Do It Yourself Gel Nails at Home

Do it yourself gel nails at home imageUsing gel nail products to do your own gel nails at home is easy if you have the right tools and if you know how to do it. This post will give you detailed step by step instructions on how to achieve glossy beautiful nails at home with soak off gel nail polish. Once you have purchased the necessary products you will be amazed by the results you can create and you will find that you save a lot of money in the process.

The best brands for gel nail polish are Gelish nails, it goes on and soaks off quickly and they have a great range of colours. Polish Pro are great, it is really thin and always soaks off quickly. OPI also have a great range of colours. All gel nail supplies are different and what works well for some might not for you, it might take a while for you to get used to how to manipulate each brand for the best results. The best deals can be found online, why not try out a few brands and see what you prefer? If you are starting out it might be easier to buy a gel nail kit which will contain all the different gel nail supplies you need.

Do It Yourself Gel Nails at Home – Advantages

  • It is so much cheaper to do your own gel nails once you have made the initial outlay for different gel nail supplies.
  • It only takes about 30 minutes to complete a whole set of gel nails, once you get the hang of it you’ll get quicker.
  • You can easily achieve the same results as in the salon.
  • Gel nails won’t smell as bad as attempting to do acrylic nails at home.
  • You don’t need to buff up your nails as much as when you do acrylic nails.
  • Using gel nail supplies can actually strengthen your natural nails.


  • You need to use a UV lamp/nail dryer, if you are concerned about possible UV damage use a suncream before attempting to dry your nails at home or in a salon with a UV lamp.
  • It is important to distinguish between whether you want to use the soak off or the hard gel nail polish. The hard gel brands will do damage to the nail bed and can cause fungal infections if water and bacteria get trapped under the nail. Soak off gel nail polish shouldn’t cause any damage when the nail is primed and the nail polish removed correctly.

How To Do Gel Nails at Home?

do it yourself gel nails at home image (2)Now that you have decided do your own gel nails you’ll need the following items to get started. If you buy a gel nail kit the majority of these items will be included but you might need to purchase the UV lamp separately;

  • UV nail dryer/lamp
  • Towel to protect the surface you working on
  • Acetone nail polish removalĀ and cotton wool squares/pads
  • Orange wood sticks
  • Nail buffer
  • Primer
  • Nail gel polishes
  • Top coat
  • Small bowl

Here are some detailed step by step instructions on how to do it yourself gel nails at home for the first time and a detailed video showing removal and application:

  • First clean your nails with a hand sanitizer.
  • Remove any nail polish with the nail polish remover, this will also ensure that any excess moisture is removed from the nail.
  • Prepare your hands with a dry manicure; push back your cuticles and file your nails.
  • Now you need to buff your nails well so that any natural shine has been removed. Do not buff too vigorously as you can cause damage to the nail bed.
  • Apply primer to your nail and allow it to dry.
  • Apply your first coat of the gel nail polish. Apply this thinly and in the same manner that you would apply normal nail polish (from the cuticle bed to the tip of your nail).
  • Dry the first coat fully with your UV lamp/nail dryer for roughly 2-3 minutes, if the gel still looks sticky you have either applied it too thickly or need some more time under the UV lamp. Times will vary depending on the strength of your UV lamp or if you use a LED Lamp.
  • Apply a second coat but do this by allowing a bead of gel polish to fall on the nail and then brush this out over the entire now. Repeat drying stage with the nail curing lamp.
  • Apply for the third and final stage, this time make sure that the gel is applied evenly over the nail, to give a uniformed gel-like appearance. Repeat drying stage again.
  • Now apply a top coat and dry one final time.
  • Once the final coat is dry, put some acetone or alcohol based nail polish removal on a cotton wool pad and rub this over your nails. This won’t remove the colour but will take away any stickiness on the nails.
  • Sit back and admire the results!

Remove Gel Nails At Home

When you are ready to remove your gel nails at home here are the steps you need to follow;

  • Before you start with the removal, make sure you are somewhere with good ventilation. Sometimes the mixture of the chemicals can get smelly!
  • Fill up a shallow bowl with acetone nail polish remover.
  • Place your fingernails into the bowl for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes you should notice that the gel has started to dissolve, you should be able to easily push off the gel from your nails with an orange wood stick.

Here are some good quality gel products I found on Amazon you might like. I find Amazon have the best quality deals on nail art supplies online.