Gel nail polish is super popular these days and for good reason. It’s longer lasting than regular nail polish, it’s more durable than regular polish and it’s easier on the nails than acrylic. Plus, if you have the right supplies and equipment you can apply gel polish at home and save yourself a ton of money at the nail salon.
I first tried gel polish at the nail salon about 6 months ago and fell in love with it. For the first time I was able to keep polish on my nails without chipping for more than a day (it lasted almost 2 weeks). The only draw back? It was $40.
For about $100, my husband bought me a gel system so that I could do my nails at home, and I LOVE it. I do both my finger nails and toe nails and my investment has totally paid of. He bought all of my supplies on Amazon (but you can find them many places on-line), including the UV light to cure the polish, the Gelish starter kit, a few Gelish nail colors and a nail brush kit. (Gelish is the brand I have, but you can use any of the shellac/gel/UV curved nail polish brands out there)
When I first got my kit, I wasn’t sure exactly how to apply my polish, so here’s step-by-step instructions on how to apply the polish for a french manicure!
How to apply Gelish Nail Polish
Step 1: Shape nails with nail file
Step 2: Clean nails with the Nail Surface Cleanser. You DO NOT need to buff or “rough up” your nails to get the gel to stick! Just put the cleanser on a cotton ball and rub on nail.
Step 3: Apply Ph bond to entire nail. Don’t worry when this evaporates quickly. It’s just rubbing alcohol.
Step 4: Apply Foundation to nail. This tends to be a little thick, so make sure you apply evenly.
Step 5: Cure Foundation under UV light for 2 minutes.
Step 6: Apply white polish to tips of nails. Dip nail brush in nail polish remover and then swipe along nail line to clean up line from nail bed to nail growth. (If you were not doing a french manicure and just painting a solid color, this is where you’d paint the solid color. If it’s a dark color, it needs to cure for 3 minutes!)
Step 7: Cure white tips under UV light for 2 minutes.
Step 8: Apply light pink polish to entire nail.
Step 9: Cure light pink polish under UV light for 2 minutes. (you can do two coats of light pink, but I prefer just one as two coats seem a little thick to me.)
Step 10: Apply top coat to nail.
Step 11: Cure top coat under UV light for 3 minutes.
Step 12: Using cotton ball, clean nail with Nail Surface Cleanser.
To Remove Gel Nail Polish
You can remove gel nail polish using artificial nail remover solution, cotton balls and aluminum foil. Basically, you, saturate a cotton ball with the solution, place it on top of the nail, wrap it in foil and let it sit for 5 minutes. It dissolves the polish and you can sort of scrap it off. However, I’ve never removed my polish that way. I usually peel it off. Oops. Did I just say that? I don’t think you are supposed to peel the polish off. But I do.