DIY Gorgeous Nails

I learned the value of well manicured nails as a cheerleader when I was forced to keep a french set at all times.  Although it seems a tiny, irrelevant body part, nails are something that are constantly seen.  As someone who talks with her hands, mine are seen a lot.  Even driving, picking up a glass, pointing at something, typing this post.. it feels good to look down and see them done.  A self-esteem booster if you will.

When Z and I bought our house, it became apparent that the nail salon would be a necessary cut from the budget. It was a sacrifice, but trust me, you’d never know.  The DIY gel manicure kits sold today are legit and virtually fool proof.  I opted for the cheapest one, SensatioNail ($49.99 at Walmart).  My friend has the Sally Hansen one, about $10.00 more, from Target.  Both work great and you can use any gel polish with your kit; you may just need to leave it under the light longer depending on the brand.  Here are my tips from experience to make your nails look like they do in the picture.

  • Get a gel manicure from a salon before you attempt to DIY.  It will be much easier to figure out once you’ve seen it done at least once by a pro.
  • Put a thin layer of the gel primer over your entire nail.  The directions say only around the edge, but I’ve found it very difficult to remove if I do that.
  • Taaaaaake your tiiiiiiime to polish each nail accurately.  It’s dry in 60 seconds flat so it’s worth the extra time and care to make sure it looks good.
  • Be sure to check out the SensatioNail website before you buy for coupons!!! 

  • Use regular nail polish remover to take off.  You need 100% pure acetone (mine was on special for $1.99 at Ulta).  Better yet, just rip the polish off when it starts to chip.  It’s fast (I do both hands in 5 minutes) and because I put primer on the whole nail, it comes up easy with minimal damage.  Be 
  • Expect it to last 3 weeks like a salon one.  It will last solidly through the entire weekend, perhaps even a week if you’re gentle.  For free, beautiful nails, I’m willing to deal with that.

So go ahead and try it.  Enjoy those beautiful summer nails!

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