Simple DIY Gel Nails for Beginners: A Step-by-Step Guide
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I used to religiously visit the nail salon for fresh gel or dip nails, but I tired of the commitment, time, and money it requires. It’s just not sustainable, and it can be super inconvenient. If you’re like me, you don’t have the time to consistently sit in the confines of a nail salon!
While I still visit nail salons periodically for pedicures, I’ve cut professional manicures from my life by doing gel nails in the comfort of my own home! It’s really fun and easy, and I enjoy the compliments I get on my nails!
Wondering how in the world to begin doing your own nails and having the paint job last for a week or two? I bought everything from Amazon! I’m giving you a step-by-step guide to DIY gel nails and the list of all the supplies you will need!
Supplies Needed for Simple DIY Gel Nails
- nail file
- nail clipper
- cuticle trimmer
- UV LED nail dryer (I use this one.)
- gel base and top coats
- gel polish (I’m loving this set for spring and summer.)
- dotting tool for easy designs
- alcohol wipes to prep nails
Step 1: Trim and File Nails
I like to trim my nails on the shorter side before applying gel polish to prevent them from getting too long while the polish is on. Then, I file them in a natural shape that mimics the shape of my cuticle. Nothing too crazy!
Step 2: Remove Excess Cuticle
For me, the easiest time to do this is immediately after a shower, when my cuticles are soft. I simply push them back with my nails on the opposite hand and gently trim any dead skin.
Step 3: Prep Nails with a Swipe of Alcohol
Before you begin the polish process, it is always a good idea to wipe each nail with an alcohol wipe to rid the nails of any debris and moisture.
Step 4: Apply Gel Base Coat
Apply a thin coat of the gel base to each nail, and place hands under the UV LED light for 60 seconds. I like to do each hand separately, as to not smudge fresh paint while polishing my second hand.
Step 5: Apply Gel Color Coats 1 and 2
Now, you’re ready for some color! Apply 1 coat of color (not too thick, not to thin) to each nail, and place under the nail dryer for 60 seconds. Repeat.
Step 6: Create a Design (Optional)
If you’re going to create a design, now’s the time! Dotting tools make creating designs super easy! Just dip the ball part of the tool in your desired polish, and make a design, such as:
- dotted lines
- dotted French tips
Be sure to wipe off your dotting tools before storing away.
Step 7: Apply Gel Top Coat
Apply 1 coat of the gel top coat, and put your nails under the light for 60-90 seconds. And that’s it!! Your nails should be dry and ready to tackle whatever life throws at ya next!!
Helpful Tips for DIY Gel Nails
- When polishing, try your best not to get any of the polish over your cuticles or skin. Doing so will cause the polish to easily peel.
- Be sure to paint the very tip of each nail.
- Each time you gel polish your nails, you get better at applying it! I usually spend about an hour from start to finish because I paint very carefully.
- To remove your DIY gel manicure, simply soak in warm water and gently peel the polish. I love that I do not need harsh chemicals to remove this gel polish! Plus, this gel lasts on my nails for over a week. The only reason I remove it is because it grows out or because I want to change it up.
Final Thoughts on Simple DIY Gel Nails for Beginners
If you think you can’t get gel nails at home, you totally can! All of these supplies are user-friendly and suitable for beginners. Try it out and let me know!
Shop all of the nail supplies I used in my Amazon Storefront or via the links below!