DIY Gel Nails: Do You Dare?

15 April 2021

If anyone loves a good manicure, it’s us, obviously! So we understand the temptation behind wanting to do your own gel nails at home, especially since we haven’t been able to visit salons and also—let’s face it—nail polish chipping is too frustrating! But there is more to DIY gel nail kits than just achieving pretty nails, and some of it might shock you. 

This is a big part of why we’ve created Glaize - the convenience of a salon-quality manicure at home without the dangers involved. Enough about that, though, let’s get into the nasty stuff.

It’s slightly more complicated than swiping on two coats of polish

Source: Freepik

While an at-home gel manicure is great in theory, the thing to note is that there’s a bit more involved than the swipe of a nail polish brush and a shiny top coat. Some of the biggest concerns are the fact that you’re dealing with harsh chemicals and the lack of knowledge about nail anatomy. 

The importance of knowing the chemical stuff and the nail anatomy is super important for gel prep and removal, which can become messy if done incorrectly. So this doesn’t only concern the look of your nails, but also your actual physical safety. Scary stuff! 

If you’ve ever tried DIY nails with an at-home gel manicure, you’ll know that it’s really easy to create thick patches of gel polish and uneven nail surfaces. None of which are pretty sights.

Misunderstanding the curing times can be disastrous, too


Curing times for gel polish is the most important part of what gives them that durability factor. Well-trained professional nail technicians will be aware of what curing time is necessary to ensure the gels last, but this step can be tricky when DIY nails are done at home by a non-professional. 

The reason that over-curing gel nails at home is a known problem comes from the fact that many people increase their curing time above what’s recommended, “just to be sure”.  

If cured for too long, the gel nails can become brittle and prone to cracking more easily. On the other hand, under-curing your gel nails can be a potential risk for skin sensitivity, itching, redness, and even blisters. Who wants that when you’re just trying to get some bomb AF nails?! 

You’re probably familiar with the strategy of painting your nails PLUS all the skin surrounding the nail and cuticle with the idea of peeling the excess paint off in the shower. Well, when working with gel polish, this isn’t the best idea. When under-cured gel comes into contact with the skin, that’s when you risk experiencing allergic reactions (more on that later). 

The other concern with under-curing gel polish comes into play when you start mixing gel products from different brands with the added uncertainty of the UV/LED lamp you’re using. There’s a whole art to the mixing ratio, which ensures that the nail gets cured properly, meaning you’re kept safe from any nasty reactions. When you’re not a trained professional, this is likely not common knowledge.

Risk of infections and allergies increases

Source: Freepik

Unfortunately, with the convenience of a DIY nail gel kit comes the risk of dealing with the chemicals involved. These chemicals, a.k.a methacrylates, are known to cause allergic reactions in some women. These reactions can be in the form of rashes, itchiness, and even loosening of the nail. What’s worse is that this can spread to other areas of the body that the nail comes in contact with. 

Even if you’re not allergic to any of the chemicals involved with these gel kits, handling them and applying them around delicate skin, like that by your nails, can still be a dangerous task to do when untrained.

So if you’re considering purchasing an at-home gel manicure kit, maybe think twice about it. We’re not trying to scare you, we just want you to have the best manicure possible and to be able to rock it! Think of it as us trying to look out for you, ladies. And just a suggestion, keep an eye out for our launch; it could be just the thing you’re looking for! ;)