While getting a manicure at a beauty salon, the individual doing your nails will place them under a UV light to harden, or "cure," them quicker. This is done if you are getting gel nails or are getting a coat of gel to strengthen and protect your new nail polish or nail tips. There are many different models of UV lamps to use while doing your own nails, with many different features like timers and energy-saving modes. If you follow the correct procedure, you will be able to cure your own nails at home with a UV lamp.
Prep your nails by filing and removing old nail polish or other products. Use a fine grit emery board to get rid of any oils so the gel with adhere properly. Use nail glue to put on nail tips if you want to use them. Apply thin coat of gel primer to your nails and let them dry completely.
Apply one thin coat of the gel with the gel brush. Start at the middle of the nail and brush it on the way you would brush on regular nail polish, without pressing down as hard. Take care not to get any of the gel on your cuticle. If you accidentally get some on your cuticle, use an orange stick to wipe it away.
Cure the first coat by putting your nails under the UV lamp for at least 3 minutes. Brush on a second coat of gel the same way that you applied the first coat. Place your nails under the UV lamp again for at least 2 minutes. Repeat this step another time if you want a third or even a fourth layer of gel.
Angela Neal is a writer for various websites, specializing in published articles ranging from the categories of art and design to beauty and DIY fashion. Neal received her Associate of Arts in administrative assisting from Bohecker College.