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How To Easily DIY Gel Nails at Home

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Something I like to do along with the change of seasons is switch 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 gel nail polish at home

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What gel nail kit is best?

When talking about at home gel nail kits, 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 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 an awesome gel couture, nail polish line from Essie.

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 top coat needed. I bought 5 new colors, then painted each nail a different one.  
  • Olive & 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 products. 

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 which 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 UV lamp needed, in less than 15 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 topcoat definitely exceeded my expectations. The polish lasted for over a solid week, which makes it worth it in my book. 

When I was ready for a change, 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.

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

Which color would you choose?



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Sunday 30th of August 2020

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