Are you tired of manicures that chip after a couple of days? Gel polish manicures last for weeks, but they are expensive to have done at the salon. You can save money doing your own soak-off gel manicures at home. All you need is a careful hand, proper technique, and the right supplies. If you don’t have an LED lamp already, you’ll need one to cure the gel polish. Here are some of the best gel nail polishes you can buy.
The whole kit
Mylee Complete Professional Gel Nail Polish Kit
If you don’t already have a kit, this is a great place to start. You get an LED lamp large enough for all five fingers at once, nail prep solution, base coat, four popular polish colours, topcoat, polish remover, 100 lint-free wipes, cuticle oil, cuticle pusher, and a nail buffer.
Pick a polish color
NYK1 Nailac Gel Polish
If you already have the lamp and your other supplies and you need to select a bottle or two of polish, NYK1 has some great offerings. Choose from over 100 different colours, ranging from sedate to sparkly.
Lavender Violets Gel Polish Gift Set
Can’t choose just one colour? This gorgeous gift set includes 20 mini (five-millilitre) bottles of gel nail polish. You get a topcoat, a base coat, and 18 different colour polishes. The beautiful cream polish colours are based on previous Pantone Color of the Year shades.
Glittery and sparkly
FairyGlo 5 Colours Gel Nail Polish
Glitter polish is a lot of fun, and FairyGlo offers ten different kits that each contain five glitter colours. Buying your polish in multi-colour sets is a great way to build your gel polish collection inexpensively.
Modelones Gel Nail Polish Set
Want to pick up a kit but can’t choose just one finish? Modelones has you covered. This six-bottle set includes one of each of the following finishes: colour changing, cat eye, rainbow shiny, diamond shiny, phantom chameleon, and classic gel polish.
Don’t forget base and top coats
Kanorine Gel Polish Base Coat and Top Coat
You can skip the colour coats, but don’t skip the base coat and topcoat. These formulas are not interchangeable, so be sure you have both of these on hand. Kanorine also lists a bunch of fun colour sets here so that you can grab some of those too.
Which one should you choose?
Before doing your own soak-off gel manicure for the first time, I’d recommend reading and/or watching some tutorials first. It’s not difficult, but there are some essential things to remember. For example, clean up mistakes before curing, because there isn’t an easy way to clean up mistakes once the polish is cured. You want to use thin coats and be very careful not to cure any polish onto your cuticle because that will cause the entire nail’s worth of polish to lift off prematurely.
Removal of soak-off gel polish needs to be done carefully. You’ll want buff off the shine, place acetone-soaked cotton balls on each nail, and wrap them in aluminium foil and allow to soak for 15 minutes or more. This should allow the polish to be removed gently with a cuticle stick; you never want to peel or force the polish off lest you damage your nails. If you don’t already own the supplies you need, I’d recommend starting with a kit like Mylee Complete Professional Gel Nail Polish Kit. It comes with everything you need except for the aluminum foil, which presumably you have in your kitchen already. This particular kit comes with a five-finger lamp, which I highly recommend. Many smaller lamps only fit part of your hand, which means you’ll spend twice as long curing your polish.
Once you have your supplies, just have fun with polish colours! I’d probably start with a set like the Modelones Gel Nail Polish Set. You can check out all of the different polish effects and finishes with a single purchase.
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