Whether you are a beginner or pro at applying acrylic nails, this comprehensive kit comes with everything you need to create professional nails at home.
A large kit that's packed with professional-level products. Includes liquid and powder acrylic, cuticle oil, nail tips, files, and more. Low odor. Comes with enough products to create up to 40 sets of nails.
The kit includes pink, natural, and clear acrylic shades, but they look similar on the nails. Reports of damaged or leaking bottles upon delivery.
From beginners to budget-conscious beauty lovers, this acrylic nail kit includes the necessary products for gorgeous nails without spending a lot of money.
Kit includes liquid and powder acrylic that dries fast and doesn't require a UV light to set. Comes with pink, clear, and white acrylic powders. Files and nail brushes are also included. Inexpensive.
Leaking or half-empty bottles have been reported. Acrylic has a strong odor.
A large kit with lots of products to sample. A good choice for novices who are learning how to apply acrylic nails.
This kit stands out for including a drill and UV light, which makes it easy to do pro-grade nails. It also includes 3 colors of acrylic powder, drill bits, sanding bands, and brushes. Drill doesn't make a lot of noise.
Some of the products are quite small. Acrylic has a strong chemical-like odor. Some reports of thick liquid acrylic that was difficult to control.
If want an acxrylic nail kit with numerous colors for creating eye-catching nail art, you can't go wrong with Morovan's 12-color kit.
In addition to liquid and powder acylic, this kit comes with 12 colors of acrylic powder including several with glitter. Nail tips are included along with essential tools such as files, brushes, clippers, and more. Acrylic dries quickly.
A few kits had spilled products when they arrived. Chemical odor is on the strong side.
This affordable quality acrylic kit is packed with the basics, making it a good choice for beginners.
Comes with the essentials required for acrylic nails, including liquid and powder acrylic and nail tools. Also includes 3 colors of acylic powder. Price falls on the lower end of the spectrum.
Acrylic tends to get lumpy, which makes it difficult to apply. Odor is potent.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
While there’s nothing like fresh manicures to boost your confidence, it starts to get pricey if you get them often, so why not learn to apply your own nails? With an at-home acrylic nail kit, you can save some money and have some fun at the same time. Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve manicured your own nails for years, there are nearly limitless kits to choose from.
Before deciding which acrylic nail kit to buy, you need to keep a few factors in mind. If you’ve never given yourself an acrylic manicure, look for a set that contains detailed instructions. You should also look at the polish colors, the tools and materials the kit contains (including any storage containers), and the anticipated drying time.
No matter what your manicure criteria are, be sure to do your research before committing to an acrylic nail kit. A good shopping guide and a few recommendations can help.
Each acrylic nail kit contains different items depending on the manufacturer, but all of them should have a few key items.
Liquid monomers are usually made from ethyl methacrylate (EMA) and bind with powder to make the acrylic nail foundation. Many liquid monomers have a purple undertone. They may also include chemicals to protect the health of the natural nail. (There are also HEMA monomers, which don’t preserve the natural nail as well.)
Acrylic powder can be clear or colored. While the powder binds with the liquid monomers to make a paste to apply to nails, it’s worth mentioning that acrylic powder is a polymer, which means it's made from the same substance as monomers (albeit in a different form). Most acrylic nail kits come with powder in different colors.
Nail brushes are used to mix and apply the acrylic mixture to natural nails or nail tips. Every acrylic nail kit should include at least one, while deluxe versions include multiple brush sizes.
Nail tips are included in some kits, but not all. They attach to the end of the natural nail. Tips are an excellent choice for anyone who isn’t able to grow long nails or simply wants to experiment with different nail shapes and lengths.
Use a liquid monomer without MMA. MMA was used widely in the 1970s, but the harsh chemical has since been found to damage nails, causing soreness, infection, and dermatitis. HEMA, a different chemical used in liquid monomers, is safe in concentrations of 30% or less.
The directions vary a bit depending on the acrylic nail kit’s contents, but every kit has the same basic instructions.
Prepare the natural nails. This might be obvious, but there shouldn’t be any remnants of nail polish on your nails. If you’re using nail tips, buff your natural nails to remove the gloss. Use a cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles for a neater manicure. This encourages nail growth too.
File natural nails to your desired shape. When in doubt, go for a rounded square or oval shape. If you’re using nail tips, your natural nails should be cut short.
Prepare the nail tips. If you’re using nail tips, you’ll need to prepare and adhere them to your natural nail. A kit with nail tips might include several styles and sizes. Try all of them on your natural nail in order to see which ones fit best. If necessary, have a nail file and nail clippers handy for adjustments.
Glue the nail tips to your nails. When you’ve picked the nail tips that fit, glue them one by one using a dot of acrylic glue per nail. Apply pressure to each nail for 10 to 15 seconds to make sure it sticks properly. Ideally, there should be no noticeable line between the natural nail and the nail tip. If there is, use a nail buffer to smooth it down.
Apply the dehydrating primer. The primer ensures that the nail tips will stick securely. Apply the primer from the base of the exposed natural nail to the end of the nail tip. If you’re not using nail tips, you can use a non-dehydrating primer, which will still extend the life of the manicure.
Brush on the acrylic. Have a paper towel, a small bowl of the liquid monomer, and a separate bowl of the acrylic powder ready and in front of you. Dip the brush into the monomer and remove the excess by pressing the brush on the side of the bowl. Dip the wet brush into the acrylic powder to make the mixture that goes on the nails. Wipe off any excess mixture on the paper towel. Carefully paint the mixture onto the nail tips or your natural nail. Let each nail dry. Finish with a thin topcoat layer.
Let the nails dry. Acrylic nails take about 10 to 15 minutes to fully dry. A nail dryer can accelerate the process. You’ll know your nails are fully dry if they make a light “click” sound when you tap them. Use a nail file to shape the dried nails to perfection.
An at-home gel nail kit is a common alternative to an acrylic kit.
Acrylic nails are more durable, so they’ll hold up better for day-to-day tasks that require using your hands. Acrylic nail kits are also more affordable than gel kits and require fewer materials. However, some people think acrylic nails have a more artificial appearance.
Gel nails have a shiny gloss to them and appear more natural. They also take significantly less time to dry, though you’ll need a UV lamp to dry them properly. Gel nails don’t have the strong odor that’s associated with acrylics. On the downside, gel nails are more likely to peel at the edges.
Can’t decide between the two? Since acrylic nail kits are less expensive, we recommend trying one of those first before buying a gel nail kit.
You can get acrylic nails in virtually any color you can think of, though the choice varies depending on the kit. The colors come from the acrylic powder. Some kits include three to five colors, while others include only clear powder, which means it's up to you to add the color.
If the whole idea of mixing liquid monomer and polymer together to do your nails sounds too time-consuming, a press-on acrylic nail kit might be right for you. Press-on nails are quick, painless, affordable, and can last up to two weeks. They take about 10 to 15 minutes to put on and can be filed and trimmed as needed to better fit the nail.
Acrylic nail kits vary widely in price, and you get what you pay for. We don’t recommend buying the cheapest kit, since those are more likely to damage your nails or not last as long. At $8 to $15, the least expensive kits are press-on nails or very simple kits containing no more than a small bottle of liquid monomer, polymer, one brush, and possibly a set of nail tips.
You have a lot more choices in the $15 to $30 range, and kits include more colors and extras like cuticle pushers, nail primer, and nail clippers. You’ll also find a better selection of quality press-on nails. Liquid monomers in these nail kits are more likely to be EMA monomers, the safest and best option.
If you want to really elevate your DIY manicure abilities, splurge a little bit. Acrylic nail kits priced at $30 and more can include dozens of colors, multiple nail tip sets, primers, nail buffers, nail files, and more.
If you opt for long nail tips, remember to regularly clean the underside of the nails using an old toothbrush.
A. You can absolutely apply an acrylic overlay to natural nails. The steps aren’t too different from applying acrylics using nail tips.
A. If applied excessively, acrylic nails will eventually damage natural nails. This is because your natural nails must be filed down before applying the acrylics. If you try to remove the acrylic by peeling it off the natural nail, it’s going to weaken your natural nail and possibly expose it.