DIY: Gel Manicure

If you are a fan of gel manicures like me, you know that shit burns a hole in your wallet. Also, most manicurists I have visited in the US don’t really care about their job- it feels like some kind of a conveyer belt manicure, and there is no creativity in the design. If you want rad 3D nails done, you have to spend hundreds of dollars and wait in the line for weeks, so I thought…someone somewhere is doing this, so why can’t I? I started looking into it and turns out I can get all the equipment + a few gel polishes online for the price of 1 salon gel manicure. I found this UV drier machine for $20 on ebay…it was supposed to be pink, but oh well:

They also have new heart shaped ones now. Awn.

Just type “UV nail dryer” into the search and find your own baby!<3

You also need a gel base coat, a gel top coat, and whatever colors you want. I’m pretty sure you could just do the base coat, then add regular nail polish and top it off with clear gel polish again. I got these 2…they are alright, but a little bit sketchy. Next time, I’m gonna invest into a slightly better company like Gelish or something.

The rest is really up for interpretation. If you want long nails, I suggest getting some nail tips off eBay (I got 500 pieces for $5). They have sharp ones, round ones, square ones, even 3d mosaic ones. To attach the tips, I think the brush on nail glue is best. Again, your local beauty supply probably has it but I like to bargain shop so I’m getting mine from eBay.

If you decide to use plastic nail tips and wanna shape them, there are special nail files for the plastic tips that are more coarse and sturdy, so you don’t need to file one nail for 20 minutes.

You also need a soft puffy nail file to slightly sand your nails before adding the tips and/or the gel polish. Cutting your cuticles is also a good idea. This way the manicure stays on longer and looks more polished.

Then, add whatever you wanna put on your nails. I had some fancy real Swarovski crystals laying around so I glued them on before adding the top coat. I also sprinkled some iridescent glitter on mine. But everything goes! There are a bunch of little stickers, stones, even small spikes on eBay, and it’s all dirt cheap.

Here are my ready nails: step by step run-through in the gallery<3

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