How To Do Gel Nails At Home


How To Do

Gel Nails

At Home

Gel FX

How To Do Gel Nails
At Home


You can’t beat a long lasting, chip-free ORLY Gel FX manicure but when a trip to the salon is a rarity sometimes it’s easier, quicker and cheaper to do your gel nails at home. When applied and removed incorrectly gel polish can cause damage to your precious natural nails, so it’s important to take the proper steps when learning how to do gel nails at home for a safe, beautiful gel manicure and remember, if you’re ever in doubt head to your local salon.

Step 1: Prep

Preparing your nails before gel application is super important. Make sure there is no polish, lacquer or gel, on the nails. Start by removing and pushing back cuticles using ORLY Cutique and the ORLY Cuticle Pusher & Remover, being sure to rinse in warm water afterwards. File and shape your nails and then gently buff the surface of your nails to smooth out any bumps and ridges. 

Cleanse the nails using a lint free wipe and ORLY Gel FX 3-in-1 Cleanser to remove any stubborn product and oils from the nail plate. It’s important to use a lint free wipe as cotton wool will leave fibres on the nail, an absolute no-no.

Step 2: Prime

Use a light coat of ORLY Gel FX Nail Tip Primer on the tips of the nails and let dry. You don’t need to cure. You can skip this step, but if you notice any lifting give the primer a go before you do your gel nails at home next time.

Step 3: Basecoat

Paint your nails with ORLY Gel FX Basecoat and cure under LED light for 30 seconds. Our vitamin infused basecoat creates a self-levelling base for the perfect smooth surface.

Step 4: Colour

Now to the fun part! Paint a thin (but not too thin!) layer of your chosen ORLY Gel FX colour and cure under LED light for 30 seconds. Be sure to avoid getting any product on your skin, see our How To Apply Nail Polish blog for nail painting tips. Make sure you cap the free edge of your nails.

Once cured, repeat with another layer of ORLY Gel FX and cure. Make sure not to get any dust or debris on your nails as this will cure into your polish, nobody wants that!

Step 5: Topcoat

Without a topcoat, gel polish will remain tacky and porous, definitely not the finish we want, so make sure to always finish with ORLY Gel FX Topcoat. Paint a layer onto your nails and cure for 30 seconds under LED light.

Step 6: Cleanse

You’ll notice that there is a sticky layer on your nails, but don’t worry, the gel polish is fully cured - that tackiness is called the inhibition layer, in short it’s caused by uncured monomers but it’s easily removed with your ORLY Gel FX 3-in-1 Cleanser and a lint free wipe. 

Step 7: Moisturise

Cuticle Oil should be an essential product in your nail care routine. To perfectly finish your gel manicure and to moisturise use a few drops of ORLY Cuticle Oil and massage into the cuticles and ta da, your gel nails at home are done!


Why is my gel polish bubbling?

One cause of gel polish bubbling is too thick an application. It can often be tempting to paint one thick layer of polish instead of a few thin layers, however if your layer is too thick all the gel polish closer to the nail plate can’t cure as the photo-initiators can’t reach the bottom of the layer.Another cause for bubbling can be that your layers aren’t curing, make sure you are leaving your nails under the LED lamp for 30 seconds. If you’re using a UV lamp it can take up to 3 minutes to fully cure. 

Why is my gel polish lifting?

Chances are, if your gel polish is lifting at the edges it’s down to improper preparation and dust/debris left on the nail plate. It’s important to properly cleanse with ORLY Gel FX 3-in-1 Cleanser and lint free wipes to remove unwanted bits from the nail. If you find your gels are still lifting, try our ORLY Gel FX Nail Prime on the tips and edges of the nail for a longer lasting gel manicure.

Why is my gel polish chipping?

Again, gel nails chipping can be down to the wrong prep, but it’s important to cap the free edges of your nails with your base, colour and topcoat. 

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