DIY AT HOME GEL MANICURE

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I get a professional mani/pedi a couple times a year normally before a big trip to treat myself. I went to a nail salon before heading to Mexico and decided to try dipped powder nails. I always do gel but so many people rave about how long dipped lasts. As someone who does their own manicure at home in 30 minutes, the whole process was crazy long to me. I didn't know what to expect but it was almost an hour and $45 plus tip. I justified it in my mind because friends have told me it lasts three weeks. But when I was packing the next day, two of my nails chipped. The WORST. I didn't have time to get them fixed before leaving and within a week almost every nail was chipped! I was really disappointed because so many people I know rave about dipped nails. When I shared my experience on Instagram Stories the other night, quite a few people said they have had issues too. I ended the story taking about how I do my own gel nails and I got some questions so I figured I'd do a post with my tips and tricks!

Let me start by saying I'm REALLY tough on my hands. This could definitely last two full weeks if you're not as hard on them but l can typically go 10-12 days. It takes me about 30 minutes from start to finish and I love how much time and money this saves. I turn on a show, paint my nails and then shower before bed. I can have my nails done before finishing an episode of Southern Charm, serious win for me! Having my nails done definitely makes me feel good but I can't bring myself to go to salon every two weeks. It's cool if you love having them done but it's just not for me! 

TIPS FOR MAKING AN AT HOME GEL MANI LAST

  • Make sure you buff your nails before starting. My natural nails peel so I do my best to smooth it all out before applying the polish. It will last way longer!
  • Make sure each of the coats are thin. Making it too thick will cause issues when curing under the light. 
  • Hold your painting hand steady by keeping your wrist prompted against the table. You'll get better with practice but I always steady my hand this way.
  • Don't sweat the mess ups! I do my best to avoid bubbles or messing up the nail itself and don't worry as much about the excess polish on my cuticles and skin. I typically do my nails before I shower and the hot water helps remove the polish from the unwanted areas. 
  • The kit recommends removing them with acetone and foils like at a salon but I hate the way this process makes my nails feel. I normally just peel them off..eeeek! But unlike gel nails from a salon, these peel off in large pieces and my nails don't feel as brittle after. I'm not recommending this technique but if you hate foils like me, it's an option!

I use the Red Carpet kit - not sponsored, I just love it! I typically wear Simply Adorable - the perfect light pink shade and I get compliments on it all the time. Ooo La Liscious - A bright coral great for summer. I've also tried OPI A Good Man-darin and it works with the Red Carpet base and top coats. Each of the polishes are $10 so I'll ask for a few in my stocking every Christmas. I've been using this kit for over three years now so I've built up a good collection! 

If you give it a try I'd love to hear what you think!