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The Best Acrylic Nail Kit - 2021

Last updated on October 29, 2021
Best Acrylic Nail Kit

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Our Picks For The Top Acrylic Nail Kits

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

Morovan Beginner Long-Lasting Acrylic Nail Kit

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Morovan

Beginner Long-Lasting Acrylic Nail Kit

Overall Take

Comes With EverythingBeginners will find everything they need in this nicely-packaged gift set.

  Runner Up

Morovan Beginner Self-Leveling Acrylic Nail Kit

Morovan

Beginner Self-Leveling Acrylic Nail Kit

Overall Take

Salon-Quality NailsThe acrylics in this basic set create a strong and striking effect on your nails.

  Strong Contender

Cooserry Rhinestone Decoration 79-In-1 Acrylic Nail Kit

Cooserry

Rhinestone Decoration 79-In-1 Acrylic Nail Kit

Overall Take

Solid Practice SetNew nail art enthusiasts can hit the ground running with this complete set.

  Also Great

Cooserry Adhesive Glitter 115-In-1 Acrylic Nail Kit

Cooserry

Adhesive Glitter 115-In-1 Acrylic Nail Kit

Overall Take

Tons of MaterialThere's no shortage of glittery colors or helpful tools in this completist's nail kit.

Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on October 29, 2021

Some might dread going to the nail salon, while others see it as a choice opportunity for both conversation and relaxation. But anybody who has walked out with a carefully applied manicure can’t deny the results: knockout nails that you can coordinate a whole outfit around for weeks.

Now, it’s not exactly a secret that you can get those same results at home with a lot of practice — and of course, the right nail kit. The trick is in finding that kit, and the components can vary widely depending on your level of experience and desire for nail bling. Gel or the more expensive polygel nail kits can be easier to apply, as long as you’re willing to spring for a UV lamp. But when it comes to longevity, strength and the possibility for truly creative nail art, there’s nothing like old-school acrylic nails.

If you’re buying an acrylic nail kit, it can be easy to get distracted by the range of colors and the shine of the glitter. Do yourself a favor and make sure you’ve got the basic components first. Since acrylic nails are actually synthetic nails that bond onto your natural ones, you’re going to need those nail tips, nail tip glue and a dehydrating coat that you can apply to your nails beforehand. Most nail tips these days are made from ethyl methacrylate, but stay away from older ones made from the harder methyl methacrylate, or MMA. It may seem like only a one-letter difference, but the FDA has found that the latter substance can cause swelling and other allergic reactions in some users.

Next up: The fun stuff. Once those nails are on securely, you’ll want to apply a primer coat. After that dries, you can start applying the actual acrylic paint, and that’s where a bit of science comes in. Acrylic nails require a mixture of liquid monomer with acrylic powder. Get the mixture just right, and your nails won’t just look great, they’ll actually be stronger and can last for four weeks or more. Get it wrong, and you can end up with blotchy claws that will end up worse for the wear in the long run.

For this reason, beginner nail kits should ideally include some model nails to practice that mixture on. As a broad rule, you’re going to want a ratio of one part powder to one and a half parts liquid monomer. There’s some wiggle room there, but try not to add any more liquid than a 1:2 ratio. If your mixture goes from a firm bead to a puddle on the nail in less than 20 seconds, you’ve probably mixed it too wet. Good, fresh powder can make a lot of difference here, so watch out for powder that seems too chalky.

That’s it for the chemicals, or at least the essential ones. Of course, the sky is the limit when it comes to the various colors and extra bling that you might want in a true nail art kit. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can try dressing up your acrylics with glitter, rhinestones, decals or stenciled paintings if you’re really confident in your artistic skills.

Don’t forget the tools, either. You won’t be able to apply any of that acrylic without some brushes, and shoddy ones can wear out very quickly — especially if you’re mixing your polish too thickly. If you’re shaping your own extensions, you’ll want an acrylic mold, and emery boards and clippers are a must. Once you start getting the hang of your home manicure, you’ll inevitably want to resupply and try out new colors or appliques. The trick is to find a starter kit that gives you enough product to practice with at a price you can afford.

The Best Acrylic Nail Kits

1
  Top Pick

Morovan Beginner Long-Lasting Acrylic Nail Kit

This set has everything a rookie nail artist needs, including French tips, sequins, top coat, base coat and a selection of finely tuned tools for application, all inside a gift box. You'll also get 18 powder colors, 12 gloss metal colors and 12 glitter colors.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Morovan
Model
2
  Runner Up

Morovan Beginner Self-Leveling Acrylic Nail Kit

This set features acrylic powders in three colors, monomer liquid, three brushes in different sizes, a glass cup, nail forms and a nail file. It is easy to use once you practice a few times, offering you a salon-quality look for an affordable price.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Morovan
Model
3
  Strong Contender

Cooserry Rhinestone Decoration 79-In-1 Acrylic Nail Kit

This extensive set is ideal for those curious about nail art. It has everything you'll need apart from nail glue, including rhinestones, tools, French nail tips, and even practice fingers. The glitter powder comes in a wide variety of colors.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Cooserry
Model
4
  Also Great

Cooserry Adhesive Glitter 115-In-1 Acrylic Nail Kit

Whether you're a newbie or a salon veteran, this set has what you need. You get a huge variety of glitter and powder to play with, and a proliferation of tools, French tips and cotton pad means you won't need to resupply anytime soon.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Cooserry
Model
5
  We Also Like

Morovan Professional Bubble-Free Acrylic Nail Kit

This is a solid nail pro-level system for home use; from brushes to top coat, you'll find most everything you need. It includes 18 colored acrylic powders,12 glitter colors,12 colors of sequins, nail tips and other basic nail art tools.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Morovan
Model

Our Acrylic Nail Kit Buying Guide

Some might dread going to the nail salon, while others see it as a choice opportunity for both conversation and relaxation. But anybody who has walked out with a carefully applied manicure can’t deny the results: knockout nails that you can coordinate a whole outfit around for weeks.

Now, it’s not exactly a secret that you can get those same results at home with a lot of practice — and of course, the right nail kit. The trick is in finding that kit, and the components can vary widely depending on your level of experience and desire for nail bling. Gel or the more expensive polygel nail kits can be easier to apply, as long as you’re willing to spring for a UV lamp. But when it comes to longevity, strength and the possibility for truly creative nail art, there’s nothing like old-school acrylic nails.

If you’re buying an acrylic nail kit, it can be easy to get distracted by the range of colors and the shine of the glitter. Do yourself a favor and make sure you’ve got the basic components first. Since acrylic nails are actually synthetic nails that bond onto your natural ones, you’re going to need those nail tips, nail tip glue and a dehydrating coat that you can apply to your nails beforehand. Most nail tips these days are made from ethyl methacrylate, but stay away from older ones made from the harder methyl methacrylate, or MMA. It may seem like only a one-letter difference, but the FDA has found that the latter substance can cause swelling and other allergic reactions in some users.

Next up: The fun stuff. Once those nails are on securely, you’ll want to apply a primer coat. After that dries, you can start applying the actual acrylic paint, and that’s where a bit of science comes in. Acrylic nails require a mixture of liquid monomer with acrylic powder. Get the mixture just right, and your nails won’t just look great, they’ll actually be stronger and can last for four weeks or more. Get it wrong, and you can end up with blotchy claws that will end up worse for the wear in the long run.

For this reason, beginner nail kits should ideally include some model nails to practice that mixture on. As a broad rule, you’re going to want a ratio of one part powder to one and a half parts liquid monomer. There’s some wiggle room there, but try not to add any more liquid than a 1:2 ratio. If your mixture goes from a firm bead to a puddle on the nail in less than 20 seconds, you’ve probably mixed it too wet. Good, fresh powder can make a lot of difference here, so watch out for powder that seems too chalky.

That’s it for the chemicals, or at least the essential ones. Of course, the sky is the limit when it comes to the various colors and extra bling that you might want in a true nail art kit. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can try dressing up your acrylics with glitter, rhinestones, decals or stenciled paintings if you’re really confident in your artistic skills.

Don’t forget the tools, either. You won’t be able to apply any of that acrylic without some brushes, and shoddy ones can wear out very quickly — especially if you’re mixing your polish too thickly. If you’re shaping your own extensions, you’ll want an acrylic mold, and emery boards and clippers are a must. Once you start getting the hang of your home manicure, you’ll inevitably want to resupply and try out new colors or appliques. The trick is to find a starter kit that gives you enough product to practice with at a price you can afford.

DWYM Fun Fact

No one is quite sure who first decided their nails would look better with a little color. Archaeologists found Egyptian mummies from 5,000 B.C. with gilded nails and henna-tinted fingertips, while Indian women from this era also stained nails with henna. The Chinese are credited with inventing actual nail polish around 3,000 B.C.

But for a long while in ancient Babylonia, the people wearing nail art weren’t exactly the ones you’d expect. It was common among male warriors in this society to paint their nails with different colors — usually black kohl for more important people, green for those of lower classes — depending on rank. Archaeologists even found evidence of a solid gold manicure set dating back to 3,200 B.C. that was part of combat equipment.

The modern acrylic nails we know today were created in 1957. When dentist Frederick Slack broke a nail at work, he repaired it with aluminum foil and dental acrylic. The result looked so real he and his brother collaborated on and then patented acrylic nails.

The Acrylic Nail Kit Tips and Advice

Once you get that nail kit, it can be tempting to just slap on that extension and start picking your polish. In a word: don’t. Preparation is crucial to sturdy, great-looking results and acrylics slapped on to poorly-filed or wet nails can hurt the next day.

First, file down your nails so that you only have about a millimeter or so of space at the edge. Wipe down the nails with some anti-bacterial spray and push your cuticles up carefully with a fine edge. Dry the nails thoroughly, apply some primer and you’re ready to go.


About The Author

Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness is a professional writer and journalist for the past 20 years. As the husband of a physical therapist, Tod knows more than he cares to about exercise and wellness. He's on the stationary bike an acceptable amount of time every week, but would still rather be out on the real thing if he can.