The Complete Checklist for Perfect At-Home Gel Nail Application - aLittleBitOfAll
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The Complete Checklist for Perfect At-Home Gel Nail Application

woman doing her nails

The Complete Checklist for Perfect At-Home Gel Nail Application

At-home gel nail application offers numerous advantages. It provides cost savings, convenience, and the flexibility to customise your nail look. You can avoid salon appointments, choose your preferred colours, and even develop a relaxing self-care routine. Learning to do your own gel nails can be a fun and creative skill to develop. Even if it seems a bit hard in the beginning, over time, you may become proficient and able to experiment with different techniques.

However, it’s important to note that this skill may require some initial investment in tools and materials, as well as practice to achieve professional-looking results. Below you’ll find the checklist with all the must-have products and tools for a perfect at-home gel nail application. Say goodbye to salon appointments and hello to beautiful, long-lasting nails.

Gel Nail Polish

woman doing her nails with soft nail gel

Gel nail polish has become a game-changer in the world of at-home nail application. It offers a brilliant solution for those seeking a professional and long-lasting manicure without the frequent salon visits. Gel nail polish is celebrated for its durability and glossy finish that can last for weeks without chipping or fading. Whether you’re an experienced DIY manicurist or just exploring the world of nail care, it’s a fantastic option to consider.

If you want to achieve natural and long-lasting nails, you need to add BIAB gel to your at-home nail routine. The acronym stands for Builder in a Bottle, which is basically a hybrid of gel and acrylic nail technology, designed to provide both strength and flexibility to your nails. They are known for their lightweight and durable properties, making them ideal for achieving a natural look while maintaining the integrity of your nails.

Moreover, BIAB gels offer a wide array of colours, giving you the creative freedom to select the perfect shade that complements your style and mood. The flexibility of these gels makes them less prone to breakage, and their soak-off feature simplifies the removal process, ensuring that you can switch up your nail style whenever you desire.

What sets BIAB gel apart is its versatility. Not only can it be used to enhance the natural beauty of your nails, but it’s also suitable for creating extensions or overlays, providing an added layer of protection. Additionally, it’s self-levelling, which means it can help even out any imperfections on the nail surface, resulting in a smooth and flawless finish.

When opting for any gel nail polish, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Proper application, curing, and maintenance are key to achieving the desired results. Make sure you’re also using a compatible base and top coat for a seamless and long-lasting manicure.

UV or LED Lamp

Gel polish requires a specific type of light, either UV (ultraviolet) or LED (light-emitting diode), to harden and dry properly. Without the use of such a lamp, the gel polish will remain in a liquid state and won’t achieve the desired durability and longevity.

When selecting a UV or LED lamp for at-home gel nails, consider lamp compatibility, wattage, and curing requirements for your chosen gel brand. Prioritise portability, timers for precise curing, and comfort features like hand rests or removable bases for versatile use.

Nail File, Cuticle Pusher, and Trimmer

Nail files, cuticle pushers, and trimmers are essential tools for a proper at-home manicure. A nail file is indispensable for shaping and smoothing your nails, ensuring they have a neat and uniform appearance. When choosing a nail file, consider the grit – coarser grits are better for shaping, and finer grits are more suitable for polishing. Prioritise durability to ensure lasting quality.

Cuticle pushers and trimmers are vital for maintaining nail health by gently pushing back cuticles and trimming excess skin. Opt for stainless steel products to ensure their durability. In addition, remember to always keep these tools clean and sanitised to prevent infection risks.

Nail Polish Remover and Cotton Balls

For several reasons, nail polish remover and cotton balls are essential for an at-home gel manicure. They are crucial for removing old gel polish, correcting mistakes, and maintaining nail cleanliness.

When deciding on a nail polish remover, opt for an acetone-based one, as it is more effective at removing gel polish. Look for an acetone formula with added moisturisers or oils to minimise drying effects on your nails and cuticles. High-quality cotton balls or pads are preferable as they won’t leave lint or fibres behind on your nails, ensuring a clean surface for your new manicure.

Nail Brush

While a nail brush isn’t an absolute necessity for at-home gel nail manicures, it is a useful tool for achieving a polished finish. A nail brush can be used to clean your nails before applying any nail products, ensuring they are free from oils and debris, which helps improve the adhesion of the gel polish.

Additionally, a nail brush can be handy for cleaning up any accidental polish spills or smudges on your skin or cuticles, resulting in a neater and more professional-looking manicure. When using a nail brush, make sure you’re gentle to avoid damaging your nails or cuticles.

Cuticle Oil or Hand Cream

woman applying cuticle oil on her hands

Cuticle oil and hand cream are highly beneficial for at-home manicures. Cuticle oil hydrates and softens cuticles, making them easier to push back, resulting in a neater nail appearance. It also nourishes the nail bed and promotes healthy growth. Hand cream, on the other hand, keeps your skin moisturised, preventing dryness caused by frequent nail treatments and exposure to nail polish removers.

When choosing cuticle oil and hand cream, opt for products with nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil, vitamin E, and shea butter. Look for non-greasy formulas that absorb quickly, leaving your hands and nails feeling soft, supple, and well-cared for.

Is It Safe to Do Gel Manicures at Home?

It is generally safe to do gel manicures at home, provided you follow proper procedures and precautions. Home gel manicures can reduce the risk of exposure to chemicals used in salons and offer cost savings and convenience.

However, you need to invest in quality tools and materials, stick to hygiene practices, and follow manufacturer instructions carefully. Ensure proper ventilation when using nail products and avoid overuse or excessive filing to protect your natural nails. With practice, you can achieve professional-looking results and enjoy the benefits of DIY gel manicures while prioritising safety and nail health.

Stephanie Tierney