This post has been a long time coming. I know it’s not food and we all love food. But I also love everything girly and that includes nail polish…and according to all the emails and instagram comments y’all love it too! I have been doing my own Gel Nails for about a year now thanks to Jaden. When I was visiting her last year, she introduced me to Gelish. After a lot of googleing and practice, I finally got the process down!

Unlike regular nail polish, Gel nails last 2 weeks (on average – sometimes longer). After spending so much of my life with chipped nails, I was ecstatic to discover gel nails. Then after spending hours in the salon, I know I was thrilled to learn I could do Gel Nails at home for a fraction of the cost. Now instead of paying $60 (plus tip!) every time I got my nails done, I put in a $100 dollar investment…and have been doing my own nails at home for a year (I do occasionally buy more polish colors…with each one costing $12 with free shipping from Amazon).

So I thought it was time I finally put a post together that would share my favorite secret with all you nail polish lovers out there! Below you will find tips, FAQ, what supplies you will need, and step by step instructions on how to DIY Gel Nails. Happy Polishing! πŸ™‚

**all photos from this post are old photos from Instagram. please ignore the quality…and the food!**


  • Yes, they do sell a mini starter pack. It’s $30 and is MINI and you don’t need half of whats sold in it. For the same price, you can buy a normal size bottle of foundation, top coat and a color.
  • You can also buy it at Sally’s Beauty Supply. However, they do not have the large bottles like amazon…and the mini bottles at Sally’s cost $14 a bottle…while the big bottles on Amazon are $12 with free shipping.
  • THIN! You want to paint thin layers that coat the entire nail. Try not to paint thick layers, you will see that a little polish goes a long way.


  • How long will a bottle last me? Well, I have been doing this a year and haven’t run out of my first two bottles of foundation/top coat yet!
  • Will this ruin my nails? As long as you don’t have really weak nails to begin with and follow the removal process instead of just ripping them off, nope it will be fine! This process is not half as hard on the nails as artificial nails. Also, this is a “Soak Off” brand, so it is not as thick as some of the traditional gel nails.
  • How long does it last? About 2 weeks as long as you don’t paint on your layers too thick. If you accidentally do, it will probably only last about a week because the edges will start to pull up.
  • What happens if I get it on my skin? Just wipe it off before you cure it in the light. Unlike regular nail polish, the gel polish wipes off extremely easily with an alcohol wipe before it is sealed. If you happen to cure it under the light before noticing it was on your skin, no big deal, just scrape it off.

What you will need to apply and remove:

  1. Alcohol Wipes (I buy these at the drug store. There are over 100 in a box for around $2)
  2. UV Nail Light Dryer
  3. Gelish Foundation
  4. Gelish Top Coat
  5. Gelish Color of choice (Amazon has TONS of colors. These are my two favorites: Hot Rod Red & Shake It Till You SambaΒ  Favorite Glitter: Water Field)
  6. 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover (I also buy this for cheap at the drug store)
  7. Small Bowl
  8. Cotton Balls


  1. Trim/Push up your cuticles and clean your nails with alcohol wipes.
  2. Paint a thin layer of Foundation. Cure for 1 minute.
  3. Wipe nails with alcohol wipe to remove tacky layer.
  4. Paint on a thin layer of the Gelish color of your choice. Cure for 1 minute.
  5. Paint on a second thin layer of the color of choice and cure for another minute. Continue this process until desired color is reached. I usually only do 2 layers of color.
  6. If you want to add a layer of glitter Gelish polish, do that now. Cure for 1 minute.
  7. Once you have reached your desired color, apply a thin layer of Top Coat. Cure for 1 minute.
  8. Wipe nails one last time with an alcohol wipe to remove the top tacky layer. You’re done!

To Remove:

  1. Soak nails in a small bowl of 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover.
  2. Once the gel is pliable/sticky, pull the gel nails gently to remove. If it is not budging, let that nail soak more. You can also just a metal cuticle pusher to help get them off.
  3. Once the nail is off, rub fresh nail polish remover over the nail with a cotton ball to remove any lingering polish.
  4. Let nails dry and lightly buff them to remove any ridges or rough patches. That’s it, clean nails!

**Gelish did not sponsor this post, however this post does contain affiliate links to amazon**

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