As someone who loves painting their nails I had decided not to go down the gel nail route as I thought it would be a huge pain to remove and re do. But after a few trips to a salon to get gels done for special occasions and them just perfectly lasting for 2 weeks until they grow out too much (my nails grow very fast!) I was convinced to try it out. The cost of lamps and polishes for at home gel has really dropped as it has become more popular. The removing is a faff, but I do in front of the tv, the painting and curing I can do in 22 minutes from start to totally dry finished nails (I timed myself!) I have been using Bluesky polishes, these are easily available on amazon and ebay and they are cheap. Read on for a tip on where to buy polishes. So the method for those that aren’t sure and what do you need.
Step 1. Remove old gel polish
(Skip this stage if you have no polish on or if just normal nail varnish remove it) Take your soak off dish, I use one like this but I got mine from Primark for £2. Fill it will acetone solution and soak your nails for a few minutes. I do one hand at a time. Then use the cuticle pusher to gently remove the gel. If it doesn’t easily push off do not scrape and use force, this will wreak your nails. But them back in to soak for another 30 seconds and try again. I put an old towel on my lap if doing it on the sofa to catch all the mess. Once you have clean nails go to step 2.
Step 2. Prepare your nails
Often the difference between salon nails and once you do at home is the prep, so take some time to prepare you nails before you paint them. Push back your cuticles with the large end of the cuticle pusher, you can use a cuticle remover gel if you like but depends on the state of your cuticles. Use a GENTLE buffer to just remove the worse ridges, I use the number 2 side of this buffer but don’t go mad with it, or you will end up with weak split nails. The use a wipe to clean the nails and remove any oil and grease from them. Once you are happy with your nails go to step 3.
Step 3. Paint your nails
Apply the Bluesky base coat to your nail, do not let it touch your cuticles, skin or the edges. This will make it last longer and stop it from lifting. But your hand into the LED lamp and cure, if I am in a hurry I do for 30 seconds, if I have a bit more time I do for 60. Make sure your thumb is turned to be in the light enough. If this is awkard do your thumb on its own after. The apply your colour, and after each coat cure the nails in the lamp. Some colour look great with 2 coats, some with 3. Buying Bluesky polishes I purchased my first couple from amazon, but then discovered the Bluesky by Diva Nails Facebook group and eBay shop. IF you buy 5 polishes from them, you can choose a 6th free (specify it in your paypal details box) Most of the polishes re £6.50 each. The Facebook group is also fantastic for looking at new colours on members fingers and asking about colour matches for other brands etc.
Step 4. Finishing your nails
When you are happy with your colour, cure it and then apply 1 coat of the Bluesky top coat and then cure that, I tend to do it for 60 or 90 seconds (again depending how much time I have) Then use one of the wipes to remove the sticky layer and you are done. These are the same wipes as the prep ones, they are used for both jobs. I have used the Bluesky to do nail art and just normal nails, both work very well and they are so super shiny and last so well. Using the buy 5 get one free I have already built up a good collection of colours to replace my rather huge normal nail varnish collection.