If you love the look of gel nails but aren’t ready for the real thing, here’s how to cheat the gel manicure look:
First things first, prep your nails making sure that they are clean, shaped and free from all previous nail varnish.
Apply one coat of base coat
Apply one coat of sheer nail varnish. You’ll usually find that these have a pink-ish tint and that’s fine. The main thing is that it’s sheer, so that it will dry quickly but offer an increased level of coverage and bulk up the polish so that it copies that thicker, gel look.
Apply one coat of your chosen gel nail varnish. I cheat a gel manicure using Barry M’s Gelly Hi Shine range but you can also check out the other nail polish alternatives to gel nails
Wait. Drying time of gel nail polishes is a lot longer than a standard ones. A minimum of 5 minutes is best
Apply the second coat of gel nail polish, trying not to go over the same area too many times – one swipe down the middle, one swipe down the left then right and perhaps one in the middle to even it out but that’s it!
Again, wait as long as you can before adding top coat (min 5mins but the longer you can hold off the better)
Apply one coat of quick dry nail top coat that offers serious shine. This is what you need to get that uber glossy look. I highly recommend Revlon Quick Dry because it does just that!
You can extend the wear time by adding a second layer of top coat, either later that day or the following day.
I got around 6 days wear before a few cracks appeared, no chips. It may not last as long as real gel nails but you can definitely cheat the look!