I have been doing my own nails since I was 16 and thought I may have a little knowledge to share when it comes to doing your own nails at home.
I have done gels, acrylics, silk, fiberglass, tips, halfs and full. So I am going to share with you some pros, cons and tips of doing your own nails.
These methods can be applied to natual nails or false tips.
For gels I used to apply a nail tip with glue, buff away the seam, apply any polish (99% of the time was a classic white french tip). Then I would apply a clear gel and cure under a uv lamp. This entire process for me would take about a hour and half, more if I wanted something fancy like nail art or rhinestones.
I loved the look of this finish. It was so glossy and smooth but ultimately I found with this method my nails didn’t last very long as gel isn’t the strongest and would split or break off completely. I am quite heavy handed and have my hands in water all the time with cleaning, washing and so on, that it would cause lifting which also didn’t help. For the time I spent doing my nails it just wasn’t worth it as they wouldn’t last a full week.
Using this on top of a finished nail is the best use for this product as it keeps the polish/design on the nail with no chipping and leaves a lovely gloss finish.
Keep it away from the edges of the nail as you could have lifting
SILK and FIBERGLASS
I put these in the same category because they are both nail wraps and do the same thing.
Silk and fiberglass are strips of material that you cut into pieces to fit the nail, then apply a liquid that is like a nail glue that adheres it to the nail, then you buff them smooth and apply a polish.
I found these both to be stronger than the gel and last a little longer too. I would also apply a layer of gel on top just for the glossy finish.
But again they would take quite a while to do taking about 2 hours to complete. The products I used came in strips so you had to cut the fabric yourself and as I have small nails this process was very fiddly. I have a lot of patience when it comes to stuff like this but in the end it just got manotamous and I hated having to do my nails. Also I found sometimes that you could see the weave of the fabric if you didn’t have a colour over it and that was the thing that cause me to change my method, as with the gel, it was time consuming and not worth the outcome.
If you can find pre cut then it would be a better option as the cutting of this method takes a whle that could be saved with using pre cut pieces.
Make sure to use products that are of the same brand that way you know they are going to work/bond well together for the best finish.
Acrylic is a very fine powder that is mixed with acrylic liquid to create a sort of paste that you apply onto the nail, then dries solid. You tend to have to work fairly quickly with this as it dries quite fast. After some experience and mixing practise you pick it up and it becomes easier to work with. Once dry, you buff the nail so its smooth and file to shape. Add your polish or design. Again I would apply a gel layer on top just for the high gloss finish.
I used this method for a few years. It was the strongest of the nail products that I had ever used and lasted the longest. You can get it in every colour and with a lot of practice and creative flair can create 3D designs. Youtube has some amazing videos of people doing this.
Click her for some awesome videos by 3TanjaJ3
It would take me approximately an 1hr 1/2 – 2 hours as the buffing takes the longest with this technique, but because the nails were a lot stronger which in turn lasted longer I felt it was justified. The problem is though, sometimes I would get tiny little air bubbles dry in the acrylic and then they would create little white spots on the finished nail, not a problem if you like a block colour but I liked the look of a clean classic french, so it didn’t look so clean with little white spots through the nail.
With practise you get better and faster with this prcoess.
Again using the same branded products together will give you the best blend of product as they are made to work together. I’ve used odd brands together in the past and as a result the acrylic would not dry hard and it just buffed of like dead skin, all my work and time was wasted.
Being careful not to touch the skin around the edges to stop potential lifting. Scraping around with a tool should remove the excess product then dipping the brush in the acrylic liquid and wiping around the edges after should smooth it off.
False nails come in various colours, shapes and sizes.
These are best for people that already have good nails and just want a little more length while the natural nails grows out. They only adhere to the very tip of the nail so they won’t last too long or risk ruining the real nail underneath when trying to remove. These would not be very good for anyone with short nails.
This type of tip is good for anyone wanting to apply an acrylic or gel on top because they will adhere to the false nail and natural nail which aids in the nail staying put a little longer (giving that there is no risk of lifting) while giving length to the nail.
By far my favorite nail to use. With this type there is no need for a layer of anything on top they are generally used on their own. You can buy them already shaped and coloured so you only have to apply them. They are cheap and easy to use.
This is the nail I now solely use, it only takes me about 35-45 minutes to apply including cuticle work and any designs I want to add. They last me about a week sometimes even upto 2 weeks depending on which kind of tip I use. Some natural colored nails can be softer than the clear or white so they break easier. Additionally if one does decide to pop off you can just quickly glue it back on and your good to go.
I have just started using these pre coloured nails from ebay.
You can get them here:
They come in all different colours and quantities. #notspons just love these nails!!
They are fairly strong, can be left as they are or you can paint on top of them. To these ones I like to add a natural white tip and a little glitter (obvs!) i’m really liking the natural nail look as I think it looks good with anything and any style. Also im getting into the timeless kind of style at the moment. Not at all relevant to this post just an FYI
*Using an oil or hand and nail cream every night should keep your false nails along with your cuticles from drying out.
*Try keeping your hand out of water as much as possible using rubber gloves whenever you can.
*Keeping a bottle of nail glue in your bag for emergencies, so you can do a quick fix while your out and about.
If you forget, you can always put a plaster/band aid on your finger to disguise your unmanicured finger until you get home.
*Always remove nails with acetone especially when using gel, acrylic, silk or fiberglass, it can be very damaging to your natural nails if you try and bite/pick them off.
*Ebay is an awesome place to buy false nails they are so cheap and you can get them in bulk.
*Keep your polish in a cool dark place. If you live in a hot country, storing it in the fridge will keep them from going off too soon.
*When applying false nails, if you haven’t got the correct size to fit, you should always use a bigger size and file it down than a smaller size which could cause discomfort.
SOME OF MY FAVOURITE NAIL PRODUCTS
180 Zebra curved nail files
Cuticle knife, Niper and False nail clipper
Technic tip top nail glue
dr.organic Moroccan argan oil
Maybelline new york
Super stay 3D clear polish
Left to right – Technic Bling-a-ling/ Maybelline new york color show knitted gold/ Technic Festival fever
Thanks for stopping by and please don’t be a stranger
Please note* some of the images used in this post are not mine and I do not take credit for them.