Okay, so I know there are much worse things happening in the world right now, but I’m not going to lie and say that the whole quarantine situation didn’t have me stressing about how ratchet my nails were going to look.
For me, having my nails done deludes me into thinking I have my life together, so as my nails started breaking and chipping, I couldn’t bare to look at them any longer. Amazon to the rescue, as usual. What would I do without her?! If you want to fix your nails up in quarantine, and have UV hard gel nails, like I do, I got you covered. Keep reading and I will have you looking like this ? again.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is head to Amazon ASAP and get all of these things since they may take a week or so to come (everything I ordered below came within 6 days).
It comes with gel primer, hard gel builder (which strengthens the nail so it doesn’t break), nail forms (which you can use to extend your length or shape without having to add a fake nail), top coat that you can put over your color, and two very sharp, handy nail files/buffers.
2. Lavender Violets Gel Nail Color Set (or a nail color of your choice)
You can use either gel nail color or regular nail polish. Personally, I like to use gel because I find it always lasts longer than regular color. Chips are not a vibe. I basically solely wear light pinks and lavender shades, so I went with this set to switch up colors during quarantine and impress my doorman (the only person seeing me these days, SOS).
Okay, so I know this seems extra AF, but I couldn’t not get this for only $39, and it weirdly works better than any of the lamps I’ve used at salons! You know when you’re at the salon, and you put your hand under the lamp and the gel gets hot and it burns for a few seconds? Literally never happens with this lamp! It’s also super quick- not like I have anything better to do in quarantine other than stare out my window longingly though.
Yes, a nail DRILL sounds terrifying, but they’re actually super easy to use. I am EXTREMELY paranoid about hurting myself so I used this in tandem with the sharp nail file that came in the Orly intro kit. The nail drill comes with a bunch of heads that work for different uses and the instruction manual is super straightforward. But you don’t even need that because you have me, duh. You’re welcome.
This baby right here SAVED my life for the first few weeks when my nails had any little fracture, I would use this and it would look good as new. I honestly thought with all this quarantine cooking (ugh, when will it end?!), it wouldn’t last, but I can attest to it keeping my shape in tact for three weeks now. I know it’s not the best long term solution, but it’s perfect in a pinch, so you don’t have the dreaded stubby ripped nail.
This is pretty self explanatory, but also necessary. The exact set I used sold out but this one looks cute, so linking this. I don’t think you can go wrong with a set like this.
I mean if we’re going to do a home manicure, we might as well go all out, right? Also, it smells AMAZING.
Not completely manicure related, but I needed to squeeze this in here since we are all sanitising our hands five million times a day. Let’s be real, yours are probs looking a little dry. This mask is amazing to give your hands some much needed moisture and TLC. What’s the point of a cute manicure if your hands look like the Sahara?!
My quick steps on how to do the at home gel fill:
- File your nails in the shape you like, shorten them now, if necessary
- Use the TouchBeauty Nail drill with the Emery Head coarse on medium speed to take off your old gel nail color. If you’re like me and you’re worried about hurting your natural nail underneath or cutting your skin on the sides, use the nail drill mostly in the middle of the nail and then use the Orly nail file to get rid of the outside polish.
- Once you’ve gotten off all the nail color you’re going to want to file down the old hard gel overlay so it is inline as much as possible with your natural nail. Again, I used a combination of the coarse emery drill and Orly file for this.
- Take your cuticle cutter and carefully remove any dead skin. Next, use the cuticle pusher to push down your nail bed to elongate your nails.
- Once your nails are buffed down and your cuticles are prepped, brush away any nail dust and cleanse your nails with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.
- For steps 6-13, work two or three nails at a time and repeat for your other nails you have yet to work on. Take the Orly gel nail primer, and put it on the bottom of your nail where you have natural nail growth.
- Take the Orly Gel Fx Builder in a Bottle and brush it on your entire nail, pausing for a second at the bottom so you get most of the gel on your natural nail where the gel is most needed.
- Harden and dry the gel by putting them under the UV LED lamp for at least 60 seconds.
- Once your nails are dry, wipe them again with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
- Take the nail colour of your choice and swipe it over your nails. If you are using regular nail polish, you don’t need to put it under the lamp. If you’re using gel nail color, put it under the lamp for another 60 seconds.
- Repeat step 10 for a second coat of nail color.
- Take your Orly top coat and do a light coat over your nails. Put your hand under the lamp for another 60 seconds.
- Wipe your nails with an alcohol soaked cotton swap again. If you have any polish mistakes on your skin, use a Q-tip soaked in acetone to wipe those off.
- Finish with the cuticle oil and Dr. Jart hand mask (or hand moisturiser of your choice).
*Note: Since I used the nail glue, I didn’t have to use the Orly nail forms, as I still had length. BUT if you have mismatched length, you can use it before putting on the builder gel before step 7.
Ta-da, my nails surprisingly somehow turned out? Like, I wouldn’t give myself a great Yelp review because I took forever and it wasn’t the most relaxing of experiences, but at least my nails don’t look like old tic tacs at the bottom of my purse anymore. **Warning: unnecessary nail flex below… Did you really think i’d write this article without obnoxiously showing off my skills? My eyebrows, on the other hand, are not to be spoken about.
Now go on and flaunt that manicure on your zoom meeting and show Karen from accounting that, despite not having prepped your taxes, you do actually have your shit together. ?