There’s nothing like taking a day off to pamper yourself–and believe me, you deserve it!–but the bill to pay on your way out is sometimes enough to undo that post-spa, relaxed feeling you were enjoying. Yes, visiting a professional can be expensive, but achieving salon-quality results doesn’t have to be. Every few weeks I take the time to recreate my favorite spa experience–a gel manicure.
Gel Manicure at Home?
I know what you’re probably thinking: isn’t a gel manicure a bit too technical for me? With the proper tools it doesn’t matter how inexperienced you are–you too can have smooth, glossy nails! You can find everything you need in a complete kit. The best gel nail kit would include everything from a LED/UV gel nail lamp to nail primer, from some gel polishes, to gel polish remover.
For an in-home gel manicure treatment, you’ll need at least a gel nail lamp and your favorite color of compatible gel nail polish.
Once you have the right supplies–your favorite gel nail polishes and the best gel nail kit you can find–you’re ready for your own day spa.
- Wash Your Hands: Before doing anything to your nails, wash your hands thoroughly to remove dirt from the surface. Gel nail polish does not spread as smoothly and evenly across the nail if dirt and debris are present as it does on freshly cleaned nails.
- Skip the Soak: Don’t soak your nails before a gel manicure! Soaking your nails can cause them to become swollen and waterlogged, which ultimately temporarily alters the shape of your nail. If you attempt to paint and cure swollen nails, the polish won’t sit correctly. These results are unflattering because the polish does not appear as smooth or sleek as when polish is aplied to cleaned but dry nails.
- Don’t Forget Your Primer: Priming your nails prior to painting on gel polish helps your manicure last a bit longer. Not to mention, primer fills in any subtle cracks or dents in your nail to create a perfectly smooth surface to paint on.
- Add Some Color: The best part of the manicure is next–its time to pull out your favorite color and get busy! When applying gel color, paint in thin layers, avoiding globs of polish. You can add nultiple layers of polish later if the initial results after a round of curing are not strong enough.
- Cure Your Nails: Make your nails rock-hard and lock in your look by curing your nails under a UV or LED gel nail lamp. This only takes a few minutes and will leave your nails successfully dried.
Your gel manicure will last up to 3 or even 4 weeks, as long as you use the right supplies!
Taking Care of Your Nails
But remember, your day spa shouldn’t only focus on creating a gorgeous new manicure–you should also consider giving your hands, fingers, and nails a wellness treatment. You can help out your cuticles by adding a dab of jojoba oil or almond oil to the are of your finger where your nail meets your skin. This will help moisturize cuticles and strengthen the nail.
For the skin on your hands you can create a hand mask. Hand masks are a lot like face masks–ingredients are worn on the skin for a short period of time and then washed off. Many hand masks have avocado as the base ingredient because it has been known to hydrate effectively.
We hope you enjoy pampering your hands and nails with these day spa ideas!
Vanessa is a mum, a wife and a lover of all things to do with nails and nail polish! She has worked in the beauty industry for over 10 years but is currently an at-home mom looking after two young kids. You can find more of Vanessa’s writing at www.diygelnailkits.com