If you love the look of gel nails, you can do them yourself as long as you have the right equipment and follow the correct procedure. Gel nails are strong, yet flexible, and look more natural than acrylic or press-on nails. Once you learn the process of sculpting gel nails, you will see that it isn't as complicated as you may have previously thought. Nail sculpting gel comes in different colours, as well as white and clear.
Push back your cuticles with an orange stick and file your nails with a 180-grit nail file to make the surface of your nails rough and to even out the ends. Wipe away the dust and make sure you don't leave behind any lint or fibres. Your nail should be rough, so gel adheres to it.
Dip a small flat brush into the clear gel and brush a thin layer all over a nail without getting any on your skin. Place your nail under the UV light to cure it for one minute.
Place a nail form on the edge of the nail. A nail form is the guide that will help you sculpt the shape and length of the tips. Keep the form in place by sticking the two tabs together below your finger and sticking the back to the top of your finger. The form should be smooth and align with the edge of your natural nail.
Dip a clean flat brush into the white sculpting gel and carefully create the shape of the nail tip. Start by placing a small amount of the white gel on the form directly above the edge of the nail tip and extend it to the length (use the lines on the form to guide you) and shape that you want. This will take some practice before you get it right.
Dip a clean, flat brush into some rubbing alcohol and use it to wipe away some of the messy, uneven edges. It's OK if the edges aren't perfectly even; you can fix that later. Cure the nail you just sculpted for 10 seconds under the UV light. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for each nail on one hand and then cure all of the nails for three minutes.
Dab the builder gel on the middle of the nail right below the white tip. Gently drag the gel a little at a time toward the edges and bring it up to the end of the tip. Extend the gel just slightly past the tip to cover the end. Add a small amount to the "stress point," where the tip meets the rest of the nail, to reinforce it. Cure for three minutes; apply a second coat and cure for another three minutes.
Remove the nail forms. Place your hand nails under the UV light palm-up for one minute to cure the undersides of the nail tips.
Wipe away the sticky coating at the tops of the nails with an alcohol wipe and file the ends to smooth them out and even out the shape. Make sure the edges of the tips are thinner than the stress points to make them look natural.
Things you need
- Orange stick
- 180-grit nail file
- Nail wipes
- Flat brushes
- Clear nail gel
- Ultraviolet (UV) light
- Nail forms
- White nail gel