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Hump Day!!! Finally the middle of the week! Normally, middle of the week usually means that your mani is either chipped or cracked or just begging to be refreshed and I say this because that is exactly what happened to my mani! As a birthday gift I received a MelodySusie Mini Gel Polish Nail Dryer so I put it to use!

Isn’t it cute!? My mother in law didn’t know what to get me and had heard me complain about the bad service I had gotten when I went to get gel nails done a few weeks ago that she decided that maybe this would be a good gift. After doing some research and making comparison, I went with an LED UV lamp instead of the traditional UV. Reason being is because LED lights last a lifetime and don’t have to be changed out, plus it was the “safest”.

This lamp works great with any Gelish products, OIP Gelcolor Nail Polish, Orly Gel FX, Red Carpet LED Gel Polish, Gelicious, and any LED Gel Nail Polish out there. I felt like it gave me a wide range of options as far as what nail polish brands I can use.  The setting on the lamp is only one for 45 seconds and it turns on by clicking that cute little heart on top.

So yesterday I had the opportunity to finally use it and was more than excited. I had already received some gel nail polish products but just hadn’t used them because of the same reason: no dry lamp. I wanted to keep the same nail polish color I was already sporting and looked online to see if I could use regular nail polish with gel top coats and to my amazement you can! They’re called “Gel Sandwich” or “Gelly Sandwich”. The best tutorial that I found was from Chickettes (love the name!) and I followed the instructions that she had:

Here are the steps that I recommend to achieve a successful gelly sandwich:

  1. Prep your nails for a gel manicure (shape, buff, cleanse, etc).

  2. Apply a layer of gel polish foundation, capping the tips.

  3. Cure the foundation gel in your UV or LED lamp for the recommended time.

  4. Wipe off the tacky layer.

  5. Apply your regular nail polish color of choice, waiting several minutes in between each coat, until you get the desired opacity.  Do NOT cap the tips.

  6. WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!  Let the regular nail polish dry.  I mean COMPLETELY dry… like for several hours (4-6 hours).

  7. Apply a layer of gel top coat, capping the tips.

  8. Cure the top coat in your UV or LED lamp for the recommended time.

  9. Optional: repeat steps 7 & 8 for some extra strength.

  10. Wipe the tacky layer with a lint-free pad and alcohol or nail cleanser.

  I buffed my nails with this cute nail buffer and then I used a cotton pad and applied alcohol to it and wiped my nails
 Then I applied the first layer of Gelish Foundation and cured it for twice for 45 seconds just in case. Now here is where I messed up lol. I didn’t realize or know how exactly it was going to dry and I had some of the polish on my cuticles and past my cuticles and it dried over it making it look like I had deformed nails lol. Obviously I missed that part in the instructions, or actually, they weren’t there, so I didn’t really know better but now I do 🙂 Afterwards I applied 2 thin layers of Essie’s Mint Apple, cleaned up around my cuticles and tried to fix as much of the foundation as possible and waited for a good hour for them to dry before I applied the top gel coat.  I applied 1 coat of the gel top it off top coat and cured the nails twice for 45 seconds and was so excited that they were dry that quickly! Here are my results:

     As you can see, there are some visible and none visible mistakes that I did, which for my next application I will make sure to do better. My nails are a bit damaged already because like a complete goof I started doing the dishes believing that they were seriously completely dry but they weren’t.

What did I learn from this? Follow directions!!! I’ll probably redo my nails this weekend and fix them but I also might add some length to them, which by the way, you can totally do with gel nail polish. Now that I see what I did wrong, I know I’ll refrain from making that same mistake. Also, the nail art will be much easier to do and far less time consuming!

Do you guys have an at home nail lamp? Any tips or suggestions for a better application? What are you favorite gel polishes?