A good set of acrylics is an investment and should last a minimum of two to three weeks. Unfortunately, they’re also pretty expensive, costing more than £100 for a fresh set with artwork or embellishments (in certain locations). So, why not try your hand at the DIY route and maybe save a bit of money?
Doing your own acrylics will take a bit of practice, but with the cost of these at-home kits, you’ll have plenty of chances to perfect your technique. I’ve found a few different options for you to choose from, no matter your budget, all available on Amazon.co.uk.
1. For a Professional Finish
The EDGE Acrylic Liquid and Powder Training Kit
The Edge Nails is a nail care brand based in the UK that supplies all kinds of wholesale stores and salons with professional-grade nail care kits and treatments. They offer everything from acrylic powders and nail buffers to art kits and professional tools.
This acrylic nail kit is designed for those in training, which means it contains everything a nail technician needs to complete a full set of acrylic nails, such as:
- Lint-free pads
- Assorted tips
- Acrylic powder
Although this is a little more expensive than the kits below, the quality of the professional brand is worth it if you’re serious about getting the best results at home.
A few reviewers mentioned the strong smell of the acrylic liquid, which is to be expected. So, remember to always do your nails in a well-ventilated room.
Another point of concern was the lack of detailed instructions. This is likely because those in training don’t need the same level of guidance as beginners. Luckily, there are plenty of videos available online to help you get the hang of it.
Check out this video that offers a detailed explanation of how to build acrylic extensions on nail forms:
Source: YouTube: Kiara Sky Nails
2. For Easy Application
Teenitor Clear Acrylic Long Coffin Full Cover Press on Nails
Almost every acrylic nail kit comes with nail forms and tips, but few come with full press-on nails that cover from your cuticle and beyond the tip of your finger. This is due to how acrylic is applied, connecting the tip with the natural nail.
In most cases, you don’t need your natural nail to be covered, so that extra material is not required.
However, some people may find it easier to apply a full press-on nail than glue the tip or create an extension with the nail forms.
This kit contains the press on nails, nail glue, clippers, and files. However, it does not include acrylic powder because, as mentioned, those kits don’t typically come with press-on nails. So, the major downside to this option is that you’ll need to purchase the acrylic powder separately.
Still, these full-cover nails make shaping so much easier, and with more than 600 pieces, they should last a long time.
The best part is that they can be used with everything from regular nail polish to acrylic if you want them to last longer. Once applied, you’ll apply the acrylic in the same way you would on your natural nail.
Watch this video below for a visual on how to apply acrylic to press on nails:
Source: YouTube: KeishaShonta
3. For Beginners
Bonamour Acrylic Nails Kit Full Set for Beginners
One of the biggest issues beginners face is how and where to practice. It would be wasteful to do your own nails only to remove and repeat the next day.
That’s why this kit is perfect for beginners. Not only does it include a wide choice of powders, with more than 12 colours, but it also includes a practice finger onto which you can apply and perfect your skills.
This is perfect for training your non-dominant hand. Instead of getting product all over your skin, you can use the plastic finger to improve your dexterity so that when the time comes, your dominant hand will look just as polished as your non-dominant hand.
Unfortunately, one of the top reviews of this product is a customer who had a bad reaction to the materials. This is not uncommon with acrylics, so testing a small amount before committing to a complete set is advised.
Once you look past this, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Though most suggest it can be challenging to get started, the vast majority of buyers praise its quality and the selection of materials in the kit.
Better still, it’s very affordable and should give your numerous sets at a fraction of the cost of a salon.
4. For Short Nails:
Lavender Violets Acrylic Dip Powder Starter Kit
One of the primary reasons people opt for acrylics is that they’re easy to extend. If you bite your nails or they’re particularly weak, it’s nice to be able to add length and strength with a set of acrylics.
But for those who don’t need length, dip powder is a far more accessible option for beginners.
Rather than dipping a brush into the powder and moulding the acrylic to fit the nail, dipping just involves a few key steps, most of which are similar to applying regular nail polish.
The key difference is that you’ll dip each nail into the acrylic powder to coat.
This starter kit has eight colours and comes with a base, activator, and topcoat, plus a brush saver. However, it does not come with cuticle oil or a primer, which will help to keep your nails healthy and ensure the application lasts as long as possible.
Luckily, this set provides larger-sized powder tubs, making it inexpensive and long-lasting.
Although the process for this type of acrylic is easier than the above, the kit also comes with a handy guide that includes pictures.
If you’re new to dip powders, check out this video for a detailed visual on how to apply it at home:
Source: YouTube: Laurart
5. For Your Next Holiday
Saviland Acrylic Powder and Liquid Set
Many starter kits only come with a few neutral colours. These typically include clear, white, and pink and rarely offer anything too exciting.
This kit, on the other hand, allows you to create your own colour palette. In addition to the three powder containers (for you to mix your own colours), it also includes 100 nail forms and a detailed manual.
Using the 24 pastel nail chalks, you can mix and match to create something unique and lively. Use more for something bold, or play around to find your perfect subtle colour.
A couple of reviews raved about the size of the acrylic tub, which is pretty big. That means it should last a lot longer than some other kits.
Another comment suggested the colours were too bright, but that’s a matter of preference. It’s better to start with more vivid colours and have the opportunity to tone them down when needed. Just remember to play around with the colours a little until you find the hue that works for you.
Finally, read the guide thoroughly, as you will need to ensure the proper ratio of chalk to acrylic powder to get the right finish.
Do At Home Acrylic Nail Kits Work?
At home acrylic nail kits work when they have the right materials and when used correctly. They should have a cuticle pusher, buffing block, primer, acrylic powder, brushes, acrylic liquid, and tips or nail forms. The biggest challenge with such kits is that most people are not trained to use them.
In certain situations, such as when you need a haircut, it’s best to go to a professional. They’re trained to give you precisely what you want and in a timely manner too.
Of course, doing your own nails is slightly different, and it can save you a lot of money in the long run. It’s just important to manage your expectations. In almost all of the kits listed above, many of the reviews commented on how tricky acrylic applications can be, which means they likely won’t be perfect the first few times.
Then there’s the issue of working on yourself. If you’re right-handed, chances are your left hand will be neat and tidy. But then, when you try to work on that dominant hand, you’ll probably struggle to keep things in line.
For the best results, try watching a few videos and practising with your new kit. You might find it easy, or you may use that whole kit just getting the hang of everything. Either way, the cost of an at-home kit is a fraction of the cost of a salon trip.
Where you might spend upwards of £50 having your nails removed and replaced, many of these kits cost less than £50, and they last for multiple applications.
If you’re not willing to spend the time practising, though, you might be better off visiting the salon.
Can You Do Acrylic Nails at Home Without a Kit?
You can do acrylic nails at home without a kit, provided you buy all the necessary supplies. These can be found online or in beauty supply stores. However, buying a kit will ensure you have everything you need in one package, preventing the need for multiple shopping trips.
To apply acrylic nails, there are a few critical pieces of equipment you need. These include but are not limited to:
- Manicure brushes
- Cuticle pusher and oil
- Nail file and buffing block
- Nail dehydrator and primer (basecoat)
- Dappen dish
- Acrylic nail brush
- Acrylic powder and liquid
- Nail tips or forms
- Nail glue
As a beginner, buying a kit will make sure you have everything you need. However, as you do your nails more and more, you’ll likely find that you need to top up on certain tools and supplies sooner than others.
For example, the dappen dish will last years if you’re careful, but if you do your nails often, you could need new powder and files within a couple of months.
At home acrylic nail kits have come a long way, and with the numerous videos available online, you should have no trouble learning how to do your own nails.
I hope you found this article helpful and that you use it to find the right kit for you.