Home » A Simple Guide to DIY Gel Extensions at Home

A Simple Guide to DIY Gel Extensions at Home

by Grace D

Doing gel nails at home is similar to going to a nail salon. Furthermore, as long as you have the right equipment and the patience to learn, you’ll find this a lot of fun. Maintaining a regular manicure routine at home helps keep your nails healthy and strong. This could be your best opportunity to learn and master DIY gel nail polishing.  

Getting gel nails done differs from traditional nail polish procedures in that no equipment is required. For a flawless at-home gel manicure, you’ll need the following items: LED lamp or UV Lamp, nail buffer, glass or crystal files, cuticle oil, orangewood sticks or stainless-steel filers, rubbing alcohol, base coat, topcoat, and gel polish colors. 

Nail Polish, Nail Gel, Fingernails, Manicure, Paint 

Now that you know what you will need for a home gel manicure, here’s a step-by-step guide on doing your gel nails at home. 


Prep Your Nails 

Preparing your nails before the gelling process is critical because it is not something you can do after applying the gel polish; otherwise, you would immediately ruin your gel manicure if you tried. 

Prepare your nails by:  

Cutting your Nails – For a uniform look, use a clean nail cutter to trim the extra-long extensions of your nails. 

Shaping your Nails -When it comes to making your gel extensions last longer, the shape of your nail is essential. You need a file to shape your nails. File your nails to the shape you prefer, whether round, pointed, square, almond, or oval. 


Apply Cuticle Oil 

Cuticle oil makes it easier to push your cuticles back, allowing your nail bed to be more exposed to gel polish. Massage your nail with a drop of cuticle oil, then gently push your cuticles back with the edge of a file. 

Cosmetics, Oil, Nail Oil, For Cuticles, High Quality

After applying cuticle oil, thoroughly wash your hands to remove the oil from your nails. This is a critical step, and any oil you leave behind can cause your gel nails to lift. 


Buff Your Nails 

A buffer has three crucial sides in the buffing process: a rough side, a smooth side, and a shiner side. The smoothness of your nail is essential. However, buff your nails to make them rough before applying the polish for the best results. 

As you move the buffer from the base of your nail to the edges, use the roughest part of the buffer to buff the surface of your nail. However, don’t overdo it, as depending on the abrasiveness of the buffer, you can easily thin your nails. Continue buffing until your nail bed is free of unevenness and blemishes. If your nails are already even, you can skip this step. Use the buffer’s smooth parts to achieve a smooth finish. 


Wipe Your Nails With Rubbing Alcohol 

Buffing generates a lot of dust, which can impede the gelling process. Fortunately, rubbing alcohol can remove the dust from the nail. While anything with a 70 percent alcohol content or higher can work, rubbing alcohol with a 91 percent alcohol content is ideal for this task. 

Applying the rubbing alcohol is simple, but you must do it thoroughly. After cleaning your hands with warm water and hand soap, gently dry them with a soft cloth. Then, dab a cotton pad with alcohol and gently wipe each fingernail. Make sure that no cotton strands become attached to the nail bed. If they do, take them out. 

However, because alcohol dries quickly, you won’t have to wait long for each fingernail to dry. Repeat the process for the remaining fingers to achieve dry, clean nails free of oils and ready for base coating. 


Apply Base Coat 

You cannot skip this critical step of applying a base coat. If you do not use a base coat, your gel nail will not adhere to your nail bed. Start by having a thin layer of base coat. Make sure it’s applied evenly across the entire nail. Otherwise, there will be a gap where the colored gel polish will not adhere when you apply it. 

After applying the base coat, use your LED cure lamp to cure the nail for about 30 seconds. This time varies depending on the lamp you’re using. After curing, the gel base coat is supposed to be sticky. It’s a common misconception that the base coat should feel dry after curing. 


Apply Gel Polish 

After your base coat has dried, it’s time for the exciting part: applying gel polish. Apply a thin layer of gel polish with care so that it does not accidentally touch your cuticles. Make sure to use the gel polish evenly on all of your fingernails. 

woman doing manicure

Manicurists will sometimes paint the entire hand before curing it under a lamp. They will sometimes paint and cure each nail individually. Each approach is acceptable; it is entirely up to you. 

However, despite when you choose to cure your nails, it would be best if you cured them for the time recommended by your curing lamp. If no time is specified, then 30 seconds is the standard amount of time. 


Apply The Topcoat 

person doing manicure

Applying the topcoat guarantees that the cover you’re about to apply protects all of your nail work. While carefully sealing your nail tips, apply a light layer of the topcoat over the colored gel polish. It’s a simple trick for extending the life of your nail polish. 

After that, smooth the layer over and cure with the LED cure lamp you previously used and add a few drops of cuticle oil for an extra hydrating finish. 



Massage cuticle oil around your nails frequently to help nourish your skin, stopping them from drying and keeping them looking healthy. 

Remember that hot water isn’t your best friend when you have a gel manicure because it removes gel polish faster. If at all possible, avoid it. 



It is necessary to plan ahead of time when performing DIY gel nails at home. Before you begin, make sure you have all of the essential tools—the better your tools, the better the results. But the gel polish you select is what matters most. 

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