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What Is The Best At Home Gel Nail Polish

Is It The Same As Polygel

Drugstore GEL Nail Polish – Do Home GEL Manicure Kits Work?

Nope, but they are very similar. Polygel is a hybrid that has a much thicker consistency and can be easier to control than builder gel which can flood your cuticles if you let it sit for too long. Polygel is so sticky that you need Slip Solution to manipulate it. Dip your brush in this before attempting to move your gel around and you’ll be good. It’s kind of like when you’re making Rice Crispy treats and you add a little vegetable oil to your spatula to keep it from sticking.

Most kits include slip solution but you can buy it either separately or you can substitute it with rubbing alcohol with a concentration of 70 percent or higher.

Le Mini Macaron Gel Manicure Kit

If you hotdesk, travel regularly, or just prefer something that can fit inside your coat pocket, the Le Mini Macaron is the curing light for you.

Powered by a USB cord, it can slot into a plug socket, attach to your computer or portable charger, curing polish in 30 seconds. The light is also suitable for pedicures the magnetic top can be moved around.

Remember, though, curing one nail at a time will extend the length of the process.

Rio Uv Gel Nail Extension Kit

  • Rio UV Gel Nail Extension Kit, £20.00 from Argos – buy here

Want to hop on the XXL nail trend? Rio’s ‘UV Gel Nail Extension Kit’ can be yours for under £20!

Offering formulated gel that reacts to UV light to create sturdy nail extensions, these can also just be used as a strong protective layer on top of your real nails.

The kit has a total of 100 tips, as well as clear UV gel, a finishing wipe, a grit file, a sanding block, a nail slicer, cuticle pusher, nail glue and an application brush.

They’ve also included a step-by-step DVD to assist you in creating a flawless manicure.

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Mylee The Full Works Complete Gel Polish Kit

Best: Overall

This is an extensive kit, containing everything you need for an at-home salon experience. Complete with an LED lamp, a bottle of nail prep solution and gel remover, lint-free cloths, base coat, top coat, cuticle sticks, a glass nail file, buffing block and eight gel colours, Mylee has created a thoughtful kit thats brilliant for those used to regular gel manicures. We loved how much colour choice there was, allowing you to create a multi-coloured manicure, if you wish!

Our favourites were Hollywood twist and gold digger silver and gold shimmery shades that felt festive but not tacky. The consistency of the gel is quite thick, which took some getting used to, as only a thin layer is required, cured under the lamp before another layer is added to build colour. The lamp is roomy too, and allowed us to fit our whole hand comfortably under it with ease.

While the most expensive on our list, its well worth the investment thanks to the variety of gel shades included and all the tools you could ever need. The hand cream, cuticle sticks and cuticle oil also mean, that once youve finished curing your top coat, you can still enjoy a pampering treat that will simultaneously keep nails and skin healthy while minimising any damage.

To keep your nails looking and feeling healthy in between manicures, read our review of the best nail treatments and strengtheners

We Tested: Mylee The Full Works Complete Gel Polish Kit

The Best At
  • Mylee The Full Works Complete Gel Polish Kit – Autumn/Winter, £129 from Mylee – buy here

Mylee has been championing affordable, at-home nails ever since it launched in 2014, and as a fave with many a pro nail technician, it’s definitely a good place to start if you’re looking to recreate the salon experience at home.

We tried the Full Works kit, which as the name suggests, contains pretty much everything you’ll need for the perfect gel manicure from prep to finishincluding cuticle oil, Prep and Wipe & Remove Duo, lint wipes, a buffing block, top coat, base coat, eight polish colours and the all-important LED lamp.

For those who have never delved into the world of DIY nail lamps and gels, this kit makes it super-easy to try out, with fool-proof instructions explaining every step.

After preparing our nails with a cuticle stick, nail file and buffing block, we applied Mylee’s Prep & Polish Wipe with the lint-free cloths provided, which sanitises the nail plate.

We did find the gels to be of quite a thick consistency, so applying them as thinly as possible is probably a skill we’ll need some practice at. The colour choice was great though, with a range of pastels, rich hues and glittery gels to suit all tastes.

The gels were still tacky at this point so we were slightly worried we needed more curing time, but a quick application of the Prep & Polish Wipe took away all the stickiness and revealed cured, glossy nails that we’re now obsessed with.


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Le Mini Macaron Diy Gel Manicure Kit

This little kit has everything you need in the most adorable miniature form. Its the perfect option if youre just trying out doing your own at-home manis or if you need to travel. The best part is that the polish thats included is a three-in-on formula, which means that you wont have to layer on multiple coats. The kit comes with an LED lamp thats the shape and size of a macaroon, a nail color, a file, stick and amazing-smelling alcohol wipes .

What Is Regular Nail Polish

Regular nail polish is made of polymers that are dissolved in solvents that evaporate upon application and leave behind a film of color.

In contrast gel polish contain some photo initiating compounds that make them impossible to dry in air and need harsher measures for them to stick on nails for longer.

Even though regular nail polish and gel polish can both be applied at home, if done with great attention and care. However, theres a tricky application process involved when it comes to gel polish and knowing that technique can make a huge difference in the results you obtain.

Regular nail polish is easy to apply: you shape your nails, apply the base coat, then the polish and the top coat before letting it dry naturally. With gel polish, the application technique is not so simple.

After the nails have been shaped and the base coat has been applied, a coat of gel polish is applied on the top surface of the nails. This gel polish doesnt dry in air naturally.

It requires LED/UVA light exposure that allows the nail polish to dry while retaining proper texture. In addition, every additional coat of gel polish requires the same treatment.

Therefore, you can see why applying gel polish isnt exactly an easy task and if you plan on doing it at home, make sure you have an LED or UVA drying machine at home.

Also Check: How To Remove Gel Nail Strips

Glass Or Crystal Files

There are numerous types of nail files like emery board, glass, or crystal files. We recommend glass or crystal as they last longer. They have the file pattern etched into the glass or crystal, hence the longevity.

Good to note cheap glass files have patterns that are glued to the surface rather than etched, which can wear off quickly. Glass or crystal are also best for your natural nails, as they smooth the nail tip to seal it rather than shredding the nail tip.

If you have a durable glass or crystal file, it can serve you many years since the pattern is etched on the glass and will not wear. They’re perfect for personal use so minimize sharing. Also, make sure to clean them after a while to keep them safe for use. It’s a tool you can’t miss if you want to start your journey to do home gel nails.

Push Cuticles Down And Apply Cuticle Oil

How To: Gel Polish At Home

Source: Pexels

Hydration is key for nail health. You should be using cuticle oil daily, but particularly in combination with gel polish.

Use a cuticle pusher to push your cuticles back and make more of your nail visible. Use it to also remove dead skin from your nail plate and to help maintain even cuticles.

Then, apply cuticle oil to nourish the skin surrounding your nails.One thing to be careful of is not to apply oil too late in the process. If there is any oily residue still on your nails when you apply polish, the base coat will have trouble adhering.

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Uv And Led Curing Lamps

As you shop around for gel nail polish, youll see that there are kits that come with curing lamps, lamps you have to buy separately, and polishes that say they dont need one.

Some of these lights are UV and others are LED. You may notice that LED is more common. Whats the reason for this?

Whats the Difference?

The differences between UV and LED curing lamps are stark. UV light takes about two minutes to cure nail polish. LED, on the other hand , takes 45 seconds or less. UV light is a type of light source thats invisible. It comes from the sun and is used in tanning beds. LED contains UV light among other different types of light.

Thats the big difference: gel polish hardens when its exposed to several types of light. So, a UV lamp takes longer because its just one type of light, but LED can do it all, and quicker, too.

Another difference is that LED lights arent as harmful. UV light can cause skin cancer and early aging. If you frequently use gel polish with UV lamps, you increase your risk of damaging your skin. Its still a risk with LED lights, but its minimal compared to UV lamps.

Do I Need a Light at Home?

Whether you need a curing lamp at home or not will depend on the type of polish you get. If you get the traditional gel polish, then yes, youll need a curing lamp. You can use either UV or LED, but youll probably end up with LED just because theyre more common these days.

How to Safely Use UV Lights

Whats The Point Of Applying A Top Coat

A layer of top coat seals in the strip and elongates its life. You can get more out of your nail polish strips if you perform this extra step that prevents the strip from chipping and breaking easily. It extends the life of your nail polish strip by a good 3 to 5 days. You can skip this step if you arent in the mood for additional work it isnt a must, but its good if you do.

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Best Gel Nail Polish For Unchippable Manicures

We may earn a commission from links on our website, but this doesn’t influence the opinions of our editors.

Ever paint your nails, reach up to tuck a hair behind your ear, and realize you just messed up all of your hard work? Well, this is nearly impossible when you use the Best Gel Nail Polish.

Or maybe youve looked down at your fingers only to see that youve absentmindedly picked away some of the color?

With gel polish, you dont have to worry about chipped paint. Read on to find out what brands of gel-based nail polish we recommend.

What Is A Gel Nail Kit

The Best At Home Gel Nail Polish Brands

A gel nail kit is a collection of equipment that any nail artist may use to create gel nail art at home, in a studio, or in a salon. Both specialist nail technicians and amateur nail enthusiasts will benefit from this equipment.

Whether you want to color your nails at home or go in for a professional manicure, youll need your manicure kit. Regardless of how carefully a salon cleans its equipment, having your gel nail kit is a cleaner and more sanitary choice.

Youll be able to sterilize your items at all times, and you wont have to be concerned about who utilized them before you. You practically have all you require for a gel manicure at your fingers, and you dont even have to leave your house.

Its a bit pricey initially, but when you have the gel kit and any other materials youll need, itll save you money in the long run. Not to mention the time you would have spent in and got to and from the salon.

If you dont wish to spend a lot of time DIYing, check for home kits with more giant lights so you can cure over one or two nails at once. What about choosing between LED and UV light? When it comes to obtaining a smooth mani, neither is better than the other.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Nail Polish Stains On Clothes

Gelish 18g Professional Led Light

The Gelish 18G Professional LED nail lamp is another top-rated LED lamp for gel nails. This model comes equipped with two 18-watt LED bulbs for a total of 36 watts, making it a little less powerful than the MelodySusie Pro60 model we reviewed above. However, this is still a quality product it is small, compact, lightweight, easy to use and cures gel nails sufficiently.

This model LED nail lamp can be purchased online for approximately $200, making it the most expensive option in our review. This product is $100 more than the MelodySusie Pro60, and comes with less features and less wattage, making the Gelish 18G also the least cost effective.


  • Expensive option for less power
  • Designed for LED formulated gel polish ONLY
  • Curing can take longer due to less wattage
  • May be too small for professional use

Gel Nail Polish Kit From Beetles

The Beetles Gel Nail Polish Kit comes with six nude pink and grey hues and a UV light LED nail drier, allowing you to design your nails.

These colors are chemical-free, but they also offer a high-gloss and low-odor composition. The bottomless high-power lamp is lightweight and portable, making it easy to use whenever you want.

The package also includes 9 nail art designs and manicure equipment such as a filer, buffer, and clipper, allowing you to achieve a flawlessly shaped gel mani from the comfort of your own home. The three bottles of foundation gel will offer you a gleaming matte topcoat to finish off your appearance nicely.


  • The application procedure is simple.
  • 9-free formula pigmented nail paints
  • It can persist up to 21 days.
  • Allows you to create your nail art designs.

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Get Started With Green Flash Gel Kits

JOIN THE Green revolution!

Products that boost your spirits and are as clean as possible for your health. Enough is enough!

  • Up to 84% plant-based ingredients Plant-based ingredients extracted from natural, renewable sources
  • Made in France Products made in France
  • Vegan Our aim is to develop products without using ingredients that come from animals or the farming of animals
  • 12-free
  • Products formulated based on a strict blacklist
  • Eco-friendly packaging Recyclable packaging and FSC cardboard

Green Flash

The first nail gel you remove like ordinary nail polish. HEMA-free, all natural and vegan.

+33 colors

  • 05/07/2021 Super product

    Only just received so used once, but very easy to use and nail varnish lasted a week with me doing lots of cleaning etc around the house. Gel came off easily too. Very pleased.

  • 19/08/2021 Great kit

    Really easy to apply and the kit is a great starter for anyone wanting to do gel polish

  • 19/05/2021 Easy application, quick delivery.

    Easy application, quick delivery. Green flash has lasted on my nails about 9 days which is great. I want more colours now!!


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How Long Do Nail Polish Strips Last


If you follow the basic steps mentioned in our guide above and seal in the strip with a nice top coat layer, the strip can last for a good week to 10 days. This is also dependant on what youre doing every day. Frequent exposure to water and abrasive substances will lead to chipping and peeling and the strip will most likely start coming off within the week.

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Will Gel Ruin My Natural Nails

Were in the midst of a national lockdown – the salons are shut And you cant get your nails done anymore…This is something we have all DREADED for all of our lives! But, it isnt all doom and gloom. With a big thanks to the magical internet, beauty supplies are a click away and can be delivered to your door if you wish to still pamper yourselves at home. But, will you cause more harm than good?

I hear these questions often, will gel thin my nails? And, is gel bad for my nails? And do my nails need to breathe?

I cant wait to paint all of your nails again already!Kristy x

Red Carpet Fortify & Protect Pro Starter Kit: Best Gel Nail Kit For People With Weak Nails

Price: £100 | Buy now from Nail Polish Direct

Red Carpets kit promises to be gentle on nails. It includes both vitamin A and biotin, which makes it a great choice for anyone who suffers with nails that peel, snap or bend easily.

Theres a lot packed into this box, with plenty of files, sticks, pads and a brilliant oblong buffer to help you prep your nails.

We thought the varnish was lovely and light perfect for building up in thin layers. The brush also made it easy to cap the nail at the free end without the polish going onto the hand, which can be damaging during the curing process. The result was smooth and firm nails that have cured beautifully and feel like theyre going to go the distance.

Key specs Colours included: 1 Lamp strength: 6W Contains removal equipment? Yes Quantity of polish per pot: 9ml

Price: £60 |

This set comes in a super chic box which smacks of quality from the moment it arrives. Inside, all of the elements the polishes, the base and top coats, the nail files, the lamp are laid out clearly. This sense of simplicity and clarity permeates every aspect of the kit.

We loved the instruction manual. It uses simple, clear language which we found easy to follow theres absolutely no room for confusion.

We think this is the pick of the bunch here, but there is a downside: the kit doesnt include removal equipment so youll need to budget extra for that.

Price: £35 | Buy now from ASOS

Price: £45 |

Price: £85 | Buy now from Manucurist

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