When I am going to be very busy, I want my nails to look good. But I also want them to be protected more than just what regular nail polish can offer. Dip polish and acrylic gel are the best choices for longer wear and protection. But these can get expensive when you go to the nail salon. So when Après approached me with a DIY and their June 2023 UnderWater Gel Couleur set, I had to give it a try. Here’s how to Do Your Own Gel Nails (featuring the Après June UnderWater Gel Colors)!
New For Nails: Après June Gel Colors:
The June colors are bright and beautiful. All five colors are sheer with a glassy look.
It’s Cerulean (Light teal)
Bubblegum Glow (Pink)
Acid Lime (Lime Green)
Under The Tuscan Sun (Orange)
I can’t give you a favorite, because they are all so bright and Summer-ready. But I always love neon lime green and the neon pink is pretty awesome, too/
Gel Products + UV Light = Cured, Polished Nails:
If you are using a gel polish, you will need to “cure/seal” each coat with a UV light appliance. These range in price, but inexpensive ones are available everywhere. Fortunately, Après sent me their small and portable X-Lite ($25). It’s smaller than a phone and the legs fold in so you can put it in a pocket. It’s also rechargeable with the included micro-USB cord. You don’t want to look directly at UV light so they thoughtfully included these cool orange shades.
Since I have never tried one of these devices (I can’t believe I’ve never done this before) I don’t know how powerful it is compared to the super pro models, but the 6W lithium-ion batteries get the job done.
How to Apply Gel Nail Polish:
If you’ve seen this application in the nail salon, you know that the nail tech applies a base coat, two color coats, and a top coat. Each coat must be “cured” with UV light before the next layer is applied. Cure your polish in between each coat, placing your nails under the UV lamp for at least 30 seconds each time.
Applying thin layers is better than thick ones as thick polish won’t “cure/dry” properly or might bubble, ruining the look. Right-handed folks will find it easier to do the left hand and lefties the right hand. But since both hands must be polished. Therefore, if any color gets on your cuticle or somewhere you don’t want it, use the tip of an orange stick to remove it.
Removing Gel Nail Polish:
Gel polish is long-wear polish, but that doesn’t mean you should wear it forever. Even though it might take time to DIY or pay a salon, you should probably remove it after three week maximum to avoid damaging nail beds and cuticles. Keep in mind that even though most of your nail is still covered with the gel, once it begins to lift, moisture will get under the gel and possibly lead to bacterial growth.