How to do gel nails at home

person wearing gold ring and blue manicure

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Sick of spending money on expensive gel manicures that don’t last? Now you can get the perfect, long-lasting nails in the comfort and safety of your own home with DIY Gel Nails! With a few simple steps and trusty tools, you’ll have beautiful, natural looking nails in no time. Learn about what you need to start doing your own gel manicures at home.

Ever since the pandemic, I’ve been learning to do a lot of beauty things at home, from my own hair (yes, toning it), to my own lashes (hello, lash perms!), and finally, my own nails. I’ve even learned how to do dip powder nails with tips at home. All that said, I find the most useful thing to be able to do at home and save money is my own gel nails. Why use regular paint when you can just get some gel polish and a UV lamp from Amazon?

You don’t need much to get started when it comes to doing your own gel nails at home. Keep reading below to see what I use to do mine.

Must Have Items

The only essentials you need.

For any good manicure at home, you obviously will need a good nail file and nail buffer.

You will also need a UV lamp. The one I use is the SUNUV UV LED Nail Lamp from Amazon:

Next you will need a Base Coat Gel and a Top Coat Gel. I use the Beetles brand, which I like since it comes in a 2-pack and works very well.

What Gel Polish Do You Actually Need?

What I’ve found that is essential to doing my own gel nails at home is that I only need a few polishes. (I do still like to go to the salon sometimes…but most of the time, I can and prefer to just do them at home, since I have what I need and want anyway.

For me personally, I choose to have 1 classic white gel polish on deck at all times. You should choose 1 classic color for you that you absolutely adore, and definitely buy that. Then, I recommend buying a classic pack of gel polishes based on a holiday season. In my case, I bought one for the Fall season that I could use during Halloween, but also throughout Fall in general! I got this one, in the color “A-Smoky Pooky, which comes in 6 classic Fall colors.

What I’ve found is that I can easily reuse these colors throughout the year.

For example, in my Fall / Halloween collection that I purchased on Amazon, I’m able to use the red polish on Valentine’s day, too. (Plus, red is just another staple color that you absolutely should have in your nail drawer.)

I also bought one single dark forest green color to add to my collection, so that I can double up on the Holidays and use that plus the red one during Christmas.

So all in all, I bought 2 classic single colors, and 1 pack. And those are all you really need for the whole year!

These are the gel polishes that I own:

Nice to Haves

Now on to the things that are simply nice to have. By no means do you need these items to do your own gel nails at home, but they are great extras if you want to invest in them.

The first is a cuticle oil or cuticle remover lotion. You should use these with a cuticle pusher, which comes in handy when you have those short stubborn nails that you still want to paint. I personally use the Blue Cross cuticle remover lotion.

I also use the Sally Hansen Treatment Cuticle Rehab oil at the end of my manicure.

Next, it’s nice to have a stainless steel cuticle nipper. I like the one from Sally Hansen:

Here is the nail pusher I recommend, too:

And if you want to go extra hard, you can get yourself an electric nail filer to use at home. I have one, and it’s great especially when I don’t want to use Acetone to take off my nail polish, or when I am doing my own dip nails. But, more on that later. Here is the one I have:

That’s it!

I’ve found mine to last about a week to two weeks! I don’t even use acetone nail polish remover. I find that the next time I wanna do them, all I might need to use is a buffer to get any leftover stubborn nail polish off, or let them come off naturally. All in all, it’s totally worth the investment, and it’s to the point where I refuse to use regular polish at home.

The time it takes to do these nails is cut in half, since they only need 2 minutes to dry. So to do my hands and feet, the total time to dry is 8 minutes. It’s so easy and convenient.

So why wait to get the perfect nails of your dreams? With DIY Gel Nails, you can have amazing results without breaking the bank. Now is the time to take back control and make sure that your favorite look is complete with ease, trust and safety! Thanks to DIY Gel Nails, beautiful, natural looking nails are now at your fingertips – no professional required.


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