Ultraviolet lamps are used by nail salons to speed up the polish-drying process during manicures and pedicures, as well as to "cure" special UV nail gels that reportedly can adhere more solidly to your nails and protect them. But you don't need to drive to a salon. A variety of UV curing lamps are available for at-home use, too. Just learn how to use yours correctly and you can leave the salon visits to the amateurs.
1 File and remove any old polish from the nails you wish to re-do. At the end, a fine-grit emery board can help remove any oily residue.
2 Brush on one light coat of nail primer and let it dry.
3 Coat your nails with a thin coating of polish or UV gel (optional), coating the middle first then working outward.
4 Turn on your UV curing lamp and place your hand or foot inside the light slot for at least three minutes.
5 Cure the first coat by putting your nails under the UV lamp for at least 3 minutes. Remove your hand or foot and apply a second coat of polish or gel. Put your foot or hand in the UV lamp slot for another two minutes or more. Apply additional coats this way until you've achieved the coverage and curing you seek.
6 Repeat these steps for each foot and hand.