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best home gel nail kits to save you going to the salon15/8/2019

Gel nail polish has been around since the eighties, but it is really in the last decade that the treatment has been making significant waves in the industry. A key player in the rise of the gel manicure is the home kit, which is improving year-on-year.uv gel nail dryer lamps

They offer a great alternative to those unable to justify spending at least £25 on a new set of nails every month – plus the extra £10 to have them removed once they chip.

Nail artist and author Sophie Harris-Greenslade, whose Instagram page The Illustrated Nail has over 73.9k followers, said: “When applying each layer of base coat, gel colour polish and top coat, always remember to seal the tip of the nail aka ‘the free edge’ with a slick of gel polish as this is where it chips the most. You should always apply your gel in thin, even coats as if you apply too much it can bubble under the lamp and look unsightly. It’s also more likely to last when not applied too thickly.
The removal process needs to be equally as thorough. Sophie urges people never to pick the gel from the nail as it can cause long-lasting damage. Instead, she suggests soaking the nails for 30 minutes in nail polish remover on cotton pads wrapped in foil, which adds a little pressure and traps heat to help the polish dissolve faster. Normal nail polish remover will work, but some kits provide acetone, which is stronger and more effective.

The kits on our list were all tested by women aged 20 to 60-years-old over a period of three weeks. Ease of use, quality of polish and long-lasting results were the focus. While the results were good, with gel mostly staying glossy and in tact for between two and three weeks, do not expect the finish to be as refined as a salon manicure or pedicure. Nail novices will need to practice at least ten times before achieving a decent finish.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice.This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Bluesky & Mylee are both tried and tested salon brands that have collaborated to produce this kit, suitable for both professionals and home users. It comes with four Bluesky gel polishes, as well as top coat, base coat, LED lamp, remover, lint free wipes to clean the nails without leaving behind any fibres and the Prep & Wipe fluid, which sanitises the nail plate and assists the adhesion of the gel colour to your nail plate.

Of all the kits, this provides the best finish in terms of the quality of the nail varnish colour and the overall shine. The instructions are incredibly easy to follow and the LED lamp is by far the most superior, with three timer settings – 15, 30 and 60 seconds – and enough width – 20.5cm – for extra wide feet to fit comfortably. The best feature is the convex curing technology, which allows all five fingers to be treated together thus saving more time.

Once the nails are buffed and prepped, the base coat, colour and top coat can be applied, requiring just 15 seconds each under the lamp, before the sticky top layer is removed with the prep and wipe fluid. The four colours – nude, pink, red, black – suit most people’s preferences and result in a glossy, thick finish that stays looking good for three weeks. The kit also comes with removal liquid and pads.

The only downside is that you can’t use regular polish, but you can take your pick of any gel nail brand from Shellac to Gelish and OPI as they are all compatible with this kit.

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