November 8, 2013

At Home Manicure in 9 Steps

I had an unfortunate gel manicure last month (pictured below).  I was against getting gel nails because they didn't last in the past, but I needed something that would last a few weeks.  I should have stuck with my gut and skipped the gel mani!  My nails looked horrendous day 5!  So I decided to get back to taking care of my own nails at home.

I'm not a manicurist and don't claim to be a nail expert but this is how I have been nursing my nails back to health.
1. I start with buffing and filing my nails.
2. I rub the cuticle remover (from Sally's) around my nails and left it on for a few minutes.
3. With the cuticle remover still on, I soak my nails in warm water for about 3 minutes.
4. After soaking, I use a cuticle stick to push my cuticles back.  I did use some nippers to clip some the hanging dead skin. Be careful with the nippers!  Over nipping is the reason why my cuticles looks so horrible from my gel manicure.
5.  Wash and dry your hands to remover the cuticle remover.
6.  Use a alcohol with a cotton ball to remove excess oil from the nails.
7.  Use a base coat (OPI Natural nail base coat) before polishing with color. Helps your polish stay on longer and helps to keep nails from staining.
8. Proceed with color and top coat (Nails Inc plumping gel effect top coat).
9. After nails are completely dry, apply cuticle oil (Sally Hansen cuticle pen) and hand cream (Lollia handcreme).
I got the gel nails about a month ago.  The picture on the left is from day 5 of a new gel manicure! And I was in New York City looking like this! The thumb nail doesn't even have gel on it, it's painted!  How embarrassing!  I posted these raggedy nails on instagram and ladies shared with me that they have never had this problem getting gel nails.  You would have thought I changed the engine in my car after getting my nails done for as bad as they look.  I'm happy to share that my nails and cuticles are in good health now!  

How do you take care of your nails?  Do you do them at home or go to a salon?  Do you rock gel nails?


  1. Thanks for the information. I really need to take better care of my nails. I got the gel nails for my vacation. I didn't have the same problems with my cuticles but the gel nails didn't last long. After day 3 the polish began to chip off and it left my nails looking damaged which is not a good look.

  2. I use one of those at-home gel nail kits. It's cheaper than getting an salon gel manicure and because I do it (quality control) it lasts about two weeks. I use Sensationail's nail lamp but I mix and match gel polish brands. I have Fingerpaints gel polish, Gelish Mini, and Sensationail's polish, which all work with my lamp; I just get whatever's on sale since they can be expensive. Sometimes I use the clear gel as a base coat and use my regular polish on top. I'm obviously a fan, lol! Sorry you had such a negative experience.

  3. Your cuticles look great... I remember when you posted about them on IG

  4. I can't believe those gel nails! Your natural nails look so much better. I have acrylics and I get them done every two weeks. I've had gel nails a couple of times and I liked them. When I go out of the country it's a nice alternative because I don't have to worry about them breaking, they really worked well for me while I was traveling. But I didn't like taking them off afterwards, it messed up my natural nails.

  5. I followed your regimen tonight and I must say my hands feel good! I will continue this once a week with lotioning my hands as much as possible with moisturizing creme. The thick stuff and hopefully in a months time there's a big difference my cuticles! Thanks for sharing!


Newer Older