Blogmas Day 3: My go-to at Home Gel Manicure

This time of year, I always find myself attending more events that are somehow dressier than other times of year. And, as my mother would say naked nails are not that cute, especially mine. I fondly refer to them as “little boy nails” because my nail beds are tiny and I can’t stand long nails unfortunately even though I think they’re BEAUtiful. Over the past 3 months I have been attempting to work my way through Dave Ramsey’s baby steps towards financial freedom and let me tell you that sh*t is no joke. During this journey, I have cut out all manicures and pedicures. Not that I ever really got them done routinely but it was often enough to sucker punch my credit card now and again.

So, a few google searches later, because yes I am a millenial, and I figured the cloud would have an answer, I found a light and some polishes with solid reviews. Fast forward 3-6 months and now I love doing my own gel manicure at home and can do it in about 20-25 minutes! I’ll tell you one thing, if you get impatient like me at the nail salon there’s nothing like throwing on a movie Sunday night and getting yo’ nails did.

Here are my tried and true items for a perfect at home gel manicure!

You need a light. There are tons out there on the market and I searched Amazon for everything in this list for two reasons. Amazon has great prices and it was simpler to check out with everything in my cart at one place. I love this light but fair warning it probably isn’t the most powerful one you can get but I find if you cure each coat/hand for a minute it does the job!

  • The pH Bond, Foundation, and Top Coat. I bought the Gelish brand which I highly recommend as this is similar to what you see in a real nail salon. These have lasted FOREVER too and the quality is great!
  • Polish colors. So far, I’ve purchased two brands of gel polish and one absolutely takes the cake in terms of quality but costs more. Gelish is my go-to brand for polish colors from now on. You can by single full sized polishes on Amazon for around $15 or you can get this brand in sample packs of multiple colors. Just beware, this brand comes out much thicker and is more difficult to cure.
  • Nail bed cleanser and polish remover. Again, I purchased the Gelish brand and definitely recommend it. I use the nail bed cleanser the most as this helps prep your nail for polish. I am a self proclaimed picker to I usually pick the polish off for a polish change before I would need to remove it.
  • Polish remover pads and clips. For the occasions where I cannot manage to pick off the polish before applying a new coat I bought these handy clips that will hold a remover soaked pad to your nail. They are so helpful for doing manicures yourself!

I bought everything from Amazon and paid less than $100 for everything! Defintiely worth the investment if you like having your nails painted without the price tag of a salon gel manicure. Plus, who doesn’t love pretty nails for the holidays!

Happy Holidays! xoxo


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