Professional Gel Manicure at Home on Natural Nails | My Secret to 4+ Weeks of Wear!

Hey there! 

Today I want to show you how to do a gel manicure at home on your natural nails. 

This is a salon style gel manicure service so it will have all the elements of how to do a professional gel manicure that is long wearing.

So first off, we are going to remove the old gel manicure.  Now my current manicure is no more than a week old but everything that I’m going to show you today has helped ensure my gel manicure services last on clients for at least three weeks… with most clients coming back in four weeks and then still few making the last till six weeks. 

In this video, I will be giving you the secret to a long-lasting gel manicure at home.  I’ve been getting a lot of requests for this kind of video so super excited to finally getting it done!

What I’m wearing here is my current gel manicure and is not even a week old (see video).  I am using primary Kokoist Products for both manicures, current and the one we’ll be creating. We’re just going to take these off and do a full procedure for you so that you can avoid any lifting or chipping and any sort of peeling of your gel manicure. 

So I’m going to begin by taking these gel nails off, you can watch a previous video of me doing the full gel removal procedure but just to give you the speedy version, basically I’m going to take a very coarse file, like a 150 grit, if you have a 100 grit you can use that too. 

I’m going to file off the majority of this gel product so that my soak off is really quick and almost damage free after which I’m going to be taking little lint-free towelettes that I already cut into small pieces.  You can definitely use cotton balls, the only reason why I like to use these lint-free towelettes is because it’s going to allow me to control the amount of acetone that I put on my natural nail.  If you grab a cotton ball, be careful you may over soak it and get it all over your skin.  One thing you have to know is that your skin is protected by an oily barrier, a natural oily barrier and acetone depletes your skin of that natural oily layer, and so what happens is that when you’re using gel nail products and you no longer have that barrier, if you get that gel nail product on your skin you sensitize yourself to the gel product. This happens over a period of time if you over expose yourself to it, so to avoid that, have maximum control and keep your acetone only on the nail product.

Now the other thing you can do to avoid exposure of acetone onto your skin is to use a cuticle oil around your nails before you apply your cotton that is soaked in the acetone.  Okay, I do recommend you use 100 acetone if you can get it, however if you want to go the extra step you can get a condition acetone, like soya.  You can get a condition acetone that has some oils in it to protect your skin from further dehydration or even the nails. 

What I’m going to be using today is actually this fragrance hand mist because it actually has a few oils in there already and it’s so light it just doesn’t even require me rubbing it on.  It’s going to add a little bit of moisture and a little bit of oil,  just enough to not make it like crazy oily. 

Again if you don’t have that cuticle oil is perfectly fine to protect your skin from the acetone especially these uh eponychium and side walls of the nail here all right let’s begin…

All right so I am back,

The next step is to give yourself a proper manicure and you don’t necessarily need any file. In fact I recommend that if you’re doing this at home you abstain from using an e-file, as you may get too aggressive and damage your nails.  

Now it is also super optional to cut off the eponychium or what you would call the cuticle.  Here I’m just going to show you how to do it very gently and remove the part of dry skin that’s actually going to cause the lifting and that’s on the nail plate.  You can use any cuticle remover or you can actually skip cuticle remover, it’s not super necessary unless you have thick or lots of cuticles or dry skin on the nail plate.

Alright, so grab your cuticle pusher, I like one that’s a little bit more thin on the end and also has a little scraping part here because I actually use it on both parts so that I’m thorough, so that I remove the dead skin which is cuticle on the nail plate for better adhesion.  

After each nail, what I like to do is to have a little lint-free towelette.  It’s very important to work with lint-free towelettes while you’re doing a gel manicure because usually if you scrub your nail or you have keratin lifting then it’ll catch some lint.  So I’m using these here by Kokoist and you want to have a little towelette so that you can wipe off any gunk each time . Be gentle, the cuticle does regress so you don’t have to be super excessive here as you will be pushing your cuticle back or your eponychium area throughout your service up until you apply that base coat.

Now I’m going to take the other end of this cuticle pusher, the scraping end and I’m going to remove my cuticle again.  If you’re new to this cuticle,  the part that’s actually on the nail plate eponychium is this little trim that you take your cuticle nippers and you nip off, that’s totally optional, you don’t need to remove this hair for great adhesion, you only need to remove the dead skin on the nail plate.

All right, so now that you think you’ve done a thorough job on your cuticle area, which is super. 

Very important I don’t want you to skimp out on this part, I want you to take another one of your little towelettes, use 90% alcohol, listen… you can use 70% if that’s all you have however you need to be conscious that 70% means 30% water.  That water may cause you lifting, this is like a very subtle mistake. It happens to so many and they can’t figure it out because they do everything step by step and they’re super thorough, and then they use the wrong cleanser that has too much water.  It has oil and color dye.

My recommendation is that you do not cause any lifting. Just stick to 90% alcohol.  I don’t even recommend that you mix your alcohol with acetone, it doesn’t need it for a gel polish or a soft gel nail application.

I want you to scrub that cuticle remover solution off of the nail at the same time you are pushing back the cuticle area one more time.

All right you can follow your nails before or after.  Now I do have a very good shaping video for natural nails, you can click the card above to watch it,  but in general you just want to go in one direction.  If you’re just looking for a natural nail shape on natural nails then just kind of follow your smile line.  If you’re wondering what the smile line is, it is basically the area that is kind of beige here on the tip.  Following that will give you a very natural shape.  If you’re  unsure of what to go for or if you don’t want to commit to square nails or round nose, do it in one direction.  Don’t saw back and forth so that your nail doesn’t split and also cause your gel manicure to split and it’s also very important to use an emery board because it’s going to be very gentle, not too gritty and again it will not cause your natural nail to split.

Use your manicure brush to remove the dust.

The next step is important, and that is to remove the shine from the natural nail.  You can choose to do it with a buffer that’s a little bit more gritty or maybe one that reads 100 or 180 grit it will be more coarse and will make your manicure last longer, but it also will be too abrasive on the natural nail.  So if you’re all about protecting the natural nail, like I am, then use something around the 200 grit mark.

Okay, so I now just use a wet brush which is  my brush saturated in 90% alcohol, but even after doing that I still like to take my lint-free towelette and remove any other debris.

Take this opportunity again to push back the cuticle.

All right, now the nails are properly dehydrated and prepped, again I don’t really have any dry cuticle so I’m not really going to nip around this and remember if you break skin you’re going to have to fix skin, so I’m not breaking any skin just moving on to my gel application.  

Now you may be thinking that my secret to a long wearing gel manicure is using a binder or a primer solution, but in fact you don’t want to use a blender or primer unless you are  a problem lifter ( you lift no matter what) otherwise you don’t need this for a simple gel manicure application.  And if you would use this continuously you would dehydrate your nail and cause splitting and yellowing of your natural nail.  So use less chemicals on your nails to maintain their integrity.

So  far you’ve learned so many tips and tricks for my salon geomatic and now it is time to show you the secret to long lasting gel nails. 

 You can use any base coat of your choosing.   I’m going to be using this and here lies the secret,  so if you have problems with your lifting even after doing a very thorough nail prep, believe it or not, 90% of lifting happens from your nail prep if you’re a problem lifter.  You are going to grab a little bit of gel on your brush and I want you to do this, Ii want you to scrub this gel so you barely have any product on the tip of your brush.  I want you to really scrub this in and go this way also so you’re kind of capping it backwards, especially if you have short nails this is going to be super super helpful,  and I want you to go ahead and cure this.  All right,  so after curing these nails for at least 30 seconds I wanted to take a more generous layer.

Offload there about two-thirds of the nail and then without grabbing any more product I want you to go up here, up to the cuticle area, make sure to touch absolutely nothing, no dead skin no living skin no side walls, nothing.

Your application should be very generous at this point and you’ll grab just a tiny bit more and then start at this cuticle area,  then go one, two and three, let that self level until you see no breaking in the light and here’s a little pro tip, you can actually grab the tip of your brush and comb it upwards.

 Then you will go ahead and cure this nail, after you’ve cured this, note I want you to proceed and cure each nail individually.

All right and for anyone wondering prior to what I was wearing,  I was wearing my favorite red by the anal gods collection which is just the gel polish or the bottle gel version of the product that I’m using, Kokoist.  Okay they also offer colors in a pot or products in a pot and this one again is number nine.  I know I get a lot of questions about that red so I thought I’d mention it, it’s gorgeous!   I’m going to be using the same collaboration brand here.  Nail Thoughts and Kokoist USA and I’m going to be using color overcast which is like a translucent milky white.   I’m grabbing a small amount on the brush. I do have a video for you that you can watch if you want to get a beautiful cuticle area application each time… But basically in a gist it’s just to use the beat of the color so it’s a little rounded and so what you would do is you would use that to frame out this cuticle area.

Now the first layer is going to be streaky, do not panic,don’t try to make it perfect, just kind of roll with it and as you’re applying your color, I don’t recommend that you apply too thick or even try to make this layer any thicker or even trying to build it up. If you  build a color up like so  you’ll create these little puddles, these little poles and if it’s a super dark color when you put it in the light it actually won’t cure and it will shrink or bubble up.  You can work however many fingers until  you’re comfortable with it.  Because this is a white base color I like to let it self level a tiny bit so I’m actually going to move on to the next nail.

If you mess up I do recommend you have a french cleaning brush that you can just saturate quickly,  alcohol and wipe off.  You can also use the scraper and of your pusher if you don’t have anything else.

Clean it up and give this a full cure if you’re using the same brand of machine as you are gel nail color then just 30 seconds will do, if not then go ahead and do 60 seconds.

All right,  so depending on what brand of gel color you use,  you may be able to just wipe off the inhibition layer now if you want to proceed to adding things like decals to your nose.  I will be using these here and I’m going to show you how to apply these so that they last the duration of your manicure. This is super easy to add to your manicure, you can add any decal or any nail sticker onto your natural nail gel manicure but you’ll notice that it’ll wear off if you don’t properly seal it, so just pay attention here to this super super quick demo on how to make  any nail decal last for four weeks plus.

Now again I wipe off the inhibition layer so that I’m able to apply the stickers, however if you’re unsure or if you don’t want to wipe off the color then go ahead and apply a layer of base coat over your nail  and then remove the innovation layer and then buff it with your buffer.

Remove the shine so that your sticker would adhere.  Now if you happen to have a pair of nail art tweezers or just dull tweezers, by all means use them now, because you don’t want to remove the adhesion component from your sticker.  Remember your fingertips have oil and you can transmit that oil to the backing of the nail sticker when using your hands, so that is why it is recommended that you use tweezers or some other tool to pick up your sticker.

The trick to ensure that your nail stickers last a very long time is to first use a clear coat and move really quickly.  Go over the entire sticker, it doesn’t have to be thick, you just have to go over it with this first coat.  Go ahead and cure quickly and then you will do the same for all of your stickers and do them individually so that the gel does not seep underneath and cause it to lift.  Alright, so that should take care of your decal lasting the duration of your manicure.  We’re aiming for a four week manicure minimum of three weeks and maybe it will last longer.  You will now proceed to your top coat application,  this is a white base color,  for that reason you may want to opt in for a stain barrier type top gel. If you don’t have a stain barrier top gel just use what you have.

Now I’m usually not super crucial about capping the free edge on my gel color however for some reason I naturally am and super crucial about doing so with my top coat.

 I recommend you do the same for long wear!

Super easy  and super simple.  Just follow along and you’ll get here. Finish off your set with your favorite moisturizer,  I’m going to go ahead and use this spray on.

Thank you for joining me today and I’ll see you next week for a new video.


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