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Gel nail polishes last longer, are of higher quality than regular nail polish, and they’re not going away any time soon, thanks to the deluge of gel nail polishes in the market today.

It is not true that you cannot apply gel nail polish at home. If you are serious about DIY manicuring/pedicuring and doing nail art, you can learn on your own and get great results. You just have to know the basics, and we are sure that you are going to do great afterward.

Gel-based nail polish requires the use of a UV lamp to bring the nail polish to full hardness and cure. Gel polish, in general, is more durable, the colors are brighter and the color also lasts longer, compared to traditional nail polish.

And while traditional nail polish isn’t going away any time soon because of the price point, many women are shifting to gel nail polish because of the available colors and how the polish looks after drying. Nothing says “I’m sexy and beautiful” than newly painted nails – especially if you have painted your nails with gel polish.

Tools and Supplies for Gel Nail Polish Application

Nail lamp

This is probably the most useful tool you will ever need, and you can’t do gel nail art without a Nail lamp. UV lamps come in all shapes and sizes (and prices too), so pick one that has the right mix of features and is reasonably priced as well. We would recommend mid-range UV lamps as they get the job done and they’re not too expensive either.


Acetone is, of course, necessary if you want to remove previous nail polish from your nails. Some acetone solutions are milder because they are designed to be friendlier on the skin and nails. The brand that you should use is purely your personal preference, they are all made with the same essential components.

Cotton pads

Cotton pads have different uses, but their main use is removing old nail polish. Soak up that acetone and rub the old polish off within a second. Cotton pads can also be used as handy mini-stands for small manicure tools like nail cutters and orangewood sticks. Have a pack ready when you are performing pedicuring or manicuring.

Cuticle remover liquid

Cuticle remover liquid allows you to remove the outer layer of the cuticle, and this makes the nails softer and more pliable, too. Applying gel nail polish to newly maintained nails is a joy, and you will get better results and adhesion with your gel nail polish if you first clean your nails properly.

Nail file

While everyone is familiar with metal nail files, we recommend grabbing a glass nail file instead for better results. Glass Nail files are slightly gentler on the nails and they produce great results, too.


While the nail file is essential for shaping the edges of the toenails or the nails on your hands, you never know when you will need an angular approach to remove hangnails and excess skin. Nippers are also great for trimming unsightly cuticle, so it would be best to have one at the ready when you are applying gel nail polish as well.

Nail cutters

Need we say more? When you are cutting across the nails, nothing compares to the accuracy and ease at which you can get things done with a regular Nail cutter. Choose one that is comfortable to use, is sharp, and works well with the size of your nails.

Gel nail polish

It would be best to look around first before buying Gel nail polish as there are many great brands out there with their unique offerings. Choose a brand that is high quality and provides all the great colors you like, especially if you are interested in doing nail art at home as well.

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Applying Gel Nail Polish

If you have painted nails, you need to completely remove the old nail polish before doing anything else. We recommend buying a pack of soak-off clips, wrapping your nails with cut cotton pads that have been soaked in acetone, and then clipping them so the cotton pads stay in place.

Alternatively, you can just rub off the old nail polish, but you may not get as good results. Nail polish soak off clips are efficient, and you only have to clip them on once to remove the nail polish.

Apply some cuticle remover on your nails and start removing cuticles. This should soften your nails nicely, preparing them for the gel nail polish. After softening your nails and removing the cuticle, use a nail cutter and nipper to cut your nails to the length that you want them to be. Remember to use a nail file to grind down the edges to smoothen them. Perform all the shaping necessary for your nails before applying any gel polish.

After cutting, trimming, filing, and buffing, washes your hands with warm water and soap to remove all remaining dirt and debris. Pat your hands dry and make sure that they are completely dry before proceeding with the application of the gel polish.

Apply the first thin coat of gel polish on all your nails. Use a toothpick or orangewood stick to remove any excess polish. Avoid applying any gel polish to the cuticles as these can pre-empt premature peeling of the polish because the cuticle does not adhere properly to the nails. Use your UV lamp for two minutes before applying the second, thicker layer. When you are done with the second layer, cure again for another two minutes.

Apply the third layer or the top coat and allow the nails to cure for another two minutes. Turn off the UV lamp and rub your nails gently with some rubbing alcohol. Your nails are now ready for the day. No, you don’t have to wait for the polish to dry because they’ve been successfully cured under the UV lamp. This is why so many people love gel polishes.

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