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How To Get The Look Of Gel Nails at Home

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Something I like to do along with the change of seasons is switch up some of 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 get gel nails at home.  

Fall is just about here, although I will always crave summer, which means it’s time to put some of those muted and dark nail polish colors in my life. Do you love the look of polished nails but I 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 polished look on your nails without leaving home. Learn how to get the look of gel nails 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 does at home gel nails last?

Lucky for you (but not for my nails) I tested out a variety of at home gel nail kits and didn’t really find one I truly loved, that also wasn’t too expensive, was long lasting yet easy to remove the polish. 

Gel nails at home manicure holding a coffee cup

Every time I’ve tried to paint my nails on my own, with regular polish, I’ve either ended up with polish all over my hands, marks in the polish 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 this Gel Couture, longwear, nail polish line. Essie’s innovative line of nail polish, which is available in a wide variety of shades, offers up to 14 days of luxurious wear and instant gel-like shine, with no UV lamp needed. 

Right after the first time I tested it out I was hooked!

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 the beginning of fall in a bold way by picking out the Essie Gel Couture color, Gala-Vanting

This is a red burgundy-ish color 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 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).


I achieved the look of gel nails at home and almost salon quality, with no UV lamp needed, in less than 15 minutes.

Nail designs for fall with Essie Gel Couture 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.

When I was ready for a change, I quickly took off the color with some remover right at home. 

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

Here are a few fall nail color options so you can do your own gel nails at home too.  Which color is your favorite?



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