How to Get a Perfect Gel Manicure at Home (Without UV Light)

Hi friends!  How is your week going?  I’m literally forgetting what day/week of ‘at home’ we’re on, but it’s definitely become our new normal.  I know we have at least three more weeks of this and I’m okay with it, I just wish there wasn’t so much anxiousness in the air.

And I miss my friends and family.  Really bad.  My amazing group of Mom friends always gets together for birthdays and we have two special ones this month. We’ve been plotting virtual parties, but I wish I could hug their necks and get together in person!

How are you doing?? It’s beyond crazy (and oddly comforting) knowing that we really are all in this together.


I’m super excited about today’s post because I think it will be helpful for you.  My twice a month salon manicures have obviously been put on hold right now.  I usually get shellac and love it because it looks so good and lasts for at least two weeks.  I love having nails that look good and can’t stand it when my nails look chipped and ugly.

Several months ago, I was commenting on my sister-in-law Jessica’s gorgeous nails, and she told me she does them herself.  I was so shocked because they always look fabulous, like she just came from the salon.  She told me she’s been doing her nails at home for years.  She said that, after much trial and error, she found the magic combo for getting a gel manicure at home, without any UV light.

PRO TIP: The key is the Gelous Nail Gel.  It’s a clear gel polish that contains Keratin to strengthen, harden and reinforce weak nails. It bonds directly to your nail and makes your nails smooth as glass so that the polish glides on like silk.  

My nails are weak with lots of ridges, so if I polish my nails without the Gelous Nail Gel, the polish never looks good.  It’s all clumpy and bumpy.  But with it, they look fantastic and, if you take your time and follow the steps below, your manicure will last a good 4-5 days without chipping!

Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover

Gelous Nail GelNail Color ‘Strawberry Margarita’


Start by removing old nail polish and then clean up your cuticles.  An easy way to do this is to apply cuticle remover around your cuticles, wait 15 seconds, and then gently push the cuticles back with a cuticle tool.

I’m always afraid to cut my cuticles, but this product works great by easily and gently removing the dead skin around your cuticles without any damage to them.

Having a clean looking nail helps your polish go on better and makes your manicure look that much more professional.

Top CoatNail PolishCuticle RemoverGelous Nail GelCuticle OilNail BufferCuticle Tool


So let’s get to the gel manicure.  The thing I really love about this is that all you have to do is polish your nails, without any UV light.

PRO TIP : Be patient, use thin coats of polish and wait 5 minutes between coats so the polish dries completely before moving onto the next step.

Step 1 : File, buff and smooth your clean nails.  I use this Nail Buffer Block and really like how it’s labeled so you know which side is for what.  Remove any nail dust with polish remover, being sure no cotton is left behind.

PRO TIP : Be sure your nails are completely clean (no oils) and dry before applying polish.  

Step 2 : Apply a thin coat of Gelous Nail Gel

Step 3 : Apply a thin coat of nail polish

PRO TIP : How to get perfect polish application : Apply a ‘dot’ of polish just below the cuticle, then pull the polish straight down the nail bed.  Then pull down on the right and left sides.  Finally, gently push the dot of polish up toward the cuticle.

PRO TIP : Don’t forget to seal the ends of your nails by dragging the tip of the nail polish brush along the tips of your nails.  It will help keep your nails from chipping.

Step 4 : Apply a thin coat of the Gelous Nail Gel

Step 5 : Apply a thin coat of nail polish

Step 6 : Apply a top coat

After your polish is completely dry, apply Cuticle Oil. It will give your polish a lasting shine, and help the health of your cuticles, especially if you use it daily.  You can also use vaseline if you don’t have cuticle oil.


How to Get Gel Manicure at Home without UV Light

How to Get Gel Manicure at Home without UV Light

Have are your nails holding up?  Have you been doing them at home?  I hope this helps with your next manicure!  Try it and let me know how it works for you! 

Have a fantastic day! 

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. Do you find that this damages your nails at all? Also is there any special instruction for taking off the polish afterwards? Thank you for sharing this!

          1. Hi Megan, I tried the Gelous followed the directions as written and the polish started to chip within a couple of days. I was hoping this would work since I have not had artificial nails in over 8 months which has left my nails weak and do not want to grow.

  2. Looking good! But I have to ask if you’ve every tried Color Street!!! 10 minutes and you’re done. I don’t sell it, but my friend does ( Or ask if any of your friends do so you can support them! When I do it, they last for more like 3 weeks or until you decide to take it off. With a toddler, bath, dishes, pool, etc. I’m really hard on my nails. I have LOVED these since I started wearing them last January. Seriously, check it out!!! And it’s real nail polish, no fake stickers or press ons 🙂 They usually offer buy 3, get the 4th free. That runs around $38 and I get at least 8 manis out of it. So many fun colors/designs. Stay positive. We got this (with pretty nails in the meanwhile).

  3. Your nails look beautiful! I’m curious how you remove this? With regular nail polish remover? Any soaking or filing? Thank you!

    1. Great question! You can use regular polish remover, but I like pure acetone because I’ve used that to soak off my shellac and it works so quickly!

  4. Thank you. I didn’t even get to the end of your post before ordering this! I miss my manicures and my nails are looking awful. I know this is minor in the scheme of what’s happening in the world, but if I’m at home I might as well do my nails and keep them healthy. Sending best wishes to you and your family to have fun, stay well, and make the best of this situation.

  5. Love these products you shares. My polish lasted two weeks so I’m ready for manicure #2 today. It was a lighter color so it was more forgiving. I need some cuticle remover but amazon said it was out of the one you recommended. Any other suggestions?

  6. Hi,

    Do you have to use a certain kind of nail polish color? Like one that says “Gel” in the description?

    Thank you!

  7. Ordered this and it came today ! Once I finish my “quarantine” list of cleaning and organizing I am going to treat myself to a SPRING looking manicure. Thanks for the tip!

  8. You mention one coat of Gelous to start and then later, you mention 2 coats of Gelous. Can you please clarify whether it’s one or two? Thanks!

    1. Ooops! Thanks for catching that! I’ve been starting with two coats of Gelous because my nails are so weak with lots of ridges. It makes them so smooth and strong!

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