Your Best Home Manicure (Seriously!) (Finally!)


An at-home manicure is all fun and games until you really need to answer that phone sitting pretty in the bottom of your handbag, or you absolutely must refuel on pita chips, or who knows what you did but all of a sudden your index finger nail is seriously jacked up. That’s when a manicure becomes appendage-decorating jail, where each finger is sentenced to 15 to 30 minutes of solitary confinement. So for those of us who have lives to live and shit to do almost immediately after the last polish swipe, let me introduce you to the technological wonder, NaiLuv.


NaiLuv is an at-home gel system that helps produce a professional-looking manicure that dries at lightning speed. I’m forced to assume it’s the brainchild of a woman who dreamed of quickly painted nails at an affordable price (one gel session at a salon can cost upwards of $35, so after four uses, the system pays for itself).

I paint my nails nearly every week, but my introduction to NaiLuv delivered the most flawless manicure in the shortest amount of time, period. Each kit contains everything you need—a buffer stick, cuticle pen, gel nail polish cleanser, gel nail polish remover, gel nail polish bonder, basecoat/topcoat, and a red gel color (you may purchase other colors separately).

After pushing cuticles back and removing oil and invisible residue with the gel polish cleanser, I painted a thin layer of bonder (proceed with caution as the formula is thin and spreads easily), followed by a swipe of basecoat/topcoat. At this point, nails must be cured (i.e. dried) under the UV lamp for 30 seconds (the lamp is included with the kit and looks like something you might find in a Fisher Price chest).

After curing comes the gel color layers, two to be exact, followed by 45 seconds under the lamp in between both coats. At last nails are topped with the basecoat/topcoat, cured under the lamp again for 30 seconds, and then carefully wiped with a bit of gel polish cleanser to remove the thin tacky layer of gel left behind.

All in all, the process takes 20 minutes tops (yes, this includes drying), which is perfect timing because I’m a very busy lady with things to press, point to, and grab with my ten most important assets.

Concerned about nail lamps? Read this.

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