Creative musings in bright colors

This is going to be a two part post: today I will tell you about applying gel nails (which I did for the first time right before my Israel trip) and doing simple designs on them. On Monday, I will return with how well they held up, and how removal went.


I was hesitant to try gel nails, both because I didn’t know how to control gel polish, I didn’t know what clean up would be like, but mostly because I really didn’t trust the gel polish to stay on and protect my nails. But, I was going away for almost two weeks, and planned to hike, climb rocks, climb down crazy tunnels, and float in the dead sea. My nails needed help.

I turned to the Nailsation kit that I received from the Rite Aid nail art contest 7 months ago, and went with the color “wine.” I was hoping for a deep glittery red, what I got was a bright glittery magenta. Although it is not what I imagined, I do like the color!


How this worked: I removed all my previous polish, and gently buffed my nails (basically went over them with a nail file…it was a weird sensation). I then cleaned the nails with the provided cleaner and added a thin coat of primer (it is very sticky). After that turned tacky, I added a thin layer of base coat on my thumbs (cure for 1 min) and then the 4 fingers of my right hand and then left hand. The small UV light that came with my kit only does 4 fingers at a time! After that had dried (aka cured) I started adding color. My thumbs each got two coats of Wine, while my fingers all got 3. I wanted the color to be darker! After curing each coat (for 30 seconds) I was surprised to see that the color pulled back a bit from where I had put it, so the lines at the base of my nail were fuzzy rather than nice and sharp. The other important thing is to REALLY wrap your nails. I did wrap, but not enough!


Finally, I finished with one coat of top coat (cure for 30 seconds) and cleaned off the residual gunk with the cleaner. My nails were hard and shiny! I had thought that this would be a quick process, but between being VERY careful not to get anything on my cuticles and having to do everything in stages, this took over an hour. That being said, there was no dry time!


The next morning, I settled on adding stamps in silver to my accent nail and thumb, just to spice things up a bit. I grabbed Excalibur by A England (my favorite stamping silver) and bundle monster plate 314 and got to work. It was actually really simple…i just stamped, cleaned with acetone, and then added and cured the gel top coat. Voila!


I did get quite a few compliments on these over the course of my trip.

Comments on: "Gel Nails: The Glorious Start" (14)

  1. I’m not surprised you got lots of compliments. I love this mani. I’ve never tried gel polish before (and probably won’t) because it sounds too time-consuming. But I’m looking forward on the removal post. Hope it will be alright. Fingers crossed!

  2. The mani looks fabulous. I haven’t tried gel polish myself, I’ve had gel nails once though. They were done well, but I still had a bad experience, so I’ve kept away from the gel polishes different brands are coming out with nowadays.
    I am looking forward to the 2nd part of the post. I hope it went well and your nails are healthy.

  3. Oooh, pretty! 🙂

  4. Wait, so if you do a gel base, then do a nail design in the middle, and then put on a clear gel top coat and cure it, the art holds? Even though the sandwiched layer is done with regular polish?

    THIS IS IMPORTANT INFO I DID NOT KNOW THIS. I have always been told that didn’t work, but if it held up for you for two weeks on a trip like this one, that’s a pretty good road test! I’ve always wanted to be able to offer gel when I do nail art for people, because most people want it to hold up for a good long while. Thank you!

    • yah it totally holds! I did stamping because i figured a thin layer of polish would stay better….i did a lot of reading first. It sounds like you can do gel and then polish but only if you let the polish dry COMPLETELY. If the polish layer is dry before you add gel top coat you are fine! (hence the stamping…stamps are thin so they dry fast and well). But yah. 13 days, no problems at all

    • AnneMae Noel said:

      Yes, you can encapsulate just about anything in a gel manicure with no ill effect to the gel coating. Right now I am creating “3D manicures” using dollhouse miniature food and candies and have left them both ways – with objects just covered in the clear gel and the contours of the objects still readily visible, and also fully encapsulated to create a “snag proof” mani. I use the ibd regular system, and by using their intense Sealer to finish the first design, I can then create any second look I want on top of the “permanent” design, allowing me the freedom to explore while having a terrific design always ready to go

  5. So it really lasted 13 days?! Impressive.
    It’s great for a trip, but otherwise I’d get SO BORED of the colour. : )
    It’s cool you added a stamped accent!!

    • i know! i was like NO MORE PINK NAILS FOR A MONTH. So far, so good

      • AnneMae Noel said:

        What I do is to create a “permanent” design in the gel nail itself, then after sealing the it with ibd’s Intense Sealer I am able create any “second look” I want on top of the nail and seal it with just regular nail polish topcoat so it can be easily removed and changed as my whim dictates – and I often change that second look design every day. I have a BAD case of nail art ADHD and get bored very quickly – so I make it so it can be changed at a moment’s whim. The ibd Intense Sealer is acetone proof, so to remove it just sand through the hard cap and soak and sand off the rest as normal

      • huh. very cool!

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a london year

[or more accurately: the london years]


Un blog de nailista, adepte de nail art tendance, passionnée de photos, et de jolis bijoux. Les dernieres modes en matière de vernis à ongles sont scrutées et analysées, les teintes passées au crible, et en prime des tutos super faciles à réaliser vous sont proposés... Bref, la féminité s'invite jusqu'au bout des ongles sur le blog de Pshiiit !

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Creative musings in bright colors

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