Does a DIY Gel Manicure Work as Well as the Real Thing? We Investigate.
Categories: Fashion

Does a DIY Gel Manicure Work as Well as the Real Thing? We Investigate.

I have a kind of love/hate relationship with manicures. I love nice, painted nails, but my frustration knows no end when it chips the day after I spent 30 minutes making it look perfect. Same goes for getting them done at the salon. Throw down $15 for something that’ll probably get messed up tomorrow? Nah, I’ll just buy an overpriced cocktail instead.

However, when gel manicures came around, I was super stoked on the idea. No only did it actually last, but it also dried super fast. But (on to first world problem #20) it’s expensive to do regularly. So you can bet when we discovered Le Mini Macaron, a portable, at-home gel manicure set shaped like a tiny French dessert, I was all about it.

Sure, it’s cute, but it’s also a gel manicure you can essentially put in your pocket, and a major money saver. I waited for their Kickstarter to get funded (because, duh) and then twiddled my unpainted thumbs to get my hands on one. Then I did and it was magical. Here’s how it all went down…

The topside of the macaron is actually an LED light (which is what cures the gel polish). The top also twists around so that you can use it on your toes as well. I painted one nail with a layer of polish, stuck my finger in and pressed the button up top to activate the light and timer. After 30 seconds the light goes off and you move on. Then I repeated that process for all ten fingers and did a second coat. It was super easy, and although drying the nails one at a time is somewhat tedious, it goes by pretty quick (30 seconds x 20 = 10 minutes… math is sometimes useful, people).

When you’re ready to try another color, the pack also comes with remover wipes that you wrap around your fingers and let soak to take the polish off (normal remover does not work with gel). The only bummer for me was that I wasn’t crazy about the colors I got (which were a nude, red and salmon. However, I’m assuming you could easily grab a different gel polish of your liking and use the gadget to cure it. Overall, I was super impressed with this. It’s cute but also ultra functional. Did I mention that it also comes with a USB cord that you can plug into your laptop?! Which means that you can totally whip your nails into shape right before you meet up with that Tinder dude for happy hour.

A kit will set you back $35 (which is actually around the price of one salon gel manicure) and there are currently two color options. However, they are actually in the midst of a second Kickstarter campaign where you can choose from three new colors: peach, cherry red and wine. Head there ASAP and you can score a kit for $25 as part of their early-bird special. Seriously guys, go do that now. Your productivity levels and wallet will thank you.

P.S. Pro tip: Trying this for the first time using red polish on your white duvet cover is probably NOT the best idea.

Have you tried at-home gel manicures before? How did it go down for you? Share with us in the comments below. 

(Photos via Le Mini Macaron)