Alright ladies & gents, this post is going to be for my #manifam! I get asked alllllll of the time about the equipment and products I use for my gel manicures, and I realized I hadn’t posted about them in a really long time. So today I wanted to share my favorites with you.

I love doing my own nails for a couple reasons. First, it totally relaxes me. Second, I am super particular about them and just cannot stomach going into the salon for a manicure; they never come out how I want. So, a few years ago…almost 6 to be exact. I bought my first gel manicure kit!

Since then, through some trial and error, I’ve curated the best of the best (in my opinion) when it comes to everything you need for your mani from start to finish! Hint: I’m a Gelish fan. 😉

  1. UV Lamp. I still use my original lamp and I love it! I bought it on Amazon back in 2012, but can no longer find the exact model (it doesn’t help that there’s no logo or brand on it), this one however seems identical! Same shape/style, bulbs, wattage, buttons/time options…and for a great price!
  2. Dehydrator. I’ve been using the ibd dehydrator since I ran out of my Gelish pH bond, but this one works well! I think any dehydrator will get the job done.
  3. Gelish Foundation (Base Coat). I use the mini version found at Sally’s.
  4. Gelish Nail Lacquers. I love Gelish’s range of shades and their seasonal collections! Their mini’s sold at Sally’s and can be a bit pricey, but I try to stock up on new colors when they go on sale (they will last you forever & don’t thicken up like regular nailpolish).
  5. Gelish Top It Off (Top Coat). Again, this is a mini and found at Sally’s!
  6. Gelish Nail Cleanser. This is the formula used to remove the tacky surface once you’re done curing! I use the Gelish version, which yes, is available at Sally’s!

If you’re looking to build your own kit at home, you can find affordable bundle packages on Amazon! This particular kit (above) includes a dehydrator, base & top coat, cuticle oil (their Nourish oil is one of my FAVORITES!) and the cleanser! It also comes with an artificial nail remover, which I’ve never used …but it may be worth a shot? I usually soak off my manicures in 100% pure acetone which works best for me. 

There are some kits that include a lamp as well, unfortunately I couldn’t tell you how well they cure. I really love my salon grade lamp.

I hope this helps those who’ve thought about starting to do their own gel manicures at home! It just takes some practice, some patience, and a little getting used to – I think you can totally handle it! 🙂

If you’ve ever gotten a gel mani before, you know how it goes! If you’re interested in a tutorial and some of my personal tips for a flawless mani, let me know! I wrote a how-to post forever ago, but I think it may be time for an update.


6 comments on “What I Use For My Gel Manicures”

  1. Love this! So believe it or not, when I first stumbled upon your blog YEARS ago, it was via your gel mani tutorial! I bought a lamp (wish I could figure out where it’s hiding now!) and some Gelish products and I honestly have no idea why I didn’t stuck with it! I did love to switch up the colors a lot more frequently back then…Maybe now that I’m pretty religiously a dark purple kind of girl I should try another at home gel mani!

    • Oh my gosh!! That was so so long ago!! I used to buy all of the polishes as well, but like you, I pretty much stick to the same ones now. BUT! I can say that I still have every bottle and they’re absolutely still usable. You should totally dig up the lamp and give it another try! 🙂

  2. Love this and interested in trying the lamp you suggested. I have however bought two separate lamps and I’m not sure if I’m doing something wrong or my nails are horrible but everything peels right off after I’ve done all steps. Have you ever experienced this?

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