Saturday, July 9, 2011

At Home Gel Nails

I've been seeing stuff online about the new Shellac Nails and had been wanting to try it out.  I love to have my nails polished but I hate that after a day or two they are always chipped and looking bad so I thought that Shellac might be the solution!

Back in May I took my mom and Jillian to get nail salon to get pedicures and my mom treated me to a Shellac manicure.  I LOVED the results but I just couldn't justify spending $30 every 2-3 weeks to get my nails done.  Gelish polish applies on your nails like a regular nail polish but stays on your nails like traditional gel nails do.  The gelish nails do not damage your natural nails and soak off easily with acetone. 

I set out to research the different products to see if gel nail polish was something I could do at home.  I first thought I wanted to buy CND's Shellac system but after doing research I found that Hand & Nail Harmony makes a Gellish system that is a little more affordable, has much more color choices and other at home DIYers liked the Harmony Gelish polish better.  Once I decided which polish system I wanted to try I needed to find the best place to buy it all! 
The most expensive item that you have to purchase is the UV light.  A lot of sites suggest you buy one off ebay but I was really leery because most came from China and I was afraid if I had a problem with it I would have issues returning with a buyer that was out of the country.  I decided to spend a few more dollars and purchase from Amazon.  In my research I found that you need to purchase a UV light with at least 36 watts and one that has bulbs on top and on the sides. I ended up buying this light, it has a timer on the back for both 2 minutes and 3 minutes.

To do your nails you will need to purchase these Nail Harmony Products, I have purchased some from Amazon and some from Ebay. 

Cleanse is used to clean your nails before the base coat.

Base coat.

Top Coat

and the best part, polish!  I have the following 5 colors Gossip Girl, It's a Lily, Passion, Good Gossip and Tutti Frutti (the color I am using in this tutorial).

The first step is to prep your nails with the cleanser, it is used to clean the nail as a prep to ensure the nail is free from oil and disinfected.

Once you have used the cleanser it's time for the base coat.  The smaller brush ensures the right amount of product is applied to the nail. It is clear and remains clear after curing under UV lamp.  I cure my base coat for 2 minutes in the light.

After the base coat cures it's time for the polish.  I like to use two coats of polish and after each coat I cure it in the UV light for 2 minutes.

Once you are finished curing the last coat of polish it's time for the top it off sealer!  I cure my sealer for 3 minutes under the UV light. Once this last step is finished I use regular Isopropyl Alcohol to remove any residue.  If you don't remove the residue your nails will be sticky/tacky.  I like to finish my manicure off with some cuticle oil.

I have been VERY happy with everything and my manicures last almost 2 weeks (if I can resist changing colors before then)!  There is a small initial investment but it has already paid for itself! 

Let me know if you decide to try gel nails at home or if you have any questions at all!


Jill said...

Oh my gosh! I just got this done last week and so far I'm so happy with it! I don't think I could be bothered to do it at home, but it's definitely my new treat & go-to for special occasions! I'm super jealous that you can do it whenever you like! :)

Lovely Light said...

Hi there- found you through Skip to my Lou's and am a new follower. You did what I wanted to- buy the stuff myself! I have gotten shellac twice- the first time, it only lasted a week. I woke up and the paint on one of my thumbs had just popped off. The second time, it lasted much longer. Since I moved to Cape Town, I've learned that none of the nail salons even know about these kinds of nail polishes! I hope you have time to follow my life in South Africa by

I hope you had a great week!

4D said...

I am a relatively new reader but have not commented before. I was wondering how you went about your research? What is your opinion of doing it yourself? I was worried about the removal of the color. I am really into the concept. I will be going to first have a manicure done before investing in doing it at home but wanted to get further insight into the at home process. You are the only one I have found who wrote about it.

Keep smilin!

Jamie said...

4D- I tried responding to you by email but since you are registered as a "no-reply blogger I couldn't" so I hope you come back here to see my response! I did a lot of research on google! I watched SEVERAL youtube tutorials and read SEVERAL reviews on Amazon. I would look at the different items on Amazon and then read the reviews, from the reviews of some of the Shellac products is how I found out about the Harmony Gelish system. There were several professionals that commented that they likes the Harmony product better. The removal is very simple, you just soak them for a bit in acetone nail polish remover. Harmony sells a remover product also but from everything I read it isn't nessecary. I also find myself sometimes just pealing the polish off. It typically comes off in one pieces and doesn't damage my nail at all under it. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Kirsten @ Mushki Loves said...

Ooh! LOVE THIS! I am your newest follower! I would love it if you would stop by and follow back if you like what you see!

Anonymous said...

Hi! 4D Here...cannot comment with my account for some reason?!?

I came back as I found the link to you site again. I bot myself a UV light and the Gelish polishes. LOVE it! I had a Shellac manicure before to see what it was all about and adored the results. WAY cheaper to do it at home.

Thanks for inspiring me!

Keep smilin!

Anonymous said...

I also bought an at-home gel system and have not had my nails unpolished since...I love it! (I keep telling my husband it's the best birthday gift I've received!) however, I bought an LED light instead of UV for these reasons: it cures much quicker, there are no bulbs that need to be replaced, and most importantly it does not damage your skin!

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