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DIY Nails at Home

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

I started doing my nails at home in high school to save money because it was something I was interested in learning how to do. I have now been doing my own nails for over five years. It’s not hard and easy to get the hang of. I currently like to use builder gel as my base, but I’ve used acrylic, nail tips, and dip.

The first big thing you will need is a light to cure your nails. I’ve had mine since I started doing my own nails and it works great. I use the Gelish Mini Pro. I would suggest getting a good light because they can last you a long time like mine has. Mine was $62 and I would say that I got my moneys worth out of it.

The next thing you will need is a nail kit or you can buy everything separately. I usually mix brands together, but I think I started out with the ASP started gel nail kit. I still think this is a great brand and have bought a lot of products from them since starting my nail journey. The kit is on the pricier side, but my nails were averaging $45-$50 when I would get them done at the nail salon, so this saves you a lot of money in the long run. This kit also comes with very simple step-by-step directions. If you want something other than gel polish to build your nails up a bit or to lengthen them you will also need to buy that.

My builder of choice is a gel builder which is also from the brand ASP. I use their Nail Builder Curing Gel with calcium. I love this builder because it applies like gel polish, can be used to lengthen nails, and is really strong. They offer this product in colors or clear, so if you only want to use the builder and want a little color they have an option for you.

Here’s my process using the builder gel:

  • Buff out nails to remove shine and push back cuticles

  • Shape nails

  • Use dehydrator

  • Use bonder

  • Apply 2 coats of builder gel and cure after each layer

  • Apply 2 coats of gel polish and cure after each layer

  • Apply top coat and cure

  • Wipe clean with cleanser

This process usually takes me about an hour and if I’m doing designs sometimes a little longer. Here are some of my recent nails that I’ve done:

Written By: Crystal Lord

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