DIY Poly Gel Nails

Let’s talk nails

Over the years, I can recall stepping into a nail salon to be pampered and treated with care. However, the cost has always left me feeling a little unsettled, and the money could have gone towards gas, a bill, or food. The cost of acrylic manicure ranges from $50-$70 dollars in my area. I have spoken to some women who have claimed they have spent more than $70 to cover the cost of the tip for the nail technician. Soon my feelings of disappointment and distress overcame my initial impressions of feeling pampered. My feelings of frustration only increased after realizing the lifespan of the nails last for approximately one-two weeks. Then it is back at the nail salon to pay for a fill or to replace the set altogether. Let’s say I was not too eager to return to the nail salon.

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Recently, I have sought alternative ways to achieve salon-quality nails at home for a reasonable price. After a few weeks of using regular nail polish on my nails and having to repaint them every other day. I gave up on nail polishes and eventually turned to the internet to find a better solution.

While doing some online searching, I came across a new product known as Poly Gel. The gel lasts around one-two weeks as long as you have all the right products. I have found some brands offer an entire “do it yourself kit at home.” I was then inspired to watch a few youtube videos to learn the process of Poly Gel application. After watching a few videos online, I figured this should be easy enough for me to do at home.

What I learned

After watching a few youtube videos, I became a little confident that I could achieve an at-home manicure and placed an order through Amazon for a Poly Gel kit. The kit I started with was Makartt Poly Nail Extension, and I have had it for a year now. It has lasted a long time for me, but that could be because I take a break from nail extensions every month or two. I enjoy how it doesn’t solidify in the tube, and you can get multiple uses out of a single container as long as you seal the cap back on tight. However, I shortly learned that I needed a few more items to get started.

Poly Gel requires a UV LED nail lamp to solidify the nails. I have found the SUNUV 38W UV LED Light lamp nail dryer( See link below) has served the best of its kind on the market. It is nice to have the lights embedded into the lamp rather than having large blubs stick out. I owned an old UV Lamp that would have the light bulbs fall out, it was intended for easy bulb removal, but the bulbs became annoying when they fell on your nails and left an imprint. Having the newer model has served long term use over the years without having to replace the bulbs. I highly recommend drying your fresh Poly Gel nails under this lamp!

SUNUV 48W UV LED Light Lamp Nail Dryer for Gel Polish with Auto Sensor Professional Nail Art Tools (Black)

Another recommendation is purchasing a nail drill. I have found that buying a good quality nail drill will last you several uses without the motor burning out. You will have to use arm muscle if you purchase a cheaper model. Therefore I recommend quality versus quantity when it comes to buying a nail drill. Nail drills are used to take off old nails that have been broken, or to shape the edges, or to shorten the nail a bit. The one I own is:

Nail Drills for Acrylic Nail Professional – Electric Nail Drill Ejiubas 30000rpm Portable Electric Efile Drill for Shaping, Buffing, Removing Acrylic Nails, Gel Nails

You will also need a no lift nail primer. Trust me on this one, before I had known about this primer, I used to spend countless hours making my nails perfect, to only be frustrated and confused as to why they were not staying on longer than three days. Lifting of the nail happens when water or air reaches under the poly gel – what a waste of time and energy, I used to think. After purchasing the no lift nail primer, it works wonders on keeping the longevity of your nails for both nail polish and poly gel. The one I use stinks to high heavens, but it works! So I continue to use it. If you would like to use the same one I use, get it here:

No Lift Nails Primer .75 oz

Lastly, the cheapest product I recommend that you might already have around your house is isopropyl rubbing alcohol at least 70%. This solution will keep the gel from sticking to the brush when applying it to your nail forms. It helps shape the gel and it also removes poly gel built up around the cuticle. A little bit goes a long way! I recommend looking for it around your local drug stores for the best price.

My final results lead me to a lovely muted pink color with no bumps on the nail bed. What I like about this new innovative product is no longer having to purchase nail tips. I remembered back in 2015 I was buying everything separately to do my nails at home, it was a massive headache. This new method alleviates all the mess and saves you time plus money! I no longer have to wait in long lines to get my nails done. I can do them in the convenience of my own home while watching TV or listening to music. I enjoy the application process, and I hope you will too!

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