Best Minimalist Nail Stickers
- Cutest designs
- Can be difficult to remove
Looking for a couple of subtle nail stickers to finish off your manicure? IMO, Olive & June makes the prettiest, minimalist stickers for every occasion. I’m personally a fan of these Lucky Stars, which includes a cute lineup of gold and silver decals that look great against everything from red nail polish to French tips.
THE REVIEWS: “The Olive and June manicure stickers are such a fun, easy way to customize your home manicure. The designs are very detailed and easy to apply. Love them!! My three-year-old granddaughters love them too :)”
Sally Hansen Salon Manicure
A trusted drugstore beauty brand for years, Sally Hansen delivers on quality without sacrificing its low price point and this long-lasting polish lives up to the legacy. The smooth and lustrous formula is enriched with keratin to help your nails get stronger, and the fast-drying polish can last up to 10 days even without a separate top coat. What’s more, there are over 85 colors to choose from each costing just $6 so if you fall in love with the formula, you can build an epic collection without spending a lot.
Shop now: $6
Why Do You Need A Curing Lamp
The formula that gives gel nail polish its staying power simply wont dry and harden properly without being cured, and that process requires special heat. Thats where a curing lamp comes in. Youll be able to choose from lamps that produce UV or LED light. Newer models have automatic timers built-in, so you need only press a button to turn on for each step of the curing, which takes one minute or less.
Lamps that emit UV lights were the first used to cure gel nail polish however, the technology has evolved. LED lamps set gel polishes in about half the time as their UV counterparts, and should not cause skin damage like old-school UV lamps can . You can expect to pay a bit less for a UV lamp, so this is still an option if you are watching your budget and dont mind spending a bit more time with your hands under the light source as your polish cures.
Keep in mind that some types of nail polish have the term gel in their descriptions, but only those that require curing with a lamp are true gel formulas that provide long-lasting wear. They are often referred to as soak off polishes, and while they might last slightly longer than traditional nail polish, the main appeal is a glossy, gel-like finish.
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Essie Good To Go Top Coat
When it comes to trusted nail polish brands, Essie always comes to mind. Its a favorite brand at nail salons and is carried in most drug and big box stores. The Essie Good To Go Top Coat gives you a smooth glossy finish that looks like you just left the salon. Since the consistency of this top coat is a bit thicker than other top coats we tried, it took a solid 15 minutes to dry completely. Many users suggest reapplying this top coat every four or five days to keep it looking fresh. Here are even more ways to make your manicure last longer.
The Right Top Coat Is Key To A Long
While a trip to the nail salon is the ultimate way to kick back and relax, getting there on a regular basis can be both difficult and pricey. Learning how to do your own manicure saves you time and money.
If youre determined to perfect the art of the DIY manicure, you may already have a collection of the best nail polishes in your favorite colors or have picked up this $8 product to give you salon level manicures at home. Whether you prefer non-toxic polishes or gel nail polishes, theres one essential component youll need if you want to make your manicure last longer as well as get a salon quality shine, and thats a good top coat.
Whats so special about a top coat? Besides giving your nails a rich luster, a top coat seals in nail polish and prevents it from chipping or rubbing off, says Syreeta Aaron of LeChat Nails. The last thing you want is to spend all that time giving yourself the perfect manicure, only to have your polish chip off quickly.
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Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat
According to Aaron, a true gel polish requires curing with a lamp for one to three minutes after application. Many gel nail polish products at your local drug stores are actually gel-like as opposed to true gel. They dont require the use of a UV or an LED lamp, but are formulated to leave nails looking extra glossy. Thats the case with this Miracle Gel Top Coat. Its one of the best top coat nail polishes, resisting chipping for up to eight days. This polish comes off easily with both acetone and non-acetone nail polish remover. If you normally get a gel manicure at the salon, heres how to remove gel nail polish at home.
- Doesnt need to be soaked off
Gel Nail Polish Features
Weve talked about the application process of gel nail polishes and how they differ from traditional options however, they also have features.
Just like traditional polish, gel polish comes in many colour options, from neutral to bold and everything in between.
Gel nail polish is available in bottles of various sizes, including miniature and standard sizes.
Just like the types of nail polish youve most likely used for years, you apply gel nail polish with a small brush that is attached to the cap.
Most gel nail polish has a fairly strong odour , although some are milder than others.
Gel nail polish comes in a wide range of prices, with premium, professional brands like OPI and Dior falling higher on the price spectrum just like traditional nail polish.
How To Apply Gel Nail Color
First and foremost, it is important to have healthy and well-manicured nails before applying any type of color.
If your nails are too short or you have any damage, you will need to take care of that before applying gel nail color.
Additionally, you will need to have some basic tools on hand including:
- base coat
Best Nail Stickers For Easy Removal
- Super affordable and long-lasting
- Can tear during application if you’re not careful
Unlike the majority of nail stickers that require you to gently peel off your mani when you’re done with it, this option from Sally Hansen slides right off with a little nail polish remover. Just smooth them over your nails, enjoy them for up to 10 days, and grab a little remover when you’re ready for a clean slate.
THE REVIEWS: “I absolutely LOVE these. They’re a great deal – especially if you want beautifully polished nails without the cost of a salon manicure or the time-consuming process of multiple coats of nail polish!”
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Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer
This long-lasting polish serves a high-end manicure that will look and feel exactly like gel. It comes with a precision brush so easy to use, even the most inexperienced DIY manicurists will be able to create an immaculate application. The formula is so shiny, you don’t even need a top coat, but you can add one to protect the polish and get as many chip-free days out of it as possible.
Shop now: $28 nordstrom.com
This popular polish line offers a creamy application and rich color, requiring less coats to get thick, even coverage than many other polishes. Less is more when you want to avoid chips and get a full 10 days out of your manicure. The vegan formula is also made cruelty-free and contains no harsh chemicals. This beautiful nude shade is a great everyday color that “goes with everything,” according to shoppers, but it’s also available in a slew of other shades.
Shop now: $12
Best Nail Stickers And Nail Polish Set
- Very long-lasting
- Sticker can tear when applying if you’re not careful
The Y2k aesthetic is back, remember?!! And what’s better for spring than these adorbs butterflies and pastel nail polishes? The butterfly stickers and included blue and purple polishes are *chef’s kiss* together. Simply paint your nails, and once they’re dry, pop on the stickers and seal with a top coat. Voila! The perfect aughties lewk.
THE REVIEWS: I reviewed these nail stickers and they are honestly some of the cutest on the market right now. Not only did I get a million compliments, but they lasted for over a week!
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Smith + Cult Above It All Top Coat
Looking for a top coat that will last and last? Smith + Cults Above it All Top Coat is it. Several users claim that it protects their manicures for up to two weeks! And the bottle is as pretty as your manicure. Plus, you can feel good that this vegan and gluten-free polish is free from dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, and triphenyl phosphate.
- Extends your manicure for weeks
- Free from eight harmful chemicals
- Comes in decorative bottles you wont mind leaving on your bathroom counter
- Thin consistency allows for easy application
What Is Byrdie Verified
Did you notice the at the top of this story? This seal means that our team has researched and tested every product on this list using a unique methodology thats designed to focus on what our readers really want to knowand to deliver insights that you cant find anywhere else. Occasionally, beauty brands and PR agencies will send us samples for coverage consideration, but our thoughts and opinions are fully our own. If you visit links within our content, we may receive commissions from your purchases, but we never receive any compensation or consideration for the content of our recommendations. In short, the Byrdie Verified seal stands for product recommendations you can trust.
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Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro
Not only will this formula give you that salon-worthy manicure you’re after with lots of shine and evenly distributed color but it will also improve the health of your nails while you wear it. Infused with oils and botanical extracts that nourish and strengthen, this polish won’t jeopardize your nails, so you won’t have trouble wearing them bare after. Choose from 11 bold shades, including a mix of bright and neutral hues.
Shop now: $20 nordstrom.com
What Is A Gel Manicure
Gel manicures are typically done in nail salons using a gel-based nail polish and a UV or LED light that seals the polish to your nails. Most gel manicures last from two to four weeks, making them useful for vacations, weddings, and other multi-day occasions.
However, while traditional gel manicures are long-lasting and give you a gorgeous shine, the removal process can often damage your nails. Thats why many nail polish brands offer gel-like formulas that you can apply at home to get that same chip-proof, lacquered look without the damage. Ahead, find our editor-approved gel nail polish picks to give you a salon-worthy manicure at home.
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Best Gel Nail Polish On Amazon
If youre in the market for a quality gel nail polish, you dont need to look any further than Amazon.
The site has a wide selection of polishes from some of the best brands, and you can be sure to find the perfect color for your style.
Amazon offers great prices and free shipping on many items.
So whether youre looking to buy your first gel nail polish or are looking for a new shade, be sure to check out Amazon.
How Easy Is The Application Process
Most at-home gel manicure kits are designed to be fairly goof-proof, although they do require more steps than a regular polish manicure. While you might have some issues with thick polish, the majority are designed to be applied similarly to if you were giving yourself a manicure with regular polish.
But some options are more advanced. For example, our Best Natural pick has gel polish in squeeze tubes instead of bottles and requires a more complex process to create gel nails especially on yourself. If youre not the best at more advanced tricks, stick to whats familiar and opt for traditional bottle applications.
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Best Solid Nail Stickers
- Very long-lasting
- Can turn tacky if certain lotions get on them
Nail stickers aren’t just about cute little decals and accents, BTWthey’re also great for creating quick, solid-color manicures. This kit comes with everything you need for a stick-on manicure, including prep pads, a nail file, a cuticle pusher, and teal nail strips.
THE REVIEWS: “I have tried other brands of nail polish stickers, but Tough Girls are my hands-down favorite by far! They are the longest-lasting, and easiest to apply any other brand.”
Gelish Mini Basix Complete Starter Kit
Since this set didn’t come with instructions, we had to look up the steps online, and even then, they weren’t very clear. Beyond that, the gel layers never seemed to fully dry, which resulted in a clumpy effect. And the polish didn’t last more than 24 hours, leaving our tester’s nails slightly damaged in its wake.
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How To Apply Beetles Gel Polish
The first step is to roll the polish bottle between your palms, warming the product to ensure a smooth application. Next, you apply a thin layer of gel base coat on clean, dry nails and cure for 90 seconds. Next, apply a thin coat of gel color, setting for 90 seconds under the LED light once more. Apply a second coat of color if youd like, and set again for 90 seconds. And finally, paint on a thin top coat and set your nails one last time for 90 to 120 seconds.
Et voilà. Its seriously that easy to use, and theres no need to waste time with your hands beneath a fan.
What To Look For In The Perfect Gel Nail Kit For You
Getting gels done in a professional salon can be a fun, pampering experience, but it is also incredibly expensive. And this is why more people are opting to do their nails at home. Along with saving money, you also minimize the frustration of waiting to get your nails done or having a manicurist whos a little too aggressive with those cuticle nippers. But to get the best at-home manicure with gel polish, youre going to need to pay attention to a few factors.
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Best Value: Gellen Gel Nail Polish Kit
Also available at Gellen Nails
What We Love: For $40, you get everything you need to create a gel manicure at home.
What We Don’t Love: There are no removal accessories included.
The comment section of this Amazon-favorite gel nail kit is filled with thousands of positive reviews, and according to our tester, it’s for good reason. At an affordable price point, you get a powerful 72-watt LED curing light, a removable tray that allows you to do your toes with ease, manicure tools, design accessories, and 12 different polish colors.
The tester shares that she was pleased with the long term results. “The finish is extremely shiny and the color comes out beautifully,” she says. Plus, even after a few weeks of wear, the gel polish didn’t damage her natural nails.
One thing this kit doesn’t include: Removal accessories. Thankfully, removal supplies aren’t hard to come by in fact, a trip to the drugstore should do the trick. Sally Hansen Global Ambassador and nail pro Madeline Poole previously told InStyle, “You only need pure acetone to effectively and quickly break down the gel polish.”
LED Light: Yes | Nail polish included: 12 | Features: Powerful curing light
Can I Do Dip Powder On My Own Nails
Yes! In fact, it’s easier than you probably think. First you need to prep your nails: clean and sanitize your nail area, groom your cuticles, shape and file your nails, and then gently buff them. Next, depending on the kit, you may need to apply a bonder and then a base coat. Then you quickly ~dip~ each nail into the powder at a 45-degree angle, stop to tap the excess off, then dip again.
You dip as many times as you need to get the pigment and color payoff you want . Then you add a top layer and activator/sealantagain, this depends on the kit, which should give you step-by-step instructions. Voila. Gorgeous dip powder nails!!
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Red Carpet Manicure Pro Gel Kit
Though this user-friendly set offered quick results, it was missing a few essential pieces. Our tester said the LED lamp seemed cheap and wished it plugged into a regular outlet instead of only through a USB adapter. While the results looked decent, some of the gel peeled off after a couple of days.
Best Simple Nail Stickers
- Unique designs and lettering
- A bit pricey
These nail stickers are perfect for a minimalist mani. Paint on your fave color for the base , then when your nails are totally dry and ready, soak these decals in water for 10-15 seconds to remove them from their backing, and just stick them to your nail. Theres really no better way to rep your sign than with these super-cute astro nail stickers, IMO.
THE REVIEWS: I gave these to my friend to test and review and she said, “these nail stickers are the cutest little designs. Yes, they’re on the more expensive end, but they really do last a longggg time.”
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