I've been itching for a perfect and shiny shellac manicure for a couple weeks, but let's be honest, homegirl can't afford to spend $30 on a manicure right now. With Christmas right around the corner, wedding expenses, and my regular bills, my wallet is feeling a little empty these days.
So of course, I took to my best friend, Google, to find myself a low cost, at-home gel manicure system. I've seen the gel manicure kits that you can buy at drugstores, but even those are a little too pricey for my current budget. But no worries, Google never lets me down. It took me right to one of my new favorite blogs The Sweetest Thing. I may or may not have read post upon post this weekend. The girl behind this blog, Emily, posted detailed step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the perfect at-home gel manicure. Score!
Reasons why I knew I needed to try this:
1) I only needed to buy one product in order to get the perfect gel manicure.
2) I could use regular nail polish that I already had -- no need to splurge on special gel nail color!
3) She recommended my all time favorite top coat! Girl after my own heart...
All you need for this at-home gel manicure is Gelous Advance Nail Gel Coat ($5.99 at Sally's Beauty Supply), any nail color of your choice, a clear top coat ( I use Out The Door Top Coat, which you can find at Sally's Beauty Supply), and a nail buffer.
First things first, remove any nail polish from your nails for a clean canvas. Use a file to shape your nails and clean up any rough edges. Next, buff your nails until they are smooth using a nail buffer. Then remove any nail dust, dirt, or oil from your nail by swiping a cotton ball soaked in acetone (or any nail polish remover) over your nails. Now you're ready to apply your gel manicure. Follow these simple steps:
1) Apply two thin layers of the Gelous Nail Gel to your nails, allowing a couple minutes in between to dry a little bit. After applying your second coat, allow the gel to set. I waited about 3 minutes.
2) Next, apply a layer of your nail color and allow to dry (about 5 minutes)
3) Apply another layer of Gelous Nail Gel on top of your nail color and allow it to set for about 2 minutes so that it's semi-dry. Make sure that the ends of your nails are sealed by swiping the brush over top. This will ensure you won't see a single chip for the entire duration of your gel manicure.
4) Apply a second layer of nail color.
5) Finish it off with your choice of top coat. Stick with a fast drying top coat with high shine for the best results.
TA-DA! A gel manicure for the fraction of the cost! Since I had every product but the Gelous Nail Gel Coat already, I only spent $5.99 for this at-home gel manicure. Can you beat that?
I'm in love with this process. It was so easy, so cheap, and so far, it's holding up really well! I put my gel manicure through the test of all tests....peeling tape off of my desk. This annoying task would be a death sentence for any manicure, but my gel manicure got the job done without a single chip or break!
Try it out! I know you won't be disappointed!