DIY Gel Manicure

Guys. We made it to Thursday.

Snaps for us because I don’t know about you, but this has been one long work week for me. And I’m definitely ready for some relaxation.

One of my fave ways to relax is to kick back, tune out the world, and paint my nails.

And also to be honest I’m way too cheap to pay for a manicure.

I get maybe 2-3 salon manicures a year if that. I’m into the concept and love when they massage your arms, but I can’t justify the price. By the time you’ve tipped you’re at least $20 deep. It makes me cringe especially because my nails grow so fast so investing that much money in my nails makes zero sense.

$20 every other week means $40 a month – totaling up to just under $500 a year. Let that sink in.

Because I’m cheap I also have to be thrifty! At first I actually invested in an entire at home gel kit. We’re talking the little light box and everything.

You guys it was so ridiculous. Gel is notoriously finicky and I’m a total slob. I got that ish everywhere and it burned.

I was browsing the Walgreens down the street from my office when I bumped into an entire shelf of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. And just to be clear – this post is not sponsored. I’m just so freaking obsessed.

Let me sum it up for you real quick: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is a two step process to getting at home gel nails no light required.

Nailed it (pun intended).

Choose your nail shape.

I’m super boring when it comes to my nail shape. When I do my DIY manicure I almost always go for a short square shaped nail.

I’m not going to lie though – there’s something about a pointed nail that seems super interesting to me. I’m basically obsessed with everything Lydia Millen does and she’s been rocking the pointed nails for a while.

I also am no where near as much of a lady as she is so there’s that…

Buff & file your nails.

Once you’ve picked out a nail shape it’s time to buff and file those bad boys down.

I’m not super precise when I trim my nails so filing is incredibly important to get a good shape. I also like to buff the top of my nails. This helps me to have a smooth surface for the polish to glide over when painting.

Give yourself the spa treatment: lotion & a massage.

I know, I know. It’s obviously better when other people give you a massage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yo self just a little.

I like to grab an aromatherapy lotion like this one or this one. and make sure my hands and arms are moisturized. I’ll massage the lotion into my arms one at a time, taking my time and really working out any tension I have in my arms.

I know it sounds weird – but just try it. I swear it relaxes me and makes me feel like I’m having an at home spa moment.

Pick your base color.

I still love to pop into that local Walgreens and stand in front of the Sally Hansen shelf. There are so many colors

Honestly the polishes aren’t crazy cheap (although they are half the cost of one standard manicure). But at $10 a pop I’ve been slowly collecting shades.

This time around I went for a dainty nude color, but I’m also into the bronzey colors and the deep reds.

Apply two coats of polish.

Miracle Gel is super simple – apply your base coat and add the gel on top for instant thickness and shine.

Some of the colors are more opaque than others, but I tend to apply two coats of the base color. Honestly with this nude color I really should’ve done three coats to keep it from looking see through.

Add the gel top coat.

Add the top coat – BOOM. I told you the actual tutorial was simple.

The top coat comes in the black bottle. You can either buy it on its own or they sell some colors in a two pack with the top coat – a great deal if you’re buying for the first time. The top coat is completely clear and you apply it like any other top coat.

Except it dries to a gel like finish, no light required.

Ugh I’m so glad I don’t have that stupid light box anymore.

Clean up any oopsies.

When I used to mess up with actual gel polish it was a nightmare. Real gel was not easy to get off my nails if I made a mistake (or my skin).

What I love with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is that even though it looks like gel, it removes just like a normal polish. If I mess up I just take a little nail polish remover on a cotton pad and go to town.

How often do you get your nails done? What other DIY at home beauty tricks do you love to do? Tell me in the comments below!

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