Let’s Hear It For Gel Manicures!! Yeee Haaaa!

I am a girly girl. I love pedicures and manicures! I love spa days and well, all things girly girl!
Since I hang out with the now Six YEAR Old Alice during the week manicures are basically a waste of money because I will chip my polish off within hours. Happens every-single-time! So then I started getting gel manicures. LOVE them! LOVE gel because I really do get a month of wear. Except, well, I’m cheap. So it has to be a special occasion before I get a gel manicure. Hey! The kid and I have other stuff we want to do! Like movies, painting and well going out to lunch together!

Enter the do-it-myself gel manicure! Now, in the beginning it’s going to be a little on the pricey side with the polish; base, color, top coat. Then add in the lamp to cure the polish. BUT!! In the long run you are going to save so much money!! The fact that my daughter does her nails as well, means the supplies paid for themselves very quickly!

My GEL MANICURE Hint’s and Tips!

Do yourself a favor and get a GOOD UV Nail lamp. Getting a good UV lamp that’s large enough to put your entire hand in, is important and cuts down time because you don’t have to do your thumbs separately. It’s a little thing but it does cut off time. (I know… I am very impatient! But I have to store up my patience for the 6-year-old!)

Shape your nails and push back your cuticles before you polish! However, if at the end of week one or two don’t be afraid to file your nails with the gel polish on, just add a light coat of gel top coat to make sure the polish is sealed around the tips of your nails.
UV Nail Dryer

This UV lamp is one of the best I’ve ever used and I’ve had several!!  This one from Anself has made all the others pale in comparison. First, it is sturdy, well-built without being heavy. The lamp has 4 different timer modes. 15, 30, 60 and 90 second modes. The base plate slides out for pedicures but I found my foot fits in without having to remove the base plate.

The lamp remembers the previous timer setting so as soon as your hands or feet make contact with the base plate the lamp comes on. Super easy to use!!!!! I can fit my entire hand (yup, thumb too) inside the machine at the same time. I LOVE that feature!!
I tried my hand at a French Tip, not too bad I’ll get better with more practice. Loving the red on my toes though!
UV nail dryerI love, love, love this machine. The inside does not get hot. Your hand stays cool while the polish cures. Thoroughly and totally loving this lamp!!

If you are worried about the UV just grab a pair of fingerless gloves like I use and no muss no fuss protection or use a heavy duty sunscreen.
UV Nail LampBase coat. Make sure it’s a GEL basecoat. A thin even layer, cure for 90 seconds. For me the extra cure time makes all the difference in how long the polish lasts.

Color again, (remember the bottle should say gel color, light cured or something to that effect). Cure after each coat is applied.

Top coat. Cure 90 seconds in the UV lamp. Now, it may not need it; however I always let my final coat go two rounds of the 90 second curing. It may not need it but, like I said my color lasts a month without peeling or chipping so I’m going to continue with what works for me.

Wipe off the final coat with a good polish remover to take off any sticky residue and your nails will immediately be strong, super shiny and beautiful!!

Since it only takes a few minutes you have no excuse not to add additional top coats to your manicure when you have obvious grow out. It will make the whole manicure last that full 30 days!!

Now instead of sitting at the nail salon I can splurge for a new color of polish! Check out my next purchase!! Is that red glitter amazing or what?! Even the light pink is soooo pretty!!
Gel Nail Colors


Nope. I love having my nails and toes done. I can do it myself much cheaper AND at 1 a.m. when I can’t sleep. Let’s see you do that at a salon!! (Well, and not get carried off by the Po-Po for breaking and entering!) This lamp is perfect for me!!
What’s YOUR favorite pampering activity!?



  • Kate Sarsfield

    I just wish my nails were anyway decent enough to take a polish. I did get false ones once & loved them. Unfortunately mine are so soft it’s unreal and believe me I have tried everything.

  • CJ

    I haven’t had a manicure in forever. I used to do it all the time when I was younger. I would love to get back into doing it again! 🙂

  • Paula K

    I am with you on the Gel Manicures. I love how long they last. It used to be that the day after I painted my nails they would chip, how frustrating! I started doing my own gels in January and haven’t looked back. To take the sting out of the start up cost instead of purchasing everything at once I actually did it over time. 1 payday I bought the lamp, the next something else, etc.
    Have you tried the Madame Glam website? They have some really beautiful gels and often run sales for 50% of. They just had one and I bought some of the Cat Eye Gels. They are so cool!

  • michele

    I haven’t treated myself to a manicure or pedicure in years.. now I want to go.. at home is fine but to sit there and have someone else do it.. yes!! The new glimmery shades are so pretty…

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