How To: DIY Nail Gel Extensions

I've been doing my own nails for years and it's been so long since my last DIY nail blog post that it's time to share an updated version because so much has changed since then.


Here are the tools that I used in the order that I use them along with the steps to get these DIY nails.

Cuticle Pusher + Trimmer - Start by gently cleaning the cuticles. First, use a cuticle pusher to push back the cuticle, and then using cuticle trimmers, trim the cuticle. You can soften the cuticles before cleaning them up if you dip your fingers in warm water for about 2-3 minutes.

Nail Drill - Next, very gently and lightly file the natural nail. You can use a traditional nail file for this step if you don't have a drill. Then using the drill, gently file the inside of the nail extensions.

Rubbing Alcohol - Once you've cleaned and filed the nails it's time to start the nail prep. For this, start by dehydrating the nails (both natural nails and nail extensions) using rubbing alcohol on a small brush.  

Nail Primer - After the rubbing alcohol has fully dried, apply nail primer to the nails (both natural nails and nail extensions) and wait about one minute to allow the primer to dry.

Nail Glue + Mini LED Lamp - Then, apply a thin layer of nail glue to the natural nails and cure it for 30 seconds in the Mini LED Lamp. Next, apply a generous amount of nail glue to the nail extension and firmly press it onto the natural nail trying your best to leave no air bubbles. (Air bubbles can cause lifting of the nail which can cause them to not last very long.) Then cure the nail for 15 seconds while firmly press the nail for the entirety of the curing process. 

UV LED Lamp - Once all of the nail extensions are applied onto one hand, fully cure the nails for 30 seconds.

Nail File + Buffer - Taking a nail file smooth out the edges of the nail extensions. Then with the drill, file off any glue residue on the nail and gently file away the shine off the nail extensions. You can use a nail buffer to remove the shine as well instead of using a drill.

Next, dehydrate and prime the nails once again to get them ready for the color application.

Gel Base Coat - Apply a layer of base coat and cure it for 30 seconds in the UV LED Lamp.

Gel Color - Apply one layer of color and cure it for 2 minutes in the UV LED Lamp. Repeat this step until you get the color intensity desired, making sure to cure between each coat. For this color, I did three coats.

Gel Top Coat - Apply a layer of top coat and cure it for 2 minutes in the UV LED Lamp.

After this, wash your hands then follow with a cuticle oil or hydrating lotion and you're done! 

Watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial!

@xoyourgirljess products used linked on my blog! p.s. i’m not a nail tech so pls don’t come for me 🥺 #nailtutorial #gelnails #diynailsathome #gelextensionnails #nailvideos #nailsoftiktok ♬ About Damn Time - Lizzo

I hope you found this blog post helpful!

xo, Your Girl Jess

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