Skip to Content

How To Easily Get Gel Nails at Home

Something I like to do along with the change of seasons is switching up my makeup, beauty products and nail colors. Since I don’t always have time to go to the nail salon, plus it can get pricey, I was happy to discover a simple and affordable way to do my own gel nails at home.

This is especially the perfect time right now to learn this skill, especially with being stuck and home and nail salons closed.  

Do you love the look of gel polish but feel like it’s too much to keep up with at times?

I want to share with you an easy way to get a salon quality look on your nails without leaving home. Learn how to easily do your own natural gel nails at home. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission when you make a purchase at NO additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting this site!

What gel nail kit is best?

When talking about a gel nail polish kit, people want to know two things:

  1. What gel nail kit is best?
  2. How long do at home gel nails last?

Lucky for you (but not for my patience) I tested out a variety of products on my quest to find the best at home gel nail kit.

At first I didn’t really find one I truly loved, that also wasn’t too expensive, was long-lasting, yet easy to remove the polish. 

Every time I’ve tried to paint my nails on my own, with regular nail polish, I’ve either ended up with paint all over my hands, marks in my nails because I was too impatient to let them properly dry or chipped polish the very next day (what a waste).

I really wanted to figure out a way to easily get that salon-quality freshly painted look for less money at home. 

I started to do a little research on long-wearing, gel-like polishes, which is when I discovered Essie gel couture nail polish.

They have a wide variety of shades, including my favorite color — Make The Cut — and it offers up to 14 days of luxurious wear and instant gel-like shine, with no UV lamp needed.

They had me at the no UV nail lamp part, because I really did want to have to buy or use one of those at home. 

Right after the first time I tested out gel couture, I was hooked! 

Recently I discovered two new brands that I have been using pretty much weekly now during this long “vacation at home“.

  • Essie Expressie quick-dry polish,  — it dries fast with no base or topcoat needed. I bought 5 new gel nail polish colors, then painted each nail a different one.  
  • Olive and  June — to really perfect your at-home mani/pedis, order The Everything Box, which comes complete with tools and polishes (vegan) that you need to get a salon-worthy manicure at home. I have been getting lots of compliments on my nails lately since I started using these Olive and June nail polish products and you can see some of my latest nail art over on Instagram.

These polishes have also become some of my favorite travel beauty essentials, especially when taking a long weekend getaway.

Essie Gel Couture reddish pink gel nails at home

How To Easily Get Gel Nails at Home

After I broke out my manicure kit then filed, shaped my nails and cleaned up my cuticles, I decided to kick off my vacation at home in a bold way by picking out the color Vi Please

This is a bold reddish-pink shade of Essie gel nail polish that has a nice shine to it, especially once the special topcoat was applied.

Preparing for a gel nails at home manicure.

Then I took a deep breath, tried to steady my hand as much as possible and started painting. No base coat is needed so that is one less step to do. 

The paint was super easy to apply and not messy at all, thanks to the curve-hugging brush, which allows for the perfect color coverage and application. 

There wasn’t even any polish from around the edges of my nails or hands to clean up. 

I applied two coats on each hand and waited less than five minutes for the polish to dry before applying the Essie Gel Couture topcoat (that special topcoat is the most important part). Now if you are using the Essie Expressie, then you can skip that step. 


I achieved the look of gel nails at home and almost salon-quality, with no gel nail light needed, in less than 20 minutes.

Spring color options for gel nails at home

Is it worth it to do gel nails at home?

I am happy to report that this Essie Gel Couture polish plus top coat definitely exceeded my expectations. The polish lasted for almost a solid week, which makes it worth it in my book. 

When it came time for removing gel nails, I safely and effectively took off the color by using some nail polish remover clips (they make removing gel polish super easy) along with nail polish remover.

A tip to make removal easier is to quickly file the shiny topcoat before you soak them. 

Now my only problem is figuring out what color to buy next since I want to purchase them all, especially from Olive and June.

Here are a few nail color options so you can do your own gel nails at home too.

Which color would you choose?



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

100 Ways To Save Money When Traveling | Passports and Parenting

Sunday 30th of August 2020

[…] Cut out manicures and pedicures for several months and get the look of gel nails at home […]

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.