UV / LED Professional home Nail System

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How to Apply Gel Nail Polish Without Messing Up Your Nails


You love getting your gel nails done regularly at the salon. What you don’t love? The price. Lucky for you, DIY nail kits are so affordable and can give you the same results – if not better! If you’re looking to apply gel nail polish at home, without ruining your nails in the process, our step-by-step guide breaks it down for you.

The must-haves: All the items you’ll ever need for your DIY gel manicure

  • LED nail lamp to set your polish
  • A sturdy Base Coat and Top Coat
  • Gel nail polish colour of your choice - right now we’re obsessed with Life’s a Beach. You could say it’s our last homage to the summer months!
  • Good ol’ fashioned Acetone polish remover
  • Cuticle sticks – wooden, metal or plastic, the choice is yours
  • Nail care tools including clippers, buffer and nail file
  • Alcohol wipes – an absolute staple and helpful for any sticky situation
  • Optional: Cuticle Oil is useful if your cuticles aren’t in the best shape or if you’re keen on extra protection.

New to the gel nail game? Don’t panic if this sounds like a lot of items to research, source and buy. We have the essentials kit available in our store for any gel nail self-starter.

Step One: Wash your hands.

You’ve been doing this your whole life, so this step is the easy part. Give your hands a good scrub. Focus on any dirt and grime that might have found it’s way in and around your nails.

Step Two: File your nails to a desired shape and size

Using your nail care tools, clip, buff and file your nails to your favourite shape and size.

Step Three: Prep your cuticles

Cuticles are the gateway to your nails. If they aren’t in good shape, there’s a good chance your manicure will look shabby. So let’s give them the love they deserve! We recommend using a quality Cuticle Oil to soften up the cuticle. This will treat and soften the area so you can push them back with ease, giving you a cleaner area to work with. Once you’ve applied the oil, push back the cuticle with a Cuticle Stick.

Option: Use a cuticle cutter to clip the dead skin around the cuticle area. There’s plenty of videos online to teach you how to do this. It may look painful – trust us, it’s not!

Step Four: Remove excess oil from the nail

Using a cotton ball and some Acetone nail polish remover, wipe down any oil residue on the nail, taking care not to remove oil from the just-prepped cuticle area.

Step Five: Prime your nails

You’ve heard the saying not to prime is a crime when applying makeup. Well, the same is said for your nails. This stage is crucial to protecting your nails and ensuring the longevity of your gel nail polish. So when you’re ready, plug in your LED light (we’ll use this in the next stage) and apply a thin layer of Base Coat.

Step Six: Set your Base Coat

Place your freshly coated nails under your portable LED lamp for 30 seconds. The Svensson LED lamp has a built in 30, 60, and 90 second timer so you can set and forget… at least for around a minute or so.

Step Seven: Apply gel nail polish

Once you’ve set your Base Coat, you can move on to the fun part – applying your colour. One hand at a time, coat your nails with the chosen colour. We recommend applying two layers of polish.

Tip: You can use your thumbnail to go around the nail and clean up any excess polish. Because it’s a gel, it will wipe straight off

When your two coats have been applied, set them for 30-60 seconds under your LED nail lamp.

Step Eight: Apply your Top Coat

A Top Coat will give you an added level of chip resistance and a glossier finish. There’s no need to go crazy on the thickness of your Top Coat; a thin layer will suffice. Take care when you apply this coat, ensuring it only gets on the nails, not your skin. Once it sets under the light, it will dry hard on your skin. Don’t worry if it does though, any excess can be filed off.

Finally, use your alcohol wipes to remove any stickiness and your now #onfleek nails are ready to slay.

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