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HOW TO: DIY At Home Gel Manicures Made Easy!

By Natalie |

A few months back I had my very first gel manicure. Also called gelish, or shellac. Seriously I’ve heard a million different names for this manicure. But one thing they always were, no matter what you called them: expensive. And time consuming. But then they’d last for up to three weeks and we were all like: SOLD! Am I right?

Each time I’d get a manicure I’d tell myself it would be my last. At $35 a pop (here in the city) they are not inexpensive. But I just loved the little bit of luxury they represented. And there is nothing that takes the edge off of changing a dirty diaper than a really pretty set of nails (that you know you’re not going to ruin).  Finally I did some research and realized it’s entirely possible to get your own at-home kit for the price of about three professional manicures. And then you’re set! For a really really long time.

To find out how you can do your own at home manicures, click after the jump!

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HOW TO: DIY At Home Gel Manicures Made Easy!

What You Need

The most important supply you'll need is a UV lamp. You can get them on Amazon for anywhere from $25 to $100. I wanted one wide enough for two hands at once. You can buy yours HERE, $49. You'll also want nail polishes, but these don't necessarily need to be the gel polishes made by CND or OPI. Top secret: any polish will do. Shhh! I know! But you do need the top coat, and I like to use the CND brand. You can get your own top coat HERE, $15.

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About Natalie



Natalie Holbrook is a hopeless optimist living in a tiny apartment in New York City with her husband Brandon and her fat baby, Henry August. She blogs at Hey Natalie Jean, a love letter from her family to New York City, and where she capture all the lovely little things that make up a wonderful life. Read bio and latest posts → Read Natalie's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “HOW TO: DIY At Home Gel Manicures Made Easy!

  1. Anne says:

    Hi Natalie,

    Wow – I didn’t realise that this could be done at home! I’m hopeless with keeping manicures smudge and chip free! Just one question – how safe are the UV lamps with regards to skin cancer? It’s always been the one thing that’s made me hesitant.


  2. Amby says:

    Thank you, Natalie. I’ve been doing mine at home for 2 months now. I have had trouble with peeling, so I’m going to cut out the base coat! I’m excited to learn I can use my own polish! The longest mine has lasted is 14 days, so I hope the new tips will help.

  3. Jinii says:

    Thanks for the tips about being able to use any nail polish! The gel polish is pricy and I feel bad for all my other nail polish that rarely gets used. I will have to try skipping the base coat for less peeling.

    Anne I asked my dermatologist about the UV lamp and he told me about these UV gloves that you can wear that just expose your nails. I may look stupid during manicure time but I am not going to mess around with skin cancer either. I got my gloves on amazon.

  4. Jill says:

    Thanks for this! I had one gel manicure last summer and I loved it but couldn’t justify spending that much all the time. Right after reading this I went out and bought a kit, so awesome! what colour is the pink in your polka dot manicure?


  5. nail gel says:

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  6. Ebony says:

    Howdy just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it
    in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

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