The 7 Best Gel Nail Polish Kits of 2023

We like the Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit because it comes with all the essentials for a long-lasting, at-home gel manicure.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Sally Hansen Salon Gel Manicure Starter Kit

Amazon

Regular gel manicures at the nail salon can be pricey. Luckily, it’s much more affordable to give yourself a manicure with an at-home gel nail polish kit.

To find the best gel nail polish kits, we researched dozens of options and considered factors such as set size, polish colors, and dry time while narrowing down this list. For expert tips on how to properly apply and take off gel nail polish, we spoke with Anna Popov, a New York City-based nail artist with a studio in Staten Island. 

“If you’re doing your own gel mani, it’s important to properly prep,” says Popov. “Make sure you clean up your cuticles well with a cuticle dissolver and gently push them back.” From there, she emphasizes the importance of not over-filing your nails before applying the base coat of your gel—a mistake she says she sees often in salons. 

Our top pick is the Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit, which comes with everything you need for a quality gel manicure from the comfort of your home. We also like that it doesn’t come with tons of tools that you probably won’t need for a basic gel mani.

Here are the best gel nail polish kits.

Our Top Picks
Best Value Gel Nail Polish Kit:
Morovan Nail Kit at Amazon
Best Gel Nail Polish Kit for Beginners:
SensatioNail Gel Starter Kit at Amazon
Best Gel Nail Polish Kit With Colors:
Gellen Gel Nail Polish Kit at Amazon
Best Stick-On Gel Nail Polish Kit:
ManiMe Stick-On Gels at Amazon

Best Overall Gel Nail Polish Kit

Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Starter Kit

4.2
Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a simple gel nail polish kit that doesn’t come with unnecessary products.

Who it isn’t for: People who want multiple color options in one set.  

This eight-piece set from Sally Hansen includes everything you need to give yourself a gel manicure at home. It comes with a gel base, gel polish, top coat, nail file, cuticle stick, cleanser wipes, an LED lamp, and a bottle of acetone remover. The gel polish is a very light pink, which is a universally flattering nail color that would be great for any season. You can purchase additional colors of the gel polish separately.

To use this kit, you should first file and shape your nails with the included tools. From there, apply the base coat, gel color, and top coat, placing your hand in the LED lamp for 30 seconds between each coat. Then, wipe your nails with the cleanser pad, which will leave behind a glossy finish. Your manicure should last up to two weeks without chipping or losing its sheen.

Price at time of publish: $56

Product Details:

  • Set Size: 8 pieces
  • Number of Shades: 1
  • Dry Time: 2 minutes

Best Value Gel Nail Polish Kit

Morovan Poly Gel Nail Kit

4.8
Morovan Poly Gel Nail Kit

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want to replace all of their nail tools and stock up on gel polish. 

Who it isn’t for: People who aren’t interested in making their nails longer with extensions. 

If you’re ready to become a professional in the at-home gel manicure game, the Morovan Poly Gel Nail Kit is a great place to start. It comes with eight different polishes, which vary depending on the color palette you choose (like lavender, aquamarine, and fluorescent). It also includes full-sized bottles of the brand’s base and top coats, as well as a primer and dehydrator—both of which will protect your nails. 

When it comes to tools, this kit shines. It comes with an LED lamp, which is essential for gel manicures, as well as nail and cuticle clippers, brushes, and everything else you’d need for the grooming portion of your manicure. It also includes two different glitters, rhinestones, and acrylic tips, along with everything you need to attach them. Because this kit is so well-stocked with the materials required for nail extensions, people who only want to use gel polish on their bare nails would be better off with another option.

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Set Size: 27 pieces
  • Number of Shades: 8
  • Dry Time: Not listed

Best Portable Gel Nail Polish Kit

Le Mini Macaron Mini Gel Nail Polish Kit

Le Mini Macaron Gel Manicure Kit

Ulta

Who it’s for: People who want a travel-friendly gel manicure kit that takes up little storage space.

Who it isn’t for: People who want to be able to cure multiple nails at a time.  

Whether you’re looking for a kit that you can bring on work trips and vacations or simply want a beginner-friendly way to try at-home gel nail manicures, this one from Le Mini Macaron is the perfect option. The travel-friendly set comes with a mini LED lamp that is large enough to accommodate one finger at a time. While this could be frustrating if you find yourself wanting to do your nails all the time, it’s especially space-saving and still very effective. 

This kit comes with a three-in-one gel polish, so there is no need for a separate base or top coat—and it still lasts just as long as regular gel polish. The kit also comes with gel polish remover wraps, a mini nail file, and a cuticle pusher. 

Price at time of publish: $35

Product Details:

  • Set Size: 5 pieces
  • Number of Shades: 1
  • Dry Time: 1 minute per nail

Best Gel Nail Polish Kit for Beginners

SensatioNail Gel Starter Kit

4.2
SensatioNail Gel Starter Kit

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an easy-to-remove gel polish kit that doesn’t involve soaking in acetone.

Who it isn’t for: People who want multiple color options for gel polish.

Removal is one of the most difficult parts of gel manicures, especially for beginners. If you dread having to soak the polish off in acetone, then this kit is for you. After you get two weeks of wear from your manicure, the SensatioNail gel formula is designed to be peeled off without damaging your nails. 

The kit includes a nail file, cuticle shaper, a soft pink polish, primer, base, top coat, and an LED lamp. The only downside is that the peel-off gel polish kit doesn’t come in many color options, so people who are looking for specific colors may have to purchase additional gel polishes separately.

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Set Size: 19 pieces
  • Number of Shades: 1
  • Dry Time: 1 minute

Best Gel Nail Polish Kit With Colors

Gellen Gel Nail Polish Kit

Gellen Gel Nail Polish 16 Color Kit

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a kit that comes with multiple gel nail polish colors.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a kit that includes an LED or UV light.

If you are looking to stock up on gel polishes, we recommend this kit from Gellen. The brand is known for its quality, and it is one of the most popular options found in nail salons. This kit comes with 16 gel polishes in a wide range of nude and pink tones, although it’s also available in other color palettes such as pastels and semi-translucent hues. You’ll also get a base coat and a top coat in this kit.

The polishes have an ultra-glossy finish, and the formula lasts up to three weeks, according to the brand. While this kit does not include a lamp, the polishes can be used with both UV and LED lamps, depending on what you have on hand. Each coat of the polish cures under an LED lamp in as little as 30 seconds, but note that it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes to cure with a UV light. 

Price at time of publish: $33

Product Details:

  • Set Size: 18 pieces
  • Number of Shades: 16
  • Dry Time: 30 seconds to 4 minutes

Best Gel Nail Polish

Essie Gel Couture Longwear Nail Polish

Essie Gel Couture

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want the look and feel of gel polish without an LED lamp.

Who it isn’t for: People who want their gel nail polish to dry immediately.

If you want to skip a few steps, like curing under an LED lamp, you can go for a standalone gel polish like Essie Gel Couture. Unlike traditional gel nail polishes, this one doesn’t need to be cured under an LED lamp. This also means that it doesn’t dry immediately, unfortunately—but it still dries faster than regular nail polishes. Essie Gel Couture manicures also tend to last longer than traditional polishes—especially when applied correctly and used with the matching top coat.

This gel polish is available in 40+ colors, and each is sold individually to give you complete customization of your gel nail polish collection. Most of the polishes offer great coverage but note that it may take a few coats to achieve a fully opaque look with some of the lighter colors.

Price at time of publish: $13

Product Details:

  • Set Size: 1 polish
  • Number of Shades: 40+
  • Dry Time: Not listed

Best Stick-On Gel Nail Polish Kit

ManiMe Stick-On Gels

ManiMe Stick-On Gels

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a less messy way to get an at-home gel manicure.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to use a base or top coat.

If you have been on the hunt for a long-lasting and easy-to-apply gel manicure, don’t sleep on stick-on gel polish. ManiMe’s Stick-On Gels come in more than 50 colors, including options with intricate designs and various finishes. Each set comes with 18 stickers in a range of sizes, which don’t need to be cured under a light. When you order directly from the brand’s site, you can even get the stickers customized to your nail size and shape. Since you don’t actually apply the polish color with a brush, we think this is a great pick for people who get frustrated by streaky or uneven polish. (You’ll still need a base and top coat, though, which aren't included.)

To apply, wipe down your nails with one of the cleansing wipes included with each set. Then, apply a base coat in a thin layer and allow it to dry. While this part might be inconvenient, the dry time is pretty fast. Then, choose a gel strip the size of each nail and gently press it on. You can use the cuticle stick to smooth out any air bubbles, then file off the excess before applying a top coat. 

Price at time of publish: From $10

Product Details:

  • Set Size: 18 stickers 
  • Number of Shades: 50+
  • Dry Time: Minutes (for the base and top coat)

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Sally Hansen Salon Gel Polish Starter Kit because it comes with everything you need—and nothing that you don’t—for an at-home gel manicure. The kit comes with one versatile gel polish, but you can purchase additional colors separately to build your collection.

How to Shop for Gel Nail Polish Kits Like a Pro

Set Size

What you need in a gel nail polish kit can largely depend on what you already have at home. But for general starter kits, make sure you choose a kit that comes with an LED lamp as well as some colors that you know you’ll wear for the occasion you have in mind (even if that’s everyday wear!). Some gel nail kits come with multiple polish colors, while others only include one and require you to purchase additional options separately.

Popov also recommends using a cuticle dissolver and a wood stick to push the cuticles back, so look for those tools in kits, too. Many kits also come with a buffer that should be used to file off any leftover gel after removal. 

Ease of Use

Most gel polishes are similar to regular nail polishes—they just dry faster as they cure under an LED lamp. That said, some of the trickier options are stick-ons since you have to use base and top coats in addition to the sticker. Also, keep the brush size in mind as you search for your ideal polishes—wider is better for stability. 

Dry Time

If you’re using a real gel polish, the dry time will only consist of the 30-second spurts that it takes to cure the polish under the LED lamp. That said, if you’re looking for lamp-alternative gel options, keep dry time in mind and know that unless they’re cured with a lamp, they’ll take a while to fully harden.

Questions You Might Ask

How long does gel nail polish last?

Popov explains that gel polish should last two weeks “with proper care along with correct application.” Some types of gel nail polish can last even longer, which is when it’s time to soak it off in acetone. 

How do you remove gel nail polish?

We know it’s tempting, but make sure you aren’t peeling off your gel polish because it can take off the top layer of your nail, too. Popov says you should start by filing off the top coat of the polish from your nails. “Then, soak them in acetone for five to 10 minutes, and gently take it off with an orange wood stick,” says Popov. “Lastly, lightly buff off the excess with a 180-grit buffer.”

Is gel nail polish bad for your nails?

While lots of people think of gel polish as damaging, Popov explains that this can be mitigated with proper application and removal. For starters, don’t over-file your nails before applying the base coat. “Many salons do this as they believe it’ll make your gel last longer, but that isn’t true at all,” says Popov. “It damages your nails, and in the long run, the more you file the top, the less your gel will last you.”

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Brittany Loggins, a freelance writer who specializes in beauty and lifestyle content. To find the best gel nail polish kits, she thoroughly researched the various types on the market, considering factors such as set size, ease of use, and wear time. For expert insight, she spoke to Anna Popov, a New York City-based nail artist with a studio in Staten Island.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles