Why should I switch from nail varnish to gel polish for a better at home manicure?

gel nail tips, gel polish -

Why should I switch from nail varnish to gel polish for a better at home manicure?

We all love a good manicure - we're sure that's why you're here - but the chipping after a few days or smudging just as we've finished the last nail? Not so much. 

That's where gel polish comes in, bringing with it a chip-free, long-lasting two-week manicure to resolve your problems and leave you with gorgeous nails. 

And it's much easier than you may think. We spoke to a brand new Bluesky gel polish user, Claire, who gave us a great review when she used our gel polish Starter Kit for the first time...

Gel manicure from home

I love a good manicure. I always feel that little bit better about myself and ‘finished’ when my nails are done. I have always used regular nail varnish at home and generally treat myself to a salon gel polish for holidays and special occasions.

I was looking for a new red nail varnish when I was recommended the Bluesky Starter Kit – a neat little box with everything you could possibly need to give yourself a gel polish manicure at home. I hadn’t really thought about doing my own gel polish. I thought it would be too expensive and that I wouldn’t have the skills to do it myself.

However, at £59.99 (I got 10% off mine by subscribing to the Bluesky online newsletter), I figured I’d pay that for two manicures alone. So with Christmas coming, it was the perfect time to give it a go.

To say I was impressed with the results is an understatement. My nails are gorgeous, and it genuinely does look like I’ve just come out of a salon. The consistency of the gel polish made it much easier to use than standard nail varnish and the entire process only took me around 30 minutes, with zero time hanging around for my nails to dry.

I’m two weeks in and my nails still look stunning. I’ve had so many “where did you get your nails done?” comments that I now have a long list of friends wanting me to do theirs for Christmas. So, I thought I’d write this simple ‘how to’ guide so that everyone can benefit from beautiful nails this Christmas.

Prepare the nails

This is the most important phase of any manicure, particularly gel polish, and without it, you are simply wasting your time with everything else - so don’t cut any corners here:

  • Remove all old nail polish and give your hands a very good clean
  • Rub a little cuticle oil into each nail to soften the cuticles and the skin around the nail bed
  • Lay your hand flat on the table and push back each of the cuticles with an orange stick or cuticle remover tool – start from the centre and work your way out and don’t push too hard, you don’t want to damage the nail
  • Gently rub the loose cuticle with a warm cloth to get rid of any excess skin - if you have any stubborn hangnails or pieces of skin, gently use a cuticle trimmer to remove them
  • Shape the nail to your desired shape using a fine nail file
  • Use a buffer to gently remove the shine off the top of each nail
  • Finally, give each nail a wipe using a Bluesky cleansing wipe and you’re ready to go!

Get set up

  • Find a flat surface near a plug socket where you can get everything you need set up and close to hand
  • Plug in the lamp
  • Gather your Bluesky Base Coat, your chosen Bluesky colour, your Bluesky Top Coat and a cleansing wipe

Gel manicure from home

Apply Base Coat

  • Apply a thin layer of Bluesky Base Coat to all five nails, remembering to cap the end of the nails (‘capping’ is where you paint the very tips of your nails to prevent chipping)
  • Make sure you avoid painting the cuticle or the skin on the sides of your nails
  • Place your hand, fingers flat, underneath the Bluesky LED nail lamp and press the ‘60s’ button on the top of the unit
  • Cure for 60 seconds – the lamp will automatically switch off after 60 seconds

Apply Colour Coat

  • Apply a thin layer of your Bluesky colour to all five nails, remembering to cap the end of the nails
  • Again, avoid painting the cuticle or skin on the sides of your nails
  • Place your hand, fingers flat, underneath the Bluesky LED nail lamp and press the ‘60s’ button on the top of the unit
  • Cure for 60 seconds – the lamp will automatically switch off after 60 seconds
  • You’ll want at least two coats of the polish – possibly a third with very dark colours if you feel it’s needed – so repeat steps 1-4 for your second (and third if needed) coats

Gel manicure from home

Apply Top Coat

  • Apply a thin layer of your Bluesky Top Coat to all five nails, remembering to cap the end of each nail (avoiding the cuticle etc)
  • Place your hand, fingers flat, underneath the Bluesky LED nail lamp and press the ‘60s’ button on the top of the unit
  • Cure for 60 seconds – the lamp will automatically switch off after 60 seconds

Finish the manicure

  • Use a Bluesky Cleanser Wipe to gently wipe each nail, removing any sticky residue, leaving you with super shiny, beautiful nails
  • Admire your handiwork and repeat on the second hand

Gel manicure from home

Aftercare

The no.1 piece of advice for looking after your gel nails is DO NOT PICK IT OFF! This will damage your nails. If you need to remove it, use an acetone remover or Bluesky remover wraps and follow the instructions carefully. Regular applications of cuticle oil will keep your nails healthy and avoid using strong chemicals.

Take a look at our how to apply gel polish video if you need further tips before giving it a go yourself. You can also sign up to our newsletter for 10% off your first purchase!

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