So I posted this picture on my instagram last night (@mrsmadelinevance) and had a lot of people asking how to do these easy gel nails at HOME.

So I will first explain how these came to be. I noticed a cute mom in my ward always had perfect nails and one day I finally asked her if she always went to get them done because they seriously looked good each time I saw her. She said that she did her own nails at home and I figured she had bought that special light you can buy for $75 or however much it is. I took a mental note of it and didn't really think about it again.

Before we took our babymoon to San Diego I really wanted to get my nails done for our trip. I called up this cute mom and asked her if I could pay her to do it for me! She was so nice, and we set up a time and I went over there to get my fingers and toes done the day before we left. She is a genius and deserves all credit for this but pretty much she had just bought a special lightbulb, put it in a lamp, and used that to cure them instead of the special light you can buy that's made for doing this.

These are so non professional but they work and turn out so perfect. The main expense for doing this is buying a base coat, color, and top coat. Luckily I had a coupon and gift card to use at Sally's so it was perfect. You can't just use normal polish so make sure you get the gel stuff! They were all out of almost every brand of base and top coats, so I bought the only ones they had left which are the brand Finger Paints. Whatever you choose, just make sure to get the same brand of top & base coat. As for color, I chose a super light pink. It doesn't matter if the color is the same brand as the base or top coat, though. (This is just what they told me!) Then lastly, make sure you have some rubbing alcohol on hand.

And this is the part that you will laugh about. Remember when I said it was so non-professional? Viola! The curing light..

You can just buy a lightbulb with the same frequency as the lights they use at salons (Or so I think). Probably don't tell your beauty school nail friends about this and maybe I'm the last one on the earth to discover this hack but I'm that girl that gets giddy about freshly glossy nails for two weeks straight. The lightbulb you need is a simple black/UV lightbulb. I looked everywhere for mine in Rexburg which is the smallest town, so go figure. But I easily found it at Home Depot in Idaho Falls. The lightbulb was $6! I plugged it into an old lamp (I got mine a while back at target or walmart I think for $5) and did this tinfoil thing around it to make sure the light was able to cure every part of my nail. 

1. Start by filing your nails and making them look pretty. I also use a light filer to file the top of my nail because it helps it stick better.
2. Paint one layer of the base coat, and stick it under the light for 1 minute.
3. Paint about 3 layers of the color, and between each "painting"  let it cure for 1 minute.
4. Finish it off the top coat, and let that cure for 1 minute.
5. Put some rubbing alcohol on a tissue or towel, and rub that over your nails. If you don't do this, your nails won't set all the way and will still be a little sticky. It's amazing because once you rub the alcohol over your nails, they turn rock hard! The end!

And that's it! I'll still always love going to have my nails done but the reality is to get your nails done every two weeks is silly at my phase in life when I'm trying to get ready for a little girl in a few short months. I hope you enjoy and let me know if you try this and how it goes for you!


  1. I am soooo excited about this!!! Thanks for sharing. Totally trying this asap.

    1. Yes yes! Please do! It's so fun I just love it!

  2. Oh my gosh this is the best! I'm definitely going looking for a black light and some gel polish. Thanks for showing us how ♡

    1. I know it's so simple I wish I would've known earlier!!