The Best Acrylic Nail Kit: The Ultimate Guide
Fashion is ever-changing, and that includes clothes, shoes, hair, makeup, and of course, nails too. Have you ever felt good when your nails are short, bitten, and chipped? Of course not! Nails are as much of a fashion statement as a new outfit, and many people choose to match their nails with what they are wearing!
For that reason, you need to have fantastic nails to show off during your nights out, and for your daily shopping trips! You can either head to a salon and pay for your new nails, or you can do it yourself, with an at home acrylic nail kit. Nail extensions are expensive if you venture out to a salon all the time.
These kits basically give you everything you need in order to learn how to elongate and strengthen your nails in the comfort of your home, without having to pay out for expensive salon nails. The cost of the kit is also lower compared to regular trips to your salon!
How do you know what you need, how to find it, and what to do with it unless you research?
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
How To Choose The Best Acrylic Nail Kit
The market is flooded with beauty products, and nail kits are certainly on the up. More and more people are learning that you can lower the cost of your beauty efforts by teaching yourself and doing it all at home, but of course, you need quality products in order to fit the bill; if you go for substandard equipment, your nails are going to look equally as substandard, whilst also possibly damaging them also.
When you’re shopping around for the best product for your needs, check out these particular areas.
Are You Using It For Home Or Professional Use?
If you are a professional, you need to find a kit which not only has everything you need inside, but also that the components are quality. If you’re a newbie, i.e. a total beginner, you need to look for a starter kit, because these will give you practicing means, e.g. fingers to practice on (plastic, of course!).
You need to check what is inside the kit, because you might end up spending more money to add important things to your kit. The basic requirements for an acrylic nail kit are:
- Nail tips
- Acrylic powders – including the basic pink, white, and clear options
- Acrylic liquids
- Cutting tools
- Filing tools
- Brushes of varying sizes
- Nail primer
- Cuticle oil
- Buffing blocks
These are the basics, but many kits have added extras, such as nail art decorations, e.g. rhinestones or stickers, and other kits are more for beginners, and have those aforementioned plastic fingers to practice on. Check the listing before you invest, because you need to know you’re getting everything you require for the price you’re paying.
There are various prices available to you, so again, it’s a case of shopping around. Stick to a budget and don’t go over it. The good news is that even the best acrylic nail kit options aren’t going to break the bank, and usually work out cheaper than buying all the tools and equipment you need separately.
Where Are You Going To Use It?
Remember that you need to have adequate ventilation wherever you decide to do your acrylic nails. The fumes which are emitted by the acrylic powder and liquid are very strong, and can cause breathing problems if the time you’re left open to them is a considerable amount. Keep a window open at all times, and if necessary, use a mask, to avoid any dust or fumes from causing problems.
How To Do Acrylic Nails
If you’re going to do acrylic nails at home, whether you’re a professional or not, you need to check the instructions on the kit you buy; whilst there is a set way to do nails, there are slight changes in the process, according to the products you buy.
Check out this video for an overview of how to do acrylic nails, but as a general guide, let’s run through the steps.
#1 - Clean, Cut Back, And Manicure
The first step is to prepare your nails for the acrylic product. You need to clean your nails, cut them down, file them so the edges are smooth, and wipe away any excess oil or product, with a cotton wool pad. Avoid using cotton wool balls, as these can catch on the edges of nails and leave behind threads. Remember to clip your cuticles at this point also, before roughing up the surface of your nails with a buffing block, to give the glue a better chance of sticking.
#2 - Select The Nail Tips You Want
Find the correct nail tip sizes for each finger and lay them down. You may want to file the edges slightly at this point, if they are particularly long, but some people prefer to do this when they are stuck to the finger nail.
#3 - Stick The Tips Onto Your Nail
Using the glue, spread a small amount (according to the instructions on the bottle) to the inside of the nail tip, and hold it against your natural nail, making sure you butt it against the cuticle for a natural fit. Hold it down for a few seconds, to ensure it sticks properly. Repeat for all your nails.
#4 - Cut Down The Tip
You now need to cut down the tip to the required length, and file them according to the shape you’re looking for. Check out this video for how to cut your nail tips correctly, to avoid problems. In terms of the shape, this is a personal decision, and there are various trends in place at any one time – again, check out this video for a little advice.
#5 - Mix And Apply The Acrylic
This is where you need to look at the instructions on the kit, because there are various ways to do this in terms of the amount of liquid to powder ratio. If you get this wrong for the particular product you’re using, you could end up with a very weak solution, or one which is not going to add strength to your nails. This video will explain how to get that ratio just right.
When applying the acrylic you will need to become used to the brush, because you are aiming for a sculpted look, with a natural nail shape – no bumps are allowed! You should also start the acrylic a few millimetres above the cuticle, so your nail has space to grow.
Allow the acrylic to dry properly before you do anything else.
#6 - Reshape The Nail
Now the acrylic has set, you can file the ends again, to get rid of any slight overhang which might have occurred during the sculpting stage. Do not attempt this until the acrylic has dried completely.
You’re now free to set your imagination wild in terms of how you decorate your nails! You can leave them natural, or you can go for full on bling and color – the choice is yours!
Best Acrylic Nail Kit Reviews 2018
This particular nail set is certainly packed with everything you need! The reviews for this product are always positive, which gives you instant peace of mind, for sure.
- Low price for what is included
- High scored in reviews by previous buyers
- Comes with three different main acrylic powders, including the natural colours, and 12 colored options
- Can be used either in the home as a beginner, or in the salon for professional use
- Comes with nail art items, such as rhinestones
- All tools included
- Not the biggest brand name available, so you may not have the same confidence as you would with a bigger brand
- Some users state that there aren’t enough nail tips included, compared to other options
Professionals will find this particular set to be of great use, thanks to the included nail drying fan. This means that you can speed up the drying process – invaluable if you’re trying to see more than a couple of clients per day.
- Low price considering what is included
- Good reviews from previous buyers
- A nail drying fan is included in the price
- 24 pieces, includes practically everything you need
- Good basic kit
- Nail art items not included in the price
- The nail fan does not come with batteries
- You can’t choose the color of the lamp, this is automatically chosen at the time of delivery
This particular acrylic kit comes with everything you could want, whether a professional or home user. There is no drying fan with this option, but there are all the other tools and products you need.
- Low price for what is included
- Has the most pieces compared to other products
- Many color and glitter-finish options in the acrylic powders
- Comes with nail art products, including rhinestones and stickers
- Good for professional or home use
- Whilst this is a good set for professionals, the lack of any major extras, such as a drying fan, make this slightly second-rated compared to our previously reviewed product
Beginners will certainly gain a lot of benefits from this particular kit, as it comes with plastic fingers for practicing on. This means you can get your technique just right before you try for real – confidence will be increased by doing this.
- Good for beginners, as it comes with practicing fingers
- Low price, with all the basics included
- Comes with 12 different colors in terms of acrylic powders, and three main colors, such as white, pink, or clear
- Nail art products included, such as rhinestones
- Doesn’t come with the most things, e.g. some other kits have more included, but for beginners, there is certainly enough
- Not really for use by professionals
This is another all-rounder product, which is ideal for both professionals and home users. There are two practice fingers also included, again, this gives you confidence before you go for it in the real world.
- Beginners will find use in the plastic practice fingers, before being let loose on real hands
- Professionals will find everything they need in the kit also
- Clear, white and pink powders included, as well as various colors
- Nail art basics included, such as rhinestones
- Different sized brushes included
- Whilst beginners will love the practice fingers, and professionals will find what they need in the kit, there aren’t many nail art products included, which could be a hindrance for professional use
Each of the products we have reviewed is all fantastic in their own right, and they are also packed with useful extras, no matter whether beginner or professional; some are obviously more focused towards beginners, whilst many are all-rounder products. It’s really about shopping around and finding which is best for you, before you make a final decision on which kit to purchase.
For commercial use, the 25 in 1 combo set is a good option, because of the included nail drying fan, ideal for looking after clients. Beginners will still find this useful but for someone who is starting out from scratch, having practice elements is the best choice. The last two products on our list both have plastic fingers to practice on, and this is a great way to gain confidence, especially in terms of mixing the product and sculpting on a nail, before you let yourself loose with real nails. Acrylic is a strong substance, and shouldn’t be put on nails and replaced straight away – practice makes perfect!
Be sure to shop around regardless of which product you go for, and always make sure that the price is right before you invest in the kit of your choice.