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At-home manicures don't have to be boring. You can play around with gel polishes, dip powder kits, and even acrylics. The latter might sound intimidating for a beginner, but with the right tools (and some patience) you can achieve nail salon-worthy results right from your living room.
“With some practice, doing your own acrylic nails at home can be beneficial,” says Jackie Truong, co-founder of LeChat Nails. “Acrylics can provide a strong coating and protect weak nails,” she adds. Plus, becoming your own nail technician can save you some major dough.
Before you start diving in, it’s important to find an acrylic nail kit that has all the bells and whistles. “A basic nail kit should not only include the products—prep solution, primer, powders, and top coat—but should also have the tools,” says Truong. “Make sure your kit includes an application brush, file, buffers, and nail tips.” And remember—practice makes perfect. “Practice your technique on artificial plastic tips first to familiarize yourself with the product’s consistency and drying time,” says Truong.
Here, the best acrylic nail kits that’ll have you going pro.
Best for Beginners: Mia Secret Clear Acrylic Powder Professional Full Nail Kit
If you’re totally new to the DIY nail acrylic game, this kit is for you. It comes with a full set of false nails and all the treatments you could need to customize them. Because the acrylic powder is clear, you can choose to go minimal or add a little extra something.
Best for Nail Art: CRRD Acrylic Powder Nail Kit Professional Nail Art
Bring the nail art on your feed right to your own nails at home. This kit is pretty extensive—it boasts artificial nails of all sizes, an edge cutter, buffers and files of varying grits, and a heap of colors and stones to choose from.
Runner-Up, Best for Nail Art: Morovan Acrylic Powder Nail Kit
Whether you want French tips, a clear base, or some show-stopping art, this kit has all the supplies you would need to change up your look. Reviewers like the variety of colors and designs, as well as the specific tools needed for application—including a tweezer and a cuticle fork.
Best All-in-One: Creamoon 42 in 1 Nail Art Set
Everything you could possibly need in an acrylic nail kit is right here. Perfect your technique with a variety of brushes and polymer powders—all from the comfort of your couch. And with a slew of glitters, colors, and stones, you’ve got the freedom to accomplish any design.
Best Odorless: Beauty Secrets Odorless Acrylic Nail Kit
Hands down, the worst part about getting acrylics is the smell. And the sheer idea of that chemical odor lingering in your home? No, thank you. Thankfully, this odorless kit eliminates that pungent scent, which means you can actually breathe when you apply. Plus, reviewers report that the acrylic powder and white tips are ideal for a French manicure.
Runner-Up, Best Odorless: Gleam Labs Deluxe Odorless Acrylic Nail Student Kit
A reviewer raves that the products in this kit are completely odorless—no fumes here! This professional-grade kit is used by beauty students to practice for their boards, which means it’s an ideal choice for DIYers at every level.
Best Drugstore: KISS Complete Salon Acrylic Kit
When it comes to long-lasting acrylic nails, this affordable kit takes the cake. Reviewers find that the nail glue is pretty powerful—one even reports that her KISS nails stayed on longer than other brands.
For safe removal, Truong recommends using a 100-grit file to remove a layer of product from each nail. Then, place a cotton ball saturated with removal solution on top of each nail and cover with foil. After 10-15 minutes of soaking, remove the foil and cotton ball, and gently push off the remaining product.
Truong’s biggest piece of advice: Be patient. “A good set of nails for a beginner can take up to two hours. Professionals average about 45 minutes to an hour.” So make sure you have the time to practice and apply.