Don’t y’all just love the feeling of a fresh manicure? Even a simple, solid color can make me feel a little more glamorous as I go through my day. But getting to the salon whenever I want a glow-up for my nails is much easier said than done.
Luckily, y’all don’t have to book an appointment and shell out a lot of money any time you want to do your nails. You also don’t have to limit yourself to basic designs with drugstore nail polish. With a few simple tools and these tips for using gel polish at home, you can make your home manicures easier than ever before. Dive into a world of unlimited creativity and style when y’all use this guide to master the art of the home manicure.
Start With Nail Prep
I totally agree—the idea of giving yourself manicures is exciting. Once y’all have all your tools and colors laid out before you, you want to just jump right in with that base coat and make your nails shine. But before you reach for that polish, you need to make sure your nails are ready to go. A little nail prep goes a long way in creating a smooth and professional look that will last.
Start with the basics. Wash and dry your hands, then trim and file your nails so they’re ready for some polish. Use a cuticle pusher to gently push back your cuticles. Y’all can also trim away any dead skin around the nail beds. Next, use cleanser wipes or acetone to wipe away any dust, debris, or oils lingering on the nails. This will dehydrate the nail bed and create the perfect surface for your gel polish to adhere to.
Keep Layers Thin
Once y’all start applying your favorite gel polish color, take care to create thin layers. Unlike traditional nail polish, you don’t need a heavy coat of gel polish to create a smooth and uniform look. In fact, thick layers can end up looking bumpy and inconsistent. They’re also harder to cure, which can throw off your entire look. Keep your polish layers thin as you brush. If y’all accidentally apply too much to the nail, use a clean brush to remove the excess polish before trying to cure it.
Move on to Curing
Finding the right curing lamp is one of the most daunting parts of using gel polish at home. It doesn’t help that one of the most common misconceptions about gel polish is that curing lamps are harmful to your skin. It’s true that some curing lamps use UV light to dry the polish, but the exposure is so quick and minimal that it poses no health risks. If y’all are still worried about using a UV lamp, though, you can look for LED curing lamps that work just as well.
Remember That Aftercare Is Key
Just because you’re doing your own manicures doesn’t mean y’all can’t give your nails a little extra love and attention. Aftercare takes a little more time and a few extra products—like cuticle oil and hand cream to rehydrate the nail bed—but it’s worth it for healthy nails and a beautiful, salon-worthy look that lasts.