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Material girls can ball on a budget 💅
If you love taking your self-care days to the next level and indulging in finer things, then you know how much money and effort go into pampering yourself (seriously, it takes time to look and feel good!). Whether you love hitting the salon to make sure your nail game is on 👏point👏 or only go every once in a while, then you know those visits add up quickly. You may be wondering how you can lower your manicure budget without sacrificing its quality. Luckily, there are some options you can explore to give yourself a long-lasting gel manicure from the comfort of your own home.
While taking the DIY approach for manis saves you some money by skipping out on trips to the salon, it's important to do some research about gel manicures before you invest your hard-earned coins in an at-home nail kit. You're also going to want to make sure you know how to safely remove gel nail polish since you don't have the same expertise a professional nail tech does. As long as you put in the work, educate yourself, and follow the instructions of your kit to the last detail, you should be okay! Ahead, we've rounded up the best affordable at-home gel nail kits that beginners can use with ease. After all, we all know that material girls can still ball on a budget!
Le Mini Macaron is a best-selling at-home gel nail system that's simple AF to use. Their gel polishes have a 3-in-1 formula that acts as a base coat, color coat, and top coat all in one, which means all you have to do is prep your nails, paint, and cure with their super cute macaron-shaped UV lamp. The Le Maxi Deluxe Gel Manicure Set comes with a four-finger lamp, 2 mini gel polishes, a nail file, 20 remover wraps, detailed instructions, and a pink satin drawstring carrying bag.
If red and pink shades are your jam, this Model Ones set includes 7 different shades to choose from. The set comes with the colored polishes, base coat, top coat, and a ton of tools to help you achieve a high-gloss look. Plus, the thousands of 5-star reviews vouch that these polishes stay put for 2 weeks or more.
You've most likely used Sally Hansen's range of normal nail polishes, but did you know the brand also has a selection of gel shades? The kit includes one of three shades — pink, white, or fuschia — along with cleanser pads, base coat, top coat, remover, an LED lamp, a cuticle stick, and buffer.
This may be a different approach to the at-home gel mani, but it's still a simple one nonetheless. Glamnetic dropped their first-ever gel nail stickers in collaboration with TikTok E-boy (and one of my new fave pop-punk musicians), LILHUDDY. All you have to do is stick, file, and cure with a UV lamp to get a quick and cute mani.
Candy Lover kept pre and post-nail care in mind when curating their kit. With moisturizing hand masks, a storage box, and an LED lamp among the entire rainbow of polish to use, this is a great set for beginners who are looking to grab a lot of tools at once. They also included both glossy and matte top coats.
Essie's Gel Couture polish may be the choice for you if you don't want to deal with the hassle of a UV lamp. Thanks to its super quick and easy 2-step system, all you have to do is paint a coat or two of the Gel Couture color, wait for it to dry, and apply the Gel Couture Top Coat – no base coat or UV treatment required. Their latest shades from the Pattern Play Collection pay homage to the rich color palette of the 1970s.
Poly Gel may not look like your typical gel manicure, but it technically still falls under the category. Poly Gel is known for its neutral colors and nail extensions — it may be a tougher technique for beginners, but if you feel like you can take on a challenge, it might be worth it. This kit includes 7 different neutral shades of extension gel, rhinestones, forms, and a base coat and top coat along with application tools.
Vishine's Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit is pretty basic, but includes all the necessities and an LED lamp. This shade range contains darker neutrals and two polishes with a glittery finish for the ✨extra✨people out there.
If pink is your go-to nail shade, this kit by SensentioNail includes all the essentials for an at-home gel mani. With an LED lamp, gel cleanser, gel primer, base and top coat, gel nail polish, lint-free wipes, a double-sided nail file, and manicure stick, this set is a bargain for $22.
Gelish is known for its long-lasting polish formulas as they last up to 3 weeks with no chipping or smudging. Their starter kit may sell for a higher price point, but it's a great choice for beginners looking for salon-quality results since it comes with a base coat, top coat, bond, cleanser, remover, 5 different colors, and tools with a mini LED lamp.