How to get a long lasting gel mani without setting foot in a salon
Gel nail polish is not a new phenomenon. In fact, women everywhere have been taking a seat in the salon chair and baking on polish under UV lights for years now. However a new breed of high street buys are now taking on nail bars at their own game.
These days its possible to DIY with everything from foolproof gel kits to hybrid polishes that deliver the same glossy look without UV, time-consuming removal and an expensive in-salon pricetag. Of course, as with all things beauty, preparation is key. If you want a home manicure that goes the distance you will need to ensure you have a clean and tidy nail plate. Here’s how to prime your nail plate at home…
1) It may sound obvious but always start by washing your hands, especially if you have recently used nail vanish remover, this will give your new application of varnish longevity.
2) File your nails into your desired shape – square, oval, squoval or pointed – but be careful to only shape the free edge (the white section). Resist the temptation to go further as it will weaken the nail’s structure and increase the chances of snapping.
3) Once your nails are clean, apply a small bead of cuticle cream to each cuticle and massage it into the surrounding skin gently. Next, take a wooden manicure stick and rub the slanted edge of it across the nail plate in circular motions to lift away any dead cuticle and flaking nail.
Tip: Apply minimal pressure. If you press too hard you risk denting your nail plate or jabbing the delicate skin surrounding it.
4) Use cuticle cutters to carefully trim away any dead cuticle, skin or over hanging nail which has lifted. Be careful not to cut into the eponychium (healthy skin above the cuticle)
5) Finally, wash your hands a final time to remove the dust from filing and any cuticle cream residue.
Your nails are now ready for your polish application, and we’ve compiled the very best gel kits and hybrid gel-like lacquers for a long-lasting home manicure…
As DIY gel kits go Le Mini Macaron is completely adorable, but it's also eminently practical - the little macaroon-shaped device works in 30 seconds per nail, plugs into any USB port and the polish is a one-step base, colour and top coat all in one. So all you need to do is swipe it on, wait for 30 and hey presto! Beautiful, glossy nails that won't chip off when you're doing the dishes (although no need to tell your other half that)
There are nine kits to choose from, each containing one shade of polish to get started with (we love Cassis, pictured) and you can buy the polish for £11.49 or three minis at £19.
We'll let you into a secret, it's actually really easy to remove gel nails at home.
All you need is:
- Superdrug Acetone Nail Polish Remover, 79p - Cotton wool pads - A sheet of kitchen foil (yes really)
- A nail file and cuticle stick
1. First file over the top of your gels, make sure to go right to the edge - this breaks the seal and removes the glossy topcoat. Be careful not to catch the delicate surrounding skin.
2. Wash your hands to remove any dust left over from filing. Your colour should now be completely matte as you've filed off the glossy topcoat.
3. Next cut your round cotton wool pads into half moons, or if you used square pads, into quarters. Soak them in the acetone nail polish remover.
4. Pop a piece of soaked cotton wool over each nail and wrap your finger tip in foil. Make sure you cut the pieces of foil big enough to wrap the whole finger top so they stay on.
5. Leave on for 15 minutes to enable the acetone to lift the gel off from your nail plate without damaging it.
6. Finally remove the foil/cotton wool and use a cuticle stick to gently remove the lifted gel.
The kind of shade that makes your nails appear naturally flawless, this soft, pastel pink is more opaque than the shade in the bottle implies. What does this mean for your nails? To name a few benefits; additional shine, a pleasing plumpness and a hue that makes all hands appear more groomed. You'll want to wear it every day.
Jessica's brand new Phénom Vivid Colour system hit the shops this week and we are already hooked on its easy to apply glossy and durable texture. Our favourite shade is Pretty in Pearls
- chalky, pastel and chic, it changes from nude to lilac depending on the light. Elegant by day and playful by night.