Firstly let's go through a list of what you will need. It's really not so expensive if you know where to look for what you need
1) A UV Lamp You can buy these most places now, Argos, Tesco's , hairdressing wholesalers, although these can be more expensive because they are professional, and expected to be used constantly. Ebay or Amazon, now this is where you can pick up a bargain. The small one pictured above is my own personal one that I use for myself and it only cost around £5.00 on Ebay
2) A cuticle pusher, to push your cuticles back
3) Lint free wipes (not cotton wool too hairy)
4) An orange stick
5) A stop watch or timer
6) Gel polish nail prep ( if you buy a kit it will be in the kit)
7) Acetone Most hairdressing or beauty wholesalers will sell this or Ebay or Amazon
8) Tin foil
The last two Items listed are for removing your polish.
Now you can buy kits from some sites that have everything you will need a good starter kit my friend bought actually came from Tesco's. It cost around £40.00 that included the lamp and everything you need, though the gel and colour polish were small bottles.
A company I would recommend is Blu Sky (look up blu sky official site) they also do starter kits as shown below
Ok, so the best way to start is with clean, filed nails. It's good to give them a soak beforehand so you can push your cuticle back, which will help the longevity of the polish. DO NOT use a gel polish system if you have any broken skin around your nails or any fungal infections or damage to your nail.
Some brands advise you to use a snow block (fine block nail file) I don't recommend this as it thins your nails if you gel polish regularly. I don't use it on my nails and it has not had any effect
Apply the pre cleanse preparation fluid with your lint free wipe. Some gel systems require a primer, some do not. Blu Sky do not require this. If your kit advises this then apply
Only do your fingers first, not thumbs.
Apply your gel base coat length way's as if you were painting on a nail polish, making sure the nail is totally covered, then paint across again at the nail tip. Only apply a fine layer.
Use your orange stick, by sliding it down each side of your nail to make sure the gel is not on your fingers
Slide your nail under the lamp and use your timer. Some brands will say 30 seconds, some will say for 60 seconds
Now bring your hand out of the lamp (only do one hand at a time) and apply a fine coat of gel colour of your choice. Slide under again and time to your instructions 30 - 60 seconds
Now apply a second coat as above
Now apply your top coat. You will notice under the light it will appear white in colour, and you can see if it's totally covered. If not quickly touch up and slide hand back in.
Repeat other hand following the above steps ,
Now do both thumbs together. Your nails need to be facing upward, so this is the best way to do this as pictured below
Hold the lamp with both hands with just your thumbs in there. When you have finished all nails, use the nail prep again to finish. That's it all done!
I hope some of you out there will find this helpful. It can save you a fortune, rather than going to the nail salon all the time.
Let me know how you get on, or any queries, just ask!
Next week I will give a step by step guide on how to remove your gel polish