I have been giving myself DIY gel manicures with Shellac polish (using a UV light) for almost two years and I am addicted! However, when I moved to Germany in December, I left my UV light in the US because I didn't want to worry about using an adapter for my UV light and travelling with a bunch of polish bottles. My nails chip after one day of normal polish, so I quickly got tired of using regular polish in Germany. I checked into getting a gel manicure here and it would cost me OVER $70, and that's just plain crazy when it was free for the me in the US.
So I searched the local beauty stores in attempt to find a decent alternative. I tried all the "long lasting" and "10 day wear" polishes and they didn't last more than 2 days before chipping! I tried the Nutra nail "gel" system and that was horrible! I finally came across the Fing'rs elastic gel system, and it has lasted over 4 days so far without chipping! Here's how to do a DIY gel manicure without a light:
-nail file, nail buffer, nail clippers, orangewood stick, 100% acetone, Fing'rs elastic gel, Fing'rs accelerator, regular nail polish, clear top coat
Prep the nail:
Remove any previous nail polish. Cut and file your nails to the desired shape and length. Then push your cuticles back using the orangewood stick. Buff your nails so that they aren't shiny anymore, little white flakes will come off and this is OKAY! Wash your hands and then wipe your nails with a cotton ball with 100% acetone to remove any oils or residue.
Start the gel process:
Okay, this is tricky... You have to work quickly and be very neat! You don't want to get any of the gel or accelerator on your hands or cuticles because it can burn or cause the nail to lift and chip. I didn't take pictures of the process because I didn't think it would work! If anyone wants pictures, just comment and I will email them to you.
Start by putting two small drops of the gel onto your nail, then spread it around the nail with the tip of the bottle. Then quickly apply two thin coats of accelerator on top of the gel. The accelerator will dry the gel almost instantly.
Continue the same process with the rest of your fingers. Once you have gel and accelerator on all of your nails, it's time to paint them! Paint one coat of color on your nails and let it dry. Then do a second coat of color and let it dry. Last, put a shiny top coat on the nails to finish them.
These are my nails FOUR DAYS after I did them! I waited to take pictures to see if they would last! I am so happy with how they came out. They are smooth and shiny like Shellac and seem just as durable!