All products on this page have been selected by the editorial team, however Stylist may make commission on some products purchased through affiliate links in this article
Looking for a way to perfect a shellac manicure at home? Consider these top-rated at home gel nail kits.
There are ways to control your monthly outgoings, right? We can prep our lunches, shop savvily, reduce the number of Deliveroo drivers ringing the doorbell and commit to cutting down on third-wave coffees. However, if a sleek shellac manicure or pedicure is part of your two-weekly budget, perhaps an at-home gel nail kit is the one for you?
With practice (and it will take a steady hand and some practice), shiny, chip-resistant nails are but an evening or lunch break away. Here are the five we rate.
Mylee The Full Works Complete Gel Polish Kit
As a veteran in-salon shellac-er, I was sceptical my skills could hold up to my go-to nail artist, Alexandra. And, to be honest, of course they couldn’t. She is an artist with a brush.
However, my budget doesn’t often stretch to multiple shellac manicures and pedicures a month, plus, the time waiting between appointments with glaring regrowth is a serious bugbear.
So, when I first tried the Mylee LED gel polish kit, I went slow and steady – very much a tortoise instead of a hare. I knew that mistakes would be harder (nay, impossible) to amend when the polish was cured.
The result, a solid, almost seamless shellac manicure, all from the comfort of my living room. The process was identical to an in-salon experience (besides the lack of ambient background 00s pop music), and it didn’t feel at all laborious doing it myself.
Manicurist Green Flash Basic Kit
Unlike regular gel nail polish, the Manicurist Green Flash Basic Kit cures polish using an LED lamp, rather than UV, which means there’s none of that unnerving aching sensation you get when your fingers have been under the light for a little too long.
You first paint on a base coat, followed by two colour coats and finally a topcoat, setting under the light in between each layer. The key is making sure each layer is as thin as you can manage. This is what makes sure the polish cures quickly, and stays put for longer.
Acetone-free, this kit is perfect if you hate the dehydrated feeling that can come with traditional gel manicures.
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 (and that includes a base coat, two to four layers of polish, and a topcoat) will extend the length of the process.
SunUV Professional Nail Dryer and Curer
A professional grade-light, SunUV uses UV LED light to cure gel nail polish in various time increments, either 10, 30, 60, or 90 seconds.
Unlike other options, this light has an automatic sensor to expedite the process of your manicure or pedicure, too.
Modelones UV Gel Nail Polish Kit Starter
A comprehensive starter kit, the Modelones at-home gel nail kit includes the essentials to prep and paint your nails but also embellish them with nail stickers and rhinestones. (Euphoria vibes, anyone?)
Mylee Black UV Lamp Kit with Gel Nail Polish Essentials
A slightly smaller kit from leading brand Mylee, it includes a UV lamp that cures polish in two minutes, as well as preparation tools, a base and top coat and the four ‘essential’ shades – dark red, delicate pinks and a mauve.
Main image: Stylist