Gel Nails Kit | The 5 Best At Home Gel Nail Manicure Kits To Try


Few things in the beauty realm feel as satisfying as a fresh set of gel nails – but feeding our mani habit can indeed be a costly endeavour. The solution? Do you own gel nails at home – no, seriously. Today, there’s a host of genuinely brilliant at-home gel nail kits that anyone can get the hang of, no matter how unsteady their hand. Trust us: you’ll be refreshing those tips with one eye on Netflix in no time.

You might be sceptical about an at-home gel nail kit being as good as the professionals, but we’ve tried and tested the best on the market and, it turns out, some are pretty effective. Whether you just want a classic French or are brave enough to experiment with some nail art, there’s a kit that can sustain all your gel nail needs…

    How To Apply Gel Nails

    While you might not be able to do the job quite as quickly as a manicurist, we’ve simplified the process so it doesn’t seem like such a daunting task. It’s an ideal at-home pamper evening if you ask us, and remember, practise makes perfect:

    1. Prep nails by filing them to your desired shape. Follow with buffing and pushing back your cuticles. Finish by cleaning them with a cleanser or alcohol wipe to make them squeaky-clean.
    2. Apply a thin layer of base coat before putting your nails under the LED lamp for 60 seconds (most lamps will time this for you). Top Tip: go over the tip of your nail with a coat of polish to seal and prevent premature chipping.
    3. Apply a thin layer of the colour of your choice, curing for 60 seconds. Coat, cure, repeat at least twice, or until the colour is opaque.
    4. Finish by applying a layer of your top coat and curing for 60 seconds.
    5. Clean your nails to remove any stickiness and you’re good to go.

      How We Test

      Our 49 beauty testers trialled gel nail kits over a two-week period. They assessed each set on ease of use, application time, curing time and the final look of their nails, while keeping an eye on how long they lasted before chipping, peeling or dulling.

      The Best Gel Nail Kits For An At-Home Mani


      Best For Long-Lasting Gel Nails

      Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit

      This is as straightforward as nail kits get, coming with all the necessary bits and bobs you need for a perfect mani, and it’s also easy to set up and use. Testers appreciated the selection of three colours that came with the kit, and the streak-free application they provided. Nails stayed shiny throughout the trial period with no chipping or peeling for eight days. Note, foils for removal are not included.Kit includes: LED/UV lamp, nail file, nail buffer, pre-application cleanser, base coat, three colours, top coat


      Best For A Natural Option

      Green Flash Pro Kit

      A hardcore gel habit can be tough on your nails, but Manucurist’s 84% natural polishes are designed to deliver the gloss and wear without the damage. They can also be removed with your regular nail polish remover, avoiding the need to sit around for hours.
      Testers loved the effortless application process, with two coats of polish leaving them with a streak-free pigmented punch of colour. They noticed peeling and chipping after five days but nearly all found that their nails still looked healthy after the removal process.Kit includes: LED lamp, base coat, one colour, top coat, removal cleanser


      Best for Nail Art

      Gel Manicure Kit – Fairy Floss

      Le Mini Macaron has a whole host of on-point polishes and nail-art accessories in its collection. This original kit contains everything you need to get started, so invest in this first, then explore all the adorable add-ons. (We’ve got our eyes on this crazy holographic topper.)The compact UV lamp (yes, it’s shaped like a macaron) means you can only cure one nail at a time, but it only takes 30 seconds per finger and leaves you with smooth, shiny nails that will last for up to five days. There’s a convenient USB charger that plugs into your laptop for manicuring on the move and the polish is simple to remove when it’s time for a change.Kit includes: LED lamp, cuticle stick, nail file, removal cleanser


      Best For Speed

      Express Starter Kit

      For speedy results that look seriously professional, this is the one to go for. The sensor-activated lamp is perfectly sized for your entire hand (or foot), and the choice of polish shades is impressive. But the best part? There’s no faffing around with primers and top coats – instead, a single swipe of colour is all it takes. Our testers said the results lasted for eight days before chipping.Kit includes: LED lamp, cuticle stick, nail buffer, pre-application cleanser, base coat, one colour, top coat, removal cleanser


      Best LED Lamp

      Gel Polish LED Manicure Kit

      Mylee’s LED curing lamp has an in-built timer and roomy shape to make it simple to use on fingers and toes. With bottles of nail prep included, the application process is quick but our testers felt nails needed longer than the 15-second cure time suggested. There’s not much included in the kit – no colour, lint wipes or foil – but nails stayed chip-free and shiny for five days.Kits includes: LED lamp, pre-application cleanser, base coat, top coat, removal cleanser

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