How to Apply Gel Nails at Home: Step by Step

  • March 22, 2023
  • Nail Care

Gel manicure might be what you’re looking for if you’re new to nail polish and want something long lasting. Unlike regular nail polish, gel polish can last for up to a month if well taken care of. It is also better compared to acrylic nails or stick-ons as its liquid formula allows it to be applied directly to your natural nails therefore little to no damage on them. And the best part of it all is that you can achieve the perfect gel nails easily at home with just a few steps, provided you have a UV or LED lamp and the gel polish of course.

You might also need a few other items such as the nail file, clippers and buffers but most of these might be already available at home. In this article we take you through a step by step guide on how to get the perfect gel nails at home. Read on:

  1. Cut and file nails

The first step is to always shape your nails. You want your manicure to look neat and even. You can use mail clippers to trim them to the height that you want then use a nail file to craft your preferred nail shape. There are various shapes you could opt for such as, square, round, oval, almond, among others. Filing around the edges is also important as it will for smooth application.

  1. Push cuticles back

You can do this using a cuticle stick to push your nails back and make your nail plate more visible. Also use the cuticle pusher to remove dead skin from your nail plate to help maintain the cuticles. Afterwards apply cuticle oil to nourish the skin surrounding your nails. Cuticle oil is an essential especially for gel manicure and should be applied daily if possible.

  1. Buff the nails

Buffing helps provide a smooth surface for application. It also helps the nails to bond with the gel polish.

  1. Clean your nails

 Cleaning your nails before application is very important. This is because there might be dust residue from filing and buffing and oil residue from the cuticle oil. These residues or any other impurities might cause the polish to lift prematurely. Therefore ensure you clean your nails thoroughly with acetone or cleanser before applying the base coat. This is because acetone dehydrates the nails therefore making the gel polish adhere more to them.

  1. Apply the base coat

The base coat is the first layer of polish to be applied to your nails. It helps the gel polish to adhere properly and to last as long as possible. For application, apply a thin layer of the base coat on your nails and dry it under the UV lamp for about 1 minute. Drying your nails under the UV lamp allows your nails to harden in a uniform way since air-drying might make them harden unevenly. Work in smooth vertical strips and wipe off any base coat that goes on the surrounding skin. Also ensure that you seal the open edges of your nail to prevent it from chipping or curling back off your nails.

  1. Apply the gel polish

During application, ensure you coat your nails with thin layers of the coloured gel polish without forgetting the edges of the nails. It might look streaky but that is normal for the first layer. Also be gentle so you don't get the polish onto your skin but if you do, you can clean it up with some acetone before it dries up. Make sure the application is as close to your cuticle as possible to it appears natural and seamless. It is advisable to apply at least two layers of gel polish that way it becomes more opaque. Dry the nails for at least 1 minute after applying each layer of polish. Also ensure you shake well the bottle of gel polish before application so that the formula is mixed properly.

  1. Apply the top coat

Top coat ensures that the gel polish is sealed in properly and it also gives your nails some shine that makes them look more appealing to the eyes. As your applying the top coat also ensure you go over the edges of your nails to give them a perfect seal. Afterwards dry them under the UV lamp for about two minutes to ensure that the nails have dried down properly and you can freely move without tampering with the polish.

Finish off by applying another coat if cuticle oil onto the base pf each nails. Then you’re good to go!

Follow weridi on

About The Author

profile photo

Charene Mich is a makeup enthusiast, makeup artist, digital marketer and content creator. Charlene also has a YouTube channel that she started out of her passion for beauty,hair and lifestyle content which also led her to start writing on Weridi.