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Most people love to look their best, especially when making a first impression. Many things go into this, including choosing the right outfit in terms of color and size. Besides the clothes one wears, other aspects also matter. One of the highly conspicuous areas many people ignore is the nails. Perfect nails tend to tell a lot about who a person is. They prove that you care about your grooming and may indicate a better standard of hygiene. If this is something you want to portray without spending a lot of money in a nail salon, then consider doing your nails at home. Below are a few tips that come in handy.


1.Clean First

Even before you use gel nail varnish that you love, start by cleaning your fingernails. There is nothing more disgusting than applying nail polish on dirty nails and fingers. What’s more, this can be a source for bacteria and another disease-causing agent buildup. 

Make a point of using normal soapy water and a nail brush to get the stubborn dirt out. In most cases, this dirt is lodged between the nails and can be unsightly, even with gel polish. In case your fingers are not too dirty, you can soak a wet wipe in an alcohol solution and wipe them clean before starting any gel application.


2. Shake Your Gel

Once you are satisfied with the nail prep, prep the nail gel you will be using. Due to the nature of the gel polish, it helps if you shake everything well to mix it up appropriately. It allows you to have an easy and even application without lumps or too heavy coats. After all, you want the polish to appear smooth and expertly done. Make sure not to skip this step because it makes a huge difference.


3. Prepare the Cuticle

Nail care also involves cuticle care. You need to have a q-tip to apply an Aquaphor to the cuticles before applying the gel polish. It will serve as a protector to your cuticle if you accidentally get gel polish on this part. All you have to do is wipe the excess gel off and not affect the cuticle. Alternatively, use the gel version of the Aquaphor to avoid drying out the nails using acetone removers. Remember that the goal is to protect your nails even as you look good. 


4.The Technique Matters

As usual, professionally done nails look great only because of the great technique used to achieve results. When dealing with gel nail polish, make sure to use short strokes because they work better and seem to pop more. What’s more, short strokes are easier to control and work perfectly around the edges. Take extra caution when applying the first coat of the gel and slowly add more coats. If you get the first coat right, the rest will be easy to follow up.


5. Utilize Thin Layers

Contrary to what most people believe, thinner coats are tremendous, and thicker coats look unprofessional. Try to redo the coats as many times as you want but make sure that each time the coat you apply is thin. Note that the gel polish gets thicker around the cuticles because of pooling, and this is something that you do not want to happen. 

The thumb rule to go by is to stick to thin coats. They can be as repetitive as they need to be as long as they are not thick at any point. After all, you are going for a posh and exquisite look like you would get at a nail parlor. Let no one guess that you did not have the nails done by a professional.


6. Cap the Free Edge

Work on the free edge for a perfectly smooth finish. This simply means that you need to paint the end of the nail after completing the overall nail paint first. Painting the end ensures that the gel does not lift and spoil after a few days. Cap the edge after every coat to secure the gel polish in place. In case you are unable to do this, then make sure that you do it for the base and topcoat without fail.


7. Remove Excess Gel Before Curing

The final step would be to cure the gel polish you applied. However, before doing this, you need to get rid of excess gel. Note that once you cure the applied polish, there is little to no turning back unless you remove the entire coat. 

Rather than waste time and resources, make sure to cure the polish only when you are satisfied that there is no excess nail polish on the edges or sides. When curing, use the right-size lamp for a perfect look. Ensure the color is adequately covered to avoid that undesirable matte finish that can easily rub off during normal wear and tear.


Final Thoughts

Making perfect gel nails at home is achievable. However, one needs to know what to do to achieve excellent results. It takes so much more than picking the right color. Even so, it is easy if you stick to the basic recommendations and tips that most professional nail artists would use. Consider practicing a few times before getting it right. It may take a few attempts before you hack the professional look, but it is worth every bit.