Let's Connect:

real talk + attainable fashion


DIY: Gel Manicure at Home

October 15, 2019


Erin Schrader

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy kicking back in the massage chairs at the nail salon just as much as you probably do. Sure a good pedi can go a long way and quite honestly, I’m not the best at painting inside the lines [but that’s neither here nor there]. Regardless, biweekly trips to the nail salon can get costly and time consuming. But you’re in luck! Today we’re sharing how you can achieve a professional level gel manicure in the comfort of your own home. Disclaimer: I’m no professional by any means, but practice, practice, practice makes [almost] perfect.

What You’ll Need:

Getting Started:

  1. Shape, file, and buff your nails.
  2. Sanitize the surface of your nails. We recommend this sanitizer, but rubbing alcohol will get the job done too.
  3. Use a nail dehydrator. This will remove the surface oils on your nails and prep them for the gel.
  4. Apply a single layer of the CND Shellac Base Coat and allow at least 60 seconds, or the longest setting on your UV lamp, until coat is dry.
  5. Apply one coat of color and allow at least 60 seconds or the longest setting on your UV lamp until coat is dry.
  6. Repeat step 5 [2-3 coats of polish depending on personal preference].
  7. Apply one layer of CND Shellac Top Coat and allow at least 60 seconds or the longest setting on your UV lamp until coat is dry.
  8. Wipe nails clean with rubbing alcohol.


  1. File down top, shiny layer of nail.
  2. Soak a cotton ball with 100% Acetone Polish Remover and place directly onto nail. Secure each cotton ball with foil or use these hassle-free clips.
  3. Use a cuticle pusher to scrape off polish. If it doesn’t come off easily, continue to soak. This step should NOT be painful!

And that’s all there is to it– hope you nail it!

share this with your best girlfriends:

  1. Megan says:

    Great article! For anyone that doesn’t like gel nails, CND also makes a “week long” polish that lasts almost a whole week!

  2. Michelle Aguero says:

    Try the powder dip nails! Serious game changer! No odor, lamps and lasts longer! I think it is easier too!

    • Erin Schrader says:

      I’m so nervous to try it at home, but I love the dip! I might just need to give it a try, thanks for the encouragement girl! xo -Claire

  3. Kate says:

    How long do these last? And do they kill your real nails? I love a real mani, but never have the time. This would be ideal if it’ works!

  4. Kristen Rhton says:

    Thanks for the info! I would love to try doing my own nails. I hate having someone else do them. Anytime I have had the powder nails done at the salon, they have used a lamp.

Read More

We survived Prime Day last month to only find even more things we love on Amazon. From swimsuits and skirts, to laundry detergent, blenders, and hard water hair help! Amazon has it all, and now it seems that we have it all too! Keep reading to see what the LIY Team and the LIY Ambassadors […]

Read More

Here are 30+ Items from Target that are too Good Not to Add to Cart.

Read More

The second we see the first robin chirping and daffodil popping through the ground, we’re heading straight outside for cocktails on the back deck and books on the front porch swing. Don’t mind the fact that we might be wearing sweatshirts and Ugg boots because it’s actually still freezing. But man, that sun! It’ll do […]

Read More

shoes [true to size] The Best No Show Socks [For Every Size] While we have experienced a plethora of no shoes days over the past couple of months, it’s starting to look like we may be slipping into shoes more and more as life gets [a little bit] back to normal. If you’re anything like […]

Oldies but Goodies

Check Out These

Let's make this relationship official.

signed, sealed, delivered.

© Living in Yellow. Site Credits.