This Really Works: An At-Home Gel Manicure

Alexandra Perron
·Editor
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LED Gel Polish from Red Carpet Manicure in Haute Couture, Red Carpet Reddy, and Dripping In Luxury (Photo: Red Carpet Manicure)

"Someday, I’ll open a nail salon!" That’s what I’ve been telling myself every time I bring home a new nail polish color. I’m trying, testing, and building my lacquer knowledge all in the name of my future business. OK. Fine. I’m just a nail polish addict. And it all just reached a whole new level when I gave myself my first gel manicure… at home. 

I was giddy when I told my best friend about my newest find: the Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Starter Kit ($75). “This is going to change our lives! I can give us gel manicures and pedicures. Whenever we want! It will be so easy!” 

Fast forward three weeks and I’ve now successfully done two gel manicures and one gel pedicure in the comfort of my own home (in my living room to be exact, while watching Nashville). 

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The Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Starter Kit (Photo: Red Carpet Manicure)

Don’t let the seven bottles and stapler-shaped LED light overwhelm you. It actually is really easy to DYOG (Do Your Own Gel). Just like at the salon, you’ll need to do some legit nail prep before sticking your hands under that blue light. You start by prepping clean, filed nails with Purify, a nail cleanser and a coat of Prep, a Max Adhesion Sanitizer. After your nails are clean, the fun starts. You’ll apply a base coat, two coats of color polish, and a high-shine top coat. In total, your nails will spend about 21 minutes under the light curing. At the end, you’ll be left with a super shiny, super durable manicure. 

Aside from the dozens of compliments you’ll get on your manicure (I had mine during fashion week, and was receiving a lot of praise from fellow beauty editors for my nails), you can’t really beat the price. The Starter Kit will run $75 and includes one color polish (individual colors can be purchased for $10). If you think about how much you pay for one gel manicure in the salon, this is one deal that can’t be beat.

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