Guest Post: Gel Nails Tutorial by Louise

Guest Post: Gel Nails Tutorial by Louise

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Once again the lovely Louise has agreed to write a post for me! This time, on gel nail application. A short while ago we had a conversation regarding the application because mine just kept peeling off , they usually repel any polish if they can. Louise talked me through a step by step technique on how to get a strong gel ‘base’ gel application which really stays. I can now have super strong nails and the ability to paint over and over the gel with any of my nail polishes. I felt it would be important to have this on the blog, yet as she had spent so much time explaining it to me, I didn’t feel it was right for me to be the one getting credit for the write up. As Louise mentions, she originally had advice from the very talented Mary so full credit to both of these wonderful ladies and a huge thank you once again to Lou for writing this up! Thank you!

Note: If you wish to apply foils on top of the gel, use 2 layers of normal base coat first, the foils bleed and stain the gel! Not a pretty sight.


Firstly I must point out that I am neither a qualified nor trained nail technician. The following should not be taken as professional advice, it is just an account of how I apply gel to my own nails.

Nails have been my hobby for the past 18 months, during which time I have read articles, watched videos and sought advice from my fellow online nail artists. One lady in particular has been incredibly helpful in my pursuit of gels that don’t ping off within 24hrs of applying, if you would care to check her out you can find her on Instagram as @dreamymm.

So here we have my step by step regime for applying gel to the nails.

Firstly and most importantly, nail preparation is the key to a lasting set of gels.

-File all nails to your preferred shape.


-Apply cuticle remover around the cuticle line and leave for 1 to 2 minutes to soften the skin.


-Gently push the cuticles back, never cut them as they will grow back thicker than before. Avoid using excessive pressure as this can lead to the nail being damaged or the cuticle tearing which can then become infected.


-Remove the dead skin cells from around the cuticle line-again do not use too much pressure as nails will not take kindly to being scraped at harshly.


-Gently buff the nail just enough to remove the shine. Excessive filing of the nails surface will make the nails thin with a tendency to break or separation of the nail plate layers which could lead to peeling of the nails.


-At this point I was my hands in washing up liquid which should remove any dust and also oil and grease from the hands and nails.

-Wipe each nail with pure acetone using a lint free wipe.

-Apply a very thin layer of gel base coat to the nail. Do not touch the cuticle area or nail walls as gel will not stick to skin and your gel will lift. Make sure that you apply a very thin layer along the free edge of your nail (cap the free edge) Cure the base coat under your UV lamp. My lamp has a preset timer for 2 minutes. Do not remove the sticky layer


-Apply a very thin layer of your gel top coat, cap the free edge. Cure under your UV lamp. Do not remove the sticky layer.

-Apply a second very thin layer of your gel top coat, cap free edge and cure.

-Using a lint free wipe, wipe each nail with the gel sanitizer to remove the sticky layer, apply your favourite cuticle oil and you should have a perfect set of gel nails.


Your nails are now ready for some amazing nail art; just remember to remove your polish with acetone free nail polish remover

After about 2 weeks you will start to see new nail growth around your cuticle area. You can remove all the gel by soaking your nails in pure acetone or if you want to touch up your gel nails, very gently file the shine off the gel taking care not to file right down to the nail surface and repeat the whole gel process as above. Any new nail growth must be prepared as above ensuring that the cuticle area is clean and free from dead skin cells allowing the gel to bond to the new nail properly. So that just leaves me to say thank you to Sophie for letting me loose on her wonderful blog once again and happy manicuring to you all.