DIY Gel Nails At-Home

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

I love painting my nails but I’m an indecisive and impatient person. The combo of those three things together makes for a poorly painted manicure. First, it takes me about 10 minutes to pick out the “right” color. Then, I apply the base coat, two coats of polish, and a top coat — that’s the easy part. I have absolutely no problem painting within the lines and taking my time. But then as soon as that top coat is on, all hell breaks loose.

You see, I’m not very good at waiting for my nails to dry. I try not to smudge them but then it just kind of happens…because I’m impatient and clumsy. I accidentally ram a freshly painted nail into the drawer while trying to grab a spoon for my ice cream. Before you know it, my manicure is ruined and I usually just take off the whole thing right then and there.

When I read about the new Sally Hansen Gel Polish Kit, I was excited and hopeful that I could finally have pretty nails year-round. I’ve never had gel nails done at the salon because $35 is just ridiculous…but at-home gel nails could solve ALL my problems!

DIY Gel Nails At-Home {step-by-step tutorial}
I did what any normal girl would do and did a little online research. I found this review where the blogger, Beth, just raved about the Sally Hansen kit. She said it was easy to use, had photos of her manicure, and even did a follow-up review too!
I then remembered Ulta had emailed me a few days back saying I had some reward points to use before the end of March. I immediately hopped on over to their website and ordered the kit. It took about six days to arrive and I couldn’t wait to do my first gel manicure!
DIY Gel Nails At-Home {step-by-step tutorial}
This kit is really easy to use, even for someone like me who hadn’t done gel nails before.
Here’s the process I followed. It looks long, but it’s not complicated.
Step One: File and buff your nails. Then apply Vaseline to the skin around each nail. This will help you easily remove any polish that you accidentally get on your skin while painting.

Step Two: Wipe each nail clean using a cotton pad and your favorite nail polish remover, for me that would be Zoya Remove+. Your nails must be clean and dry or the gel won’t adhere properly.

Step Three: Apply a thin coat of Sally Hansen base coat, sealing the free edge of your nail first. Cure your nails under the LED light for 30 seconds. {Light automatically shuts off}

Step Four: Apply a thin coat of the Sally Hansen gel polish color of your choice. Remember to seal the free edge of your nail first! Remove any polish from your skin BEFORE curing under the LED light for 30 seconds. Apply another thin coat and cure again.

Step Five: Apply a thin coat of Sally Hansen top coat, sealing the free edge of your nail first. Cure under the LED light for 30 seconds. After this, your nails will be tacky — we’ll fix that!

Step Six: Take a nail cleansing wipe and lightly wipe each nail. Don’t worry, this won’t remove your nail polish but instead remove the tacky layer and leave your nails extra glossy!

Bam. Just like that, your nails are instantly dry. The actual process of painting and curing them takes about 20-30 minutes but you’re always doing a different step so it goes by quickly! Then, as soon as you wipe that tacky layer away the gel hardens and you can’t do a single thing to mess them up!

Here’s a look at the first manicure I did using Sally Hansen’s “Back to the Fuschia”.  
Five days later — no chips, no peeling, & they’re still super glossy! The best mani I’ve EVER had!

DIY Gel Nails At-Home - lasts 5+ days!
Day One looks the same as Day Five! Can you believe it?!

Other Things To Know…

– The Sally Hansen Gel Polish kit can be purchased at Ulta, CVS, and Target for $69.99. I chose to purchase mine online through Ulta with a $10 off coupon (use code: SAVETEN) and then applied some of my reward points too — so the kit cost me about $55.

– The Sally Hansen kit comes with a free polish. I purchased mine in the color, “Wine Not” but they also offer two other color options.

– Sally Hansen currently offers 16 gel polish colors. I hope they’ll come out with more, but I’ve heard that you can use other gel polish brands too. Just make sure they can be cured with an LED light, not a UV light. I’ll hopefully be trying this soon with Sephora Gelshine

– The gel polish colors retail for $12.99 and each bottle is supposed to last 10-15 manicures. However, you can find deals on the polishes themselves.

  • CVS was recently having a deal where if you bought $10 of Sally Hansen products, you got $5 in ExtraBucks. Therefore, my bottles only cost me $7.99 each.
  • ULTA frequently has $10 off coupon codes posted on their website. 
  • ULTA also tends to do BOGO 50% off Sally Hansen products quite often so look out for that!
DIY Gel Pedicure with Regular Zoya Polish

I’ll be posting Part Two for DIY Gel Nails with Regular Nail Polish very soon! I’ve already tried it on my toes {shown above} with Zoya Moxie and it worked great! I’m really excited about this because I can use all my regular polishes and they’ll last twice as long!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below!

This post is in no way sponsored by Sally Hansen. I simply loved their gel kit and wanted to post my review on it.

{This month’s advertisement}


  1. says

    I am the EXACT same way! I tell myself, “okay sit still for 15 minutes to let everything dry.” But in that 15 minutes I always have to pee, or have a snack or SOMETHING. Never fails. Ever. I’m gonna give this a try!


  2. says

    I have purchased an at home gel kit and I love it! Simple and quick! I recommend this for anyone who is impatiently waiting for the polish to dry!

  3. says

    I’m a new follower to your blog and I love this post! I’m so guilty of doing the same thing whenever I paint my nails and 90% of the time I mess them up and have to redo them. Right now I repaint my nails weekly or every other week if I am feeling lazy, but I might have to invest in this! I have some Ulta reward points to use too so maybe they will go towards this. Thanks for the review! :)


  4. says

    Great article, and I’m so glad to hear that this works! I’ve been eyeing these products but wasn’t sure what the results might be. Stopping by from My So Called Chaos and enjoying reading along. :-)

  5. says

    Thank you for linking up to the Anything & Everything Blog Hop, I love this tutorial and I’m featuring it this week! I hope you will come by and link up another great post!!

    Brittany @ The Sapphire Bee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *