10 Tips for DIY Christmas Mani (With Gems!)


Christmas is almost here, and I could not be more excited! Something about the holiday season just puts me in a constantly cheery mood. Things that would normally stress me out, e.g. my co-teacher’s incompetence, don’t seem that big of a deal anymore and I feel more at peace with everything. This unusual calm could also stem from the fact that winter vacation starts this Friday, but that counts as part of the holiday season, right? 🙂 Even if you are not a festive person, there is no doubt that getting a full manicure instantly puts you in a better mood. So why not add some festive cheer to blah nails this holiday season?

Here are 10 tips for better results and easy clean-up!

IMG_1745aThis at-home manicure was particularly exciting because it was my first time applying huge blingin’ gems on by myself. I’ve been itching to try using these intimidating gems ever since I bought them a few weeks ago, but I saved them ’til now since Christmas is just a few days away. I obviously wanted most of the attention to focus on the gems, so I kept the nail polish color scheme simple. Too many colors and patterns on top of big glittery gems can look too crowded and take away from the gems’ appeal. You can use any color you’d like for the base and add in gold glitter however way you please. I chose to sponge some gold onto the bottom of every nail, with only one accent nail of all gold on the left hand.


Tip #1: Before doing ANYTHING, go to the bathroom. Seriously. Go pee, brush your teeth, brush your dog’s teeth, do the dishes, scratch that itch on your back, ANYTHING that involves water or scratching, do it before starting this manicure. Or have your significant other by your side to wait on you hand and foot for the next few hours haha.

Tip #2: Stick to a simple color scheme, preferably one or two-toned.

Tip #3: On the accent nail, apply one coat of white or nude nail polish underneath the glitter to brighten up the gold.

Tip #4: Use tin foil to hold the globs of glitter, lotion and nail glue for easy application (just dip a Q-tip into the globs like a paintbrush onto an artist’s palette).

Tip #5: Cut a sponge into a small, thin rectangle to dab on the glitter with more control.

Tip #6: Before applying glitter, apply hand lotion around cuticles with a Q-tip for easier clean-up.

Tip #7: After applying glitter, wipe off the excess on your skin with a Q-tip dipped into some more hand lotion. Strangely, this works a lot better than with nail polish remover.

Tip #8: Use a quick-dry solution in between coats to speed up the drying process and reduce the risk of smudges.

Tip #9: Use tweezers to pick up the gems for more control when dipping into nail glue and applying onto the nail. It also saves your fingers from a sticky, gooey mess.

Tip #10: Don’t forget the top coat! You can add some more onto the tips every few days to prevent chipping.

IMG_1747-doneNot gonna lie, this mani took me two hours to complete. Yes, two hours. Good thing there was a ‘Lord of the Rings’ marathon going on on OCN! It took that long because I wanted each and every layer to dry completely before moving onto the next step. FYI, the mani looked a lot better the next morning. The stubborn glitter that I could not wipe off from my skin last night somehow fell off by this morning, and everything in general looked tidier.


IMG_1759aOverall, I’m quite proud of myself for using these giant gems all on my own. Here’s hoping they stay on until Christmas Day at least! I’d cross my fingers, but I’m currently being super careful (i.e. paranoid) about knocking off the gems haha. I also hope you found some of my tips helpful!

Happy Holidays, from Korea! 🙂


5 thoughts on “10 Tips for DIY Christmas Mani (With Gems!)

  1. Happy belated anniversary 🙂
    Cant wait to see your pics for Namiseom~ Too bad it was so windy, but hopefully it was still pretty.
    How is the Gel Touch polish?

    • Thank you! The Gel Touch nail polish is great! I highly recommend FaceShop for nail polish. They are very good but also relatively cheap 🙂
      P.S. – Nail polish from SkinFood sucks.

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