If you love manicures as much as I do, you’ve probably tried every kind under the sun. Gel nails were my latest obsession, but there’s a big problem. You can’t get any length with gel! Well my friends, this problem has been solved in a major way, and I’m here to show you with the best polygel nail kit you can get for a perfect DIY manicure at home.
I tried a few of these at home polygel nail kits, and I’ll show you which one gets the best results. But first, what is it?!
What Is Polygel For Nails?
First, you probably want to know what the heck this polygel nail stuff is anyway?
Polygel is a new nail treatment that gives you strong, flexible nails. It’s also sometimes called a hybrid gel. The formula is lighter than acrylic nails, and stronger than traditional gel treatments. They combined the best of these popular manicures, to create an all in one formula that’s super easy to use.
And best of all? All it takes is a few simple steps! You can use it to overlay your exiting nails, or sculpt a stylish full set. To cure the manicure, you use an LED lamp, just like with gel nails. Because you have to cure it, you have plenty of time to shape your nail. This makes polygel great for beginners and non professionals, because you can take your time.
So, by now you are probably wondering-how long does this stuff last?
How Long Do Polygel Nails Last?
You’d be surprised to find that your polygel will hold for weeks! It won’t lift or crack the way gel nail polish can.
The cool thing about Polygel, is that you can “fill in” the nail again just like you would an acrylics. After the nail has grown out, you can rebalance the nails to get more life from your polygel manicure.
Or, if you are ready to get rid of it, simply file away your polish and soak the rest off with acetone. Your nails underneath will still be in great shape!
The Best Polygel Nail Kit For DIY Nails
So, how can you get your hands on a polygel nail kit? Here are the best DIY polygel manicure sets on the market right now! I’ve tried and tested them all, and I’ll let you know which one gave me the best results.
And be sure to check out the tips at the bottom of the post. There, I’ll share all my advice for getting the best results from your DIY polygel kit.Check Price
Polygel was first introduced by Gelish. I had great results with their nail dipping powder kits, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this set.
Here’s how I performed my mani, step by step.
Step by Step Gelish Polygel Manicure
After watching a few youtube videos (which I will share below) I was ready to get started. The kit comes with everything you need to perform your Polygel manicure, except an LED nail lamp.
If you don’t already have your own, make sure to grab one before starting. And if you are a nail pro yourself, Gelish also offers a Polygel nail kit with a professional nail lamp.
- To begin, I prepped my nails. I cleaned them well, removed cuticles, and buffed my natural nails. It’s important to buff the nails really well to get a better adhesion with your polygel.
- Next, I wiped them down with the nail cleansing solution that’s included in your kit. That helps remove any excess dust from your fingers. After your nails are all clean, do a light coat with the Gelish PH Bond polish. Be really careful not to get these polishes on your cuticles! I followed that up with a coat of the PH primer, and our nails are ready to go!
- Next, I chose the light pink polygel to start. I got out the slip solution, and placed in in a shallow dish. Next I set the included brush and spatula nearby. Finally, I unwrapped one of the included nail guides, that helps shape your nail, and placed it on my finger.
- With the nail guide in place, I was ready to add the polygel. I opened the tube, and squeezed a small amount (pea size to start). Then I used the spatula to move the polygel onto the center of my nail. Afterward I quickly wiped the spatula off with a lint free cloth.
- Now it’s time to shape the polygel. I started by dipping my nail brush into the slip solution. It’s important to always keep your brush wet, so that the polygel doesn’t stick to the bristles. Next I pressed the brush gently against the polygel, and started to mold it to my nail.
- Since I began in the middle of my nail, I used the brush to move the poly gel upward, creating a longer tip. I continued pressing the bead of polygel into place with the brush, and dipped the brush into the slip every so often to keep it wet.
- After I had the final shape on my tip that I wanted, I added a little more polygel to coat the bottom of the nail. From there I used the brush to smooth the areas, so that the whole nail looked even. I paid close attention to the cuticle area, so that it looks great even when it’s grown out. Finally, it was time to cure the nail!
- To cure your polygel, just pop it under and led lamp for 30 seconds. And that’s it, you’ve successfully applied your polygel! Go ahead and repeat this process until you’ve done all your fingers.
- Next, you need to file your nails into the final shape you want. Polygel can leave buildup under the nails, so it’s best to use a nail drill to get them into the perfect shape. After I filed them down, I cleaned them off with the nail cleanser.
- And your final step for Polygel manicure is to seal with a top coat. Use the included top coat, and cure it for 30 seconds under your nail lamp. I was so happy when I finally finished, and was amazed at how professional my nails looked!
Thoughts on the Gelish Polygel Kit
Overall, I was shocked at how much my manicure looked like salon acrylics. The biggest learning curve for me, was shaping the tips, since I don’t have much experience doing this.
The shaping and filing part did take a little longer on the first nail, but I got the hang of it very quickly. Overall this polygel nail kit is super easy to use, and I really liked the professional quality of all the products. My polygel mani lasted about 3 1/2 weeks, when it started to look grown out. No cracking or chipping, and it lasted at least a week and a half longer than regular gel nails.
I got the pro kit to use for my polygel manicure, because it included a few different colors. I wanted to note that if you have gel colors at home, you can use them with the clear color included in the gelish kit. Just an extra step, and you can customize these colors for a unique look! And now onto the next Polygel kit!
The next kit that I tried was the Nail extension gel kit from Markartt. It’s the same type of formula as Polygel, but the name Polygel belongs to Gelish.
Here’s how I did my Markartt Polygel mani, step by step.
Step by Step Markartt Polygel Manicure
Of course, I started by watching a few youtube videos to see how this product differs from the Gelish Polygel. The Markartt set is very similar, and it has a great step by step guide included.
To get prepared, layout all the items in your kit. You’ll need to have your own LED Nail Lamp, and your own nail dehydrator to use with this kit. For the nail dehydrator, you can use any alcohol over 70%. You can use that same alcohol as the “slip” to shape your polygel.
- I started by prepping the nails. I removed cuticles, and buffed the nail really well. Then I cleansed the nail with a cotton ball soaked in the alcohol.
- Next, I applied I thin layer of the base coat, and cured for 30 seconds under the LED lamp.
- To create the Polygel, you have two options. You can mold the shape inside one of the included nail forms. The other option is to form it directly on the nail. If you are a beginner, the nail forms will help you get an even look, but I did mine directly on the nail, with the help of the nail guides.
- After placing the nail guide on my finger, I squeezed a bead of polygel onto my nail. Then I began to form the bead with the brush dipped in alcohol.
- Once I had the polygel shaped properly, I cured it under my LED lamp for 30 seconds.
- Next, I filed all my nails in the final shape I wanted. Just like with the Gelish polygel, I needed a nail drill to properly file the area under the nail.
- Once my nails were in tip top shape, I cleaned them with the alcohol
- The final step, is to seal with the included top coat, and cure under the LED lamp for another 30 seconds.
My Thoughts on the Makartt Polygel Nail Kit
Over all, I thought the Makartt Nail kit was a really good value. Although this kit isn’t as high quality as the gelish version, it certainly gets the job done well. I liked that it included plenty of nail forms, and nail guides, because they are really helpful for us non professionals!
I will say that the quality of the included brush is not as high as the Gelish kit. That made it just a little bit tougher to get a good application from the polygel. The polygel itself was a similar consistency, but I felt like I had to use a little bit more to get good coverage. My mani lasted a little over 3 weeks before I noticed some chips at the end, and it was time to come off.
Finally, I will say, it would have been nice to have the “slip”, and the LED lamp included in this kit. But, I have seen that Markartt makes a Glitter Nail Polygel kit that includes an LED lamp, and lets you create some really professional glitter polygel nails. What’s not love about that?
The final polygel kit I tried, was from a brand I had never heard of before. Despite this, I really loved that this kit came with some extras that set it apart from the other two kits.
The Modelones kit comes in a nicely packaged box. I really liked that you have an organized way to look at all the products, which isn’t the case with the other two kits. The polygel set comes with its own slip solution, six color options, and some nail glitter. For me, I wasn’t planning to use any of these extra colors or glitters, but it’s still nice to have! Just like with the other kits, you’ll need your own LED nail lamp.
One difference with this kit, is that it has “dual nail forms” that help you build the nail shape before you apply to your nail. It doesn’t include the paper nail guides that you can get with the other two kits. I just decided to buy my own though, since I don’t like nail forms.
Here’s a step by step guide of how I performed my Modelones Polygel Manicure.
Step by Step Modelones Polygel Manicure
You’re probably sensing a common theme here, but I watched some youtube videos to see if there was anything different with this Polygel set. It’s pretty straightforward, and the process is just the same with this kit.
- Start by cleaning and buffing your nails. The kit comes with a small nail file, but I still use a large one because it’s a little easier. After you buff, clean them with a little rubbing alcohol or the “slip”.
- Next, I applied the base coat evenly to the nails, and let them cure for 30 seconds in under the LEd lamp.
- Then, I covered my nail with the paper nail guides that I bought (but you can use the dual nail forms instead).
- I chose the soft pink polygel to start. Then, I squeezed a pea sized bead onto the spatula and applied to the center of the nail.
- Next, I dipped my brush into the slip, and lightly formed the shape of my nail with the polygel.
- Once I had a nice shape on all the nails, I cured under my LED lamp for 30 seconds. I felt it was a little soft still, so I did an extra 30 just to be sure.
- After my nails were shaped and dry, I filed them into shape. Again I needed to sue my nail drill to get the back of the nail, though it was a little faster with this brand.
- Once my nails were shaped, I cleaned them with a cotton pad, and dipped in the slip solution.
- I topped off the nails with the top coat, and cured under the LED lamp for 60 seconds. My nails looked fabulous!
My Thoughts On The Modelones Polygel Manicure
The packaging is impressive, and I liked everything included in this kit. My nails looked great, and I really liked the soft pink color from Modelones.
Overall, I think this set is an excellent value, and my nails did look professional. Maybe it’s because it was my third time using polygel, but I felt like it was easier to mold the gel in this kit.
That being said, I also think this polygel is slightly less durable. It seemed to take a little longer to get a solid dry result than the Gelish or Makartt brands. My mani did lasted about 3 weeks, similar to the others. I noticed the tips were getting a little discolored towards the last week, but it’s hard to say what caused that.
Finally, I have to say that everything with this kit is on the smaller side. All the bottles of polish and slip are tiny, so I think it won’t last as long as the others.
Which One Is The Best Polygel Nail Kit?Check Price
After I put all these Polygel kits to the test, there was one that just stood out from the rest: The Gelish Polygel Nail Kit!
What makes the Gelish Kit better than the rest? The professional results!
While my manicure looked great with the other two kits, the quality of the Gelish polygel was more professional looking. For someone like me, if I am going to spend that long at home doing my own nails- they better look as good as they do in the salon!
The Gelish really delivered that result, and it also lasted the longest. Nearly 4 weeks before I needed to remove it! I don’t know about you, but that’s way better than some salon manicures I have had.Check Price
The final reason that I think the gelish kit is so great? It’s bigger! I have plenty of product to do my nails many times, and I even have enough to do them for friends and family. You get a lot of bang for your buck with the Gelish Nail kit.
If you are on the fence about it, Gelish also makes a few smaller versions. You can get a trial kit with the clear polish, or a french polygel nail kit. These smaller packages offer some nice alternatives for people who want to try polygel without a big investment.
If you are ready to try this trend at home, check out these tips to get the best results!
Tips For Doing A Polygel Nail Manicure At Home
- Watch a few youtube videos before you get started. I’ll link a super helpful one below.
- Make sure to keep the brush wet. This helps to avoid sticky polygel, and helps you shape the nail faster.
- Take your time, there’s no rush. Learning to get great results means practice, and because you have to cure the nail you have plenty of time!
- Invest in good tools. If you want a great result, invest in the few tools you need that don’t come with the kit. I love using a small shot glass or nail art jar to keep the slip. Automatic LED nail lamps also speed up the process. Finally, a nice nail drill will give you professional looking results.
Helpful Polygel Nail Kit Tutorial Using Gelish Polygel
I hope you enjoyed this review of the best polygel nail kit! Have you all tried this nail treatment before? If so, check out our pinterest page and let us know how it went!