The Best DIY Gel Manicure Kits for Every Budget and Skill Level

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Despite how simple the manicure itself is, finding the right gel nail polishes and UV lamp for you might not be as easy as you'd expect. "Customers should keep in mind to look for kits that match their skill level," explains Bachik. "Some gel kits are three-step including a base coat, color, and topcoat, while others are only two- or even one-step, meaning there is no base coat and the whole process is easier.

With the state of the world being what it is, there's never been a better time to invest in your own gel manicure tools — especially if you're the type who likes to keep their nails perpetually polished. "Salons are opening and closing and opening and closing," says nail artist Tom Bachik. "It can be a difficult time to go to the salon and have your nails done. " Buying a gel manicure set he says, is one of the best ways to get professional-level nails on your own time.

Whether you're in a salon or doing it yourself at home, the standard gel manicure process is pretty simple: Prep the nails and cuticles, apply a base coat, two coats of polish, and a topcoat.

The Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit (complete with base coat, topcoat, and a single gel nail polish shade) by Sally Hansen contains everything you need for a mess-free gel manicure.

The base and topcoat are infused into the singular nail polish color that comes with the kit, so all you need to do is file and prep the nails, paint on your preferred shade, and cure each finger one by one in the adorable pocket-size lamp.

Plus, as nail artist Gina Edwards points out, using one at home rather than traveling to a salon is far safer these days. "An at-home gel manicure gives you the peace of mind you need so you can be comfortable in your own space without the fear of being too close to people in a salon," she explains.

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