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In the age of DIY, you don't have to head to a salon to get pro-level beauty treatments—including long-lasting manis and pedis. Gel and shellac may have taken center stage in recent years as go-to's for chip-free digits, but the acrylic manicure isn't going anywhere. Beloved by many, the dip-powder approach to augmented nails is more accessible (and affordable) than you think.
Whether you want a solid hue, ombre nails, French tips, pared-down short nails, a bit more length, or a natural-looking finish, the right kit is all you need to go acrylic. These at-home sets come with dip powder, liquid bonders, sealers, activators, monomers, and top coats, plus files and buffers for that smooth-as-glass finish. Some come with tips too. No matter your skill level or budget, there's a kit out there for you.
Ready to become your own nail tech? Scroll down for the best acrylic nail kits money can buy.
Best Overall: Dipwell Easy Acrylic Dip System Starter Kit
DipWell's uber-popular Easy Acrylic Dip System pulls out all the stops for fresh DIY nails. You'll get two little pots of dip powder, a base and a finishing powder, five liquids (a bond, a base, an activator, and two sealers), plus a buffer, a file, and a cuticle tool. If this sounds like too many things, don't sweat it, because as the name suggests, it's designed to be easy-peasy.
The Starter Kit is user-friendly enough for beginners, but advanced dippers shouldn't shy away. With this salon-level system, your manicure will last for up to six weeks—expect your nails to grow out faster than they chip. What's more, each pot contains enough powder for 30 full sets, all the formulas are low-odor, and your nails will cure without UV light.
Shades: 3 | Dry Time: ≈ 5 to 10 minutes
Best Budget: Kiss Salon Dip Professional Dipping System
For babes on a budget, we recommend Kiss Salon Dip. It comes with a dip powder, a brush-on gel, an activator liquid, and a set of each white and natural tips. It's super easy to use—no light necessary—and lasts for a solid two weeks.
Shades: 1 | Dry Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Best Splurge: Kiara Sky Dipping Powder Starter Kit
If you usually hit the nail salon every couple of weeks, splurging on an acrylic kit will actually save you money in the long run. "The Kiara Sky System has a recycling system that allows for a single use of the product per individual application, so you can discard the unused products after and properly sanitize the container for further use," says nail artist Christine Doan of Gloss House.
Shades: 5 | Dry Time: 2 minutes
Best System: Mia Secret Acrylic Nail Kit
This professional manicure system by Mia Secret checks all the boxes. You'll get a full set of false nails, plus all the tools and treatments you could need to create a customized look.
Shades: 1 | Dry Time: ≈ 10 minutes
Best Starter: Color Club Serendipity 21 Day Wear At Home Nail Color Dip Kit
If you're new to the DIY acrylics game, your best bet is the Serendipity Dip Kit. It comes with three powder colors, plus a liquid bonder, activator, and finish gloss—all free of formaldehyde and phthalates. The gentle formula goes on easy, dries instantly, and lasts for up to three weeks.
Shades: 8 color kits, multiple shades in each | Dry Time: 5 to 8 minutes
Best Basic: Rossi Dipping Powder Kit
The Rossi Dipping Powder Kit is ideal for anyone curious about going the DIY route. It comes with all the essentials, including a powder pot and three liquids, and will hardly make a dent in your bank account.
Shades: 6 | Dry Time: 2 minutes
Best for Aspiring Nail Artists: Morovan Acrylic Nail Kit
If you're thinking of trying your hand at professional nail artistry, practice at home with the Morovan Acrylic Kit. This pro-level system includes 15 powders, a generous bottle of monomer, tips, glue, a gel base, a top coat, a bunch of handy tools, and even a practice finger. Heads up—you'll need to buy a UV light separately.
Shades: 12 | Dry Time: 5 to 8 minutes
Best Neutrals: Azure Beauty Nude Dip Powder Kit
Those who gravitate toward neutrals will love the Azure Beauty's Nude Kit. It comes with eight dip powders, ranging from chic brown to blush pink to tawny taupe, and offers a fresh-from-the-salon finish for two whole weeks.
Shades: 8 color kits, multiple shades in each | Dry Time: 5 to 8 minutes
Best Pinks: Modelones Pink Acrylic Powder Kit
Pink nails are seasonless, and this acrylic powder kit has the prettiest shades, all easy to use and fast-drying. You'll get a pale blush, a ballerina-inspired hue, and a glittery pink with flirty flecks. Use them individually or combine them for an on-trend ombre look.
Shades: 3 color kits, 3 shades in each | Dry Time: 5 to 8 minutes
Best for French Tips: GHDip Dip Powder Kit for French Manicure
Listen, French tips are back. If you like the natural-inspired but obviously faux look—no shame!—the GHDip Dip Powder Kit has your name on it. It comes with 12 neutral colors, including classic white, plus caramel, taupe, blush, and other tip-worthy tones.
Shades: 8 color kits, multiple shades in each | Dry Time: Up to 15 minutes
Best Glitter: COSCELIA Acrylic Nail Kit
Get your glitter on with the Coscelia Acrylic Nail Kit. With 12 sparkly dip powders, two packs of rhinestones, and enough glue to nail—pun intended—any look, this system was made for the glamorous among us.
Shades: 12 | Dry Time: ≈ 10 minutes
Best Powder: OPI Powder Perfection Nail Dip Powder
Once you get into a groove and run out of powder from your original kit, replenish your stash with a few pots of OPI Powder Perfection. "The OPI system is great because you've got the selection of colors that are well known and loved," says Doan. "It's actually easy to use, and so is removal."
Shades: 1 | Dry Time: 1 to 2 minutes
The best option overall is definitely the DipWell Easy Acrylic Dip System Starter Kit (view at Dipwell). It's easy to use, comes with two powders and five liquids, plus all the essential tools, and lasts for six weeks. However, if you want something a bit cheaper, the Kiss Salon Dip Professional Dipping System (view at Amazon) won't disappoint. For aspiring nail artists and anyone looking for a few more bells and whistles, we recommend the Morovan Acrylic Nail Kit (view at Amazon).
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.
What to Look for When Buying an Acrylic Nail Kit
All acrylic nail kits come with dip powder, which is essentially a powdered form of acrylic. With the help of a bonder and an activator or a monomer, it solidifies into a molded shape. Basic systems will come with one or two colors, but you can also find more robust kits with a range of neutral and bright hues and even some glitter powders.
Additionally, acrylic nail kits come with liquids that typically look a lot like regular nail polish bottles. While each system is different, they often include a base, a bonder, an activator or a liquid monomer, a sealer, and potentially a top coat. To avoid damaging the nail beds, Doan says to look for an EMA (ethyl methacrylate) monomer liquid.
As mentioned, each acrylic nail kit is different. Some call for a more involved manicure process with several steps and sometimes a drying lamp, while others are quick-drying and require only a few steps. "Traditional salon acrylic manicures are not the easiest [to accomplish at home] or user-friendly, so I would recommend a dip system that allows a better user experience," adds Doan.
How do you use acrylic nail kits?
All acrylic nail kits follow roughly the same methodology, though they vary in terms of steps and the hardening process. Having said that, it usually goes something like this: push your cuticles back, buff your nails, attach the tips with glue (optional), apply the primer, activator and/or monomer, coat your nails with dip powder, allow them to set, then shape them with a file.
How much do acrylic nail kits usually cost?
Acrylic nail kits cost anywhere from around $10 to roughly $100. Budget-friendly systems (between $10 and $40) typically come with the basics: one to three dip powders, three to five liquids, and potentially some tools. Pricier kits (in the $50 to $100 range) often include more dip powders, tips, nail glue, additional tools, and sometimes a practice finger.
Why Trust Byrdie?
This roundup was written by Theresa Holland, an experienced commerce writer, and lifelong DIY nail enthusiast. A big fan of consumer tech and beauty innovation, she's dabbled in at-home gel polish, curing lights, and recently, a DipWell Starter Kit. You can check out more stories by Theresa on MyDomaine and Verywell Fit.