DIY at home gel manicure tutorial

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yay! i’m so happy to do this video for you because i plan on doing lots of nail art posts and videos in the future and this shows you the basic gel manicure technique… with a little glitter thrown in, i couldn’t help myself! i teased this DIY gel manicure last week here. i love the combo of the pale pink (Gelish ‘Light Elegant’) and the one silver glitter nail.

please check out this post where i break down all of the gel manicure and nail art supplies i bought and why – includes prices and everything! i also talk about why i love gel manis!

DIY At Home Gel Manicure

Prep It!

  • Sensationail Starter Kit $49 from CVS.com (comes with LED light, gel cleanser, gel primer, 1 polish color, base/top coat, lint free wipes, manicure stick, nail buffer.
  • other nail color if you would like – Gelish is sold at Sally Beauty and they have a ton of color options. Sensationail is sold at CVS and Wal-Mart and they sell other colors for $11.99
  • pot of glitter – i got a package of different colors by FantaSea from Amazon
  • dry brush to use as glitter sprinkler

DO IT!:

  1. prep your nails for a manicure by filing and pushing back your cuticles
  2. use the buffer to buff the surface of your nails a little
  3. use a lint free pad to clean your nails with the gel cleanser – don’t touch them after their cleaned because you will get your skin oil on them
  4. paint a coat of gel primer on your whole nail and nail tip
  5. paint a coat of gel base coat and cure in the light for 1 minute
  6. paint a coat of your color and cure in the light for 1 minute
  7. paint another coat of color
  8. sprinkle a layer of loose glitter over one or more nails while the second coat of color is still wet
  9. cure in the light for 1 minute
  10. paint one coat of top coat and sprinkle another layer of glitter then cure in the light for 1 minute
  11. paint one more coat of top coat over the nail or nails that have glitter to create a smooth finish and cure one more minute in the light
  12. use the lint free cotton pad with more gel cleanser to remove the stickiness and you’re done! dry and will last 2 to 2.5 week!



  • Danyell

    Do you have to use special gel nail polish? 

    • mrkate

       yes, it is special gel nail polish but there are a ton of different brands and colors that all work under the LED or UV light.

  • Annette

    I notice with some brands there are actually different shades of white!?  What kind of white polish do you like/recommend for full nail coverage (not just french)?  Full chalk white color?  Or maybe like a softer “cotton” white color?  I notice with some brands there are actually different shades of white!?

    • mrkate

       Oh interesting! I didn’t realize that! Well I just got the Gelish “Sheek White” but I haven’t used it yet on my nails. I’ll let you know as soon as I do if it is a good white… it looks like it in the bottle! I’ll keep you posted and thanks for your question! xx

  • Bubblepanda54

    can you use a regular glitter from a craft store or does it have to be a special nail one in order for it to cure under the light? kinda stupid question i know, but just checkin!

    • mrkate

       it doesn’t have to be special glitter at all! just regular is fine, although the finer the glitter grain, the better the results I think. you’ll have to use a lot of polish to smooth it out if the glitter is too big. thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/aliciabusher Alicia Busher

    You didn’t share where your top is from! Please do! I luhrve it. 

    • mrkate

      hi! i got it at this random store on Melrose Ave in LA – they cut all the labels out of their clothes (i know, weird) so i don’t know who it’s by! Sorry! ;(

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=50206502 Jackie Marshall

    Thanks so much! I have been dying to get started with all kinds of DIY things to better budget myself & get creative.. Stumbled upon your site and love! … One suggestion – when you are looking to take off the gel I have actually had it done a different way and done it myself which is super quick and in my opinion more effective – take a cotton ball (or tissue paper) and soak it in the acetone.. put that on top of your nail and wrap it in some foil ( i tear off 10 strips prior – big enough to wrap around my nail and squish tight).. I usually let that sit for 5-10 min or so and for whatever reason the foil breaks down the polish better – easy enough to push off with any tool.

    Try it out .. hope you like.. looking forward to more from MrKate!

    • mrkate

      hi! thanks for your comment and support! YES! i love this method too, it does work better than soaking. thanks for tipping us! XOooo

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  • annie

    Im thinking of getting this light, would you still recommend it?

    • mrkate

      I do! I use it all the time and it works great! xo

      • annie

        great! Thanks! I will get tomorrow!

  • Cathrine

    Do u know if it’s possible to buy the SensatioNail starter kit on a website ??

    Im from Europe, and i would really like to get it! :-D

    xx

    • ree

      Yu can get it from target or walmart.

    • mrkate

      yes walmart, target or cvs online! xx