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*The author generated this text in part with ChatGPT, OpenAI’s GPT-3 large language model. The content was reviewed, edited, fact-checked, and revised by our editorial team.

Gel manicures, whether done at home or in the salon, are a popular choice because they last longer than traditional mani-pedis and don’t chip as easily. However, when it comes time to remove them, it can be tough to do so without damaging your nails. But don’t worry — with a few simple steps and the right tools, you can safely remove your gel manicure at home and keep your nails looking healthy and in tip-top shape. 

Why is gel more damaging to your nails?

Gel manicures can be more damaging to your nails than traditional polish because they require filing and buffering before application. This can make the nails thinner and weaker. In addition, gel manicures are cured under UV light, which can cause the nails to dry out and become brittle over time.

The gel removal process can also be harsh on the nails because acetone is often used to remove the polish, drying out and weakening the nails. If you don’t remove the polish properly, the nails can rip off or become damaged. Excessive filing and buffing during removal can also further weaken the nails.

Another factor that can be harmful is leaving gel polish on for too long. Even though it’s more durable than traditional polish, it still needs to be removed and replaced every two to three weeks. 

Step-by-step guide for at-home gel removal

Removing gel polish, especially at home, isn’t easy. But following the steps below should help you get rid of your gel manicure as seamlessly as possible. 

Step 1: Gather your tools  

Grab a nail clipper, nail file, cotton balls, a plastic manicure stick, an acetone-based nail polish remover, and moisturizing hand cream. Why acetone, you may ask? It can dissolve the materials used to make the gel, such as the polymer in the polish, and breaks down the molecules for more effortless removal.

Acetone is also a strong degreaser and helps to remove any oil or dirt on your nails. This allows for a smoother surface for the next application. Pure acetone, however, can be extremely drying, so balancing it out with moisturizing ingredients is necessary.

Step 2: Clip, clip, clip

Once you have your tools, begin clipping your nails as short as possible. This will make removing the gel polish easier and prevent your nails from snagging on anything.

Step 3: File away

Next, use the nail file to file away the top layer of the gel polish gently, which will break up the surface, making it easier to remove the polish.

Step 4: Soak your nails in acetone

Saturate a cotton ball with the acetone-based nail polish remover and place one on top of each nail. Then, wrap your nails in aluminum foil to make sure the cotton ball stays in place. The foil will help trap the heat and create a warm environment to speed up the removal process.

Let your nails soak in the acetone for about 15-20 minutes, then slowly remove the foil and cotton balls. The plastic manicure stick can help push off the remaining polish. If the gel isn’t coming off easily at this point, you can leave your nails wrapped in the foil for a few more minutes.

Step 5: Smooth it out

Once you’ve managed to take off the polish, use a nail file to smooth out any rough edges and shape your nails how you like. You’ll then want to moisturize your nails with a hand cream or cuticle oil to hydrate them and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle.

Proceed with patience 

TL;DR? Removing gel manicures with as little damage as possible requires handling the process gently and with care. You don’t want to spend too much time buffing your nails in step 3, as it can be too aggressive and harsh. It’s also important that you avoid skipping the moisturizing tip, as this can help keep your nails strong, healthy, and hydrated. We also recommend taking breaks between gel manicures to give your nails some time to strengthen and recover.

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How to Make Anti-Aging Cream at Home

If you are tired of trying to find the right anti-aging cream or you are balking at the cost of these products, you might want to make your anti-aging cream at home. This is easier than you might think, and you will not have to struggle to make this kind of beauty care product at home. You actually only need a few ingredients to make a really good anti-aging skin cream that will work perfectly to keep your skin hydrated and healthy every day.

Making your own skincare products can be a lot easier than you might think, and you can customize the ingredients and the scent of these products as well when you make them at home. There is nothing not to love about making your own skincare products, and you will be glad that you have this recipe on hand for a really luxurious anti-aging cream that won’t break the bank.

How to Make an Anti-Aging Skin Cream:

You will need these ingredients to make your anti-aging skin cream:

  • 1/8 cup avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp beeswax
  • 1 tbsp shea butter
  • 5 drops vitamin E Oil
  • 3 Drops Lavender essential oil (optional)
  • 1 drop Frankincense essential oil (optional)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder

To make your anti-aging cream, just follow these steps:

  1. Add all the ingredients together other than the arrowroot powder, the vitamin E oil, and the essential oils to a small mason jar.
  2. Place the mason jar into a small saucepan with water in it.
  3. Heat your pan over medium-high heat until the ingredients in the mason jar have melted.
  4. Allow the contents of your mason jar to cool slightly.
  5. Add the Vitamin E oil, essential oils, and the arrowroot powder and mix well.
  6. Secure the lid of the mason jar.
  7. Use as needed for beautiful skin!

This is a really simple process and one that will make a lovely anti-aging cream that has a nice texture and a really enjoyable scent. You will want to use this cream after you apply your toner. Most people use it in the evening before going to bed so that their face is nourished while they sleep.

You can opt to wash your skin in the morning, but this cream is so light that you should not need to do so. Your skin should absorb all of the cream overnight and be ready for makeup or sunscreen application in the morning after treatment.

Making Your Own Skincare Items is Easier Than You Might Think

Making your own skincare items can be a lot easier than you might think. The ingredients in most skincare items that are sold by stores are no different than the ingredients that you can source on your own. The nice thing about making your own skincare creams is that they will be fresh, and you can always make more with your own customized essential oils for new scent experiences. Always make sure that you use a high-quality oil for the base of your skincare products, and you will have great results with your creations!

This article was last updated on January 6, 2023 .

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How to Make Organic Lipstick At Home

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How to Make Organic Lipstick At Home

Making your own organic lipstick at home is a lot easier than you might think. Many people mistakenly believe that the only way to get access to quality lipstick is to buy one from a cosmetic brand. The trouble with this is that cosmetic companies are not always concerned with using healthy ingredients, and they often use chemicals that are bad for your skin and your lips. You can avoid these health risks by making your own lipstick from natural substances at home.

How to Make Organic Lipstick

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 tsp organic coconut oil or Jojoba Oil
  • ¾ tsp candelilla wax or beeswax
  • 1 tsp organic raw cocoa butter
  • Organic beetroot powder for the color and pigment
  • Essential oils of your choosing, but peppermint is the most common choice.

To make your organic lipstick, you will need to do the following:

  1. Put that coconut or Jojoba oil into a small glass container and heat in the microwave for about 2 seconds at a time until the contents melt completely.
  2. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the beetroot powder to your preference. You can never take out the powder, but you can always add more to make the shade that you have been looking for.
  4. Add the essential oil that you have chosen and mix well.
  5. Put in the fridge to harden.

There are other kinds of pigments that you can use if you do not like the color of the beetroot as much as you were hoping. Many natural substances can be used as a pigment. Just be sure that you are not picking a natural product that might irritate the skin or cause breakouts. You can check out which organic products are commonly used for pigments with a simple internet search if you are not sure that you want to use beetroot powder to make your lipstick colorful.

Consider as well that you might want to apply your lipstick over the top of a chapstick product to make sure that it goes on smoothly and keeps your lips hydrated all day long. If you have very dry lips, this is always a good rule of thumb, no matter what kind of lipstick you are using for your makeup application process.

Caring for your lips with organic lipstick is easy, and you will love how much better your lips feel when they are not exposed to drying pigments and chemicals that are common in regular lipsticks.

Making Your Own Lipstick is Easy

If you have been unhappy with the quality of the lipsticks you have been getting from the makeup store, or you want to try to make a custom shade of lipstick with organic ingredients, it is not hard to make your own lipstick products at home. Just use this base recipe for your lipstick creations and make products that will be good for your lips and will also offer beautiful pigments to match any outfit or style.

This article was last updated on January 11, 2023 .

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How to Scrub Body at Home

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If you love going to the spa, you probably really enjoy skin scrubbing and cleansing routines that are part of many spa care services. These kinds of skincare opportunities can be really great for your skin health, and they can feel amazing.

If you want to be able to access this kind of skincare perk at home, you can do so. You just need the right tools, and you can make your own spa care experience in your own bathroom. There are various kinds of products that you can use for this kind of experience, and you will love that you can customize your body scrub experience to meet your own needs.

What Scrub do I Use?

You can make your own body scrub, or you can purchase a quality body scrub for your body scrubbing needs. Make sure that you are buying an organic or natural product and that you are not using a body scrub for your face. You can also make your own body scrub using a wide array of recipes. Many people use coffee, sugar products, and coconut oil or other natural oils to make their own body scrub.

Always make sure that you read the instructions on your body scrub product carefully so that you are using the product correctly. If you are making your own scrub, be sure that you are not leaving it on your skin for too long after you are done scrubbing.

What Else Will I Need?

You will want to have an exfoliating loofah on hand, and you might also want to make sure that you have a loofah that allows you to reach your back or other places that are tough to access. Be sure that these items are not too abrasive since the body scrub that you have made is also going to be slightly abrasive. You will want to get products that are gentle enough to be used with a body scrub.

Make sure that you consider the slippery nature of body scrubs and do not complete your scrubbing ritual in a location that might end up being slippery enough to cause a fall. Even if you are in the shower, be cautious about moving around while you are scrubbing for your own safety.

As an added bonus, you might want to have a moisturizing skin oil on hand to apply to your skin once you are done scrubbing. This is a common additional service that is used to finalize your body scrub treatment at a spa or salon. Moisturizing oils can do wonders for your skin once you have scrubbed away all the dead skin cells and prepared your skin to accept moisture more effectively.

How to Body Scrub At Home

Here’s how you can use a body scrub at home:

  1. First, choose a body scrub that is suitable for your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, look for a gentle scrub with fine grains. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, look for a scrub with larger grains or one that contains salicylic acid.
  2. Next, wet your skin in the shower or bath. This will help the scrub to spread more easily and will also help to open up your pores.
  3. Apply the body scrub to your skin using circular motions, starting at your feet and working your way up towards your head. Be sure to pay extra attention to areas like your elbows, knees, and ankles, which tend to be drier and more prone to rough patches.
  4. Rinse the scrub off thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as this can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause dryness.
  5. After rinsing off the scrub, pat your skin dry with a towel. Follow up with a moisturizer to help lock in hydration and keep your skin feeling soft and smooth.
  6. Use a body scrub once or twice a week, depending on your skin’s needs.

Body Scrubbing at Home Can be Easy

If you have thought that you would never be able to access the benefits of a body scrub treatment at home, you thought wrong! There are many high-quality body scrub products on the market, and you can invest in any of these for your use at home. Always make sure to have the right moisturizer to finish your body scrubbing care routine, and you will be able to enjoy a spa-worthy experience in your own home.

This article was last updated on December 17, 2022 .

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How to Make Rice Cream at Home

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One of the skincare items that come from Korea that has become increasingly popular elsewhere in the world is skin whitening with rice cream. This can be an expensive product to source in other parts of the world, but you can actually make your own version of this skin treatment at home if you wish. You will not need anything too exotic to make this skin-whitening and anti-aging cream.

If you want to get rid of freckles and help with the appearance of wrinkles, there are a few products that are better at these tasks than rice cream. If you know how to make rice, you can make this beauty product and enjoy your own skincare routine that is Korea-inspired.

How to Make Rice Cream:

You will need a few things for your rice cream:

  • 2 tbsp of rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp aloe vera gel
  • 2 Vitamin E capsules

Mix the rice and water together and let soak for half an hour. Add the mixture to two more cups of boiling water. Boil until the cranes on the right are soft. Strain the mix through a fine strainer and press to get the creamy part out of the rice mix. A fork or spoon can be a big help with this what you have left of your rice cream. Now you will add your vitamin E and aloe vera to the cream and mix well.

You can use this cream at night and then wash it off in the morning to enjoy the benefits of freckle-free and moisturized skin all day. You will love how smooth and silky this cream is and how lovely and smooth it makes your skin. If you have dry skin, you can still use this product because it is so gentle.

The batch of cream that you have made might last you for 2-3 weeks. You will want to be sure that you have a schedule for making more of this product each time you run out of your fresh cream. The cream that you make will not stay good for long enough to make lots of batches at once to create a large volume, so smaller batches are a better option. Make sure to store your cream in the fridge to keep it in good shape for your needs.

Rice Cream is Easy to Make and Easy to Use

This easy-to-make and really beneficial skincare item will be a great added bonus to your other skincare products and routines that you have in place. You will be able to make the most of freckle-free and smooth skin with this helpful skin cream, and it is so easy to make that you will wonder why you haven’t started making it for yourself sooner.

There are a few skincare items that are harder to get your hands on in other countries, but you don’t need to worry since you can just make your own rice cream at home that is fresh and ready to be enjoyed. Being able to care for your skin with ease is a key benefit to having this recipe in hand, and your skin will thank you for taking the time to make this product at home.

This article was last updated on December 14, 2022 .

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Home Remedies For Dry And Damaged Hair

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Dry and damaged hair can be a real pain, but with these home remedies, you can return your locks to their former glory in no time! We’ve gathered some of the best tips and tricks from around the web to help you improve the condition of your hair. From olive oil to deep conditioning, we have everything you need to start. So don’t wait any longer – try one of these remedies today and see the difference for yourself!

Home Remedies

Deep Conditioning Treatments

The best way to hydrate dry and damaged hair is by using a deep conditioner. A good deep conditioner will replenish the moisture in your hair, making it soft and manageable. There are a variety of deep conditioners available on the market, so be sure to choose one that suits your hair type. In addition, you may want to try a protein-based deep conditioner if you have dehydrated and damaged hair. Protein helps to repair and strengthen damaged hair.

Oils And Mask Treatments

Another great way to hydrate dry and damaged hair is by using an oil or mask treatment. Various oils can be used to treat dry and damaged hair, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. You can also make your mask by mixing honey, yoghurt, and egg whites. Apply the mask to your hair and leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it out.

Honey

Honey is a natural humectant that helps lock in moisture. Honey is also a great antibacterial agent and can help heal any scalp conditions contributing to dry and damaged hair. To use honey to treat dry and damaged hair, massage it into your scalp and hair. Leave the honey for 30 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another excellent natural remedy for hair that is dry and damaged. Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the pH of your scalp, which can help to reduce inflammation and dandruff. To use apple cider vinegar to treat your dry and damaged hair, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. Then, apply the mixture to your hair and scalp and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a great natural conditioner for dry and damaged hair. Coconut milk helps to add moisture and shine to your hair. To use coconut milk to treat dry and damaged hair, massage it into your hair and scalp. Leave the coconut milk for 20 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.

Aloe Vera Juice/Gel

Aloe vera is an excellent natural remedy for dry and damaged hair. Aloe vera juice or gel helps to add moisture and shine to your hair. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe the scalp. To use aloe vera to treat your hair, massage it into your hair and scalp. Then, leave the aloe vera for 20 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.

Avoid The Following

Avoid Heat Styling Tools

Another great way to prevent dry and damaged hair is to avoid heat styling tools. Heat styling tools can strip your hair of its natural moisture, leaving it dry and brittle. If you must use heat styling tools, use a heat protectant spray beforehand. And finally, avoid using heat styling products such as hairspray and gel. These products can further dry your hair and make it more susceptible to damage.

Limit Your Use Of Hair Dye

If you dye your hair frequently, you may damage it. Hair dye can strip your hair of its natural moisture, making it dry and brittle. If you must dye your hair, use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner afterwards.

Use Natural Shampoo And Conditioner

One of the best ways to prevent dry and damaged hair is to use natural shampoo and conditioner. Unfortunately, many commercial shampoos and conditioners contain harsh chemicals that can strip your hair of its natural moisture. Instead, look for shampoo and conditioners made with natural ingredients and are free of sulphates, parabens, and other harsh chemicals, like Solid Shampoo Bars from Ethique.

These are just a few home remedies for dry and damaged hair. Be sure to experiment to find what works best for you! And remember, the best way to prevent damaged, dry hair is to take good care of your hair in the first place. Be sure to shampoo and condition regularly, use heat protectant spray before heat styling, and avoid harsh chemicals.

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Tooth whitening may seem like a modern idea, but it actually goes all the way back to Egypt. Or at least it does according to the Seattle Times’ history of teeth whitening. The reason then is similar to the reason now – whiter teeth are considered to be a sign of higher social status and wealth.

Times have changed a lot, but the desire for white teeth has not. In fact, teeth whitening has grown into a $6 billion dollar industry, as reported by Statista. It’s expected to continue to grow and exceed $8 billion dollars over the next decade. And given the amount of celebrities and influencers touting teeth whitening products, that growth seems reasonable.

It’s clear that tooth whitening is popular, and that there are lots of options to achieve it, but how do you know what’s right for you? We can help clear up the confusion so you can find the best teeth whitening options for you.

Teeth Whitening Options

While there are many tooth whitening products on the market, they all generally fall into two categories: in-office teeth whitening procedures performed by a dentist and at-home products you buy over-the-counter.

Dental Teeth Whitening

In-office tooth whitening by your dentist is an effective way to brighten your smile. It is the most expensive path to take, however, and comes with some risks and side effects. For this reason, it is often less attractive to the average person.

In-office whitening typically involves the use of expensive light equipment that works in conjunction with a special solution applied to your teeth. The solution, usually containing peroxide, is applied to your teeth. Then the dentist applies the special light to whiten your teeth. Sometimes it takes several sessions to achieve the shade you want.

Although it is effective, in-office teeth whitening does have some downsides. For example, the procedure is not very comfortable. For the duration of the treatment, the whitening equipment is in your mouth and your mouth must stay wide open. This isn’t comfortable, especially for people with a strong gag reflex. Also patients sometimes report feeling a buzz or zap feeling for a day or two afterwards.

Sometimes dentists follow up the procedure by prescribing at-home whitening treatments to keep up the effects of the treatment. They also often discourage you from eating and drinking things that can stain your teeth, such as:

  • Coffee
  • Black tea
  • Soft drinks
  • Wine
  • Fruit juices
  • Berries
  • Tomato-based sauces
  • Candy

DIY At-Home Teeth Whitening

A quick trip to the store will show you just how many at-home teeth whitening options you have available. Many of the products you find fall into the following categories:

  • Teeth whitening toothpaste
  • Teeth whitening trays
  • Teeth whitening strips

Most at-home tooth whitening systems and products use hydrogen peroxide to achieve brighter smiles. This is an effective ingredient, but it can lead to a less natural, or chalky white that may be undesirable.

There is a newer at-home whitening ingredient available which utilizes natural mineral crystals to brighten teeth. WX Formula tooth brightening gel is an example of this new technology. It is peroxide free and more gentle than many over-the-counter products. It is also effective, whitening teeth up to 10 shades lighter without damaging teeth enamel.

Is In-Office Or At-Home Whitening Better? 

First, it is important that you talk with your dentist before you try any tooth whitening product. This is especially critical if you have sensitive teeth or tender areas.

In reality, though, the best teeth whitening method depends on a few factors. This includes your personal preferences, time limitations, desired effect and your budget. If you do try in-office teeth whitening, you should ask lots of questions, including asking to see before and after photos.

Your personal preferences really play a large role in your decision. For instance, if you have a particularly strong gag reflex you may want to try an over-the-counter teeth-whitener, skipping the trays in lieu of pastes and brush-on gels.

If you’re not on a budget, don’t mind post-procedure discomfort and are willing to ditch foods and drinks that stain teeth, in-office whitening might be for you.

If you’re interested in taking a daily approach to teeth-whitening, with less harsh and potentially more comfortable methods, at-home teeth-whitening might be the best choice. This is also a good way to maintain results long term.

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Shiny, strong, and long-lasting… who doesn’t love gel nails? The best part is that you can get your own gel manicure at home if you want to. It’s a more involved process than simply painting your nails, but once you get good at it, your nails can always be shellacked to perfection. If you’re particularly ambitious, you can even try doing your own sculpted gel extensions at home!

You’ll have to pick up some essential tools first, but once you have everything, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars a year by doing your own gel manicure! To get you started, we’ve put together the most comprehensive guide imaginable for gel polish, poly gel extensions, and regular gel extensions. We included tips on what products to buy, a step-by-step guide, as well as some important troubleshooting tips.

In this article:

What You’ll Need to Do Your Own Gel Manicure

Gel nails are a little different from regular nail polish. The polish is made of polymers and monomers that bind and harden only after they’re exposed to UV light. Because of that, you need to have a light source, the special nail polish, as well as a few other must-have manicure tools.

We highly recommend purchasing a gel nail kit, like the Gel Polish Pro Kit from Red Carpet Manicure. The kit includes an LED lamp designed specifically to cure gel nail polish, a red LED nail polish, a base coat, a topcoat, a polish remover, a pre-manicure cleaning solution, an adhesion-improving nail dehydrating liquid, and cuticle oil.

Alternatively, you can always purchase an LED light and nail polishes separately, along with an acetone-based polish remover, isopropyl alcohol, and a special gel base coat, and a topcoat. 

Finally, you’ll also need a few tools just to help you achieve a great manicure! These include a nail buffer, cotton swabs, cotton pads, and maybe even a cuticle remover if you want to go all out.


Doing Your Own Gel Nails Step-By-Step

Once you have all of your tools prepared, it’s time to get started! Get situated somewhere comfortable, and maybe put on a TV show in the background. If you’re doing your own nails, we recommend working on one hand at a time. If you have a friend to help you, however, you can speed up the process by having them paint one hand while the other is in the lamp. 

  1. Clean and Shape

    You want to start every manicure by first washing your hands (and even soaking them in warm water) and filing them into a shape that you like. If you wish, you can also push back your cuticles or use a cuticle remover.

  2. Buff

    Then, your next move should be to rough up your nails a little with one of the medium-rough sides of a nail buffer (usually called side 2 or 3). You’ll want to buff the nail plate directly until the natural shine is gone from your nail. Don’t buff so much that you damage the nail but just enough so the gel polish has a textured surface that it can grip. 

  3. Prep

    With your nails cleaned and shaped, you still need to do a little more prep. Any oil, dust, or dirt on your nails is going to create a gap that can cause your gel nails to slide off or chip later on. Using isopropyl alcohol or an adhesion enhancer, wipe down your nails to make sure they’re totally clean and dry. 

  4. Base Coat

    Next, apply a very thin layer of your base coat to each nail. Be very careful not to get any of the base coat on your skin or on your cuticles, as that can hurt the seal over your nails. If you do get some on your cuticles, wipe it off with a cotton swab.

  5. Cure

    With all of the nails on one hand covered in base coat, place your hand into the LED lamp, and allow that layer to cure for 30-60 seconds, depending on your lamp.

  6. Paint

    Once your base is cured, you can now paint the nails! Make sure there isn’t too much polish on your brush, and slowly apply the polish from base to tip. Aim for a thin layer. It’s okay if the polish is a little see-through in that first layer.

    Gently apply the polish to the tips of your nails, as well (but don’t wrap it around to the underside of the nail). You may want to switch to a dotting tool or a smaller nail brush for this part since the nail polish brush can be a little big and messy.

    Be very careful not to get any of the polish on your cuticles or nail bed. If you do, wipe it off with a cotton swab or with a small nail polish brush dipped in alcohol or acetone (although if using acetone, be extra careful that it doesn’t disrupt your polish).

  7. Cure and Apply Second Layer

    Cure your hands under your LED lamp. Depending on the shape of the lamp, you may want to cure your thumb separately, and you might even want to do a second cure with your hand in a claw shape to properly harden the tips.

    Once that’s done, apply your second coat of polish in the same manner as you did the first and cure again. If you think that the color of the polish isn’t opaque enough, you can do a third coat and then cure that third coat, as well.

  8. Topcoat

    Finally, with all of that out of the way, you can do a final layer of topcoat. Apply the topcoat as you did the base coat and nail polish, and make sure to also apply it over the painted tips. Cure that topcoat. When you take it out of the lamp, you’ll notice that the gel is a little sticky.

    Using a cotton pad soaked in alcohol or a post-manicure cleansing liquid, wipe down the nail to remove the stickiness. That’s all there is to it! You can now move on to your other hand.

Gel Nails at Home Tutorial
@imarninails

Doing Your Own Sculpted Gel Nail Extensions

The world of DIY gel manicures isn’t just limited to gel polish. It requires a bit more effort and some special tools, but if you’re very handy, you can even do your own gel nail extensions at home.

What You’ll Need

To do your own gel nail extensions, you’ll need a lot of the same equipment that’s used in gel polish manicures. That includes an LED light, a nail buffer, isopropyl alcohol, disposable cotton pads, and swabs.

You’ll also need the gel that’s used to create the nail extensions, as well as a brush to apply it, its various primers, bases, and topcoats, and any gel polish colors or nail art accessories.

Poly Gel is one convenient option that comes in a tube and is often available in a larger kit with the LED and all the other must-haves.

There are also individually sold tubes of self-leveling gel that are more similar to what professionals use in the salon, although they must be purchased along with a special acid-free primer for extensions, as well as a base and topcoat.

If you purchase a larger kit, it’ll come with dual forms, which are nail-like plastic molds used to shape the nail extension from the outside. This saves you some effort sculpting, filing, and buffing the nail, so it’s great for beginners. 

Professionals prefer disposable sticker nail forms, which allow them to brush and shape the gel directly over the nail. This means that the outer part of the nail extension then has to be filed down and basically sculpted to achieve a smooth, nail-like look. The benefit is that the gel extensions adhere better to the nails and are less likely to lift or fall off. We’ll explain how to do both methods in our step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Clean, Shape, and Buff

No matter what kind of gel you’ll be using, the first part of your process should be to prep your nails. Just as with the prep of gel polish, your nails need to be clean and dry, with the cuticles pushed back or trimmed.

With gel extensions, it’s even more important that you rough up the nail plate a little with a file, as otherwise, your gel extensions are going to have a much harder time adhering to your nails.

Once you do that, your nails will be covered in a fine layer of nail dust, which you can wipe away with alcohol.

Step 2: Primer and Base Coat

With many gel nail kits, you may have a primer you need to apply first, before the base coat. The primer is an additional drying/alcohol-removing step, so if you have it, apply it lightly and only to the nail plate. Be careful not to let it touch your cuticles. Next, apply a thin layer of your base coat, and cure it in your LED lamp.

Step 3: Nail Forms

Now is the fun part, working with your nail forms! If you’re using a dual form (i.e. a plastic mold), all you need to do is pick up the correct sizes for each one of your nails. Hold the form over your nail, and make sure that it fits perfectly without leaving any gaps.   

If you have sticky nail forms, you need to grab the form and fold it a little, so it’s rounded. Then, slip your finger through its hole and make sure its end extends from just below your natural fingertip. Give it a firm press, so it rolls into a claw-like shape and so that the sides adhere to the sides of your finger.

Step 4: (Option #1) Applying Poly Gel to Dual Forms

Compared to what the professionals use, Poly Gel is a little thicker, but it’s otherwise very similar. Here’s how to create your extensions with it, using solid dual forms.

  • Pour a bit of alcohol (it’s called Slip Solution in the Beetles Kit we linked to above) into a shallow bowl.
  • Squeeze out a pea-sized amount of the gel directly onto your dual form. You might need less for very short extensions, or you can add more if you decide you want longer nails.
  • Dip your brush into the alcohol, and use it to start moving the gel around the dual form to create a nail shape. Make sure to use the brush that came with your kit, as it’ll be firm enough to work with the Poly Gel.
  • Gently push the gel around until you achieve your desired length, attempting to keep the width relatively thin.
  • Make sure not to leave any gaps in the form or along the sides and that it looks nice and smooth from below.
  • Once the shape looks neat, you can gently push the form directly against your nail, bringing it as close to the cuticle as you can.
  • Once you like your placement, push down on the form gently. Don’t overdo it, or the gel will squeeze out from the sides and get on your cuticles.
  • If the tip is looking a little too thick on the inside, use your alcohol-dipped brush to smooth the excess gel upwards to get a thinner tip. It’ll make the nail a little longer, but you can always file it down later.
  • If any of the gel did squeeze out from the sides, clean it away with your brush and alcohol.
  • Now you’re ready to cure it! Place your finger, along with the dual form, under the lamp.
  • Once fully cured, you can gently remove the form from the gentle. It should come off easily. If it doesn’t, cure the nail for a little longer.

Poly Gel kits are usually sold with hard dual forms, which is why this is the method we explain. You can also use Poly Gel with sticky nail forms, mostly following the process in the next section. The only difference is that you would need to dip your brush in alcohol to move the Poly Gel around since it’s not as fluid as self-leveling gel.

How to Do Gel Manicure at Home
@imarninails

Step 4: (Option #2) Applying Self-Leveling Gel to Nail Forms

This is the preferred pro technique, and while it requires a lot more finesse, many find that it gives more long-lasting and better-looking extensions. To see this process in action, check out this video from Nail Career Education.

  • To start, simply dip your brush in your tube of gel, and remove a pea-sized amount of product. Smooth the gel over your nail, starting slightly above the cuticle.
  • Since the gel is self-leveling, it will be easy to slowly and gently push it down closer to the cuticle, while if you bring it in too close right at the start, it’ll end up seeping into or over the cuticles instead.
  • Gently spread the gel over your nail plate in small, circular, or side-to-side motions, making sure to achieve complete coverage all over the nail plate.
  • Pick up more gel with your brush, and bring over the natural tip of the nail so you can start building the extension over the nail form.
  • Using dragging or back and forth motions, coax the gel gently over the nail form until it reaches slightly past your desired length. Remember that it doesn’t need to be too perfect since you’ll be filing and refining it later on. 
  • Once you have a smooth, not overly thick layer that you’re pretty happy with, cure the gel in the lamp (the amount of time depends on the kind of gel you have).
  • After curing, add more gel as necessary to build up the strength, refine your shape, and fill in any gaps.
  • Cure that second layer.
  • Now you can move on and work on your other fingers, following the same process nail by nail.

Step 5: Filing Time

With all of your nails built, attached, and cured, you’ll now want to file them. Before you just get into that, though, wipe them down with some alcohol to remove the sticky top layer. You may also want to put on a face mask to avoid inhaling the acrylic dust, although this is primarily a risk for nail techs who are at risk of breathing in the acrylic dust all day long.

Then, with a regular nail file, begin filing. With Poly Gel nails, the outer part will already be smooth and shiny, so you just need to file the edges to get them into a shape you like.

With traditional gel, start by smoothing out the outer part of the gel nails, as necessary. Always keep the file moving, and concentrate on keeping your motions rounded, so that the file is always on a diagonal angle against the nail. What’s important is that you don’t have any “shiny” spots where you missed filing altogether since those are signs of uneven pockets. If those pockets are too deep, you can add more gel and cure them again to fill them.

Then, file the tips of the extensions to achieve the shape you’d like, just as you would if you were filing regular nails. Finally, you can do a smoothing buff to achieve a nice finish.

Step 6: Topcoat

Finally, with your nails beautifully buffed, apply a topcoat to seal everything in and add a beautiful shine. You can also apply a coat of gel polish first if you want to change up the color of your extensions. Either way, make sure to cure each layer of gel polish or topcoat, as you would in a gel polish manicure.

If you opt for just a topcoat, you can always play around with regular nail polish colors. You can even switch ‘em up and keep your extensions intact by making sure to only remove them with acetone-free nail polish remover. With your gorgeous extensions in place, finish things off with a nice layer of hand cream or cuticle cream to give your nail bed a little bit of love.

Gel Manicure at Home Tutorial
@imarninails

DIY Gel Nail FAQ

Can I Use Regular Nail Polish with a Gel LED Lamp?

There’s a hack some DIY fans like to do, where they first apply their gel base coat, cure it, apply a regular nail polish, and then apply a gel topcoat. By sandwiching the regular nail polish between the gel base and topcoats, they hope to end up with a long-lasting gel manicure using a color that they don’t own in a gel format.

This method can sort of work, but it has some issues. There’s the potential that your nail polish won’t be completely dry before you apply that final gel topcoat (nail polish doesn’t dry completely for 24 hours, even if it seems dry). So, if you do everything in one day, you end up sealing in partially wet nail polish. This can end up lasting even less time than a regular manicure!

However, if you wait a full day to allow your regular nail polish to dry, applying a gel coat a day after may give you a slightly longer manicure than normal, although don’t expect the longevity of a full gel manicure. 

Can I Use My LED Lamp with Any Gel Polish?

Yes and no! The well-known, mainstream brands like CND, OPI, and Sally Hansen formulate their gel nail polishes to cure completely when used in conjunction with their lamps.

In a professional salon setting, a great manicurist is going to make sure that the light they’re using is designed to work with the nail polish. This is because a pro can’t afford to have any issues with curing!

When it comes to using a lamp at home, you can have a bit more freedom to experiment since faster chipping won’t be a disaster. While you’ll probably get the best results with matching sets, you may discover that your LED lamp still cures polishes from a different brand, but that perhaps you have to extend the curing time.

Troubleshooting: Why Is My Gel Polish Wrinkling or Peeling?

There are some common pitfalls to doing your own gel nails. Maybe the polish seems to wrinkle and slide off or peel. Here are the reasons why these issues may occur and what you need to do to avoid them the next time.

Wrinkling

If your nail polish seems to bunch up or wrinkle a few hours after you’ve finished doing your nails, chances are you applied the polish too thickly. Because of that, the gel doesn’t manage to cure completely, and it slides down a little to form a wrinkle. This can be a problem since the wrinkled layer is weak, and it’ll peel away easily. Next time, just be careful to apply it in thinner layers.

Peeling

Gel polish can sometimes start peeling in patches or even in one single layer, way before you’re ready for it to come off. This is usually a sign of inadequate prep. Maybe your nails were too smooth, and you didn’t buff them enough. Some people choose to buy an electric nail file, which does an even better job of roughing up the nails, although it can also be more damaging.  

Another issue might be that you had some acetone on your nails, which can disrupt the polish and prevent adhesion. That’s why we recommend cleaning the nails with alcohol at the start. 

Another potential issue is that you didn’t clean your nails enough, and there was still oil residue on them when you got started. Alternatively, maybe you touched your skin or hair after cleaning them, which ruined all that hard work of cleaning.

Photos via @imarninails, Instagram

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How to Remove Fake Nails Safely at Home

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Removing fake nails safely and correctly is a bit of a process, but it’s an important one. Nail extensions aren’t as damaging to the nails as many people think. More often than not, any trauma to the nails happens during the removal process if it’s done the wrong way.

At home, it can be tempting to just try and pull the nails off, but that’s just about the worst thing you can do. Many of the hacks you can find on YouTube or TikTok are also very damaging. Instead, follow our process to take off your nail extensions but keep your nails happy and strong.

This method will work with all kinds of nail extensions, including acrylics and sculpted gel, so don’t worry if you can’t get back to the salon for professional removal. You can do this from the comfort of your own home, with your favorite TV show on in the background.

In this article:

What You’ll Need to Remove Fake Nails Safely

Before you start trying to get your fake nails off, you need to make sure you have all the necessary tools for the process. Here are the basic essentials:


Removing Nail Extensions at Home

Once you have everything ready, follow the steps below to remove your nail extensions without causing any damage to your natural nails.

  1. File Down or Clip the Tip

    Once you’re ready to start the removal process, your first step is to remove the tips. If your extensions are medium-length, you can just file them down with the most textured side of your nail file. This will be the gentlest option that’ll put the least amount of pressure on your natural nails.

    If your nail extensions are very long, you can save yourself some time by clipping off the tips instead. A toenail clipper is actually great for this since it’ll be stronger than a typical nail clipper. 

    Improper clipping can pull on the nail bed a little bit, so here’s how to do it gently. Never clip the tip in one go, creating a straight line, as that’s just too much pressure all once. Instead, clip twice, holding the clipper on an angle as though you’re trying to clip your extensions into a pointy stiletto. This redirects the pressure and breaks off the tip more gently. You can even clip in many small, rounded motions if you want to be extra gentle.

  2. File Down the Surface of the Extension

    Once your extensions are clipped, you now need to deal with their surface. Your nail extensions are probably covered in some sort of protective polish or topcoat, and you need to break that down so that the acetone can penetrate inside them.

    Using the roughest grain on your nail file, file over the surface of the nail extension. You may want to put on a face mask since this can get a little dusty. You’ll want to do this until the entire surface of the nail extension loses its sheen and looks properly filed, which will take at least a minute or two per nail.

    You can actually remove the entire extension just by filing (this is what many salons do, just using an electronic file). However, we don’t recommend doing it at home if your nails are brittle since you can accidentally file your actual nail plate.

  3. Do an Acetone Soak

    Next, you’ll want to soak your nail extensions with acetone, so you’ll also need your foil and cotton balls. Acetone is a strong solvent that can even break down acrylics, although it’s a slow process.

    If you haven’t done so yet, tear the foil into strips that you’ll be able to wrap around your nails. Then, soak a cotton ball in acetone, place it over the nail extensions. Before any acetone has a chance to evaporate, wrap your fingertip with foil. The foil will prevent the acetone from evaporating, guaranteeing that it seeps in and saturates the acrylic.

    Once you’ve done this to all of your nails, wait for around 12-15 minutes.

  4. Pry a Little

    Once enough time passes, remove the first foil tip and cotton ball, and check on your extension. It may simply pop off as you do this. If it doesn’t, use a cuticle pusher to gently pry at the bottom of the extensions, near the base of the nail. Never attempt to pull on the extensions from above!

    Your nail extensions should slide off easily, so you can repeat the process with the rest of your nails.

    If pushing with the cuticle pusher doesn’t immediately remove the extension, soak your cotton ball with a bit more acetone and wrap it up again for 3 more minutes or so. With enough time soaking, the extensions will eventually slide off.

  5. Do Some Buffing

    Even once all of your extensions are removed, there is still a little more work to do! There might still be some glue, base coat, or residue on your nail plate that you need to remove. A lot of it might come off with a bit of pushing with your cuticle pusher.

    Whatever doesn’t can be buffed away with one of the finer grains on your nail file. Buff your nail plate gently until all of the residue is gone but without damaging your natural nails.

  6. Give Your Nails Some TLC

    That’s it! Your nails will probably feel a little dry from all of the acetone, so you’ll need to bring them back to life. You can rinse any dust or acetone remnants from your hands and finish off with a healthy layer of cuticle oil or thick hand cream to restore some much-needed moisture. Finally, you can also add a layer of nail strengthener to further protect your nails.

How to Remove Nail Extensions Safely at Home
@imarninails

Fake Nail Removal Dos & Don’ts

We’ve explained the fake nail removal process in its entirety, but we have a few extra tips and reminders to make sure to keep your nails healthy.

  • If you live in a very cold climate, consider warming up your acetone first by placing the bottle in a hot water bath. This will help it work quickly, so you don’t have to sit with your nails soaking for too long.  
  • Always remember to avoid pulling on your nail extensions. If, at any point in the process, you feel like you need to pull, it just means you either haven’t filed or haven’t soaked your extensions enough.
  • Don’t trust the strange hacks on the Internet! There are videos online of people removing their nail extensions with floss, but just like pulling on the nails, this can be very damaging.
  • If your skin is dry, you can actually apply some hand cream or even Vaseline only to your nail bed (careful not to get it on your nails) before starting the entire process to protect your skin and cuticles from the acetone.

Photos via @imarninails, Instagram

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How to Trim and Cut Curly Hair from Home

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Would you like to trim or cut curly hair from home but are not sure where to start? As much as it is always advisable to get it done by a hair professional, there are many reasons you may opt to do it yourself.

Cutting curly hair is different from cutting straight hair. Some hair stylists may not know how to cut curly hair and leave you with an uneven look. If you have experienced this before, then you know how frustrating it can be. Hair stylists who specialize in curly hair also tend to charge more which can make a salon trip an expensive affair if you are on a tight budget.

Whatever your reason might be, here are some tips on how to trim or cut your curly hair from home.

Cut curly Hair

Trim vs Haircut, What Is The Difference?

Before we get into more details on how to cut curly hair, you need to understand the difference between a trim and a cut. A haircut refers to cutting hair for styling purposes. It involves the removal of hair in a specific pattern to achieve a specific style. Here are some hairstyle ideas for curly hair if you need some inspiration. 

On the other hand, a trim is done for maintenance and only an inch or two of hair is cut off. It’s done to maintain the current hairstyle and cut off split ends. A trim every three months or so keeps the hair looking vibrant and healthy.

Is It Better To Cut Curly Hair Wet Or Dry?

As a beginner, it is better to cut curly hair dry. Unlike straight hair, curly hair behaves differently depending on whether it is wet or dry. As a result, cutting wet curly hair might lead to an uneven cut since you can easily cut off more than you intended to.

What Cut Is Better For Curly Hair?

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to curly hair. The best cut depends on the shape of your face and the type of curls you have. That said, the most common types of cuts are a shoulder-length cut, a bob cut, and a layered cut.

Should Curly hair be cut in Layers?

Cutting curly hair in layers gives a lighter more defined look. The outcome of layering varies depending on the type of curls, type of cut, and hair density. All in all, the decision to cut your hair in layers depends on your personal preferences and the style you want to achieve.

Tips on How To Cut Curly Hair At Home

You’re probably hesitant about cutting your curly hair at home. I mean, what if you mess up? What if you end up with a horrendous look? Well, here are a few tips that will help you out.

1. Schedule Time To Cut Your Hair

First things first, you need to set aside a reasonable amount of time to cut or trim your hair. Choose a time slot that will work for you. It could be one hour or more depending on the length and density of your hair.

Take your time. Once you get used to it, you’ll take less time. However, as a start, you need all the time you can get. Allocating a time slot will allow you to concentrate and avoid feeling rushed.

In addition, most people have two or three different curl patterns on different parts of the head. Cutting them all the same length when wet will lead to an undesirable outcome when the hair is dry.

If you want to wash your hair before trimming it, ensure that it is completely dry before you get started.

2. Get Your Hair Tools Ready

Gather everything you’ll need for this process. It’s always good to be prepared. For example, check whether you have a pair of sharp scissors. If you’re in a position to, you can even purchase a pair of professional shears. This post offers some good suggestions on scissors you can buy. Just ensure all your tools are ready.

3. Cut In Small Bits

When you start trimming, cut off small bits at a time. Start with half an inch all around. Remember, if you don’t like the outcome, you can always cut a bit more later. However, if you cut too much, you’ll have to wait longer for the hair to grow back.

Cut curly Hair

Tools you Need To Cut Curly Hair

You will need the following tools to cut your hair:

  • Two mirrors
  • A brush or comb
  • A pair of hair scissors

1. Two mirrors

Why do you need two mirrors? Well, you need to see the second mirror to see the back of your head. Since most of you already have a wall mirror, the second one can simply be a compact mirror. It will help you see the progress of your haircut at the back of your head so you end up with a finished look that you are happy with.

2. A Comb And Hairbrush

There are different types of combs and hairbrushes for different purposes as seen in this hairbrush guide. To cut your curly hair, you’ll only need a comb or brush that you can use to part your hair into small sections.

3. A Pair Of Hair Scissors 

Ensure you have a pair of sharp scissors at hand. The sharper the hair scissors, the cleaner the cut will be. Don’t use the ones that you cut fabric or paper with. We recommend getting a pair of scissors that are designed for cutting hair.

Cut curly Hair

How to Trim Your Hair from Home – Step By Step

Here are the steps to follow when trimming your curly hair from home.

Step One: Get Your Hair Ready

As we mentioned earlier, we’ll be working with dry hair. This is the best option for beginners. Style your hair the way you normally wear it. This will give you a clear picture of what you want to achieve.

Cut curly Hair

Step Two: Start with the Front

Start by trimming the front part. This includes the bangs. Take a small section of hair, about half an inch, and comb it to the front. Cut off about half an inch. Take another small section and repeat the same until you’re done with the front side.

Alternatively, you can pick out each curl and trim off the split ends that are sticking out.

Cut curly Hair

Step Three: Work on the Back

Now that you’re done with the front part, proceed with trimming the back section. This can be tricky since you can’t see what you’re doing.

If your hair is long enough, tilt your head slightly to the left to have a better view. Next, work with one-inch sections of hair. Brush them to the front and cut off half an inch. You’ll need your contact mirror to constantly monitor your progress. Once you’re halfway done, tilt your head to the right side to get the other half done.

For shorter hair, brush your sections upwards for you to see what you’re cutting. You might need to tilt your head forward.

Remember, patience is key. Work in small sections until you’re done. If your arms get tired, you can take a break and pick up where you left off. Just make sure you know where you stopped.

Step Four: Even things out

Once you finish your entire head, go ahead and trim the few curls that are out of place. Keep in mind that we’re doing small bits at a time. Fluff out your hair and the curls settle back to their place.

It is important to note that your hair might look a bit strange at first. Curls behave differently after being cut. Some of them get distressed and might take a day or two to return to their original form.

What Next After Trimming Your Hair?

If you’re not satisfied and feel that you need to trim off a bit more, don’t do it immediately. Give your hair two to three days. By this time, your curls will have resumed their regular curl pattern and you’ll have a clear picture of the outcome of your trim. This is when you can trim off another half an inch or so if you’re still not satisfied with your initial trim.

Cut curly Hair

Once you’re satisfied with the outcome, it is time to style your hair. You can even switch things up by adding hair extensions and using a loop brush like this one to blend them in with your hair. The possibilities are endless.

Conclusion

Giving your hair a trim at home is not complicated. All you need is a good pair of scissors, a brush, and a little patience. You can do it!

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