Try THIS Tuesday: Mary’s Favorite At-Home Gel Manicure Kit (Painted & Dried in Under 10 Minutes)
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Note from Collin:
Do you have a product you love? We definitely have many favorite products here on the Hip2Save Team, and thought it would be FUN to share some of them with you! I personally love product recommendations and I’ve also had a few requests from readers, so I have asked each member of the team to think of products they love (cosmetics, kitchen gadgets etc.) and to write up a post that will be shared here every Tuesday. Mary, my sidekick, is sharing one of her favorites today…
Hey there! It’s Mary, one of Collin’s sidekicks!
Do you have a hard time getting your nails to not break or not chip a couple days after they’re painted? Or don’t have time to wait 30 minutes for your nails to dry? OR do you think you’re beautiful nails are finally dry and then go and fold laundry only to later find them smudged and you have to start over 🙋 😳? Or do you go to the salon regularly but just don’t like paying those hefty salon costs?
First of all… I am no hand model (whoops! should have listened to mom when she told me not to pop those knuckles growing up! 😬) and I’m not the most experienced when it comes to gorgeous and creative nails, especially with all those fun nail designs you see nowadays on Pinterest or YouTube.
…if you said yes above, you may be interested in one of my favorite DIY nail products – the MelodySusie LED Nail Dryer. This nail dryer allows me to paint my nails using Gel polish and it cures them in just 30-60 seconds and manicures last up to 2 weeks without chipping! I can do an entire manicure (prepping, painting & applying top coat) in under 10 minutes – NO waiting for them to dry!
(Day 1 before doing my accent finger vs. Day 8)
As an active and busy mom of 3, I am always using my hands and/or banging them on something – whether, it’s doing dishes, folding laundry, shopping, typing, working out, throwing a football, etc. Before using this nail dryer with gel polish, I would paint my nails with regular polish and a top coat, but without fail I would either smudge them, crack a nail, or have the polish chip shortly after 🙄.
Also, I have always loved the look of French Manicures and have recently started experimenting with Gel French Manicures at home using my LED lamp and these polishes. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the results considering I am able to pay a fraction of the cost that I would pay at the salon! And I really love this Base & No Wipe Top Coat as it dries without a tacky feel (i.e. no alcohol wiping needed)!
Don’t get me wrong – a trip to the salon to get pampered is sometimes just worth the cost (I used to go every few weeks and would fork out $40-$70/trip, depending on if my daughter went with me! 😯). But this nail dryer/gel polishes has saved us quite a bit of money and lots of time too!
Also, my beautiful 14-year-old daughter (who really teaches me a lot when it comes to being fashionable these days 😬) loves doing her nails too, so it’s a win-win for both of us! 😀 Not to mention, we have had some great conversations while doing our nails in the bathroom.
Here are a few application tips that work for me…
- Prep your nails – be sure to file, buff, clip & push back cuticles and clean with alcohol
- Apply a gel base coat and cure with LED lamp
- Wipe nails with lint-free cotton ball dipped in alcohol
- Paint nails with desired gel color – be sure that NO gel polish gets on your skin or creates a “pool” of extra polish at the base of your cuticle. If you get excess on your skin, take a brush dipped in alcohol and wipe it off your skin and base of cuticle
- Cure polish under lamp for 30-60 seconds and repeat until both hands are done
- Apply gel top coat and cure with LED lamp
- Wipe nails with lint-free cotton ball dipped in alcohol (if necessary)
- That’s it!
SO, how do you remove gel polish?
Although gel polish takes a little bit of effort to remove, I have found that my nails are still able to grow longer and be stronger whenever I do a gel manicure rather than just a regular polish. However, here are a few tips for removal to ensure that your nails are not damaged in the process:
- Don’t leave polish on too long – The longer you leave it on, the harder it is to get off. I recommend up to 2 weeks is a good wear time.
- Do NOT peel gel polish off! – As tempting as it may be, peeling actually takes off the gel polish as well as the top layer of your delicate nail cells.
- Get the right tools – You’ll need 100% acetone, cotton balls, foil and a wood nail stick
- Protect your cuticles – Create a barrier between your cuticles and the acetone using Vaseline or Aquaphor which will help from damaging and drying out your cuticles during the process
- Let them soak – Be sure to get maximum strength acetone, which sells for a few dollars at Walmart or Amazon. You can fill a glass bowl and dip your fingers in the bowl for 15-45 minutes or you can put a soaked cotton ball on top of each nail. Once wet, grab pieces of foil and tightly wrap around nail bed, with the cotton ball situated directly on top of the nail.
- Be patient! – It might take 20, 30 or even 40 minutes to dissolve the gel properly, but your nails will not be as damaged. If the nail has soaked properly for a long amount of time, you should easily be able to wipe off the gel with firm finger-pressure only. If the gel is still being stubborn after this time, grab your wood tool and scrape the spot very gently.
- Moisturize your nails – After all the polish has been removed, be sure to moisturize your nails with nail oil or lotion. Or moisturize your nails and then allow the nails to breathe overnight.
- Repeat Manicure – I think the best manicure schedule is to do a regular manicure after every two gel manicures and repeat just to give your nails a little break in between.
Interested in doing gel manicures at home? You can purchase this MelodySusie LED Nail Dryer for just $27.99 (regularly $59.99). Also, I actually bought this MelodySusie Durable Gel Nail Polish Set in Party Queen and used code 7OVO4U5D to save 20% off the nail gel polish set – under $44 for both!
And if you’re looking for an amazing hand cream that really strengthens your nails, I highly recommend The Original Mane ‘n Tail Hoofmaker Hand & Nail Therapy Moisturizer by Straight Arrow! I used this “magic” lotion back in college and it would make my nails SO strong (I somehow forgot about it over the years but picked up a bottle recently and STILL love it!). After a few weeks of daily use, my nails are much stronger and not as brittle, especially after removing my gel manicures.
Have you used Gel nail products? What works for you?
Did you see our other Try THIS Tuesday posts?
- Lina Likes to Keep an Eye on Her Nest
- Kimberly’s Favorite Cosmetics (AND Some Tips!)
- Mary’s Favorite Kitchen Gadgets
- Angie’s Favorite Grooming Tools
- Erica’s Favorite Bathroom Gadgets for Toddlers
- Hannah’s Favorite Natural Sunscreen
- Bryn Can’t Live Without Her Scrub Daddy
- Collin Can’t Live Without THIS Peanut Butter on Her Spoon
- Angela’s Favorite Hair Brush
- Jessica Can’t Take Her Dogs on a Walk Without THIS Leash Coupler
- Lightbox Messages For Your Home Or Office ~ SO FUN!
- Michelle’s Favorite & Inexpensive Curly Hair Care Products