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Prima Gel Polish

Acrylic nails are known for their durability and strength. They are resistant to chipping and breaking, making them a popular choice for people who have a busy lifestyle or who engage in activities that put their nails at risk of damage. Gel nails, while durable, aren’t as strong as acrylic nails. They are more flexible than acrylic nails and less resistant to chipping or breaking.

Gel nails are typically more expensive than acrylic nails. A full set of gel nails can range from £40 to £80, and a fill-in can range from £30 to £50. The cost may vary based on the design, length and shape of the nails, and the skill of the technician.
Acrylic nails also look great. They can give your hands a polished and sophisticated look, and there are many different styles and colours to choose from. Whether you want a natural look or something more flashy, you can find an acrylic nail style that suits you.

One of the biggest benefits of acrylic nails is that they are very durable. They can last up to six weeks without chipping or peeling, which is much longer than natural nails. Additionally, acrylic nails are less likely to break than natural nails, so they can be a good option for people who have weak or brittle nails.

Does the brand of gel polish matter?
When working with gel polishes, while mixing brands can look good, I would always recommend sticking to one system or brand for longer lasting and more durable nails. While brands use a similar formula to each other, just like liquid & powder acrylic there will always be small differences.
It’s worth mentioning that both types of nails require proper nail preparation, which includes cleaning, buffing and dehydrating the natural nails before application.Gel nails can last up to two to three weeks with proper maintenance. This makes them a great choice for people who want to maintain a polished look for an extended period of time.

Gel nails are less likely to cause damage to natural nails than acrylic nails. They are less harsh on the natural nails during the application and removal process, which can be beneficial for people with weaker nails.
In summary, the maintenance and removal process of acrylic nails is more time-consuming and harsher on natural nails than gel nails. Gel nails are less prone to yellowing or discolouration and less harsh on the natural nails during the removal process than acrylic nails.Acrylic nails are made by mixing a liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer) to create a paste, which is then applied to the natural nails. The mixture hardens and forms a durable layer over the natural nails. Acrylic nails are known for their durability and strength, and they can be shaped and filed to create various looks. However, they can also be harsh on natural nails and may cause damage if not applied or maintained correctly. Acrylic nails are typically less expensive than gel nails. A complete set of acrylic nails can range from £30 to £60, and a fill-in can range from £20 to £40. The cost may vary based on the nails’ design, length and shape and the technician’s skill. In summary, when choosing between gel and acrylic nails, it’s important to consider your lifestyle, natural nail health, budget, desired look and level of maintenance. Both types of nails have their pros and cons and the best option depends on the individual’s needs, preferences, and budget.Consider your daily activities and how they may affect your nails. If you have a busy lifestyle or engage in activities that put your nails at risk of damage, acrylic nails may be a better choice for you because of their strength and durability.

While there are many different types of fake nails on the market, acrylics tend to look the least natural. Acrylics are made from a plastic material, which can give them a bright, artificial appearance. If you’re looking for fake nails that look more natural, you may want to consider options such as gel or silk nails.
Like any type of artificial nails, gel nails require regular maintenance, and the costs of maintaining them can add up over time. They also need regular fill-ins to maintain their appearance.Gel nails must also be filled in every two to three weeks to maintain their appearance. During a fill-in, the technician will remove the grown-out portion of the natural nails and add a new layer of gel to the nails. Gel nails are less prone to yellowing or discolouration than acrylic nails. However, regular cleaning is still required to maintain their appearance.

Gel nails come in a wide variety of colours and shades. This allows for more creative options in terms of nail design and matching nails with different outfits or occasions.

Consider your budget when choosing between acrylic and gel nails. Acrylic nails tend to be less expensive than gel nails, but the cost can vary depending on location, salon, technician, design, length and shape of the nails, and the skill of the technician.
Gel nails have a glossy, natural-looking finish that is similar to natural nails. This makes them a great choice for people who want to enhance their nails without a harsh or artificial look.One of the biggest disadvantages of acrylic nails is that they can damage your natural nails. Acrylic nails are applied with a strong adhesive, which can cause your natural nails to become weak and brittle. Additionally, the acrylic itself can be harsh on your nails, causing them to become dry and damaged. If you wear acrylic nails regularly, you may notice that your natural nails become yellow and discoloured. Another benefit of acrylic nails is that they are highly customisable. You can choose the shape, size, colour, and style of your nails to create a unique look that reflects your personality. Acrylic nails are applied by mixing a liquid (monomer) and powder (polymer) to create a paste, which is then applied to the natural nails. The mixture is then sculpted and shaped over a form or on the natural nails. The nails are then filed and shaped to the desired length and shape. The process can take up to an hour or more, depending on the skill of the nail technician and the desired look.It’s worth mentioning that both types of nails can be prone to cracking or chipping if not appropriately maintained, and both need regular fill-ins to preserve their appearance.Acrylic nails are also low maintenance. Unlike natural nails, they don’t require regular polishing or touch-ups. Additionally, acrylic nails don’t require any special care or cleaning products, so they’re easy to take care of.Acrylic nails have a more artificial look than gel nails and are often thicker and more opaque. On the other hand, gel nails have a more natural appearance; they are shiny and have a glossy finish. They look more like natural nails than acrylic nails. Gel nails are also removed using acetone that is applied to the nails, wrapped in foil, and left on for 10-15 minutes. The gel polish can then be gently buffed off. This process is less harsh on the natural nails than the removal of acrylic nails. Acrylic nails are removed by soaking them in acetone for 15-20 minutes, then filing and buffing off the remaining acrylic. This process can be harsh on the natural nails and may cause damage if not done correctly.Acrylic and gel nails can vary in cost depending on the location, nail salon and technician. Still, acrylic nails generally tend to be less expensive than gel nails.

Finally, it’s important to note that some people may experience allergic reactions to the chemicals used in acrylic nails. If you notice any redness, swelling, or itching after having your acrylics applied, it’s important to remove them immediately and consult a doctor.
Think about the health of your natural nails and how they may be affected by the application and removal of artificial nails. Gel nails are less harsh on the natural nails during the application and removal process, which can be beneficial for people with weaker nails.

On the other hand, gel nails are applied using a gel-based polish cured under a UV lamp. The resulting nails are shiny and look natural, and the gel polish is typically more flexible than acrylic. Gel nails are also known for being easy to remove and less likely to cause damage to natural nails. However, they are typically more expensive than acrylic nails and require a UV lamp for curing.
Think about the level of maintenance you are willing to do to keep your nails looking good. Both types of nails require regular maintenance, but gel nails are less prone to yellowing or discolouration than acrylic nails and less harsh on the natural nails during the removal process.While gel nails are durable, they are not as strong as acrylic nails. They are more flexible than acrylic nails and can be less resistant to chipping or breaking.

What is prima gel polish?
PRIMA Base gel polish PRIMA is a 3-step system consisting of a Base, colour and Top gel polish. This produces thin-looking nails that are chip-free for 4 weeks and that have an incredible shine. Cached
It’s worth mentioning that both types of nails require regular maintenance, and the costs of maintaining them can add up over time. The price of a UV lamp (needed for gel nails) should also be considered.In summary, the application process of acrylic nails is more involved and time-consuming than gel nails. Acrylic nails require mixing a liquid and powder, sculpting and shaping, while gel nails require painting and curing under a UV lamp. Both types of nails require proper nail preparation before application.

Gel nails are typically more expensive than acrylic nails. A complete set of gel nails can range from £40 to £80, and a fill-in can range from £30 to £50. The cost may vary based on the nails’ design, length and shape and the technician’s skill.

Is there gel polish that doesn t cause an allergic reaction?
PRIMA style-focused gel polish system After six years of development, IKON.IQ created PRIMA, the first true hypoallergenic gel polish system that wears beautifully for +30 days and allows you to produce the “weighless manicure” with thin, natural looking nails.
Acrylic nails must be filled in every two to three weeks to maintain their appearance. During a fill-in, the technician will remove the grown-out portion of the natural nails and add a new layer of acrylic to the nails. They are also prone to yellowing or discolouration over time, so regular buffing and cleaning are required to maintain their appearance.

Are gels better than shellac?
Shellac vs gel: the low down on which is better You can enjoy a fantastic polish with both. For longer lasting, with more colour options, choose gel. For shine and ease, choose shellac. Talk to your nail technician and they may also have individual recommendations for you.
Gel nails are applied by painting a gel-based polish over the natural nails. The nails are then cured under a UV lamp. The process typically takes 30 minutes to an hour. Still, it can vary depending on the skill of the nail technician and the desired look.Another benefit of acrylic nails is that they are relatively affordable. While the initial cost of getting them done may be higher than other types of manicures, they will last much longer, so you won’t have to get them done as often. Additionally, there are many different styles and colours of acrylic nails available, so you can find a look that suits your taste and budget. In summary, acrylic nails tend to be less expensive than gel nails. Still, the cost can vary depending on location, salon, technician, nail art, length and shape of the nails, and the technician’s skill. Both types of nails require regular maintenance, and the costs can add up over time. Gel nails are easy to remove, they are typically removed using a special gel nail polish remover that is applied to the nails, wrapped in foil, and left on for 10-15 minutes. The gel polish can then be gently buffed off. This process is less harsh on the natural nails than the removal of acrylic nails.In general, acrylic nails are more durable than gel nails, but gel nails have a more natural look. The choice between the two will depend on the individual’s needs, preferences and lifestyle. Think about the look you want to achieve with your nails. Acrylic nails can be shaped and filed to create a variety of different looks, from natural to more extravagant designs. Gel nails, on the other hand, have a more natural look and come in a wide variety of colours and shades. Bob Giblett, co-founder of Iryna Giblett AB, the company behind Ikon.IQ Nails, comments: “Skin allergies from nail products occur due to prolonged and repetitive skin contact by uncured or under-cured products containing acrylates, or uncured or under-cured dust, an incorrect L&P mix ratio or by using the incorrect UV lamp with gels and gel polishes.”“We have also avoided these – which makes developing new nail products more complex – but we have done so without compromising on exceptional performance.” Swedish nail brand, Ikon.IQ Nails, has unveiled a range of hypoallergenic nail products to reduce the risk of allergic reactions through nail services. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, the three main nail products ingredients that cause skin contact allergies are HEMA, HPMA and Ethyl Acrylate, so the IKON.IQ Nails range of gels has been formulated without these ingredients.Bib and Iryna have launched the Say No To Allergies booklet; a brand and product neutral source of advice in an easy-to read, fact-based booklet. Read it here.

Bob, an engineer and allergy expert, worked with his multi-award winning wife, and former microbiologist, Iryna Giblett, to create the professional-use Ikon.IQ Nails range. “Finding a chemist who had the required knowledge took months of searching,” Bob continues. “In 2010, we launched our first hypoallergenic product, the Ikon.IQ Ultimate Gels. Since then, we have continued to introduce new products.
“Some products can’t be produced as hypoallergenic, such as acrylic liquid & powder. Ikon.IQ products have been formulated without the three main nail product ingredients that can cause skin contact allergies – but there are many other acrylates that are known to cause allergies.Gel nails which are derived from methacrylates, are applied over a person’s natural nails and must be “cured” under an ultraviolet (UV) lamp. Meanwhile, acrylic nails are a a paste applied over the natural nails and left to harden with exposure to air.

The BAD raised concerns about all three methods and warned that the sensitisation occurs when the uncured product comes into contact with any part of the skin. It can occur in both professional and at-home settings.

Beauticians are also at risk of developing the allergy as protective gloves may not offer enough protection and the methacrylates could pass through the gloves.
She went on to urge at-home users to read the instructions, to always use the recommended UV lamp for curing, and to not use the same lamp with other polishes purchased separately. “It’s very important that you avoid direct skin contact with the nail product whilst it is curing,” she added.Dermatologists are warning that popular nail gel polishes are causing an increase in the number of people developing “life-changing” allergies that could prevent them from having certain operations.

The concerns were based on a study that found that 2.4 per cent of people tested had an allergy to at least one type of methacrylate chemical. The allergy “overwhelmingly” affected women, it said.
The BAD now has concerns the closure of nail salons during the pandemic could be leading more people to switch to at-home kits. Dr Buckley, who is with the BAD, said: “It’s likely that lockdowns during the pandemic contributed to an increase in people using at-home artificial nail kits.” The BAD said these at-home kits can be riskier because of the lack of experience the public has with these products.

“People can have trouble breathing or asthma can be worsened. Even worse, they can become sensitive to acrylates in other things, which can have implications in dentistry or if they’re diabetic or for orthopaedic surgery, and it’s a life-long sensitisation,” she added.
Dr Buckley said people must be aware of the risks associated with artificial nail products. She advised nail technicians, who are especially at risk, to wear nitrile gloves when applying the products, changing them every thirty minutes with a no-touch technique.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday morning (14 April), Dr Deirdre Buckley, a consultant dermatologist from Bath, said: “[Symptoms] can range from the nails loosening to falling off, it can include a severe rash on the face, the neck, the upper chest.

Why am I suddenly allergic to gel nails?
Experts say that chemicals in nail gel polishes, which are methacrylates, can seep into the skin and cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms of such a reaction include nails becoming loosened from the nail bed and the skin around the nails developing a severe rash.
Dr Buckley went on to explain how sensitation to nail methacrylates can have potential medical and dental implications, because the same or very similar methacrylates are used in white dental fillings, enamel tooth coatings, orthopaedic bone cement, diabetic glucose sensors and insulin pumps. “This can have serious consequences for future medical care,” she said, yet many are unaware of the potential dangers.

The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has today reiterated its warning regarding allergic reactions linked to artificial nails after a number of high-profile reports. It first issued a warning about these products in 2018, following reports of a steep rise in cases of allergic skin reactions linked to (meth)acrylate chemicals in these products. Welcome the spring with nails in a warm shade of apricot with a delicate coral accent. As soon as the first spring sun brushes you, pastel mani will perfectly emphasize your tan. April Fool’s Day? No, it’s spring already! Your personal data will be used to support your experience throughout this website, to manage access to your account, and for other purposes described in our privacy policy.

As soon as the light turns off, you’ll know your cycle is finished, and it’s time to remove your hands from underneath the lamp. It’s then safe to begin adding coats of gel nail polish. Remember to cure each coat under the lamp – including the base and top coats – so they can all be adequately sealed for long-lasting results.The Food and Drug Administration in the USA has deemed the adverse effects of UV lamps low-risk with proper usage. However, to ensure your well-being, it is wise to take extra safety measures when exposing yourself under their lights. Moreover, abstain from applying any cosmetic products on your skin before getting a session since they can cause hypersensitivity reactions to UV rays.

You’ll want to use an acetone-soaked cotton pad or paper towel to get rid of the tacky residue from your cured gel manicure. Glide it across each polished nail with a gentle motion to remove all traces of stickiness and leave behind perfectly clean nails! Once done, you can revel in your vibrant, glossy, freshly painted nails.
Yes, using a lamp is essential to cure gel nail polish. Without it, the molecules in the gel won’t be able to bond together correctly, and your manicure will remain soft and susceptible to damage. While some brands of gel polish don’t require a UV or LED light to cure, most professional technicians agree that using a lamp is the best option for ensuring a long-lasting, chip-resistant manicure.

Is gel polish better than acrylic?
Gel nails, while durable, aren’t as strong as acrylic nails. They are more flexible than acrylic nails and less resistant to chipping or breaking. In general, acrylic nails are more durable than gel nails, but gel nails have a more natural look.
UV and LED lamps are an effective way to cure gel nail polish, so it comes down to personal preference. Generally speaking, LED lamps cure faster than UV lamps and don’t produce as much heat, which can benefit people with sensitive skin or nails. On the other hand, some technicians prefer UV lamps because they offer more power and often provide a wider working area. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and what works best for your particular needs.When this happens, you will struggle to remove over-cured gel polish with acetone, and it won’t work. To prevent damaging your natural nails, reach for a nail file or electric file instead, and a gentle filing will easily take it off without causing any harm.

Find a convenient electrical outlet and plug in your 36-watt UV nail lamp. Place the lamp on the table where you’ll be painting your nails before starting. After that, attach the power cord to your chosen electrical outlet, and you’re ready to go.

To prevent smearing or ruining your gel polish, paint and cure each finger separately, starting with the index finger. This way, you won’t have to fret about messing up your other nails when using the less-dominant hand. Doing this will also allow for greater light exposure on the thumbnail so that it can properly dry faster.
To attain a flawless, glossy manicure finish, it’s ideal to paint and cure one hand at a time. Begin by using the nail lamp on one hand before using the same hand to apply polish on the other. For best results, brush gel polish in thin layers until you reach an opaque colouration–usually, between 2-4 coats will do.Opt for an LED lamp over a UV one and experience the benefits of faster drying time. LED lamps usually dry gel polish in half the time, ultimately saving you more time on your manicure. Although LED lamps can be pricier than UV lamps, investing in them could be a wise decision if you’re seeking to save time. This unique trait allows the gel base coat to bond tightly with your nails, lasting up to two weeks. However, if you over-cure this layer of polish, its stickiness decreases and becomes brittle. Even worse is that the hard surface won’t be affected by acetone when you try removing the product from your nails. To get your LED nail lamp running, start by selecting one with a power rating of at least 36 watts. Place the product on an accessible surface close to where you plan to paint your nails, and plug it into any nearby electrical socket.For intense daily use, your UV bulb should be replaced every 2-4 months to ensure consistency in effectiveness. Make sure to purchase a new set of bulbs from the same manufacturer and follow the instructions for installation. If you are not using the lamp consistently, replacement only needs to occur once or twice per year.

Does gel polish need UV or LED?
While some brands of gel polish don’t require a UV or LED light to cure, most professional technicians agree that using a lamp is the best option for ensuring a long-lasting, chip-resistant manicure.
To ensure a perfect manicure, paint and cure each hand individually. This will allow you to avoid smudging your gel polish while also granting added convenience when applying the colour to your dominant hand, as it will be dry by then. Additionally, put thick layers of thin coats in order to create an even finish that looks professional. Finally, if advised by the manufacturer or for extra precaution against smudges – make sure you paint and dry your thumbnails separately.The defining characteristic of gel polish is its flexibility, which must be preserved with adequate curing. When the pigment is over-cured, it loses this crucial quality and results in colour adhering directly to the nail plate during removal rather than peeling away from the base coat as though there never was one. So while you won’t immediately notice an issue, take care not to let your gel polish get overcooked.

With your freshly painted nails, position them directly underneath the LED lamp. Ensure one hand is covered with a single coat of nail polish designed for this kind of lighting. Once in place, ensure the shine from the lacquer faces upwards to receive maximum illumination benefits and long-lasting results.Gel polish curing is the process of using a specially designed UV or LED light to seal and harden the gel nail polish on your nails. This process is known as polymerisation because it causes the molecules in the gel polish to bond together, forming a solid layer of colour that won’t chip or wear off easily. Depending on your nail type and the type of lamp used, curing times can vary from a few seconds to several minutes. We’ll discuss this in greater detail below where we show two methods for drying gel nail polish. Place your painted nails flat under the UV lamp, allowing for a slight gap between each finger. Position them so that the polish-side of your nails face upwards, and keep your palms pressed on the table or against the lamp’s base. You don’t need to stick all five fingers into one section – make sure that only your fingernails are getting direct exposure from beneath this radiation source while mitigating any further skin contact with UV light. When curing your gel polish, ensure you read the manufacturer’s directions and know how long a cycle is required; some may only need 10 seconds, while others could take up to 45. If you have a lamp with just one button, press it for shorter cycles or hold it down for longer ones. Additionally, check the instructions from your lamp’s producer so you can confidently use their product correctly.

After the completion of a layer of gel topcoat, this step should be done to ensure success. Unnecessary steps are not required in between layers of gel polish for optimal results.
Safety first: Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen or UV-absorbent gloves. As an added precaution, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to the hands before painting nails with gel polish. You could use UV absorbent gloves to further protect against harmful ultraviolet rays.For a flawless finish, set your timer for two minutes and press the power button to turn on the lamp. Keep still while it dries – this is essential in achieving that perfect shine.

Which brand of gel polish lasts longest?
The Best Long-Lasting Nail PolishesBest Overall: OPI Infinite Shine.Best Gel-Like: Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Duo.Best Splurge: Chanel Le Vernis.Best Nude: Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish.Best Sheer: Essie ″Sheer Silhouette″ Gel Couture Nail Polish.Best Color Selection: Jin Soon Quintessential Nail Lacquer.
To complete the removal process, take a cotton pad saturated in alcohol and remove the sticky top layer that has been produced from your cured nails. If you prefer avoiding alcohol-based products, use a specialised gel cleanser instead. After this step is completed, you can enjoy flawless nails.

Before you begin with the gel polish, read through and follow all instructions from the polish manufacturer. Depending on the product used, it might only take a one-minute cycle. After every gel layer has been applied, curing each completely is necessary before continuing. To remain safe during this process, don’t run your UV lamp for more than 10 minutes when working on both hands – this equals up to five layers of colour or base coat/topcoat combined.To avoid over-curing your gel base coat, only expose it to the LED lamp for 45 seconds. Even if this seems too brief, additional UV light will be emitted as the gel polish’s top, and colour coats must also go through their specific curing processes afterwards. Ultimately, even without going beyond that initial forty-five-second mark -the entire process can extend 3 minutes or more after all is said and done; over-curing is a real risk in these cases.

To set the polish, select a 30-second cycle. Using one hand to hold the lamp in place, use your other hand to adjust the settings and turn on a 30-second timer with either a dial or a designated button. Once you press start and see lights come on, ensure that your hands remain motionless beneath the light’s beam for all thirty seconds.
When it comes to gel polish topcoats, you should only cure them for a maximum of 90 seconds – even if you feel that 60 seconds may not be sufficient. This protective sealer preserves the colour underneath while giving your nails a luminous finish.To ensure a pristine manicure, keep your hands flat on the table or base of the lamp and separate your fingers. Be cautious not to touch any other parts of the lamp; this could ruin your polish. Opt for a removable-base type of lamp when picking out one specifically for a pedicure—it will make it more convenient for you to place over your nails as needed.The most common reason your gel polish is not drying correctly is that the UV lamp was insufficient. The LED lamp bulb must be powerful enough to emit UV light at the correct frequency, so do not use a cheap knock-off that cannot produce this wavelength. Moreover, these lamps must be placed far enough away from your nails – usually around 2 inches – for the gel base coat and top coat to form correctly.So there you have it, our ultimate guide to curing gel polish. In summary, our top takes would be to keep the gel base coat exposed to the lamp only for 45 seconds, cure the colour layer for 60 seconds and do not exceed 90 seconds for the topcoat. If you follow this advice – your nails will look fabulous and last longer. If you are keen to further your skills or are a complete novice, feel free to head over and check out our online and in-person courses here.

Which gel polish are the best?
Best Overall: Morovan Nail Kit at Amazon. … Best Value: Gellen Gel Nail Polish Kit at Amazon. … Best for Beginners: Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Starter Kit at Amazon. … Best Polish: Essie Gel Nail Polish at Amazon. … Best for Damaged Nails: Zoya Gelie-Cure Foundation Pro Kit at … Best Portable:
Excessive curing of the gel top coat can cause it to become hard and solid, rendering it unable to interact with acetone. This means that if your topcoat is over-cured, you will need to manually file off the product in order for removal.The kit contains an LED lamp, one polish color, both top and base coats, and nail care essentials like a file and buffer to help shape nails. What makes this kit unique is how fast it works. “The drying time was very quick and it wasn’t sticky after the suggested curing time [of 30 seconds],” the tester adds. “It dried hard, smooth and streak-free.” Plus, according to the brand, the kit lasts for up to 10 gel manicures, which is a pretty good value for $60 total (and significantly cheaper than visiting the salon where gel manicures can cost upwards of $40 each.)

While lamps do produce UV light, the FDA views nail lamps as low risk when used as directed by the label. “If you are still concerned and want to take extra precaution, you can put sunscreen on your hands prior to your appointment or wear gloves with the tips cut off during your manicure,” Stone says.
Have you ever treated yourself to a manicure only for your nails to chip on the way home from the salon? If you’ve experienced this, it can feel like a big waste of both time and money. That’s why gel manicures are increasingly popular: Gel polish leaves behind a super glossy finish that stays intact for weeks — even after washing your hands or doing the dishes. Whether you’re committed to DIY-ing your nails, or are trying to cut back on salon visits, achieving a salon-quality gel manicure is possible at home, all thanks to at-home gel nail kits.If you’re looking for an option to tide you over in between nail appointments, it might not be worth splurging on a full kit, and instead, may want to opt for a gel polish (like the Essie Gel Couture Longwear). On the other hand, if you’re committed to DIY-ing your nails and cutting back on salon visits, investing in a quality kit is essential. Part of the latter category? Make sure the kit you’re considering offers a professional-grade curing lamp and a variety of polish colors.

If you suffer from brittle, cracked nails, try this kit that helps restore them during wear. The tester shares that after removing the polish, her nails were “totally healthy and moisturized.”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.A household name, Sally Hansen is a trusted source when it comes to all things nails, so it’s no wonder that the brand’s at-home gel nail kit is ideal for someone trying to learn the basics. “This kit is perfect for beginners because it involves only three steps and is so simple to follow,” our tester shares.

It’s pretty incredible that the kit contains everything you could ever need to do a gel manicure, but with that said, it can be overwhelming for a first-timer. Thankfully, it comes with an easy-to-follow guide and has a pretty wide margin for error. The tester notes that, “Regardless of the mistakes I made, the gel came out pretty good.”
To kick things off, we spent about a week researching the top-rated at-home gel nail kits on the market. After honing in on online ratings, we spent a total of 54 hours putting the 9 most popular kits to the test in our lab and at-home. We had each of our testers try the kits so that they could analyze the performance of each one and write down their insights in the process. In doing so, our testers rated each at-home kit on a scale of 1 to 5 for six key categories: ease of use, drying time, overall look, quality, ease of removal, and nail integrity post-removal. After initial application, our testers wore their gel manicures for two weeks to evaluate the long wear claims, then removed to review that process as well. Once all the data was collected, we were able to narrow down the original pool of products to the top six at-home gel nail kits.

“Damage from nail enhancements comes from improper prep, application, and/or improper removal — not the product itself,” says Kandalec. “One way to prevent damage is to visit a reputable salon that doesn’t rush the removal process.” Gel needs to soak for at least 20 minutes and should never be peeled or picked off, she adds. To remove gel polish at home, Poole explained to InStyle that you should start by buffing the top layer of your mani with a coarse nail file. Then, soak cotton balls in acetone, secure them to each nail with aluminum foil and wait 10 to 15 minutes. “The gel manicure should slide off with the cotton ball when you remove the foil, but if some residue remains stuck on your nail, use an orangewood stick to work it off,” she said.
We set out to find the best at-home gel manicure kits. To do so, we rounded up a handful of testers to research the most popular kits and try them out in our testing lab to determine which ones are worth the splurge. After thorough testing — taking into account ease of use and removal, drying time, quality, and post-mani nail health — we picked the best-performing kits. Ultimately, the Morovan Poly Gel Nail Kit impressed us most due to its salon-quality results and top scores in the aforementioned categories.That said, this kit covers the basics and nothing more. While a minimalist might love the fact that there’s only one shade, the tester notes that she wishes there were more colors available with the kit. However, you can shop all 21 of the gel polish shades, which are sold separately, at Sally Hansen. After all, variety is key when it comes to nail polish.From the adorable heart-shaped packaging to the easy-to-follow instruction manual, this kit makes doing a mani on the go enjoyable and fun. Even our tester, a self-proclaimed manicure amateur, says the kit is like a party in a box.

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.”
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.

As if the eight polish colors weren’t enough, the kit also comes with a selection of embellishments — like flower decals, holographic sequins, and a variety of rhinestones — to seriously upgrade your mani. The kit also includes an acid-free primer, a dehydrator (which prepares nails for gel), a base coat, a top coat, and eight manicure tools (think: nail clipper, buffer, cuticle pusher, and more).
When prepped and applied properly, gel manis can last up to a month, or until your nails are grown out. “The longevity of a gel mani can also depend on how active you are with your hands and how well you take care of them,” Stone says. When it comes to nail care, Kandalec recommends using cuticle oils and hand lotion to maintain the integrity of your manicure at home. For those new to gel manicures, we suggest the Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit.If you’re hesitant to use an LED light, skip the curing step and try this swipe-and-go option. The application is the same as a traditional nail polish: All you have to do is paint on two coats of an Essie gel shade (there are plenty to choose from) and top it with the gel topcoat. Because there are only two pieces in this set, it’s a great option if you want to avoid cluttering your beauty space.

When it comes to gel manicures, an LED curing lamp is key. There’s essentially no other way to harden the gel which gives the manicure its signature rock-solid finish. Our Best Overall pick, the Morovan Poly Gel Nail Kit, comes with a professional-grade, 48-watt LED light to cure nails. With that said, check whether or not the kit you’re eyeing requires a lamp. If it does, opt for a kit that contains one, otherwise you’ll need to purchase one separately. Julie Kandalec, a professional nail artist who has worked with celebs like Sydney Sweeney, Mariah Carey, and Jessica Chastain, tells InStyle that every product and manufacturer line has its own base coat, top coat gel colors, and lamps, so you should only go with the lamp that the manufacturer recommends. “You shouldn’t mix products or lamps because some of them have a higher or lower output which can cause under- or over-curing of the gel,” she explains.
If you’ve ever gotten a gel manicure, then you know that the gel polish needs to cure (aka set) underneath a UV light in order to harden. This kit comes with a professional-grade, 48-watt LED light that offers three timer settings at 5-, 30- and 60-seconds. The heat setting is automated at low, so you can’t change it, but, fear not: The tester shares that the light emits moderate warmth, rather than piping hot light.As with all things, there is one downside — it takes a while for the gel to harden. “The multiple layers of polish make the manicure feel wet and tacky even after drying under the LED light for the recommended 60 seconds,” the tester admits. “I had to do multiple rounds under the curing light to get my nails to harden.”

According to Steph Stone, a professional nail artist who has painted the fingertips of celebs like Lili Reinhart, Camila Cabello, and Hunter Shafer, regular nail polish is painted and air dried, while gel polish needs to be “cured” with a UV or LED light. Gel manicures also grow out or need to be fully removed, whereas a regular manicure can chip and wear off with use.
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What gel polish can I use if I'm allergic?
Hypoallergenic nail products launched to help reduce risk of…PRIMA Gel Polish.Ovation Polymer Sculpting Gel.Evolution Soak-Off Sculpting Gel.Ultimate 3-Phase Sculpting Gel.Hypnos Soak-Off Colour Gel.One 1-Phase Sculpting Gel.Opium 3-Phase Sculpting Gel.Polytek Polymer Sculpting Gel.
Each kit comes with everything you need for a damage-free, clear gel manicure, including the brand’s patented nail rescue serum and reparative base coat, clear gel polish (a plethora of color options is sold separately), clear shine polish, polish remover, a nail file, a cuticle pusher, soak-off nail foils, cotton balls, and a travel-size LED light. Best of all, the kit doesn’t skimp on quality. “The base polish dries quickly and the clear gel easily spreads across each nail,” the tester says. “Plus, the light is easy to set up — just be aware that you need your own charging block.”The praise for this kit doesn’t stop at the simple application and longevity either. The removal process also couldn’t be easier. The polish comes off with regular acetone polish remover you can find at the drugstore. The tester says, “I loved that I didn’t need to go to a manicurist for removal and that taking off the gel took the same amount of time as regular polish.” Some gel polish has the tendency to make nails weaker, but after removal the tester mentioned that her nails were still in tip-top shape.It’s not only nice to look at — the entire process is a breeze, too. Our tester notes that she was shocked at how fast the LED light cures each nail. “My nails look fantastic even though my hands are far from steady,” she shares. “The quality of the gel and the curing process covered my many mistakes and the cuticle tool was great at removing polish from my skin.”

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it’s really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we’ve put them to the test to be sure you will too. It’s worth noting that because there’s no curing process involved, the final result isn’t as hard as a typical gel manicure. The reviewer didn’t seem to mind, though, given that the polish stayed intact without it. Because of the kit’s miniature size, you can only cure one nail at a time. Despite the process taking a little longer to ensure each nail gets enough curing time, the finished product makes the entire process worth it.For someone looking to dip their toes (and fingers) into doing their own gel manicures, this kit is an excellent place to start. The comprehensive set is equipped with all of the essentials you need to prep your nails and craft unique designs from the comfort of your home. With six bottles of regular gel polish and two bottles of temperature-changing ombre polish, you’ll never get bored with your nails.

Aside from being a quick and convenient way to get a gel mani at home, the results speak for themselves. “My nails look like they got professionally done,” our tester says. “Even after 2+ weeks, there is very minimal chipping.”
Lastly, check out each kit’s polish color offerings. Some options only come with one or two shades, while others come with an entire collection. With that in mind, make sure the colors are ones you’ll actually wear so that you get your money’s worth.A manicure in the shade of Prima Aprilis from the Think Spring collection will give you positive vibes and will make spring stay on your nails for good. The apricot shade will look great both in smooth looks and in wild spring designs.

Smith & Cult’s offerings are as sleek as they are long-lasting. And while the color you choose won’t necessarily affect how long a manicure lasts, Miss Pop Nails likes the brand’s Suburban Warrior hue—and its packaging. “I just love the bottle. It’s so chic,” she says. “It’s prettier than most fragrance bottles!”
Searching for a neutral nail color with subtle shine? Opt for Chanel’s Perle Blanche hue, says manicurist and nail expert Aja Walton. “It’s not your average white pearl shade!” she says. “It has a duo-chrome pink shift that’s a gorgeous beach vacation nail color for both fingers and toes.””I am obsessed with OPI Infinite Shine,” says Miss Pop Nails, adding that she regularly turns to this line—and as someone who works with her hands, she knows it goes the distances. Better yet, the shades are the same as their classic lacquer, so making the switch is easy. “The colors are highly pigmented, so I feel like I get great coverage even with one coat, but I add two for wear,” she says. “The key is to also use the system’s base and top-coat [pictured here] to get the best results.” Zoya also has great products and a sustainable ethos to match. “They are very earth and health-conscious, in their polish and in their packaging,” she says. “Plus you can choose a wide, cuticle-hugging brush or a slim, nail art-friendly bottle brush, depending on your preference.” Shopping off this expert-approved list is your best bet, since navigating the beauty aisle can be confusing. You’ll find that many companies claim their products are long-lasting, but determining if this is really true can be tricky for the average consumer, explains Miss Pop Nails, a celebrity and editorial nail artist. “Long-wear polishes often are advertised as such, but then again, so are all nail polishes. Also, the use of the word ‘gel’ is nearly meaningless,” she says. “The key to knowing if something is truly a gel is if you need to cure it under an LED light. If you’re not curing it, it’s a nail polish.” Need a formula that’s extremely pigmented (which translates to better wear and durability) and also out-of-this-world? Miss Pop Nails recommends Color Club’s holographic silver formula, Harp On It. “The polish is highly pigmented, which is perfect for getting coverage when you’re pressed for time,” she says. Walton is also a fan of Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab Pro, line, but calls out one shade in particular: “This beige color has eliminated any pink or white tones. It’s the sheerest nude I own that lasts for weeks,” she says.A long-lasting lacquer doesn’t have to be chemical-filled. “Our polishes are all 10-free and toxic-free while still maintaining its lasting power,” says Mabelyn Martin, creative director of Paintbox. “Applied onto a well-prepped nail and with daily use of cuticle oil, this polish lasts a solid week.”

Zoya Naked Manicure is the no make-up, make-up look for your nails. “It’s a sheer tint that strengthens, shines, and brings out the natural blush tones of your nail bed,” Miss Pop Nails says. “If you’re someone who loves a sheer nude, a buff to a shine, or even just a clear coat, this could be your new and improved go-to. I use the Pink and Buff perfector on set all the time.”
According to Miss Pop Nails, Jin Soon’s lacquers go the distance—but the line’s broad color range might make you want to change up your manicure before your current one chips. “Jin Soon is good quality, has a lovely bottle brush, and has fabulous, trendy colors,” she says. We’re particularly partial to this nude-meets-blush shade, which won’t show cracks as easily as darker formulas.If you regularly paint your nails, you likely know how difficult identifying the perfect sheer nude truly is. It’s even more challenging to find a barely-there neutral that works across all skin tones. Enter this shade from Essie, which is as long-lasting as it is universal. “This is a sheer tan nude that is universally flattering, a staple in my collection, and the most requested for editorial manicures,” Walton says.