[Beauty] How to make your DIY Gel Nails last?

Gel nails have their pros and cons but one of the main reason why girls have their nails done in gelish nail polish is due to the durability. Gel nails are known to last longer than normal nail polishes, although they are more harmful due to curing under UV/LED light.

Apart from having my manicure sessions done at nail salons, I like to DIY them myself.

These are the tools which are required :

grey DIY gelish nails x normal nail polishes

I have blogged about them before earlier on, so do take some time to read here before moving on, especially if you are new to this 🙂

I get most of my stuffs from Qoo10 and they aren’t expensive.

Although the quality of the nail polishes make a huge difference, I realised that some cheaper gel nails (authenticity unverified though) can last too! I know how expensive it is to have manicures done every now and then and also how pricey gel nail polish brands such as Gelish Harmony, Artistic, Red Carpet are…

I have soft and brittle nails (natural and due to wearing nail polishes too long) and often experience breakage and chipping. Furthermore, recently I have been suffering from short lifespan of my gel nails as they peel easily. And I don’t mean like chipping off bit by bit, it’s like the whole piece of nail polish peels off from my whole nail bed!

It’s definitely annoying especially since it can occur few hours or the day after my DIY manicure! Not to mention, it is also very unsightly. #OCD

So here are some useful tips which I have discovered that would help you achieve longer lasting gel nails :

1. Remove your previous manicure properly. I didn’t really follow this because most of my gel nails were able to peel off, so I took the easy way out and peel them all off, although not advisable. Heh.

2. Buff and file your nails. 

3. This is the most important step. I skipped this step previously and that was why my gel nails kept peeling off. Cleanse the nail bed thoroughly with Acetone. 

4. Apply pH bond. I used to think applying pH bond was sufficient and never really thought that there might be some residue left from my previous session despite peeling them all off.

5. Do not allow the nail polish to come into contact with your skin. If it does, remember to WIPE IT OFF BEFORE YOU CURE IT. This is because curing your nails under the UV/LED lamp ‘seals’ the nail polish and hardens it, thus making it difficult for you to salvage it without removing the whole nail polish again. Any ‘gaps’ will cause your nail polish to chip/peel. 

6. Apply an additional layer on your finger tips to ‘seal’ the whole nail bed. 

7. Apply an additional top coat and cure it for a longer time (optional).

Here are some of my humble works thus far :

diy gel

Hope you enjoy them and thanks for reading! 🙂

Step-by-step Tutorial for the Removal of Gellish Nails

The only reason why girls opt for gellish nails is because of its durability. Gellish nails can last for weeks depending on how you maintain them. Of course, there will be empty spaces on your nail bed between your cuticles and the nail polishes as your fingernails grow over time. It may be unsightly but to me, what’s even more an eyesore would be how the gellish nails themselves, as in the designs and 3D designs do not last. Being anal and a selective perfectionist, such situation irks me. A little OCD there as well.

Manicure, we don’t just pamper our nails for the sake of pampering them, but also, I’m sure like most ladies, just by looking and admiring them day to day makes us happy! Such cheap thrills are easy happiness, don’t you think so? 😉

I did my gellish manicure with Priscilla at Nails Etcetera and I’d decided to remove them myself!

Removing gellish nails can be a pain in the ass! You will need alot of patience and strength to push out the softened gel nail polishes.

I googled for tips in removing gellish nails and Acetone nail polish removers are apparently used for that purpose. Using the normal nail polish removers will not work. This is also the reason why getting gellish nails done is also a hassle because you will have to head back to your manicurist to have them removed and which if it’s purely removal, there will be charges incurred. Most nail salons remove them for free only if you decide to continue engaging their manicure services.

I got my Acetone gel nail polish remover from Gmarket with this seller! Of course, like you, I do read up on reviews before ordering anything. So learn to shop smart! 🙂

The wonderful thing when ordering from this seller is that she provides instructions (very impt – but you can actually google it but thumbs-up for effort and customer service!) as well as the wooden sticks. She has mailed 5 wooden sticks which you would require to push out the gellish nail polishes once they are softened and weakened by the Acetone nail remover.

Essential equipments required :

1. Acetone nail polish remover

2. Wooden sticks

3. Cotton balls/pads (I didn’t have cotton balls so I’d used cotton pads instead)

4. Coarse nail filer

5. Aluminium foils

6. Smooth nail buffer

7. Cuticle oil ( I didn’t use this in the tutorial because I was just plain lazy =x But pls, do apply it if you have!)

Bf bought a set of the Onsen nail set for me few months back 🙂 I’ve always used this when I did my own manicure 🙂

Now as per the instructions, use the coarse nail filer to file the surface of your gellish nails till you get a rough surface. There will be alot of nail dust and might get a little messy, so do prepare some wet wipes just in case.

Next, damp the cotton pad/balls with the Acetone nail polish remover and make sure you apply sufficient amount, if not some areas might not be weakened and would be difficult to remove. After that, wrap it around the nail bed.

Now wrap it snugly with the aluminium foil around your whole fingernails. Make sure they are tightly secured otherwise, they might easily drop off and you would want to prevent any quick evaporation of the Acetone remover.

I know, they look like sausages ready to be BBQ-ed! 😀

Previously, Priscilla from Nails Etcetera  had gotten me to place my wrapped fingers into the UV nail lamp, but although I bought 1 myself, I didn’t use it. It was a little painful when I placed them in, so I thought I could make do without it.

Even without using the UV nail lamp, I felt a little tingling hot sensation.

You must also note that Acetone removers are harmful to your nails and some even disputed that they are harmful to your liver as well. But anyways, nails polishes and normal nail polish removers are harmful too. Basically, whatever chemicals you apply or consume (obviously referring to medicines and supplements!) generally, are not 100% beneficial to your body. 😉

You should see that your gellish nails partially peeled off. I didn’t apply sufficient Acetone that’s why the 1st application was not very successful. But since it was my virgin experience, I forgave myself 😛

Next, use the wooden stick to push the soft gellish nails.

I seriously loathe this step because it’s so difficult to push them out. I have soft brittle nails too so it’s like I’m totally ruining my nails. But then again, removal of gellish nails do destroy your nails!

See how cui they are? And this was even after when I buffed it with the soft buffer from Onsen!

And oh yes, I did cut my nails short as 1 of them broke before removing. Goodbye long nails 😦

I bet the 3rd step was redundant since I was going to repaint my nails anyway, but filing and smoothening them should do our nails good. At least the shininess made me happier somewhat (Self-denial).

From left to right : China Glaze Tantalise me, China Glaze Soft Globe and China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise (Used this on my toes nails!)

Of course, the essentials are not forgotten. Use them in every DIY manicure 🙂

From left to right : China Glaze Fast Freeze Quick Dry, Sally Hansen Diamond Shine Base & Top Coat (Not really fancying this, need to source for better base coat. Any to recommend? :p) and China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat.

1. Apply base coat

2. Apply desired colour nail polish

3. Apply 2nd coat (esp if colour is faint)

4. Apply top coat

5. Apply snow globe nail polish

6. Apply top coat again

7. You can double apply top coat again if you want

8. Apply quick dry coat

I have very soft and brittle nails, so I have to apply several layers of top coat. I’ll have to apply nail hardeners soon too.

Result ?

I know I have ugly toes 😦

When worn with heels

I hope this DIY tutorial has helped you in one way or another! 😀

Thank you all for reading! 🙂 ❤

P.S. : Oh yes, don’t forget to check out my beauty article on My Fat Pocket here on Mascaras!

P.P.S. : I will be sharing with you guys next on my shopping experience with Gmarket and which are the recommended sellers as well as those blacklisted ones! So if you do shop at Gmarket frequently, do keep a lookout! 🙂

xoxo,

Jean