I used to love getting my nails done at the salon, but switching to an at home gel manicure has been one of my favourite beauty DIYs.
Painting my nails at home saves so much time and money (after the initial cost of buying the gel manicure products, of course).
With so many products and kits on the market, it can be hard to know which are worth the investment.
After years of trial and error, I’ve figured it out for you: these are the best at home gel manicure products.
For a long lasting manicure with no lifting, ensuring you have no cuticle/dead skin on your nail plate is essential. For super quick and effective removal, this ^Blue Cross Cuticle Remover can’t be beaten. I also love all the Navy Professional nail tools (and the case) – there’s a reason they’re so raved about by top manicurists.
a beginner/basic/minimal prep routine:
– start by applying a drop of ^cuticle remover to each cuticle/nail
– gently push back cuticles using Doris cuticle pusher
– gently scrape/remove dead skin from nail using Martha paddle
– remove excess cuticle and remover by rubbing skin and nail using the damp Dolly cloth
(For an alternative to the Navy Pro tools, there’s this ^2in1 cuticle tool from Mylee.)
To clean the nail plate of residue that may stop the gel adhering to the nail plate, I use this ^Prep Solution with Lint Free Wipes. I then apply a very small amount of the ^IBD Bonder primer and allow to dry – this acts like an extra layer of adhesion between the nail and the gel.
I’ve used and loved this ^Mylee PRO Salon Series LED Lamp for years. The curing window is nice and wide, so I can easily fit my whole hand in at one time – no need to do my thumbs separately! The reflective bottom is even detachable so you can easily place it on top of your foot to do your own gel pedicure too.
This Mylee lamp is available in a range of ^gel manicure starter kits – but I think my recommendations are better, paha!
Some of my nude favourite shades:
– OPI ‘Put It In Neutral‘ (a sheer milky neutral beige-pink)
– Blazing Star ‘Magic Trick‘ (a sheer, shimmery peachy nude)
– Blazing ‘Star Dark Tan‘ (an opaque dark tan)
(view all Blazing Star shade swatches here)
You can use pre-made tinfoil wraps, or make your own by cutting up some of your lint-free wipes and using your own tin foil. If you find the wraps fall off your fingers easily, try using ^these nail clips on top – they seem to speed up the removal time for me too.
(As I use builder gel, I don’t have to soak off my gels and can infill instead. I still use the same ^rough nail file to file down and remove as much of the coloured gel as needed.)
after care/manicure maintenance
Keeping your hands and cuticles moisturised will help prevent your manicure from chipping and lifting. Regularly applying hand cream throughout the day makes such a difference to the health and strength of your nails – These Non-Greasy Hand Creams Will Leave Your Hands Feeling Soft And Smelling Heavenly
Top Tip: don’t pull or cut dry skin/hang nails – use a nail buffer/ very fine grit nail file to gently exfoliate and smooth the skin instead, then apply your hand cream and cuticle oil after.