How to Get Gel-Level Nails Without Going to a Salon

If there's one thing I've spent countless dollars on, it's anything having to do with my nails—namely gel manicures.

I tend to bite my nails and cuticles, so for the longest time, getting a gel mani 1-2 times a week was totally normal for me. Each time I'd get them done, I'd tell myself this time would be different—this would be the time I actually leave them alone and avoid peeling them off after a three-day wear.

Welp, sad spoiler alert: I've rarely been able to follow through with my goal. That said, over the last six months, I've really mellowed out with my nail services. It's just becoming a waste of money. All I need is cuticle oil, cuticle clippers and a nail file, and I'm able to touch myself up when need be.

But there are of course still those occasions when having gels is ideal. Sometimes you really need those fingers to pop—even if just for one day.

It wasn't until someone sent me a few bottles of O.P.I.'s Infinite Shine 2 shades that I began to think outside of the box. As with any polish, you're really only encouraged to apply two to three coats, plus a top coat. I noticed after applying two to three coats of this gel-lacquer (made with gel-like properties, but not officially considered gel nail polish), the color was shiny, but very easy to pick off. I thought, why not apply more coats to really get that authentic gel look?

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Sure enough, I applied six coats (plus top coat) and voila—I legit had gel-level nails, that will cost you no more than a little bit of patience and approximately $12. That's a far cry from the $45 plus at the salon that requires you to put your fingers in a UV nail lamp, amirite?

Regardless of how many coats you apply, a few swipes of acetone nail polish remover gets rid of these bad boys just like they do to regular polish.

So, on the next rainy day, grab yourself some gal pals and a bottle of Party at Holly's burgundy hue—and give yourselves an enviable mani that's sure to make your cute little fingers the talk of the school.


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