The perfect at home gel manicure for under £10

Last night I was swiping through Instagram story after story, and came across a reality TV star promoting a uv nail kit – it was an #Ad of course. I kept watching as the tutorial played out and was so interested to see the price of the products she used. I clicked though to the website to learn that the kit retailed for £50. I was shocked, as it was almost identical to the products I use, and a lot more expensive – so I just had to share the following with you:

She’s no expert

Im not a nail technician and the products I use are probably not as good as salon quality, but during lockdown (and after it lifts), I’m sure many of you will be obsessed with these products too!

Products

It all started when a friend bought me a nail kit one birthday.. little did he know it would be one of the best and most used gifts I’d ever received! So, here’s what I use:

Travel UV nail lamp – £9.99

Blue Sky base coat & non wipe top coat – £13.36

Blue Sky gel polish – around £7

Splitting the cost of the products per manicure would result in it costing you a few £’s at most each time and certainly less than the salon gel manicure at around £30.

I purchase all products from Amazon. The price of Blue Sky polish does tend to vary – You could have one in your basket for £11 and the next day it’s £5.50, so keep an eye out for some bargains. It’s a nice quality brand, but I wouldn’t advise paying over £10 for a polish when you can certainly get it cheaper.

Top Tips for Application

Ensure you start off with a dry nail

Shape your nail and don’t forget the lightly buff the surface to ensure a smooth application

Trim your cuticles. You can get cuticle cutters/trimmers online, it makes for a more polished look

Paint thin coats of polish – too thick and it may want to peel off! Thick gel nails are also not a good look

Paint two base coats, two colour coats and two top coats. Cure under the lamp after each application. (The lamp has a timer so you will know when it’s done)

Be as neat as you can and take your time.

Using a ‘no wipe’ top coat means that you won’t have to wipe the tacky layer off the gel when finished. (You need to purchase extra products for this – usually found in a set of acetone and prep & wipe). The gel will cure under the lamp and be good to go when finished.

Q&As

Is it easy to DIY?

If you can paint your nails with normal polish, you can do this! I’m not brave enough to try gel or acrylic extensions, but I’m going through a short nail phase right now anyway.

How long does the polish last?

Usually around 2 weeks or more, before it starts to look grown out, but because I have such a collection of colours, I get bored after a week and usually end up re-painting my nails.

How do you remove the polish?

You should always soak your nails in acetone to remove gel polish, you can also file the surface. Im impatient, so I peel it off. (I’m sure every single nail tech in the world would strongly advise against this, as it can ruin your nail – but mine are perfectly fine and strong, so I’ll take the easy and quick option).

(Especially during lockdown) This really is the most cost-effective and easy way to get an at home gel manicure. The products will last you a lifetime and you’ll save on salon trips in the future!

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