How To: UV Gel Nails

Creative Nail Design: Shellac
January boredom has well and truly set in.Whilst I am pleased to have a little down time to relax after a rather busy Christmas, the thought of spending next Saturday night in too isn't exactly the most thrilling of thoughts.

As a part of my Manchester Fashion Week Blogger commitments, I will do a variety of posts, including how-to's and demonstrations. This week is all about UV Gel.

I am trying to grow my nails following a couple of months wearing stick on false nails, so to keep them strong whilst they grow I have applied some UV Gel! Shellac and UV Gel seems to have really taken off over recent months so I thought I would write a post with how to do them yourself at home!

Don't be scared by this.. it really isn't complicated and being able to do them at home is a nice little money saver! Obviously you will need to invest in some equipment first.. but the return on investment is high if it is a monthly habit you already have.

What You Will Need
  • UV Lamp - This should be 36 Watt, do not scrimp and buy anything less as your Gel will not cure very quickly and it will make the process really longwinded and annoying! You can buy UV Gel Lamps on Amazon for £30 which do the job nicely. I bought mine from Amazon probably over 12 months ago now and it is brilliant, still working great and has produced many a set of lovely Gel Nails :o)
  • UV Gel - You will probably see Gel in Boots as well as branded stuff online. I haven't used the stuff from Boots so I can't really comment, but I have used NSI Gel that I bought at a Beauty Exhibition as well as CND's Shellac both of which are easily purchased from Amazon or eBay. What I will say is do not spend much more than £15 on the Gel unless you are buying OPI Gel Colour, as you are buying it from a seller who is clearly trying to make a big profit! I have some Shellac on the way from the US and have paid £14 including postage. Also I personally prefer using a well known brand as I know I can rely on quality and it actually sticking to my nails!
  • Nail Polish Remover - You will need both remover containing and without Acetone. With Acetone will remove Gel Polish and without is good for wiping off the sticky residue after it has set.
How To Apply Gel
  1.  Prepare your nails. Wipe each nail over with nail polish remover to remove any old nail polish, oils on the nail bed (as this will weaken the Gel and stop it sticking properly). File as necessary and push cuticles down.
  2. Pick out your favourite Gel Colour. A lot of sites will tell you that you need base and top coat. I personally find that I don't need it, it just makes my application more messy and thick if I add in these extra layers!
  3. Paint on the Gel to your little finger through to your pointing finger and put those four until the lamp to set. Try and remove any errors before you put under the lamp as once it is dried/cured it is not so easy to get off unless you remove the full nail. If you really mess up I would recommend wiping it clean off rather than thinking you will tidy it up afterwards. In terms of how long, I would put the nails under for 2 minutes initially.
  4. Paint your thumb and put it under the light flat on it's own to ensure the polish sets evenly.
  5. Do the same on the other hand.
  6. Apply a second coat to make sure you have a nice even colour and this time leave the nails under for 3 mins to set.
  7. Once you have finished I normally pop a coat of clear nail polish over the top to make them extra shiny! It is worth mentioning that when the Gel initially sets it is tacky so do not be shocked if you touch them after setting them under the light and they still feel sticky. They will have set don't worry!
  8. If you don't have any clear polish to hand, just wipe over each nail with the Acetone FREE nail polish remover and this will remove the sticky layer.
Gel is a really good base to try nail art as you can literally just wipe off the nail design using Acetone free remover and any errors are a thing of the past. Once the Gel is past it's best, has started to grow off or is peeling, you simply soak your fingers in Acetone remover and this will soften the Gel and enable you to remove it. Simples.

I am currently wearing a Navy Gel with my OPI Gold Leaf Top Coat to jazz them up whilst they grow a bit! I think UV Gel is one of the easiest 'DIY' beauty things you can do at home and I have never looked back since doing them myself.

It is more about being a neat nail painter than having a qualification! If you decide to try it then please send me pics of your efforts! I love to see :o)

Remember: Manchester Fashion Week is taking place in April of this year and will feature high street brands alongside Manchester based designers.

Follow the build up on the Manchester Fashion Week Yours Fashionably Blog and on Twitter - @mcrfashionweek.

1 comment

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