So anyone that really knows me knows how much I love to do nails. I am by no means a professional but think of it more as a hobby. I'm always doing my friends nails and making them fancy sets of fake nails (see instagram for evidence). Glitter, diamonds, fimo shapes, leopard print I love it all.
I like getting them done for me too; gel tips are my go-to salon preference, but this don't come cheap and as a student money is tight/spent on other things i.e. going out.
I've been eyeing up all of the things I need to do UV gel nails at home for a while now on ebay and I finally gave in and bought it all.
- UV lamp
- Base & Top coat
- Favourite coloured polish
- Wipe-off gel remover (& lint-free wipes)
Naturally I chose the pink UV lamp. It has a 120 second timer, or it can be set to permanent. It cost £14.15 with free P&P. It is a 36W lamp and came with the four, 9W bulbs needed.
So to do your gel nails you'll need the right base and top coats. I bought these two as a pair, which was cheaper than buying them individually plus I need them both anyway, £7.99 also with free P&P.
After a little deliberation between the 'Crystal- G' brand and 'Bluesky' I chose the Crystal-G make as the polishes seemed cheaper and more readily available. It is recommended that for the best results you use all the same brand products (base, colour & top).
I chose a classic red (S30) although it looked darker on the web, I have tried it out on my toes and it is a gorgeous candy apple red which I absolutely love. I was also obsessed with the fact that I could get a glittery, colour changing polish too, so obviously I had to get one! I chose TH24, it is purple most of the time, when it's colder, and turns a pale pink when it is warm. It is so amazing, you could say I'm quite easily amused. The red was £4.20 and the glittery was slightly more extravagant at £5.99 but who could say no, both with free delivery.
Here is a little collage of the colour changing, glittery magic. The top right is the deep purple the colour is normally, then the other two pictures show when I run them under warm water, it turns a light pink.
After the gel has been in the lamp for 2 minutes, or cured, there is a sticky layer left, you don't touch this layer after the base coat and coloured layers are dried as it helps the next layer stick.
However once the top coat is set under the lamp you remove this sticky layer using this solution on a lint-free wipe. It cost £6.85 and came with 100 free wipes, added bonus.
- remove any nail polish, push back cuticles and file the nails to your desired shape
- using a buffer, lightly remove the shine from your nail to help the base coat bond with the natural nail (I got 2 block buffers for 99p)
- apply a thin layer of base coat, cure for 2 minutes
- apply a thin layer of your chosen polish, cure for 2 minutes, repeat this until you have 2 layers, you may need 3 for lighter colours
- apply the top coat, cure for 2 minutes
- using the gel wipe off solution on a lint free wipe gentle remove the tacky layer
You are left with a fresh set of super shiny, long lasting (up to 2 weeks) UV gel nails.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.