How To

Best DIY Guide For Gel Nails

Gel nails are not only great to look at, they also make the nails stronger that you can wear them for even up to two weeks. Many prefer to have them done in the salon. There are those who would rather skip the hassle of waiting for their turn to have their nails done by someone else, nevertheless. If you are one of those who would rather sit at the comfort of your home and have a mani or pedi whenever you want, but is at a lost on how to do gel nails, this guide is for you.

DIY Guide For Gel Nails

You will be surprised how easy it is to do and how amazing your nails will look. This easy to follow quick guide is perfect for both a pro and otherwise. So if you are just beginning to learn how to manage your nails, you can never go wrong with this DIY guide.


Keep your tools within reach and have your nail station ready. With constant and correct practice, you will have perfect nails whenever you want. This DIY is one thing that every woman needs to know.


This is how to do your opi gel polish properly:


1. Find a comfortable place to do your nails. Make sure you are in a well-lit and well-ventilated room but away from the windows where direct sunlight may pass through. The whole process may take up to about an hour for starters. As you become more acquainted with the process, you will find it easier to do next time.

Make sure that the space you will be working on is properly covered. Ensure that you have enough room to turn about and that no furniture and any unnecessary item/s near your workspace.


2. Prepare your nails. The polish will cling on to the nails if their surface were prepared properly for the treatment. If you have cuticles that are a bit hard to push, you may need to soak them in warm water first.

You will use a slanted manicure stick to gently push the cuticles to reveal longer-looking nails and the Lunula, the half-moon shaped area at the base of the nails. This will give you a clean surface that you can cover with your gel nail polish later on.


3. Shape your nails. Using a nail file, shape your nails as you desire. There are different nail shapes that you may choose from (round, square, squoval, oval, stiletto, almond, lipstick, and ballerina). There is just a certain shape that will go well with the size and shape of your fingers, however. The best way to determine the best nail shape for you is to use what will complement your whole hand.


4. Buff your nails. After filing the edges of your nails, you will need to buff the surface of the nails. Make sure that you buff even the sides of the nails and around the nail cuticles. Buffing the whole surface will make it easier for the gel nail to cling on to the nails better and longer.

Once done with buffing, wash your hands with soap and water to remove the remaining dust on your nails. Wipe clean your nails with a gel nail cleanser, then allow the nails to dry for about 15 minutes.


5. Apply the gel primer. Once your nails are ready for coating, you need to apply the gel primer. You will need a full primer coverage depending on the overall health of and oil in your nails. Air dry for about 30 seconds.


6. Apply the base coat. The base coat works like a double-sided tape and makes the nails manicured with gel polish to last longer. The plasticizers in it make the nails flexible and the cellulose chemicals incorporated in it make the gel polish to stick well to it and the nails.

You won’t need to worry if the polish won’t be leveled the first time you swipe your nail with the nail polish brush. There are so many gel nail polish brands that are made to be self-leveling. This will give you an even finish with each application without the presence of any brush strokes.

You need to do all fingers, except the thumb, before placing all four fingers under the LED lamp to cure. All fingers will cure after 15 seconds.


7. Apply the nail polish color. The number of color coating you will need will depend on how you would like your gel nail color to look on your nails. For quite a solid finish, you may need up to three coats of the same sns nail colors. Once done, cure the nails (the four fingers first, then the two thumbs) for a full 30 seconds.


8. Apply the top coat. There are brands that have both the top and the base coat in one bottle. If you pick one in this formula, you will need to cover your nails with the same coat for the last time. Curing period for the top coat is 15 seconds.


Once done, just make sure that there is no polish over the edges of the cuticle. If you find traces of the polish on them, just tidy with the manicure stick and you are done.

Nail Art

Sparkly Sunset Mani

This photo doesn’t do justice to how amazingly sparkly this mani is in the sunlight. I did a sponge ombre using Zoya  and Zoya Mimi. Love i!

Sparkly Sunset Mani

I picked up both polishes from the clearance aisle in Ulta for $5 each. No idea why they’re one clearance – they are amazing!

Nail Polish

Essie Neon 2013 Collection

Essie just announced their summer 2013 collection – Neons!  Part of me is like neons are so last summer, and part of me is like OMG I want them all!  I’ll be interested in seeing these in person since they seem like they are a lot less bright then other neons I’ve seen.  I’m very keen to get my hands on DJ Play That Song and Saturday Night Fever.



Mini Mac Haul

Last weekend while my friend Leslie was visiting, we hit up the Portland MAC store over on NW 23rd. I needed to replace my Blot powder and I had 6 MAC containers to Back to MAC so a peachy lipstick was on my list.

Here’s my little MAC haul:

Mini Mac Haul

I ended up with Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, concealer and my free lipstick in Vegas Volt. Leslie bought 2 lipsticks. Ruby Woo and a nudish shade. I was very happy about the service, which in my experience is very hit or miss.  I was wearing jeans and a hoodie and no makeup and still got helped right away.

The saleswoman pulled out about 10 lipsticks for me to try before I found what I was looking for. It’s maybe a bit more orange than I was looking for, but I think what I saw in my head wasn’t what really worked for me. I’m very happy with my purchases.

Nail Art

Eurovision Armenia Nails

A couple of weeks ago I went to Europe. The main goal was to meet up with my friends Lucie and Alex in Malmo, Sweden for EUROVISION! If you don’t know what this is..think of a super campy American Idol where each country sends one participant. Back in the day ABBA and Celine Dion have competed in Eurovision.

I’m half Armenian so I had to support my boys, The Dorians. Here are my Armenian Flag nails. I did these in my hotel room with limited supplies, so they aren’t quite as good as my normal manis but I still love them.

Eurovision Armenia Nails

Here is me and my nails cheering on The Dorians at the Eurovision finals. So glad they actually got to the finals. I thought they were pretty good but not the right kind of music to win Eurovision.


pretty sure I was the only Armenia fan in all of Malmo.

Nail Art Nail Polish

Pink & Green Ruffle Mani

f you have a dotting tool and a lot of time on your hands you might want to give this Ruffle mani a try. I’ve seen similar things before, but I loved Chalkboard Nails version so I was inspired to actually do it.

It’s an easy, but time consuming manicure. The nature of the design is very forgiving to mistakes and even my right hand turned out well.

Pink & Green Ruffle Mani

You definitely want to choose a large dotter. I went with my second largest, and I regret not using the big one. About halfway through doing this I was wishing my nails were shorter!

You should also be aware of the colors you are using. My mystery Essie pink is a bit sheer and didn’t turn out so well when I used it over Sew Psyched.


  • Essie Jamaica Me Crazy
  • Essie color unknown (bright pink jelly, maybe Pansy?)
  • Essie Forget Me Nots
  • OPI Pink Friday


  • OPI Stranger Tides
  • Essie Sew Psyched
Nail Art Nail Polish

Holo Laser Nails

When I was in London, I picked up a 3rd BarryM polish just because it was buy 2 get 3.  The freebie was this Black Multi Color..which is really a black with holographic glitter in it. The polish really reminds me of a starry sky. It is lovely. You need 2 coats to get the full depth of glitter and a nice glossy topcoat.

Holo Laser Nails

Was that enough for me? Obviously not!

I grabbed some of the Born Pretty nail art tapes and chose 3 of the holographic colors. I wanted freakin’ laser beams on my nails.  No sharks, though.

I really love how this turned out.  LASERS!

It was hard to get a good photo of the holographicness of the glitter in the black polish. I know it looks silver, but I promise it’s not! The top photo comes the closest.

Even my mom, who hates black nail polish, though this mani was cool.

Nail Art Nail Polish

Stamping fun

Now that my nails are short again I can finally do some stamping and try out those BarryM foils I bought in London.

The stamp is from one of the big Cheeky plates. It doesn’t quite cover my whole nail so I did the blue swoop. I am very happy with how the BarryM  Foil worked with the stamps! All of my gold polishes aren’t nearly opaque enough, but this turns out beautifully! Which, of course, is what I expected to see after all of Nailasaurus’s stamping manis.

On a side note, dark colors are a pain to do cuticle clean up on.

Stamping fun

Base: Catrice Pimp My Shrimp
Stamp: BarryM Foils Gold
Blue: China Glaze Check Mate