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DIY Gel Nails: The Affordable Way to Salon Chic

I love to get my nails painted. But with work and kids, it just takes too much time to do it myself. Plus, trying to keep them looking nice is nearly impossible. They always seem to smudge right after I paint them or chip off in two days. The easiest solution: go bare.

Then I discovered shellac. I had this done once at a salon and loved it! My nails looked amazing and the paint never chipped. I didn’t have to worry about taking off or redoing my nails until they started to grow out. Mine lasted a whole 3 weeks! The only problem: the upkeep cost was way too much for my little budget.

I needed to find a solution to my problem. That’s where the Nutra Nail Gel Perfect Kit comes in. They promised salon-quality, shellacked nails in just five minutes. I thought this was it. I excitedly followed the directions and applied the gel, but again, was quickly disappointed. Two days later they chipped and I had to take off the gel completely. The one positive note: I knew the gel was working because it wouldn’t come off without acetone nail polish remover.

So a little while later, I decided to give the polishing one more try. But this time I did it my own way, and it worked like magic!

The Secret Steps to DIY Gel Nails:

  1. Start with the Activator that comes in the kit. On clean, dry nails paint a thin coat.
  2. Immediately following, paint on a coat of color, which combines with the still wet activator.
  3. Then paint a second coat of color and wait about 5 minutes for dry time.
  4. Repeat the process on the other hand.
  5. When both hands are dry (about 10 minutes) finish with a clear top coat for shine!

The results are amazing! The only thing you need to make sure to have is 100% acetone polish remover.

Now, instead of going to the salon every 2-3 weeks and spending $20, I buy one box of Nutra Nails Gel Perfect for about $9, and it lasts through numerous paintings! Beautiful nails for less? What more could a girl want!

This is a guest post by Madi from Ennis, TX
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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18 thoughts on “DIY Gel Nails: The Affordable Way to Salon Chic”

  1. courtingcouponing says:

    I have this one as well as the one with the LED light. I will have to say that you have to be able to paint very thin layers in order to get good results. Mine always turn out to thick and start to peel. It’s worth a try if you find it for super cheap. I’ve seen many of these on clearance at rite aid and walgreens.

  2. Diane Morgan says:

    You say there is a coupon on CVS Reinventing Beauty?? Where would I find that?

  3. august says:

    I’ve always heard that getting “cheap” manicures ($25 or less) are horrible for your nails, but mine look like crap anyway. Totally going to try this!

  4. Cari says:

    I bought this and tried it and I will see how it works. I am a sort of nervous because I read reviews that it can ruin your nails making them weak. I saw the reviews after I bought it an put it on. oops.

    We’ll see how it lasts and how easy it is to take off.

    How do you know if polish is 100% acetone?


  5. Sara Copher Langford says:

    is it truly as durable as salon gel nails or simply just better than regular polish?

  6. There’s a $5 off Nutra Nail coupon in the CVS Reinventing Beauty.

  7. veroshop says:

    Where can I buy?