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DIY gel manicure and nail art supplies list

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this is a mega prep post for DIY gel manicures. if you read my blog, you know i’m a huge fan of gel manicures because your nails don’t break (mine are super strong and have grown because the gel protects them) and the polish doesn’t chip for two weeks! i usually get them done at the salon but i recently decided it would be more budget friendly and more fun, to DIY them!

i have a DIY video on a basic gel manicures coming soon. plus, i plan to do DIY nail art posts in the future. the following are all the supplies i have compiled for my at-home gel manicures and nail art and i wanted to share it with you!…

Gel Manicure Supplies…


Gel Manicure Supplies:

  1. after lots of research i decided to get the SensatioNail Starter Kit because it comes with all the essentials for an at-home gel manicure. the SensationNail Starter Kit is at CVS and Wal-Mart – i got mine on sale from cvs.com for $49. considering most salon gel manicures are $35 to $45 a pop, the $49 is a great price!
  2. the Starter Kit includes the LED light which is a must to cure the gel so no drying time! many gel kits come with a UV light but the LED takes less time to cure the nails (just 1 minute under the light for each coat). plus, i like the idea of less UV rays on my hands. they claim the bulbs last a lifetime, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them…unless you’re a vampire, but if you are, you should avoid the sun’s rays anyways!
  3. the Starter Kit also comes with the other essentials you will need to get a good gel manicure: 1) gel cleanser 2) gel primer 3) 1 polish color 4) gel base and top coat 5) lint-free wipes 6) nail buffer 7) orange (correction/cuticle) stick.
  4. i also got other gel polish colors since the starter kit only has one. i got a neon yellow and a glitter color from Gelish. i also got a clear Builder Gel which is a thick clear gel that you can use to adhere 3d nail art or make your nails stronger so they don’t break. you need to apply the builder gel with a brush since it comes in a little pot.

Nail Art Supplies…


Nail Art Supplies:

  1. brush kit with different sized brushes so you can do small details. if you have paintbrushes you can use those. i bought this kit of brushes.
  2. i love glitter! if you have loose pots of glitter you can create lots of nail art and even your own glitter nail polish. i got this kit of glitter pots from FantaSea.
  3. these 3d nail art rods or canes or sticks, called all three, are the coolest things ever! i bought this Mash 100 piece kit for $8.25.
  4. the canes have different tiny designs like lemons, and cats and strawberries!
  5. just cut thin slices from the cane using an exacto or razor blade to get a little nail art slice to glue or gel onto your nails.
  6. i also got this Bundle Monster of 5 nail art 3d wheels. there’s tiny rhinestones, beads and big glitter in every color for more 3d nail art options.
  7. Mash nail art tweezer to apply the rhinestones, beads and cane slices.

The Gel Manicure Removal:

it’s true, gel manicures stay put really well, so that means removing them is a little more involved than regular manicures. but the removal can be easy enough with these steps…

  1. i really like this Gelish Harmony remover because it’s not just pure acetone. you could use just regular acetone but it’s so drying. this harmony stuff has oils in it so it’s much less drying.
  2. soak your nails in a little bowl with some of the remover for a good 10 to 15 minutes (watch something good on TV while you’re doing it).
  3. the gel will start peeling off – chip it off with your nail or the metal file part on a nail clipper. you may need to soak a few more minutes.
  4. buff off the rest of the polish with a nail buffer.

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