Gel nail polish is all the rage, and for good reason. Gel can last the test of time that our old favorites cannot. It won’t chip, flake, or wear down. The UV/LED curing and the special technology makes it a dream polish for the manicure obsessed. If you pop by the salon, they present you with all the colors, you select one and an hour later you are on your way out the door with beautiful, long-lasting, polished nails. But what if you want to mimic this amazement at home? It’s possible!
If you have the patience and all the right tools required, you can reproduce the salon-gel experience at home. Get ready to save your pennies but know that gel home manicures are going to require some practice and some focus. When you get your nails done at the salon, you are essentially paying for the know-how, not necessarily the product.
Do you want to learn how to do your own gel polish? We can help! If you are newby and want to have a pleasant first experience, we definitely recommend a kit.
Here are the kits we love:
Best Overall: Red Carpet Manicure Pro 45 Starter Kit
This professional gel polish kit is manageable for any at-home gel polish enthusiast. You’ll get weeks of gorgeous color in just a few minutes and it comes with an LED light and soaking solvent. The bottles are small, but boy do they last! A little tip – only cure a few fingers at a time under the LED light for maximum results. Do your thumb separately and boom! Salon-style fingertips in half the time.
Best Drugstore: Gelish Complete Starter Kit
We know, you’re probably thinking “$69 for a drugstore gel kit!?” and we hear you, but you’ll be so happy with this Gelish set that when you field all the compliments you will have justified the purpose. It applies like regular polish and cures under LED light. 45 seconds and boom! No chipping, no peeling, Gelish coats your nails and offers a ton of beautiful colors.
Best for Beginners: Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Gel Nail Color Starter Kit
Just starting out? No biggie! Sally Hansen developed this fool-proof starter kit to get your gel polish game moving! Basecoat, color, topcoat, and LED light are all included here! It also comes with nail cleansing pads, acetone remover, cuticle sticks, files, and buffers. Reviewers love how easy this system is and the beautiful results they reap!
Best Polish: Essie Gel Couture Polish
This long-wear, impeccable gel formula has reached the top of the charts. Only a two-step system you’ll get salon-style gorgeous in no time. Quality ingredients have lead Essie to be the number one name in nail color. The lamp is included, and quite frankly, this is a great deal! Essie provides step by step instructions and customer support if you need a little help. For a first-timer, this is your best bet because it’s so easy to use!