Monday, 2 March 2015

How To - Gel Nail Polish

There is something about having my nails done which makes me feel awfully fancy. I love going and having them done professionally and recently I have been opting for gel polish rather than acrylics. There is something really enjoyable about sitting back and relaxing while your nails are buffed and polished to perfection. The problem was I was finding it expensive over time to keep getting them done at a nail salon every few months so I invested in my own UV lamp and gel polishes so that I can do my own nails whenever I like.

Some people are daunted by doing their own nails but it is honestly really simple. I thought I would do a little post to show you just how easy it can be

The first step is to apply some fake nails. If you are happy with the length of your own nails then completely skip this step and move straight on to applying the polish. Recently my nails have been breaking a lot and I have cut them short so I felt I needed some false nails to make them look slightly nicer. You can buy big packs of these clear nails on the high street along with nail glue but I tend to get mine online as they are really inexpensive that way.

The first thing you need to do is remove any polish from your nails using nail polish remover. You can use pure acetone if you have gel polish on already. Then you need to go through the pack of clear nails and decide which size nail is suitable for which finger. You usually get around eight different sizes and you want each nail to go right to the edge of your natural nail but you don't want them to be too big or they will dig into the skin and be uncomfortable. 

Before applying the stick on nails I like to buff the top of my natural nail lightly as this helps them to stay on for longer. I usually get three days or so before some of the nails will start coming loose and then I just individually re-stick them down as needed.

These nails tend to be really long so I cut them down roughly to a length I'm happy with and then file into shape.

So once that's done you have a nice nail to paint onto and you can start with the polish. I use the CCO polishes which are affordable, readily available online (Ebay, Amazon etc.) and always give a good result for me.

When using gel polish you have to start with a base coat. Paint a thin layer over the entire surface of the nail, making sure not to paint the skin as this can encourage the gel to peel off more easily. After painting all the nails you need to put them under a UV light for 2 minutes to allow the polish to cure and harden.

Then you can move onto the actual colour. Originally there wasn't a huge choice of gel polish colours available but now there are a lot more including some shimmer polishes and nice bright colours which I plan on getting for spring/summer this year! Again you want to apply a thin coat to all nails and then put your nails under the UV light for two minutes. I usually do two colour coats (one coat, cure for two minutes, second coat, cure for two minutes).

After you are happy with the colour you can apply a layer of top coat and cure under the light for a final two minutes. You will be left with a sticky residue on the surface of the nail which will come right off when wiped with alcohol. I usually use sterile alcohol wipes but vodka on a cotton pad also does the trick! Then your nails are done :-). The process of applying gel polish does take slightly longer with the painting and hardening steps but I love that once you are done they are completely smudge proof immediately. No blowing on your hands for hours to get them to dry! And then all that's left is to enjoy your pretty hands! Gel polish should last around one to two weeks on a natural nail.


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