Essential Nail Supplies for Doing a Gel Manicure at Home

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Essential Nail Supplies for Doing a Gel Manicure at Home

Taking care of your look comes in many different forms, especially if you are a woman. Most often this implies, going regularly to the gym to keep in shape, visiting a professional hairdresser salon to have your hair done, buying perfume, make-up, and clothing essential for a variety of occasions. The list of things to pay attention to seems to be infinite when beauty is concerned. Out of all these, there is one tiny detail that makes a huge impression when it comes to how we present ourselves to others, and that is the appearance of our nails.

Having healthy, carefully trimmed and painted nails can make you feel great about yourself. And besides, if you have a job like working in a bank, reception, or as a cashier, your nails will be exposed to your clients and customers. Therefore, if you want to make a positive impression about your character and professionalism, you need to properly care about them.

However, many women consider going to the nail salon to have their nails done as luxury. For instance according to the consumer pricing site CostHelper.com a nail salon charges an average of $12.50 for a gel manicure and $20 for a pedicure, which can really add significant expenses if you have them regularly. If this seems like a too high price to pay, you may decide to do your nails at home. However, this means that you will have to supply yourself with the right equipment that substitutes this form of art. For instance, you can consider putting to use some of the gel polish kits that contain all the essentials for doing your nails professionally at home.

What Comes in a Gel Nail Kit?

Gel Nail Kit
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Applying regular polish paint on your nails is certainly the way to go and the most cost-effective way to beautify your nails at home, still, this technique is often short-lived as the paint often peels off in a short amount of time. For this reason, gel polishes are better suited. Most types of gel polish kits come with items that are essential for giving you natural nails the sleek and clean look you crave. Besides doing your nail with gel polish is a much more healthy and long-lasting alternative than opting for some other measures such as wearing acrylics ( or fake nails) which looks far more unattractive.

These kits usually feature a number of tools, including, dip powder, rubbing alcohol, liquid bonder, activators, top coats, and base coats as well as files and buffers for a smooth and shiny look. No matter your skill or budget you can definitely find a kit that suits your needs. When shopping for a nail polish kit set, you need to be on the lookout for the following items and tools, which I am going to describe below in the following sections.

What Supplies Do I Need to Do My Own Gel Nails?

UV/Led lamp

UV/Led lamp
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If you ever decide to do your nails at home, you need to supply yourself with a good UV/LED curing lamp. This lamp is an absolute must-have tool for the gel polishing process. “Curing” is a term that refers to the proces of drying your nails. The lamp light source emits certain chemical substances that enable the polish to dry quickly so the paint won’t chip or smudge immediately after it was applied.

Before you decide on what type of lamp to buy, you should make sure you chose a brand gel polish paint that is compatible with the Led lamp design and features. According to many studies, Led lights are much safer than UV lamps. Usually, it takes anywhere from 8-10 minutes for UV lights to dry the polish while for Led lamps the process requires only 30-45 seconds. Still, most gel polishes are more compatible with the UV lamp design, as these emit a wider spectrum of wavelengths that can cure all types of gel polish.

Cuticle Pusher

Cuticle Pusher
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A cuticle pusher is a handy nail care tool included in all gel manicure sets. As its name suggests the main purpose of this tool is to push the excess skin from your nail back to help your nails grow stronger and achieve a longer and more attractive shape. You can also use its pointed sharp edge to clean the dirt under the nails. Most types of cuticle pushers are made out of steel or wood.

When it comes to the durability factor, steel cuticle pushers are best suited as they are best for tough hard cuticles in comparison to the wooden ones which make a better option for soft cuticles. For best results, in addition to using this tool, you should apply a specific type of cuticle remover lotion to soften the skin area so you can push the skin back more easily.

Cuticle Trimmer

Cuticle Trimmer
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The next step is followed by the removal of the cuticles with a cuticle trimmer. Now that you have the excess skin pushed you can get it neatly removed with the cuticle cutter. This a handy device that features a sharp razor at the end that is used to trim off dead skin at the cuticles or to cut off hangnails. This tool requires absolute precise movements as a quick slip can cause severe cuts considering the fact that the razor end is very sharp. It’s best to use magnifying glass over your hand so you make sure you don’t end up accidentally cutting off live skin.

Nail Buffer

Nail Buffer
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Before you proceed on with applying any kind of base paint or gel you need to make sure the surface of your nail is smooth and naturally shiny. For this reason, you need to start with the nail buffing technique that involves buffing your nails with specific nail files and buffers to create an even surface and to define the shape of your nails. Buffers usually have three sides that are crucial for obtaining the best result in the process including a rough, smooth, and shiner side that all serve a different purpose.

This beauty tool utilizes a gritty surface that aims to give your nails a shiny appearance, which is achieved primarily through the proces of friction and sanding on the nail surface. Still, you need to be aware to not overdo this technique as you can easily thin the natural protective coat of your nails thereby making them more brittle and prone to breakage.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing Alcohol
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After you created a nice and smooth surface and had your nails beautifully shaped you can clean your nails with rubbing alcohol before you decide to apply gel polish. Besides being used in the procedure of removing regular nail polish rubbing alcohol helps to remove thoroughly from your nails all the natural oils and file residuals so the final result after the polish won’t show any bumps. In other words, it prepares your nail surface to look clean and shiny before the next important step.

Base Coat

Base Coat
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Base coating is a technique that involves applying a coating that serves as a base layer before you apply the gel polish. This in turn helps the gel to bind with the natural nail which will ensure that your nails last as long as possible. Besides, when you pair a long-lasting polish with a top coat this can help the colour to last longer by protecting it from the harmful UV rays and also protect the surface of your nails from water and other things your hands regularly come in touch with.

Gel Polish

Gel Polish
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Finally, you’ve come to the last step which means applying the final coat, the gel polish. This is also the most fun part of all as you need to decide on the right colours and design of gel polish your want to apply. Nail gel polishes come in a palette of colours in all shades, from dark blue and reds to bright pastels and shiny tones. Depending on your occasion you can choose the colour that suits your style and taste. Nude tones are usually preferred for everyday wear and more casual occasions. Once you’ve mastered the nail gel application, you can also try nail art which involves painting, decorating, and embellishing your nails with a variety of designs over your nails for an even more outstanding effect.