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How-To: At Home Gel Manicures

I am a devout gel mani enthusiast and regularly do them at home. People are always asking me where I get my nails done and are surprised to learn that I do them myself. It is SO much easier than you’d think. Those contemplating buying a kit for home, I would highly suggest it. I wanted to share just how easy it is with my step by step tutorial:

(Just a heads up- I use a combination of OPI Axxium and Gelish products. Gel manicures consist of a base coat, nail color, and top coat. Mixing products is not totally taboo)

(My friend Stephanie sent this to me! ^ I died when I saw it, I had to share :))

Okay, so here are my nails at the start. I had experimented with tips the week before so they were looking pretty rough to begin with…

1) Using a buffing cube and nail file- buff and shape your nails until they are smooth on top and have your desired shape/look.

2) There is a clear, liquid solution that is applied to your nails before you begin applying any polish- it helps dry out the nail so the gel will adhere (I apologize, I forgot to photograph it-nothing too exciting lol).

3) Base coat. This is a Gelish Mini Foundation base coat- apply a thin layer to all nails on your first hand without touching the surrounding skin or cuticles.

4) Cure nails in the UV light for about a minute.

*TIP* Don’t touch your nails with anything but the polish brushes throughout the manicure until they are completely done, beacuse they will be tacky each time they come out of the UV light.

5) Paint your first coat of color onto all five nails, again making sure to refrain from touching the edges of your nails or cuticles. I chose to use “Exhale” a Gelish Mini color.

6) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

7) Apply second coat of color.

8) Cure under UV lamp for another minute.

9) Apply a thin layer of clear gel top coat. I use the OPI Axxium top coat.

10) Cure for 2 minutes.

11) Spray all 5 nails with the nail cleansing solution to help remove any tacky-sticky residue. I use the NAS-99 nail cleanser that comes with the OPI Axxium starter kit.

12) Rub each nail with a cotton ball to remove the solution and tackiness.

13) Repeat steps 1-12 on your second hand.

And there you have it! Your nails are 100% dry, super shiny, and should last for about 2 weeks!

If you have a steady hand and like to do your own manicures, I would highly suggest investing in your own gel manicure system, it is definitely affordable and worth every penny! 🙂

Does anyone else do their own nails at home?

**UPDATE**

I wrote this post last Friday and waited a week to share so I would have an updated picture. Here are my nails this morning… 8 days later 🙂

They are still flawless, but I’m so tempted to paint them a new color! Decisions, decisions 🙂

3 Mascara Reviews: I have a new fave!

Every woman wants long, luscious lashes, and there are hundreds of products on the market that promise to elongate them. However, many of those products don’t exactly work. I’m lucky to have fairly long lashes to begin with, but I still love to go to town with my mascara, and make them look even longer.

Over the holidays I got three new mascaras, and was surprised to find a new favorite!

Check out my reviews below…

1) NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara ($1.99)

NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara
NYC Brush
Left Eye (pre-mascara)
Lashes Post NYC

2) Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum & Primer ($28)  Diorshow Mascara (090 Rich Black) $24.50

DiorShow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum & Primer and DiorShow (090 black)
DiorShow brushes
Step 1: DiorShow Maximizer
Post DiorShow

3) Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Curl & Lengthen Mascara ($18.00)

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Curl & Lengthen Mascara
Bare Minerals brush
Lashes post Bare Minerals

(I was just swatching these mascaras, so excuse my not-so-perfect, crooked-looking lashes. I usually spend more time on them)

Conclusion:

I thought I was going to LOVE DiorShow, but I don’t like how it made my lashes so clumpy. The NYC mascara is perfect to just throw in your bag for everyday use. But my absolute favorite was the Bare Minerals! I don’t usually use Bare Escentual products, so I’m glad I got the chance to try this mascara out. The brush hits every lash- and when you have enough time to apply it correctly, they look amazing! I highly recommend; this product is definitely a keeper!

What kind of mascara do you use?

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