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As a 30-something mom--I really enjoy getting my nails done. In my younger days, my go to nail service was to get acrylics nails done at a local salon. This was something I did several times a month. The process of getting and removing acyilics caused so much damage to my natural nail that they are always breaking and brittle. A few years ago, my mom suggested that instead of acrylic nails that I try a Gel Manicure. The cost of Gel nails are comparable to acrylics--so I decided to give it a shot.

Gel manicures usually last up to 14 days and can be done in many salons. I really enjoyed going to the salon and spending a little time of ME but I just could not justify the cost of getting my nails done every few weeks any longer. I would go to the salon twice a month for a Gel Manicure and over the last 2 years have easily spent over $1000!!!!

The average cost of a Gel Manicure in a salon is between $35-$45 (not including tip).

The Gelish Basix Kit and Mini LED Light cost me about $78. This kit has already paid for itself in TWO at home manicures!!!!! Gel polish by Gelish ranges from $10-$15 but cheaper brands can be found online and instores--Gelish just happens to be my favorite. While I will miss the time at the salon and the conversation with the amazing nail techs--I can no longer spend my time or money in this way--there are so many other things I can be doing!!!!

Although the upfront cost of the kit may be a bit of a shock--it really is money well spent! I can get a quick, cheap, and fun manicure in the comfort of my own home--I no longer have to to get in the car and go!!!! I can do it all on my own and get a salon quality manicure while I sit in front of the television or talk on the phone!!!!

**Disclaimer**

While Gelish Polish is safe to use on your nails, it is important to not get on your skin. If you get the polish on your skin--take a Q-Tip wit acetone to remove the polish. The LED Lamp may also cause a burning sensation during the curing process. This only lasts for a few seconds and does not mean your nails are burning or being damaged--it is simply the gels curing to the nail.

Step 1: What Are You Going to Need:

To get started on my Gel Manicure Kit, I went to Sally's Beauty and purchased the following items and as a Sally's Beauty member I was able to get extra discounts on my purchase:

Gelish Mini Basix Kit--$44.99

Includes:

.9 ml Gelish Foundation

.9 ml Gelish Top It Off

.9 ml Gelish pH Bond

.9 ml Gelish Nourish

.60 ml Gelish Cleanse

.60 ml Gelish Acetone Remove

Mini Wooden File, Orangewood Stick, Plastic Pusher, and Prep Tabs

Gelish Mini On the Go LED Light (Pro 45)--$34.99

Gelish Mini Soak Off Gel Nail Polish in Radiance Is My Middle Name and Never Too Grey

Step 2: Prep Your Area

Make sure that when you are giving yourself a Gel Manicure that you have plenty of room as well as all of the tools that you need to complete your manicure. It is a good idea to set aside 15-20 minutes to complete your manicure.

Depending on the type of curing lamp you have--you will want to be close to an outlet to plug in.

A nice, clean, and level surface is the best place to get your manicure on!!!

Step 3: Prep Your Nails

It is important to make sure the surface of your natural nails are clean and free of dust and shine.

Apply the Gelish Cleanser onto a lint free wipe to clean off nails.

Take your plastic pusher or orangewood stick to push back cuticles--you may need to trim cuticles (if necessary).

Shape your natural nail with a file and remove the shine on the natural nail with a buffing block or cusion file.

Apply the Gelish Cleanser one more time to that lint free wipe and remove any dust or particles from your nail.

Step 4: Apply Gelish PH Bond

Apply Gelish pH Bond to the natural nail. The pH Bond is applied to dehydrate the nail and remove any excess moisture to ensure that the gel cures properly to the nail.

Step 5: Apply Gelish Foundation Gel

Now it is time to apply a thin coat of Gelish Foundation Gel to the natural nail. It is important to lightly stroke over the top of the nail to seal the edges. The Foundation Gel secures adhesion while not damaging the natural nail plate. If Gelish Foundation Gel gets on the finger--it is important to take the orangewood stick and clean up the cuticle or under the nail as this will cure to the skin.

Step 6: Cure Gelish Foundation Gel

Now you must place your fingers in the Mini LED Light for 45 seconds. It is recommended that you cure your four fingers first and than you can cure your thumbs at the same time. The Pro 45 Mini LED light is especially designed to effciently cure products from the Gelish Mini system. The Mini Light is timed to 45 seconds.

Step 7: Apply Gelish Soak Off Gel Polish

Apply a THIN layer of the Gelish Soak Off Gel Polish of your choice. It is important to polish from cuticle to free edge of nail. If the application of polish is TOO THICK it will cause the gel to not cure properly.

Gelish brand gel polish has tons of color choices and there are many soak off gel polish brands.

Step 8: Cure Gel Polish

Place your fingers in the Pro 45 Mini LED light to cure the polish. This lamp again only needs 45 seconds. However, depending on the thickness of the application it may require an additional 45 seconds.

In my opinion, an extra few seconds won't hurt anyone!!!

Oh and as a reminder--Don't TOUCH!!! The surface of each nail will remain tacky when cured--this isn't a surprise!!

Step 9: Repeat Step 7 & 8

Once cured--apply another thin layer of gel polish to your nail. Usually the first application appears very thin--this second application will make the polish appear darker and more even.

Step 10: Apply Gelish Top It Off

There are actually TWO types of Top It Off--regular and Matte. I used the Matte version on my ring finger to add a little depth in my manicure. This will reduce the shine of the gel polish. The regular Top It Off is a high shine gel top coat. When applying the different layers of gel--it is important to apply from cuticle to free edge and run the brush acrossed the tip to ensure the gel has a seal.

Step 11: Final Curing of the Top It Off

Place your fingers back into the Mini Light for 45 seconds for the final step of the curing process. Again, it may be necessary to cure for additional time depending on the thickness of the gel that was applied.

Step 12: Clean the Finish Nail

Now you will cleanse the finished nail with the Gelish Cleanser to remove the tacky feeling that will be left behind throughout the curing process. This step will not remove the gel polish unless the nail was not properly cured. If the color comes off when removing the tacky residue, the nail did not properly cure. You will want to remove the gel with the cleanser and restart the process by starting with Step 4.

Step 13: Finish It Off With Gelish Nourish

Finish off your new manicure with Gelish Nourish Cuticle Oil surrounding your nail. Gelish nourish rehydrates and restores essential oils in the cuticle and skin surrounding the nail with a blend of Grapeseed Oil, Sesame, and Vitamin E.

Step 14: Grand Finale!!!!!

Now your Gelish at Home Manicure is COMPLETE and you just saved yourself some money!!!

Your manicure should last up to 14 days and can be removed just as easily as it was applied--this really is salon quality at a fraction of the price!!!!

Just a reminder--Links to all the the supplies are included in Step 1!

<p>Great tutorial. Very well written and documented. I hope that you will post most instructables in the future.</p>
<p>Hi there!!!</p><p>Thank you for your kind comments and feedback!!! I really enjoyed creating this!!! I look forward to creating more in the future!!!!!</p>
<p>Hi! Nice work! How long do these steps take to complete? </p>
Thank you so much!!! I had a rough time getting back into this section to respond to your comment. My Manicures usually take about 20 minutes to complete. There seems like a lot of steps but it certainly is worth it!!!
<p>Nice job, Mel! I think my daughter will like your tutorial.</p>

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