery. If you want it to be cheaper then shop around on places like eBay.

1. Tidy up your cuticles and using a nail file buff the shiny layer off the nail plate, be careful not to do too much, it just needs to be really light.
2. Remove any dust then apply nail dehydrator to help remove any oil from the nail bed.
3. (Optional) If you find the manicure doesn't last and peels applying a nail bonder will help.
4. Apply the base coat and cure for 30/60 seconds depending on the brand.
5. Apply two coats of gel colour curing for 30/60 seconds between each layer. In my Instagram video I discussed capping the free edge which you might want to be aware of.
6. Apply the top coat and cure for 60 second (I like to cure for longer so the nails are completely cured and super shiny).
7. Remove sticky layer with a cotton pad with some rubbing alcohol or non-acetone nail polish remover on it.
8. Admire your stunning nails.

The above is separated into my Top Tier, Useable and then Avoid (Top, Middle, Bottom respectively)

Bluesky (Link) - 10% off link
By far the best colour selection, price point and online swatches, there's everything you need in one place and so many of my favourite gels are from them.

IBD Just Gel
This is a professional brand so a huge selection of colour and the formula is the longest lasting on my natural nails, they can be a little thinner so you need a bit more experience to get a really opaque finish but once you master it they are fantastic.

Candy Coat (Link) - 30% off with code: GELS
Although the swatches on their site are dire, the formula is incredibly easy to apply and last really well. It's a fun brand with loads of shades

Essie Gel
I get this off eBay, if you get any professional brand be aware there are some dodgy sellers so I recommend avoiding the Bay if you can but if you really have your heart set on a shade then pick a seller with a good feedback score. Essie gel is a little thin and not a beginners best choice because it tends to shrink on the nail which can be tricky to work with, once you get the hang of it you have all the Essie shades you can think of!

Red Carpet Manicure (Link)
A reliable brand and the formulation is fine, if you're the type to only wear one shade RCM might be suited to you, for me they didn't roll with the times and are a little QVC in their selection of shades.

Perfect Summer
Nothing special, I don't think I've got much else to say. There are far better and not as tiny.

These have a LOT of shade choices and are very affordable, however the formulation is awful, I find they all don't fully cure on the nail and just naff. Don't go near them, spend a couple of extra £ and get a better formula and more product in Bluesky.

If anyone has got any questions, head over to my instagram (Link) and I will be happy to answer any you may have.


Obsessed By Beauty © . Design by Berenica Designs.