DIY ‘Gelous’ Mani


Since giving up regular, perfect solar beauties, my nails are usually just clipped, clean, and natural now –and I sort of hate it. There’s just something that makes me feel so much more put together and girly when my nails are done.

Learning to love (coming to terms with) my stubby, boyish nail beds is a work in progress (I’m trying.) I’ve mentioned before that my polish philosophy is simply on or off –no in between, which is why I preferred solar nails as long as I did.

I’ve read buckets of Pinterest promises surrounding the “DIY Gel Mani effect” of Gelous Nail Gel, grew tired of starring at my little, boring fingers everyday, and decided to find out if it actually works.

It does.

Slightly modifying a little manicure-formula Google helped me find, I’ve been more than pleased by the results. I made it nearly a strong 2 weeks before getting bored and changing colors, up to which point they had not chipped. (So to the question how long these will last? My professional opinion is forever, probably.) And it was so easy  to remove on my own using cotton balls and 100% Acetone (without taking 7 hours, or having to use an industrial paint-scraper.)


  • 4-Way Buffer Block (like here)
  • Cute Nail File (Cute optional.)
  • Polish of Choice (Essie “Spin the Bottle” shown above, here)
  • Clear Top Coat (Essie “No Chips Ahead” shown above, here)
  • Gelous Nail Gel (Here, purchased at local Sally’s.)


  1. Buff, smooth, and shape nails. (Make sure they’re clean and dust-free.)
  2. Apply first thin coat of Gelous Nail Gel. Dry 2 minutes.
  3. Apply first thin coat of Nail Polish. Dry 3-4 minutes.
  4. Apply second thin coat of Gelous Nail Gel. Dry 2 minutes.
  5. Apply second thin coat of Nail Polish. Dry 3-4 minutes.
  6. Optional:  Apply third coat of Nail Polish now if you need to build your color a little more (completely dependent upon the polish you choose.)
  7. Apply Clear Top Coat. Dry 2 minutes.
  8. Apply third thin coat of Gelous Nail Gel. Dry around 10-15 minutes -or until completely dry and you’re confident they won’t smudge. (I’m usually pretty generous with my own dry time after investing so much effort in the polishing process already. Lightly scroll through a magazine on your iPad, watch a television show, gingerly type out a blog post -entertain yourself, and let your little guys get good and dry.)
  9. Clean up around the edges (if needed) with either a thin, stiff brush or Q-tip and Acetone.

Time Commitment:  We’re looking at roughly half an hour.


Essie shade Spin the Bottle: a semi-sheer pinky-beige-nude from the 2014 Spring collection

As they mention in the inspiration post (here), make sure to drag the corner of the brush along the tips of your nails to seal them off with every step. If it makes your mani a little messy, just clean it up in step 9 -it’s worth this extra effort to prevent chipping.

If you have any questions, comment below! (Or if you try this out, let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear what kind of polishes you choose and how it worked for you.)


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