EASY DIY Japanese Gel Nail Art At Home

Ok, enjoying a nice salon manicure nowadays may not be an option for many right now. If you cannot support your local nail tech (or nail gang), here is a quick and easy design for you to dazzle your digits. We’ll use Japanese gel, studs, crystals, and mica flakes. Click play and enjoy this easy DIY Japanese Gel Manicure.

Prep nails

As you know, long-lasting nails depend on thorough nail prepping. I started my set from scratch, removed the old product flat, wiped it with 90% alcohol, and removed all dried skin. Now I am moving to the base gel application.

Building the nail.

I’m kind of cheating here because I am using this three-in-one builder base from Kokoist, color peach base. I am applying a generously thin layer and adding a second bead for structure.

I started with the idea of using Gelip nail tips by Kokoist, and just for funsies. I was going to use polygel to adhere the tips to my natural nails; however, the polygel was pooling at the free edge. I know I can’t live with that for 3+ weeks. Also, polygel is super sticky, so make sure you are using gloves when you use it.

After an hour of trial and error, I decided to move on and work with my nails. I wanted long nails, like almost calling my non-existent nail artists and paying $80-100 so she could do my nails precisely like this. That’s why I think manicures aren’t going anywhere; clients will keep returning to treat their nails like this.

Mica Flakes.

Ok, after applying the peach base, I decided to reach for rainbow mica flakes; these are from Kokoist too. When you use these flakes, don’t press down too hard on them because they will start crackling, and I don’t like that look at all (it reminds me of crackling nail polish from back in the day, nope).

I’m gently going over the mica flakes with the base brush to dull out the mica flakes and using a small amount of product. I didn’t want them super shiny because I am adding crystals next.

Non-Wipe Matte Top Coat
Next, I applied one layer of Non-Wipe Matte Top Coat from Leafgel; Kokoist also has a great matte formula. (You can use PPN10 here for a 10% discount.)

3D Art.

I want to add crystals, a 3D type, to these nails, so I am reaching for my Leafgel Fix gel, the purple bow cap, to do Bijou-kind nail art. I know nail artist Riyo does a great job using charms and creating her own for this type of nail art.

I am grabbing a small dollop of fixing gel to apply the metal frames. I like these frames because they are already curved, and you can find them on Daily Charme. Then, I will add more gold studs and Swarovski crystals.

For the thumb, I am doing a crystal cluster. To do that, grab a medium-sized bead of fixing gel and place it on the nail; then, you will arrange the crystals and studs to cover the bead of gel. Add them to the sides and the top. I like to use non-flatback crystals here because of the shape; they stay perfectly in place. Once you are happy with the placement, flash cure with a hand lamp and follow with a full cure.

You can add these to all your nails or just do it as I did and opt for the accent nails. I like to place 3D art in areas where I know they will not be uncomfortable or get stuck when using my hands, like the thumbs or ring fingers.


I am adding a layer of base gel to encapsulate the charms to secure everything in place. Make sure to just go around the crystals and not over them because you will dull the shine. I am fully cured, and now I am ready for a topcoat application.

I am using the Kokoist x Nail Thoughts Top Coat. This gel has a thicker viscosity, and I want that to add an extra layer of protection and seal the studs and crystals again. Also is super shinny, so just wipe off the inhibition layer after curing. This is a wiping topcoat.

If you are interested in trying Kokoist products, use code PPN10 for a 10% discount 😉

Im adding cuticle oil, and we’re done with my simple Japanese nail art demo. Let me know in the comment section if you like these! Thank you for joining me, and I’ll see you in the next one. Bye for now…

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Content written by Paola Ponce

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