How to do a Gel Manicure at Home

I always liked having my nails done, but since our engagement I’ve become downright obsessive with having a clean, fresh, manicure. I feel like people are scrutinizing my hands LOLZ. Lately I've become addicted to giving myself a gel manicure at home!

But here’s the deal - I’m cheap. Or I guess I’m not cheap, I just don’t particularly want to spend my cash at a nail salon. Handbags? Sure. Breakfast? Obvi. I’ll treat myself. But I’ve never really loved spending money on things I know I can do a half decent job at myself.

I think salons were like THE thing back when you could only get gel polish professionally done, but over the years brands have come out with 1) gel polish you can do in your own home and 2) gel polish that doesn’t require the use of a light. I have zero facts or science behind this, but I really never liked having a strong light on my hands. I just assumed it couldn’t be good for me.

Today I wanted to break down my fave at home mani polishes and colors!

gel manicure at home

My fave nail polishes

Essie Gel Couture

Essie makes hands down the best at home gel polish. The polish has good color payoff and great shine. I don’t think any no light gel polish is quite as sturdy as “real” salon gel, but Essie’s Gel Couture is definitely the strongest out of all the at home options.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

I’m also a big fan of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. The Sally Hansen polishes are slightly more affordable than the Essie Gel Couture, which is a definite pro. I do find that the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is a bit thicker of a formula and it also chips a bit easier for me. But overall it’s a great polish and I’m stocked up on tons of colors.

gel manicure at home

Shop polishes

My fave polish colors

My fave polish colors are typically reds, taupes, and a crisp white. Here are my absolute faves.

Essie Gel Couture

Model Clicks - This shade is a deep deep purple. Perfect for fall weather and probably my all time favorite nail color. Definitely my most used!

Rock the Runway - My perfect bright red! This has more of a coral/orange undertone to it. Perfect for summer.

Take me to Thread - This color is sort of hard to describe. It’s kind of like a lavender taupe shade, leaning more taupe. Either way, it’s a sexy neutral.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Wine Stock - This color is basically the Sally Hansen version of the Essie Model Clicks. This deep wine colored shade is sooooo good.

Per-Suede - I’ve never found a beautiful neutral suede color like this before. It’s STUNNING.

Greyfitti - Sometimes a stark white can be too white. This color has a slight blue/grey tinge to it to take the edge off.

gel manicure at home

Tell me your fave polishes in the comments below!