For anyone who loves their nails but prefers a natural look, a gel nail polish could be the best choice. Instead of acrylic nails or gel tips which are high maintenance, gel nail polish looks more natural and seamless on the nails. In this text, we will teach you how to apply gel nail polish and do easy gel manicures at home.

What is Gel Nail Polish?

Gel nail polish is very similar to classic lacquer. The gel manicure technique starts the same: nails are filed, prepared, and primed. Afterward, the gel polish is applied directly onto the nail plates. The difference between gel nail polish and lacquer is that gel nail polish is cured by LED or UV light after every coat is applied.

This keeps the gel nail polish “locked” on nail plates which means that it dries instantly and provides long-lasting results for up to two or three weeks.
How long does the gel nail polish last?
Since each coat that is applied to the nail plates is curated between 30 and 60 seconds, the gel nail polish will not move until your next manicure. Depending on your personal nail growth, the gel nail polish might last up to three weeks, but it is usually recommended that you do your gel polish maintenace every two weeks. With gel manicures done every two weeks, you can expect fresh-looking and most natural results.

Can I do gel nail polish at home?

Doing gel nail polish at home seems like an excellent idea for everyone who likes DIY beauty. However, to perfect the skill of doing gel manicures at home, you need the right supplies and perhaps a lot of patience to nurture the skill. Usually, supplies needed for doing gel nail polish at home are:

  • files and buffers for shaping the nails;
  • cuticle pusher;
  • cuticle oil;
  • primer (base coat);
  • gel nail polish;
  • alcohol wipes;
  • UV or LED lamp;
  • top coat.

The technique is similar to every other manicure – you start with preparation and filing the nails, and afterward apply the gel polish colour and cure after every coat applied.

It is essential to highlight that the coats needed for the perfect manicure might differ from color to color. For darker shades, it might be necessary to apply three or four thin layers of gel nail polish and then cure in between for 60 seconds.

How to do gel nail polish at home: step-by-step

  • Start by preparing the nails using the files and the buffers. Remove any residue oil on the nail plates and dust off the excess.
  • Push the nail cuticles using the cuticle pusher. Important note: be gentle. If you are beginning to do your nails at home, you might want to skip this step.
  • Apply the base coat, put the hand under the UV or LED lamp, and cure for 30 seconds.
  • Apply the thin layer of gel nail polish carefully. Afterward, cure under the UV or LED lamp for up to 60 seconds. Depending on desirable color saturation, repeat these steps. Apply two or three layers of gel nail polish for richer and bolder colors. Cure under the UV or LED lamp for 30 seconds after every coat applied.
  • Apply the top coat and cure for 30 seconds.
  • Cleanse your nails with alcohol wipes. This will prevent your freshly curated nails from any potential sanitary problems.
  • Put the cuticle oil onto the cuticles. This final touch will make your fresh nails pop and keep them extra nourished.
  • Optionally, you can finish with the light hand cream for an extra comfortable finish.

Why is my gel nail polish having trouble curing?

There are two most common reasons gel nail polish is not curing under the UV or LED lamp. First, you applied the coat too bulky, so the light can’t cure the layer properly. Always try to be precise and apply the thinnest layer possible. Because you will be repeating this step, applying the gel nail polish lightly onto the nail plates is very important.

The second reason gel nail polish might have trouble curing is the malfunction of the lamp. If the UV or LED light is too old, you must replace it. Always check the bulbs and replace them if necessary.

What if my gel nail polish is still wet, lumpy, or wrinkled?

The gel nail polish is not supposed to be wet, lumpy, or wrinkled after curing. If this is the case, you didn’t cure it properly after the first layer. As we mentioned before, the thinnest possible application and then curing for up to 60 seconds. Try to be precise as you can be and always remove the excess while applying the gel nail polish onto the nails.

The gel nail polish is supposed to give you a glossy finish just like the lacquer, but with easy drying and maintenance. If you are having trouble with your gel nail polish or considering booking an appointment at the beauty salon instead of DIY, contact us at Whether you want to fix your beauty DIY attempts at manicures or are just looking for a professional beauty salon, our professionals are always here to help you.