DIY Mani: lasts 10 days, no gel, no damaged nails.

DIY ManiFirst, I know it is spring and this dark color doesn’t scream April. But I finally was able to watch Nashville and Rayna James inspired me. Now let’s get to it. The DIY Mani which lasts 10 days, no gel, no damaged nails:

I’ve gone through phases with nails. I got acrylics once in high school because everyone had them but they were way too much upkeep and I think I filled them only once. They destroyed my nails. The only time I had someone give me a true manicure was for a special occasion, a dance, or a wedding because frankly they lasted about three days and who wants to pay for that.

I tried gel for quite some time in San Francisco because it was kind of a rule that your nails had to be on point. Sure they lasted but I worried about that UV light. It was only on my hands but don’t hands show age the quickest? And besides that, by the fifth gel, my nails were so thin, it hurt to have them done and the gel didn’t last. I was out of there.

When it came to painting my own nails, I was often frustrated–again with how long it lasted and for the life of me I could not get them to look as if they were professionally done. Until the product that changed it all (and by the way, this is not sponsored and this is not about one product…just telling you a story). It was Seche Vite. So my nails did look amazing but I still had that issue of them lasting.

I’m proud to say I’ve invented a system that gives me and others (they were skeptical but came back with good news) a manicure that lasted through washing dishes, taking care of a toddler, typing all day, and much more. (I know, it’s Nobel Peace Prize worthy.)

For the record, this is not a gel manicure. The only downside is that this takes a full day. Don’t worry, you don’t sit and wait for them to dry for that whole time. Two things are important–using extremely thin coats of nail polish and letting each coat dry completely. So let’s get to it.

Ever notice no matter how long you let things dry, your nails smudge? Try it my way. I’ve linked the products I use. The essential one is Seche Vite. (By the way, they are affiliate links which help support this blog at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support as always!)

1. I don’t use a base coat. I know. Horrible. But I need everything to be as thin as possible because the Seche Vite top coat (which makes the mani look professional) is thick. DIY Mani 12. Take your color–in this case, Essie’s Sole Mate. Painting your nails, use the thinnest strokes possible. You should be able to see the nail through this coat basically. Let it dry for ten minutes. Then go about your day. You don’t need to be extra careful. It may even chip a bit (but it shouldn’t chip much because it is so thinly coated).

The thing I’ve learned is that even though you think this coat is dry, you need it completely attached to your nail. I am not a professional but I have tested it and I have had mommy friends test it. You will be shocked to see how much longer it lasts if you try it this way. I realized professionals don’t do it this way but I also know that a regular non-gel mani doesn’t last as long as this one.

3. After at least six hours (honestly, I like to let it dry over night), paint on a very thin second coat. If it needs a third coat, follow steps two and three again. It should only require a third coat if you’re using a dark color like I was but again, these coats need to be thin. DIY Mani 2
4. Wait several hours again, and paint on the top coat–Seche Vite (the quick dry version). This dries in minutes and you’re good to go. You’ll notice it’s thick.

If you’ve painted the other coats too thick, the overall effect will be so thick that the mani won’t last. It will just peel off. DIY Mani 3

5. The next night, before you go to bed, using a different top coat, a thin one, and paint that on top of everything. You’ll do this every night for this mani. It takes less than ten minutes including drying time. I like Essie’s No Chips Ahead

This is after five days:DIY Mani 4Writing it out, it seems like a big undertaking. But it’s not. I go about my life in between coats and I’m not delicate about it either. If I have an event, I just start a day or two ahead of the event. But I prefer this than having to sit and wait for them to dry completely coat after coat. That can take up two hours. Who has time for that? I don’t even have the patience for that if I am sitting around gabbing with girlfriends. And they smudge anyway. If you add up the time this takes, it’s far less than that and there is no smudging (I’d estimate under 30 minutes over 24-36 hours).

I’d love to hear if you try this! Do you have any tricks?



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20 thoughts on “DIY Mani: lasts 10 days, no gel, no damaged nails.

    1. Nina Post author

      You definitely don’t have to use essie! I tried Orly but I liked Seche Vite better. You gotta do what works for you. What polishes do you prefer? I used to be an OPI girl but I found Essie worked better for me.

    1. Nina Post author

      I started watching it about four weeks ago and I am not caught up. And I searched and searched for what nail polish she uses and could not find it!

  1. Felecia Efriann

    I will have to try this way of painting my nails. I rarely paint my nails because it does not last long. In fact, it usually only lasts a day or two. I typically use a base coat and a top coat, but I have never tried Seche Vite top coat before.

  2. Amanda Wood

    interesting. I know the drying part is the key. I’ve started waiting longer when I do mine and they have started lasting a bit longer since then. But I never though to wait hours and just go about my day. I’ll have to try that next time. But now that Sally has then no light Gel polish, things might be better.

    1. Nina Post author

      Yeah, I’ve learned if you let them dry that ten minutes so that you can touch things and then go about your day so they REALLY dry and adhere (again I am not a professional) they really do stay, especially with that extra coat each night. I wonder if the Sally no light Gel messes up your nails? Let me know how that goes, for real!

  3. carissajade

    Nice! I’ll definitely have to try this. My nails are one of my most frustrating ordeals. I was getting gel nails but I wasn’t great at the upkeep and as a result, between visits they looked terrible. It’s been three months and they are just now getting back to normal. Plus I hate paying for them. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Nina Post author

      I swear by it. And my friends, like I said, were skeptical but now this is how we all do it!

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