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New to Gel Nails? Basic Needs to Get Started With Doing Your Own Nails

13 Jun 2024 0 Comments

If you’ve always wanted to try doing your own nails at home, but are not sure where to start, you’re in the right place. There are so many product options when it comes to doing your own nails such as traditional lacquer polish, gel polish, acrylic, dip powder, and more. Lacquer polish offers the convenience of removal using acetone. However, the drying wait time and likelihood of your manicure color chipping within a week or two may be undesirable downsides. Acrylic is the strongest option for building long nail extensions, but the smell of liquid monomer needed for acrylic nails can be overpowering, especially if you share a living space with others. Dip powder also offers hardwearing strength for natural nails, but requires an application technique that may be challenging when you are just starting out and also has limitations if you want to try cute Pinterest or Instagram inspired nail art. If these flip sides draw you from the thought of doing your own nails, then consider the beauty and benefits of gel. 

Gel offers the convenience of “drying” in minutes, has very low to no odor, can be removed with acetone, offers ample support to your natural nails, and is easy to use if you’re just starting out. At Sweetie Nail Supply, you can find the basic needs to get started with doing your own gel nails. Our premium selection offers professional quality products that are not only cosmetic grade safe to wear on your nails, but are trendy, stylish, and delivered in packaging that can also be displayed as beautiful collectibles.

Below are some basic items, with suggested leading options, to get started on your DIY nail journey with gel:

Nail Prep

When doing nails, it’s important to make sure you have a clean and dry nail plate. You will need a wood file, preferably one that offers both medium and fine grit options to shape and refine your nails and a buffer to even out the surface of your nail plate as well as remove dead skin off the nail plate. If you’ve decided to commit to a regular nail care routine, you may also want to consider investing in a high quality nipper to nip away any loose hanging cuticles. 

Wood Files
DIAMI Wood File
YOGO Wood File
Cuore Wooden Nail File

YOGO Buffer Block
Cuore Sanding Buffer
DIAMI Mango Buffer

Cuticle Nipper
Cuore Cuticle Nippers

Base Gel

Before applying your choice of color gel polish, you will need to apply a coat of base gel. Base coat helps create a smooth even surface as well as allows color gel polish to adhere to the natural nails. When using typical base gel, you will need to remove your gel nails by soaking them off using acetone. If you prefer a more convenient removal method without the need of acetone, you can opt for a peel off base gel.

Base Gel
YOGO Zombie Base Gel
Gracia G-Gelly Base Gel 

Peel Off Base Gel 
Jello Jello One Kill Remover+Peel Off Base Set
Ablliz Peel Off Base Gel 

Gel Color

When it comes to gel color, there are a plethora of options to choose from, catering to every aesthetic preference and occasion. Solid color gels are a popular choice for their high pigmentation, resulting in a bold and vibrant finish. If you are seeking a more subdued and delicate appearance, syrup gels are ideal in providing a softened and translucent hue. Magnetic gels offer a unique and mesmerizing sparkling effect by using a magnet to create patterns and designs that catch the light in captivating ways prior to curing. Glitter gels are infused with glitter particles, creating a twinkling and shimmering effect. With a diverse range of gel options available, you can find the perfect option to express your personal style and creativity. Many of our gel options are available as individual colors or as part of a collection. Select individual color options if you want to try out different brands and gel types. However, if you are ready to bolster your options with an array of colors, invest in a full color collection. 

Solid Color Gel
BANDI (Canada Exclusive)
Show Me
Yogurt Gel 

Syrup Gel
BANDI (Canada Exclusive)
Yogurt Nail


Magnetic Gel

Glitter Gel
Aurora Queen

Top Gel

After applying color gel polish, you will need to apply a top gel to protect the gel color and preserve the longevity of your gel manicure. Some top gels must be wiped with cleansing alcohol after curing to remove the tacky inhibition layer while non-wipe top gels do not require this step. You can also opt for a glossy finish for optimal shine or a matte finish for a velvety softened look. 

Glossy Top Gel
Tiara Crazy Top Gel (Soft)

Matte Top Gel
MAYO Matte Top Gel  

Other Basic Needs

Don’t forget the UV/LED nail lamp, which is one of the most important items you will need for doing gel nails. This device hardens your gels as you need to cure each applied layer of gel. Cure times for base gel are typically 30-60 seconds. Color gels and top gels typically require 60 seconds. If you choose to purchase a nail lamp elsewhere, a nail lamp emitting dual wavelengths 365+405nm will typically cure most of the gels we offer. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for application and cure times.

Nail Lamp
Sweetie’s Nail Lamp

There are some important things to know when doing your own nails using gel. You may refer to our blog post on precautions when doing your own nails using gel products. If you have any questions, please reach out to us. 

For more tips on using our selection of gel products, be sure to follow us on Instagram and TikTok.

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