DIY gel nail manicures

sensationail gel manicure kit

last year it felt like I was constantly painting my nails, and.. forever waiting for them to dry! I grew so tired of having my shiny talons chipping after 2 days I started thinking about alternatives. so before I forget I wanted to share a discovery I've made- DIY gel nails.

I avoided gel manis in the past as I like to change the colour of my polishes but I started to wonder if having the same colour for a week or two was really that bad? after yet another disaster I decided to treat my hands to a proper manicure. I visited a salon and had a very nice set of OPI gels done which lasted about 11 days before any wear showed- an record for me and my accident prone fingers. yup, I was officially converted to gel polish.

as I wanted to be able to do my own nails at home I decided to find a DIY kit and was tipped off about a flash sale on sensationail starter kits. I snapped one up for £45 which included the led lamp and a couple of free polishes. there's enough in the kit for 10 sets of nails which would cost at least £200 at a salon (the added bonus is I can sit in my pants and watch netflix without having to make awkward small talk with a stranger- winner.)

gel manicure at home

I'm currently on my 3rd set of nails- I'm loving being able to do them whenever I want and they're lasting nearly as long as my gel salon nails did.

the process is the same as you go through at the salon, first file, buff and prep the nails. prime and follow with the base coat, colour then top coat (you cure each stage under the lamp for 30-60secs.) the lamp is pretty flimsy but does the job. wipe down and you're good to go, no waiting about for them to dry and the end result is gorgeous and shiny- hurrah!

DIY gel manicure kits @burkatron

gel nails take longer to remove than regular nail polish but I'm cool with that- I file and soak mine in a bowl of acetone for 15mins then gently scrape the remainder off. 

the starter kits usually cost about £70 but you can grab the primers and top coat I've used here for under £25- these are what come in the starter kits. the only other part needed is a led lamp and polish. if you love going to the salon to get your nails did then this might not be for you- but if you're looking for a budget alternative I give it a thumbs up.

have you tried any of the home gel kits before?

back soon

caroline x

ps. despite his best attempts kipper hasn't quite got the hang of painting his paws- yet!


  1. I love gel manicures but sometimes it gets too expensive but now that you posted this I can do it at home and its a lot cheaper! Thanks for sharing!

    1. so pleased- hope it helps! I'm so glad I took the chance on them :)

  2. Thanks for sharing this :)

  3. This post showed up at just the right time! I'm looking for a good at-home gel nails kit and it sounds like this one is worth a shot! I totally know what you mean about the awkward talks with strangers. Plus it means I have to get dressed and leave the house on a weekend and sometimes I just don't feel like doing that!
    Will have to check this kit out. Thanks! xx
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

    1. haha YES- so glad it's not just me- honestly I can't not make small talk the silence is even more awkward to me :) I've really been surprised by this kit -I'd buy it again! :)

  4. Wow, they look lovely, also loving the cat :) x

    Millie x

  5. Thank you I have to try. I get so funny about the touching in nail salons. I love to do what I can do myself without the touch of the strangers lol

    1. HA! I'm with you- this definitely suits me more :)

  6. I'm like you! I love changing my nail colour so getting gel nails didn't really appeal to me. But I had them done as a one off over Christmas and they were undeniably shiny and long lasting, thanks for sharing a DIY/cheaper option!

    Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVE


    1. so shiny! I'm officially converted- plus you can still use regular polish in between sets :)

  7. I am using the Red Carpet Manicure kit and I am loving it too, it's so much easier to use than I expected!

    Lilies and Lipbalm



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