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    I Learned How To Do My Own Gel Nails While In Quarantine (And It's Legit Easy)

    Social distancing is saving my wallet, TBH. πŸ’…

    Arielle Calderon / Charlotte Gomez

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    While in quarantine, what else is there to do besides learn something new? Might as well take advantage of the time.

    Before this, I'd always get a bi-monthly gel manicure at the salon. But considering everything ~going on~, I'm obviously not going back for awhile.

    Arielle Calderon / Via

    Since I've been to the salon enough times to have an idea of how to DIY gel nails myself, I decided to take the plunge at home. And the whole thing was easier than I expected! πŸ’…

    Arielle Calderon

    Here's what you'll need + how to do it:

    β€’ Gel base coat and top coat

    β€’ Gel color nail polish

    β€’ Sunscreen

    β€’ Rubbing alcohol, gel cleanser, or hand sanitizer

    β€’ A UV light nail lamp (Yeah, this is going to be the most expensive thing β€” the one I use is $64 on Amazon β€” but in my case, it paid for itself in just a few uses.)

    First things first, don't forget to put sunscreen on your hands.

    Arielle Calderon

    You're about to put your hands under a UV/LED light. You need to protect your skin.

    And make sure you're using gel-specific polish. This won't work with normal polish.

    Arielle Calderon

    There are several different brands you can get online, but I went with Gellen.

    Step 1: Put a gel clear base coat on your nails and place your hand under the UV light for 30 seconds.

    Arielle Calderon

    Switch off on your hands. So paint one hand, put it under the light. Paint the other hand, put it under the light.

    Step 2: Add your first coat of gel color polish and put it under the UV light for 60 seconds.

    Arielle Calderon

    Same method as above! Paint one hand, put it under the UV light for 60 seconds. Paint the other hand, put it under the UV light for 60 seconds.

    Step 3: Repeat the above process and apply 2-3 coats of the gel color polish.

    Arielle Calderon

    I personally do three coats, but follow your heart.

    Step 4: Apply your clear gel top coat and put it under the UV light for two minutes each hand.

    Arielle Calderon

    Step 5: Apply lotion or moisturizer to get some smoooooth hands.

    Arielle Calderon

    Step 6: Apply rubbing alcohol OR gel cleanser OR hand sanitizer to remove residue and extra stickiness.

    Arielle Calderon

    Don't use 100% acetone, though. That will begin to strip the top coat off and it won't be as nice.

    And there you go! You can do your own gel nails at home and probably save money in the long run.

    Arielle Calderon

    In New York, it costs me $45 each time to get my nails done, and I've already done my own three times while in quarantine. (Here's a video tutorial I made, too!)

    And when it comes time to take it off, you can remove with cotton balls + 100% acetone. Just be patient.

    Arielle Calderon

    Removing gel nails can be a total pain simply because it takes FOREVER. But here's how to do it effectively:

    Step 1: Buffer your top coat off with a nail file. The less you have to take off with the cotton, the easier it will be.

    Step 2: Soak a cotton piece (not too thick!) in 100% acetone, put it on your nail, and secure it with aluminum foil or nail clips.

    Step 3: Keep on for 20 minutes. If the polish isn't beginning to rise off your nail, then re-soak cotton and repeat the process for another 5-10 minutes.

    Step 4: Scrape off remaining polish with a cuticle pusher β€” and you're all set!

    Show off those nails y'all! πŸ’…