The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (2023)

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Already trending pre-2020, at-home manicures erupted in popularity once stay-at-home orders followed. Manicure sets, in particular, give you basically every product you need to DIY a flawless look. “Before the advent of salons in the late 19th century, everyone had to care for their nails themselves,” says nail artist Miss Pop. “You can do it too, especially with all of the amazing items that have hit the market in the past hundred-plus years.”

Today’s best manicure kits are packed with innovative nail products like non-toxic colors, ergonomic brushes that make it easier to apply polish and quick-dry formulas so you can get out the door in minutes. From nail files to clippers and and cuticle nippers, the best manicure sets also feature tools made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel or titanium — which can last years and look like new even after frequent cleanings. Miss Pop is a fan of options that feature a nail file with 220 grit and up, as well as orange sticks for gently pushing back cuticles and a cuticle remover treatment and moisturizing oil for softening them.

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When it comes to at-home gel manicure kits, Miss Pop suggests sticking with a brand name and purchasing at a reputable beauty or department store. “You want to know what you’re getting,” she says. And, only use an LED curing lamp, as UV lamps can age hands rapidly.

Whether you go for gel or basic polish, she also suggests using the same brand of base, color and top coat so you can get consistent results.

Considering electric manicure kits? Most experts suggest avoiding nail drill kits, as it usually takes a seasoned expert to operate such tools.

How to Master an At-Home Manicure, According to an Expert

The best manicure kits have all the tools you’ll need, except for a few tips. But that’s where Jin Soon, expert nail artist and founder of popular nail brand JINsoon, comes in. “When I train new technicians at my salons to give manicures, I break the process down into several steps,” she says. “These steps can easily be applied by a novice or an expert for an at-home manicure.”

  1. Use gentle, non-acetone nail polish remover to remove any existing polish and create a blank canvas.
  2. If nails need additional shaping or management, clip or file them using a file or a sanding block.
  3. Apply cuticle oil, such as JINsoon Honeysuckle + Primrose Cuticle Oil, to soften and prepare the cuticles.
  4. Push back the cuticles thoroughly. To do so, Soon always uses the JINsoon HyperCare Cuticle Pusher + Reducer. “The diamond particles on this tool help to exfoliate the nail bed and remove excess dead cuticles to reduce the need for trimming,” she says. If additional cuticle trimming is needed, carefully trim the excess cuticle with cuticle trimmers (avoid clipping too close to the nail bed, as this can lead to small lacerations).
  5. Clean the nail surface again with non-acetone nail polish remover or alcohol, being sure to remove any oil residue from the surface. “Not removing excess oil prior to painting can lead to chipping or peeling of your polish, as it may not adhere properly,” Soon says.
  6. Apply a base coat and let it dry. “I find this step is one people often skip but it’s so important,” she says. “Base coats help to provide a barrier for your natural nail and help polish adhere for long wear.”
  7. Apply the nail polish of your choice and let it dry. “A good rule of thumb is to make sure you wipe the brush off a bit to ensure you don’t pick up too much product,” she says. Then, work across the nail in three lines, starting in the center at the base of your nail bed, dragging the brush to the tip and repeating the same motion on either side until the nail is fully coated. Repeat these steps as you work across all 10 fingers until you’ve achieved the opacity you desire. “Don’t forget to swipe the polish along the free edge of your nail for that salon-fresh finish,” says Soon.
  8. Apply a top coat and let it fully dry.
  9. Apply a quick-dry oil, if you’d like, and then get out of the house and show off your manicure.

If you’re still feeling like a novice after a few manicures, hang in there. “At-home manicures are how I started, and are certainly something everyone can do,” says Miss Pop. From gel to luxury to quick-fix options, the 12 best manicure kits below have everything you could need for a successful at-home treatment. Consider these the perfect little beauty gift or stocking stuffer for anyone on your list.

JINsoon Choose Your Mani Kit

Best Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Manicure Kit

JINsoon nail polishes are known amongst beauty editors to be some of the most long-lasting and unique shades on the market. And this kit is a steal — choose absolutely any shade in the JINsoon collection, along with the award-winning Power Coat Base Coat and Top Gloss Top Coat for a customized trio. You can also add on the brand’s diamond nail file, pumice stone, and/or nail art stickers to complete this mini collection.

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (3)

JINsoon Choose Your Mani Kit$42Buy Now

Olive and June The Complete System

Best Manicure and Pedicure Kit

This kit has everything you could ever need for an at-home manicure and pedicure. From O&J’s patented bottle handle (The Poppy) to a foot file to an angled footrest (which eliminates uncomfortable angles mid-pedicure), this 20-tool kit, plus polishes, is a game-changer. “The system is so easy to use and makes giving yourself a mani-pedi so much fun and even more satisfying than going to some salons,” said one reviewer.

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The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (4)

Olive and June The Complete System$100Buy Now

Paintbox The Paint Box

Best Nail Art-Ready Manicure Set

No matter your skill level, Paintbox’s kit makes it easy to mimic the brand’s signature nail art manicures. Personalize your kit by choosing your favorite Power Couple nail polish duo from among 11 colorways, which are not only aesthetically pleasing but also 10-free formulas that are cruelty-free, vegan and devoid of gluten or parabens. Alongside the polish, you’ll get a nail file, cotton towel and Paintbox’s shiny and matte top coat duo — plus a double-ended dotting tool, linework striper brush with extra-long bristles to achieve the straightest lines and tapered-edged cleanup brush for detailed work. The dynamic polish duo and striper brush also make it one of the best french manicure sets, too.

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (5)

Paintbox The Paint Box$98Buy Now

Tenoverten The Manicure Kit

Best Luxury Manicure Set

Say hello to the new Tenoverten. The salon brand is reimagining its offerings to be more at-home focused, with user-friendly (and sustainable) tools and Bauhaus-inspired packaging that’s certainly worthy of a shelfie. The Manicure Kit has everything you’ll need for both healthy nails and a luxe DIY manicure. It includes the just-launched cuticle eraser, best-selling non-toxic nail dryer, base coat, top coat, the popular rose cuticle oil, rose polish remover wipes and eco-friendly file — all housed in a gorgeous (vegan) pebbled-leather travel case.

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (6)

Tenoverten The Manicure Kit$175Buy Now

Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Lab Set

Deborah Lippmann created this step-by-step guided set to correct the misconception that cuticles should always be cut. With this kit, you can take care of cuticles the Lippmann way, with powerful exfoliating and hydrating products to stop and prevent dry and peeling skin. The four-step set includes The Cuticle Remover, which exfoliates and softens dead cuticles, The Cuticle Oil to moisturize cuticles and nails, The Cure for an ultra-nourishing cuticle repair treatment, and The Pusher, a professional-grade stainless steel, dual-ended tool that pushes and shapes the most stubborn cuticles without damaging the delicate nail plates.

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Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Lab Set$45Buy Now

Sundays Manicure Kit

Best Salon-Quality Manicure Set

New York City’s most zen salon Sundays channels that same peaceful, non-toxic energy into this at-home manicure kit. The sleek set contains nine pieces: a file, buffer, cuticle eraser, hydrating cuticle serum, quick-dry oil (cutting drying time in half), nail clippers, hydrating base coat, long-lasting top coat and hydrating nail polish remover. It’s so gentle, it’s even safe for kids and pregnant women to use.

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (8)

Sundays Manicure Kit$78$66Buy Now

Nails Inc. Manicure & Pedicure Must Haves Set

Best Quick Manicure Set

If you’re always leaving a manicure or pedicure to the very last minute, this is your set. This speedy kit makes a quick manicure still look impossibly good. It includes a nail file, base coat (that doubles as a repair treatment too), a flattering gel-like ballet pink nail polish, top coat (which dries in under a minute), and cuticle oil. You could successfully give yourself a mani or pedi in under five minutes and pretend you were at the salon for hours.

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (9)

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit

Best Gel Manicure Set

If a gel manicure is more your speed, you’re in luck with this Sally Hansen kit. Featuring an LED lamp, gel base coat, one gel nail color, gel top coat, acetone remover, cuticle stick and file, you get all the gel manicure pros — mirror shine and up to two weeks of wear time — without the trip to the salon. One reviewer said, “My painted nails lasted a few weeks, and made them really shiny and firm.”

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (10)

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit$59Buy Now

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Zoya Geliecure Set

Best Gel-Like Manicure Set

Maybe you want gel-like qualities for your manicure, but don’t want the hassle of scraping off polish when it’s time for a refresh. “I love Zoya’s Gelie Cure set because it strengthens nails, soaks off in two minutes and can be used with regular polish,” says Miss Pop. The patented three-step system includes the Zoya Rescue Serum for hydrating nail beds; the Zoya Repair Base, which adheres to the nail and locks in the serum and the Naked Gelie, a flexible gel-like treatment with high shine that locks in the below layers and cures in 60 seconds. You can leave the three-step system on as is, or apply any polish on top for a longer-than-usual wear time. (While the system remains intact below the polish, feel free to switch up your color as often as you’d like.)

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (11)

Zoya Geliecure Set$79$70Buy Now

Tweezerman Mini Nail Rescue Kit

Best Always-In-Your-Purse Manicure Kit

If a stray hangnail or chipped fingernail derails your day, this is your nail kit. The mini set comes with a fingernail clipper, cuticle nipper, nail file, and cuticle stick to fix any nail emergency. And it’s from Tweezerman, so everything is made of the highest quality stainless steel for on-the-go touch-ups.

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (12)

Tweezerman Mini Nail Rescue Kit$23Buy Now

BB x Elsa Water-Based Nail Polish Set

Best Non-Toxic Manicure Set

Polish is typically filled with chemicals that allow it to adhere to the nail bed and remain shiny and chip-free for days on end. But now, a range of brands have created polishes that offer the same results without any harsh additives. This just-launched collection is especially unique, with a formula that’s 60% water-based (meaning it also has no overwhelming chemical scent), dries within three minutes and simply peels off like a sticker (making it non-irritating to the nail bed underneath). And the shades are pretty darn eye-catching, too. Made in collaboration with model Elsa Hosk, they’re inspired by a collection of the model’s favorite images and moments and includehues like a matcha-esque green and sorbet popsicle orange.

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (13)

BB x Elsa Water-Based Nail Polish Set$42Buy Now

Cote Luxe Manicure Set

Best Travel-Ready Manicure Set

Give your nails some TLC with this on-the-go manicure set featuring all the goods you’ll need to strengthen and repair cuticles, nails and hands while out on the road. The travel kit features organic argan oil to repair nails, a nail strengthener base and top coat, nail file, nail clippers, cuticle pusher and nippers, a hand and foot mask with plant-based collagen and non-acetone nail polish remover pads (one pad can do all 10 nails). Cote products are also formulated without harsh chemicals, making them some of the cleanest and safest nail items out there.

The 12 Best Manicure Kits for Flawless DIY Nails (14)

Cote Luxe Manicure Set$75Buy Now


How do salons get perfect nails at home? ›

  1. Step 1: Clean your nails with polish remover. ...
  2. Step 2: Clip, file, and buff. ...
  3. Step 3: Push back your cuticles. ...
  4. Step 4: Exfoliate your hands. ...
  5. Step 5: Moisturize your hands and cuticles. ...
  6. Step 6: Apply a base coat. ...
  7. Step 7: Apply your first coat of color. ...
  8. Step 8: Apply your second coat of color.
10 Feb 2022

How can I do my nails at home like a professional? ›

Get a Perfect At-Home Manicure in 7 Easy Steps
  1. File Your Nails. Make sure they are completely dry (filing wet nails can cause splitting). ...
  2. Soak Your Nails. Apply a rich hand cream. ...
  3. Push Back Your Cuticles. ...
  4. Apply a Basecoat. ...
  5. Brush On Two Coats Of Color. ...
  6. Apply a Top Coat. ...
  7. Clean Up Any Smudges.

What is the most natural looking manicure? ›

The au naturel manicure is great for the person that wants to just wear their own nails (it's also called a classic manicure for a reason). This treatment includes cutting and filing your nails to your desired shape and length, cuticle grooming, a hand massage, and regular nail polish.

What is the new nail trend for 2022? ›

For 2022, Pinterest predicts that nail painted with dream-worthy designs inspired by nature will be all the rage. The company found that searches for galaxy nail art are up 115 percent since last year, geode nail art is up 200 percent, ocean nails 500 percent, desert nails 105 percent, and aurora nails 400 percent.

Which brand is best for nail art kit? ›

Best professional nail art kits for girls and women
  • Best professional nail art kits for girls and women. Oct 13, 2021. ...
  • Professional Look. D.B.Z. ...
  • DIY Kit. DALUCI 3D Nail Art Pen & Brush Painting Polish Design Kit 15 Nail Brushes,5 Nail Dotting Pen,10 Adhesive Nail Striping Tape (30 Pcs) ...
  • Easy Manicure. ...
  • Combo Kit. ...
  • Floral Designs.

What do you soak your nails in before a manicure? ›

You need to moisturize and soften your nails before getting a manicure. Nourishing oils, moisturizing lotion, soap, zesty lemon, milk and honey, white vinegar and egg are some of the soaks you can use.

What are 4 types of manicures? ›

What are the different types of manicures? The main manicure types that you will come across are basic, acrylic, gel (including Shellac), French and dip powder. We'll explain what's involved in each of these and why you might choose them.

How do you make your nails look real? ›

How do I take white-tipped nails and make them look natural? Take a sheer nude or sheer very light pink polish and apply one or two coats of it depending on how sheer the polish is. The point of this to not to color the nail, but to tint the white to make the fake nail look real.

What supplies do I need to do my own nails? ›

The products you'll need:
  1. Cuticle Pusher.
  2. Nail File & Buffing Block.
  3. Nail Prep/Dehydrator.
  4. Acid Free Nail Primer.
  5. Dappen Dish.
  6. Acrylic Nail Brush.
  7. Lint Free Wipes.
  8. Acrylic Powder.
26 Sept 2019

What nail shape makes hands look younger? ›

“An oval-shaped nail helps fingers look longer, and in turn, makes hands look younger,” she explains. Another grooming tip from the pro: pay attention to your cuticles! “Be sure to keep your fingers well-manicured,” she says.

What is the best brand of manicure? ›

  • Essie. Buy on Ulta. ...
  • OPI. Buy on Amazon Buy on Ulta. ...
  • Jinsoon. Buy on Buy on Macy's Buy on Revolve. ...
  • Tenoverten. Buy on Buy on Violet Grey. ...
  • Smith & Cult. Buy on Amazon Buy on Buy on ...
  • Sally Hansen. Buy on Ulta. ...
  • Deborah Lippmann. Buy on Sephora Buy on Walmart. ...
  • Côte.
19 May 2022

What nail color looks most professional? ›

  • Powerful Red. Classic red never fails to top any nail color list! ...
  • Nude Shades. Any brownish, pinkish beige nail color can be perfect for office. ...
  • Gray. Whether you'll opt for light or dark gray nail polish, it's still going to be work-appropriate. ...
  • Burgundy. ...
  • White. ...
  • French Manicure. ...
  • Earthy Green. ...
  • Pastels.

What is the popular toenail color 2022? ›

Earth tones are another major 2022 nail polish trend. This warm brown Orly shade is a versatile shade when painted on your toes, and will complement both bright and pastel colors on your fingertips.

What is the new nail color for 2022? ›

When Pantone announced its 2022 color of the year, a dreamy blue-toned periwinkle, it was instantly evident that it would be the It nail color.

What Nail color is popular right now 2022? ›

"In general, warm, bright shades will be big in 2022—whether it's green, blue, orange, or lilac," adds Boyce. "For blue, I'm loving It's Brittney, Beach by Orly."

What's the best nail kit for beginners? ›

  • Mia Secret Professional Acrylic Nail Kit for Beginners and Students. ...
  • Coscelia Acrylic Nail Kit and Liquid Set. ...
  • Creamoon 42 in 1 Nail Art Set. ...
  • Morovan Glitter Acrylic Powder and Liquid Monomer Set. ...
  • Anlome Acrylic Nail Kit Set. ...
  • Cooserry 115 In 1 Acrylic Nail Kit. ...
  • Sunbelee Professional Acrylic Nail Kit Set with Everything.
2 Aug 2022

What is a good nail kit for beginners? ›

5 Best Acrylic Nail Kits for Beginners
  • Morovan Acrylic Nail Kit (Basic Kit)
  • COSCELIA Acrylic Nail Kit (Most Color Options)
  • Sharlovy Acrylic Nail Kit (Most Tools)
  • AIJIMEI Acrylic Nail Kit (Budget Pick)
  • Mia Secret Professional Acrylic Nail Kit/Set For Beginner (Most Expensive)
3 Apr 2022

What is the stuff that nail techs use? ›

Nail files and nail buffers are essential tools every nail technician uses. A nail file helps form the shape of the nail design a client desires, typically squared or rounded. The nail buffer helps bring shine to an acrylic nail and can bring out the beauty of natural nails.

How do I make my nails look classy? ›

So here are some tips for classy nails …
  1. 1 Quality Polish. The first of my tips for classy nails is to use a good quality polish. ...
  2. 2 Careful Application. When you want nicely groomed nails, it´s essential to take your time in applying the polish. ...
  3. 3 Manicure. ...
  4. 4 Color Choice. ...
  5. 5 Chip-Free Zone! ...
  6. 6 Foundation. ...
  7. 7 Gentle Treatment.

Does Vaseline keep nail polish off skin? ›

You can use vaseline, cuticle oil, cream, or other similar products to keep nail polish off your skin. All these products have oils in them that stop the polish from sticking to your skin.

What is the best technique of applying nail polish? ›

When it comes to color application, it's best to apply nail polish down the center of the nail, avoid flooding your cuticle. Then work your way down the sides of the nail, and be sure to cap the free edge as a final step. Apply 2 coats of color application, allow each coat to dry in between.

What should you not do before a manicure? ›

4 Tips – What NOT to do before your nail appointment?
  1. Don't use lotion.
  2. Don't cut your cuticles.
  3. Don't shape your nails.
  4. Don't remove the old polish.

Should you cut your nails wet or dry? ›

The best time to trim your nails is immediately after taking a bath or shower. However, if that isn't possible, soak your nails in lukewarm water for a few minutes to soften them.

What do nail techs use to soak off nails? ›

She says removal — whether at-home or in the salon — always requires an acetone soak. Because these nails are a combination of a liquid monomer and powder polymer that creates a hard protective layer, the acetone breaks it down and makes it softer for easy removal.

What is the healthiest manicure to get? ›

A basic manicure, with the right polishes, is the healthiest for your nails. When we say the 'right polishes' we mean the best nail growth polish or breathable nail polish. The harsh chemicals in many polishes often degrade our nails. Using an organic polish that contains vitamins, is the best way to avoid damage.

What is the least damaging manicure? ›

Artificial nails: Dermatologists' tips for reducing nail damage
  • Choose soak-off gel nails instead of acrylic nails. ...
  • Go to a salon that uses an LED curing light rather than a UV curing light. ...
  • Ask your nail technician to skip the cuticle trimming. ...
  • Reserve artificial nails for special occasions.

What type of manicure lasts the longest? ›

Gel Manicure

What it is: This is the most popular manicure you'll hear about right now. Think of it as a souped-up version of a basic manicure that uses a UV light to cure and harden liquid polish, which is what makes a gel manicure last up to three times longer than regular polish.

What is the most natural looking artificial nails? ›

Gel Nails and Its Procedure

If you want a natural-looking manicure with and glossy surface, gel nails would be the appropriate choice. Gel nails are created in the same method as acrylic nails, but using gel builder to apply over the nail surface instead of the polymer-monomer mixture, then let it dry under UV light.

How do I make my nails look like velvet? ›

Some nail artists use flocking powder—a powder you dip you nails into to create either a velvet texture or metallic glitter—while others use magnetic or “cat eye” polish.

Why do nail techs use dental bibs? ›

Nail tech tip: use dental bibs when using acrylic to avoid stains from acrylic liquid on your table‼️...

Which nail application is best? ›

Gel polishes are a safer and healthier alternative when compared to acrylic, gel extension, or polygel manicures. They are safer because gel polishes are easier to remove and don't so many require harsh chemicals during the application process. Now regular nail polishes are safer and healthier than gel polishes.

Which type of nails are strongest? ›

Why choose oval nails? They elongate the nails and are the preferred shape for the catwalk. They also widen narrow nail beds to create a more balanced look. Furthermore, they are one of the strongest shapes and least prone to breaking.

Which is worse for your nails gel or dip? ›

Therefore, professional nail products — be it dip powder or gel — are equally healthy for the nails. In fact, the most important thing to know about dip powder or gel is that neither inherently causes damage to the nail. Instead, damage is caused by improper application or removal of nail coatings.

Which nail gel brand is best? ›

Brands like OPI and Gelish are some of the most popular gel polish brands on the market. If you want a high-quality product, these brands should be your top choices.

What is the least damaging nail treatment? ›

Artificial nails: Dermatologists' tips for reducing nail damage
  • Choose soak-off gel nails instead of acrylic nails. ...
  • Go to a salon that uses an LED curing light rather than a UV curing light. ...
  • Ask your nail technician to skip the cuticle trimming. ...
  • Reserve artificial nails for special occasions.

What are the easiest nails to do at home? ›

Nail Stickers are ideal if you want amazing nail art without having to spend too much money to go to a salon since you can apply them right at home. This is because they are very affordable and are super easy to apply.

Is it worth buying a home gel nail kit? ›

But we're here to tell you that actually— at-home gel nail kits are worth it, as long as you know which are the best ones to buy. A great gel nail kit can quickly upgrade your every day polish into that super-shiny, slick, hard-as-nails mani that you thought only possible at a swanky salon.

What is the classiest nail shape? ›

Best nail shape: Oval. This shape will help make your fingers appear longer and more slender to balance out the length of your palm. File the sides of your nails straight and gently taper the free edge into a semicircle.

What nails look most professional? ›

  • Powerful Red. Classic red never fails to top any nail color list! ...
  • Nude Shades. Any brownish, pinkish beige nail color can be perfect for office. ...
  • Gray. Whether you'll opt for light or dark gray nail polish, it's still going to be work-appropriate. ...
  • Burgundy. ...
  • White. ...
  • French Manicure. ...
  • Earthy Green. ...
  • Pastels.
28 Feb 2017


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