DIY: Gel Manicure Review

I’m sure most of you who are on Pintrest have heard about this DIY gel manicure. I saw this on the Pintester’s site and immediately had to try it. (Step by step tutorial is after the cut.)

This is polish is supposed to be magic in a bottle, basically. I bought mine at Sally’s for a little over six dollars.


Oy vey. Ok. So. Basically every tutorial I’ve read and seen, this has worked so well for them. For me, not so much. I tested this three times. The third time was kind of the charm. I don’t know what kind of voodoo these people put on their nails, but there is no way for this to last two weeks like they all claim. My best was a good solid even days of acceptable wear and tear.

Warning: This will be a long post. Be prepared.


I will admit that my first attempt was doomed from the beginning. My manicure before was the Colorshow Nail Stickers. I know I still had some glue left on my nails. I should have been better at cleaning my nails up, but I went forth with my bad decision.

But, I ABSOLUTELY loved this manicure! Colorshow’s “Clearly Spotted” gives the manicure a splatter like effect with the different sized glitter. Definitely one of my favorite polishes I own.

colorshow clearly spottedcolorshow clearly spotted (2)1st mani
1stSo I followed all the rules of this:

  1. One thin coat of the Gelous. Let it dry for a few minutes.
  2. Another thin coat of Gelous. Let dry for about 2 minutes.
  3. While the Gelous is still a bit wet, apply your first coat of polish. Let polish dry for about 5 or so minutes.
  4. Apply second coat of Gelous. Let it sit for about two minutes.
  5. Apply second coat of your polish.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 if you have more layers of polish (like I did with the glitter).
  7. Apply your top coat.

*TIP* Never let your Gelous layers ever fully dry. You want the polish to stick to it.

One day later:

1st try one day later


So many chips! I was so disappointed. Then I remembered the glue from the nail stickers. I knew I would have to give this method a second try.



I wasn’t ready for this manicure to die just yet, so I did the same manicure. You’re supposed to have a control group in an experiment anyway, right?

I did do one major difference with this manicure, however. Before putting the polish on my nails, I filed and buffed the surface of my nails to make sure all the glue was gone from those stickers. I also took a cotton ball with some rubbing alcohol and swiped my finger nails with them to make sure there was no oil on my nails. I think doing these things did help.

2nd mani

I did add an extra coat of the “Clearly Spotted.” I’m obsessed.

Three days later:

2nd day 3 bfore wwr

Right Hand

2nd dayy 3 before wwr

Left Hand

These pictures were taken right before I went on my adventure of whitewater rafting and zip lining. The chipping wasn’t as bad, to me anyways. Please excuse my left thumb. My phone was acting dumb, so I had pry off the the phone cover, the back, and battery. That will explain the severe chip on my thumb. So if you ignore the thumb, the chipping on the third day of this second try was about the same as on the first day of the first try. WE ARE GETTING CLOSER.

These were taken after whitewater rafting and zip lining.

2nd 3rd day after wwr

2nd try day 3 after wwrThey held up pretty good!



I still wasn’t that satisfied with how this whole process was turning out. Then I looked at my nails and thought to myself, “My nails haven’t been this long in quite a while. I wonder if I cut them, the polish will last longer?”

So that’s what I did! I cut my nails. I didn’t do the filing or the buffing because I had just done that not even a week before. I did do the cotton ball of rubbing alcohol, though.

Original Manicure

Original Manicure

Five days later:

Right Hand

Right Hand

Left Hand

Left Hand

I was VERY pleased with these results. Again, that darn left hand. I don’t know what’s up with it, but that polish came right off in the shower. I have no idea why. So please ignore it! Everything else, I was happy with. There was minimal chipping. My nail polish always seems to chip around the 3rd day. I couldn’t complain too much.

After 7 days:

Right Hand

Right Hand

Right Hand

Right Hand

Left Hand

Left Hand


Left Hand

Left Hand

Again, I was quite pleased with how this held up for seven full days. I really think keeping my nails shorter helped.

I don’t think I would do this for nail art designs. For some reason, I don’t think it would work well. But, I would definitely do it again if I was going to do a simple manicure that I wanted to last for a bit.

I have no idea how people made their nails last two weeks. They may have reapplied a top coat to help make it last longer. I did not. Maybe next time I will do that. After three or so days I will reapply my top coat.

Have any of you tried this yet? If so, please tell how it worked for you! I would like to know more tips and tricks to make this work better.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday evening!

P.S. – I’m so glad I read and edited everything before posting. I had so many darn spelling mistakes and omitting of words. I must be more tired than I thought I was! Yay for self-editing!



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3 Responses to DIY: Gel Manicure Review

  1. Katie DeLong says:

    Nails that chip is the WORST! You should see my nails right now. Awful. P.S. I want that pinkish color! So pretty! I wish I had the time and dedication to try this out ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. alyssakloves says:

    i used this top coat i buy from sally’s, and like, it is the solution to polish chipping lol. it is by finger paints and it costs $5 dollars. $5 freaking dollars and it is like liquid gold. i can go a full 7 days with very little to ZERO chips. i also only use essie nail polish, i don’t think that matters though. i’m pretty sure i could paint my nails with a ยข.99 bottle of wet ‘n wild color and still have hardly any chips because of the finger paints top coat.

    can you put regular top coat over a gel manicure?? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Bridget says:

    What’s the name of that wet n’ wild color? it’s gorgeous!

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