Gel Nails 101: What to buy to start

Let’s talk about at-home manicures! I feel this is one of the good things quarantine has given me; the ability to do my own gel nails, which is great because I save money and it’s kind of therapeutic!

Today I’m going to tell you about all the products I use to do my gel nails. I will be talking about Aprés (GelX nails) in another post 🙂

All the products will be listed and linked so click away!

UV Light

There are thousands of UV lights online and at different price points I’m linking the one I have HERE, which is affordable (compared to others) and it has worked great on me!

Nail Polishes

✨You need your primer, foundation and top coat. Since this is one of the most important parts of your manicure, make sure to buy a good quality one. I use the Gelish Kit and I haven’t had any issue with it! 

✨Well known brands like OPI and Essie are hard to find online, you can find these in some beauty stores. If you’re in South Florida, I recommend you going to The Studio, they have everything nail related but a little pricier than online. On Amazon you can find the brand Beetle and the brand Modelones, they’re both really good!


Acetone: Make sure it’s 100% Acetone, it works better and faster!

Isopropyl Alcohol: This is key for disinfecting your tools and to clean the nails before, during and after your mani (to remove the stickiness)

Cuticle oil: Believe me, at first I didn’t know this was so important but it makes such a difference! Your mani will look 10 times better and your cuticles will thank you!


✨A good nail file is going to be your best friend! You will need it to shape your nails, prep your nails before the nail polish and to remove the gel. You will use a ton of these so buy a package so you don’t have to buy them every time!

✨A cuticle pusher

✨A cuticle cutter or cuticule scissor.

Electric nail file: Once you get the hang of it and want to invest on your kit, I recommend you get and electric nail file. It will make the removal process so much faster!

And that’s basically all you need to start your kit! I can’t wait so see your nails!