As many of you reading this well know, I'm a gel nail fanatic. My nails are NEVER naked, it's almost a trademark of mine. Spending $30 every two weeks wasn't in my budget so I purchased the UV light and subsequent base, color, and top coats to DIY it. Here's how to do your own DIY Gel Nails, the shellac/UV light required kind of gel. Going the DIY route will keep costs down (after the initial product investment) but can at times be time consuming, bad if you have nail color ADHD, and hard to maintain while traveling.
I've recently been spending about half my time living in Texas... out of a suitcase. Unfortunately there wasn't room for my UV light and rainbow of gel polishes. About three weeks in the light pink I chose before I headed south was on its last leg and I knew I needed quick fix. Enter Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel. Have I mentioned the only store within 30 miles is a Walmart? This is south Texas.. super south Texas in a remote down with a small training base. My options are limited.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in All Chalked Up & Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat
I cleaned and shaped my nails as per usual, leaving a dry smooth surface to apply the first coat. The directions instructed me to apply two coats of color followed by one coat of top coat. The color coat went on almost as smooth as traditional gel polish and was noticeably dry within two minutes. The directions didn't say how to wait between coats so I gave them two minutes of dry time. After two (relatively easy) color coats I applied the "magic" top coat. This step is crucial in activating the gel polish. Unlike traditional gel polishes there is a dry time required and the possibility of smudging. I waited 10 minutes before heading back to my normal activities and came out with only one good smudge. I recommend 15 minutes before jumping in normal hand use.. I suggest peeing BEFORE you start painting your nails.
Landing somewhere in between a regular manicure and a full gel manicure, the Miracle Gel goes on smooth and has a relatively hard finish. It is more time efficient than traditional gel but requires dry time and doesn't have the same mirror shine finish. My Miracle Gel manicure stayed chip free for about five days then began to show some imperfections. Keep in mind that I am especially rough on my hands with all the recent DIY projects I have been tackling. Removal? Much easier that traditional gel, rubs off with regular nail polish remover and a little elbow grease.