If you’re looking for longer nails without having to go to a salon for expensive acrylic extensions, polygel nail kits are for you.
I recently discovered polygel nails after talking to a nail technician friend and was intrigued. I’ve been doing my own nails for years but was never brave enough to DIY my own acrylic nail extensions. Polygel nails sounded like the perfect middle ground so I decided to buy a kit online and try it out.
If you’ve never heard of poly nail gel or just looking for some polygel nail ideas, strap in! We’re going to explore some of the best polygel nail kits for at-home use.
What are polygel nails?
Polygel is a specific hybridization of two other nail techniques – acrylic and gel nails. Acrylic nails offer durability, while gel nails boast flexibility. For a comparison of the two, check out our article on gel vs dip powder nails.
By combining the power of acrylic powder and clear gel, polygel nails were born. Polygel starts off in a tube and comes out as a putty-like substance that is shaped and smoothed using a brush. It is then cured using an LED light or UV lamp.
Polygel is extremely versatile. It can be used in several ways:
- It can be molded and shaped to add length to your nails like acrylics.
- It can be used to correct your nail apex.
- Applied as an overlay to strengthen your natural nails.
- It can stand on its own as a base for nail polish.
- Add color to your nails.
There is no mixing needed and polygel doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals so it won’t damage your natural nails. It’s also odorless and comes pre-colored in a wide variety of shades.
You get long, flexible, and natural-feeling nails.
Best polygel nail kits
So, now that you know a little about polygel, it’s time to look at the three best polygel nail kits on the market.
These three kits come with everything to start your new nail journey and enjoy experimenting with various colors.
Best overall – Morovan Polygel Nail Kit
The Morovan Poly Gel Nail Kit is the perfect, affordable at-home nail kit.
It comes with six solid gel colors, including two very cool temperature-changing colors, nail prep solutions, molds, tools and brushes, storage containers, and decorative add-ons.
Morovan promises long-lasting, easy-to-shape nails that will stay in place for a month or more with proper care. This kit is suitable for beginners and veteran manicurists alike.
It comes with more than most other nail kits and is comparatively affordable. I got this one because it’s the best overall and has the best value.
- Everything you need
- Includes temperature change gels
- Steep learning curve
Best budget – Modelones Polygel Extension Kit
The Modelones Poly Extension Gel Nail Kit comes with six gel colors, a complete set of tools and brushes, a UV lamp, prep solutions, molds, and accessories.
This kit is mess-free and a cinch to work with. This is the ideal kit if you have a smaller budget but want to try poly nails.
The instructions are detailed and even have tips on refilling nails as they grow out.
- Super affordable
- Everything you need
- Nails may not last as long as other kits.
Best professional – Beetles Polygel Nail Extension Kit
Beetles Poly Extension Gel Nail Kit is of near-professional grade.
This moderately expensive nail kit comes with all the fixings. It has six gel colors, a UV light, molds, a simple array of tools and brushes, prep solutions, and gem accessories.
While you don’t get as much with this kit as some of the others, it has higher-quality tools and gels.
This kit promises nails that will last three weeks or more and are easy to apply and shape.
- Varied mold shapes
- Everything you need
- Beginner or professional
- Expensive compared to other polygel nail kits
Polygel nail kit FAQs
There are a few things I would recommend you learn before deciding on which kit to buy. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about polygel nails.
How much are polygel nail kits?
You can get a two-color polygel nail kit on Amazon for as little as $17 and as much as $50 for a full-blown professional kit with up to 18 different polygel colors plus a UV curing lamp. It all depends on how many tubes of polygel are included in your kit.
In my opinion, kits that include a lamp are the best value for beginners. If you already own a UV or LED curing lamp, then skip the kit and purchase your polygel nail color of choice.
Is polygel good for your nails?
Poly nail gel doesn’t benefit your nails by helping them be stronger or grow faster. But polygel won’t damage your nails, either.
There are no harsh or aerosol chemicals in polygel nails, and they don’t damage your nails any more than regular polish would.
That said, using the best poly nail kits will yield better results, and they come without the downsides of other types. Poly nails are lighter and easier to apply and don’t damage your nails as much when you take them off.
How long do polygel nails last?
With proper application and maintenance, polygel nails are some of the most long-lasting nails available. They will stay in place and look sharp for up to three weeks.
While you may be able to stretch out their lifespan to four weeks, they don’t typically last quite as long as acrylic nails.
That being said, because they are easier and gentler to remove, reapplying causes fewer issues for your nails, and you get a new manicure more often.
|Last up to||3 weeks||6 weeks||3 weeks|
|Easy to remove||✅||❌||✅|
How do I make my polygel nails last longer?
You can help your polygel manicure last longer by limiting exposure to chemicals.
Household cleaners, certain beauty, and hair care products, plus activities that put excess stress on nails can shorten your polygel nails’ lifespan.
How you use your nails day to day can also lead to breakage. For example, avoid using your nails to open soda cans. Use a quarter or a key or anything other than your nails. 🙂
Finally, make it a habit to wear gloves to protect your polygel manicure if you’re doing any kind of cleaning, working in the garden, coloring hair, doing laundry, etc.
Polygel vs gel nails
While polygel is a hybrid between gel and acrylic, gel nails are more like nail polish than anything else.
A gel manicure doesn’t extend your nails in any way. But gel nails are cured using a UV light the same way you do polygel, giving your nails the same gorgeous gloss.
Gel is sturdier than traditional polish and lasts much longer. Like polygel, gel nails are not as damaging as acrylic nails or even a dip manicure. You can buff them off the same way you do polygel, but you may have to try soaking them in acetone to get them fully removed.
Of course, getting gel nails too often can damage your nails so be sure you give your nails a break every few weeks or so.
If you want the same shiny gloss of gel, but you also want to extend the length of your nails, then you’ll love a polygel manicure. Even though polygel nails are extensions, they’re actually better for your nails than regular gel because you don’t have to soak them in acetone to get them off.
Polygel nails vs acrylic nails
Polygel nails are the love child born from acrylic and gel nails. They have all the advantages of both and with fewer drawbacks.
Unlike acrylic nails which are heavy, smelly, stiff, and damaging, polygel nails are lightweight, odorless, flexible, and cause negligible damage.
With acrylic nails, you have to mix a powder monomer with an acrylic liquid. With polygel nails, there is no mixing required and no odor from chemicals.
Poly nails work as both an overlay and enhancer as they cure quickly under UV light and come in several colors. You can also apply gel polish on top.
It’s best to buff poly nails off to remove them rather than soak them in acetone. If done correctly, this will prevent the dry brittleness that acetone causes to natural nails.
Polygel vs dip powder nails
The main difference between dip and polygel nails is this:
- Polygel nails are intended to strengthen and lengthen natural nails while adding color.
- Dip nails are intended to strengthen natural nails and provide pigment to a manicure. Powder dip nails can not provide length to your nails like polygel nails and other extensions can.
If you’re wanting to strengthen and add thickness to your nails, consider looking into a Dip Powder Nail Kit.
Does polygel ruin your nails?
Always take breaks when using any nail enhancer, whether that is polygel nails, acrylics, or gel.
Even wearing regular nail polish too long can deprive your nails of oxygen and turn them yellow. Regularly applying nail polish can eventually lead to more permanent problems.
Can you do polygel nails at home?
Yes, you can absolutely do polygel nails at home!
The most common hurdle of polygel that people experience is that they don’t own a UV lamp to set them. You can solve the issue by buying a poly gel nail kit.
These easy-to-use kits come with everything you could need, including the lamp, various colors of gel, application tools, nail molds, instructions, and accessories.
Can I use regular nail polish on polygel nails?
You can actually use both! If you want to change the color of your polygel nail, and you don’t want to change it too often, then you can just go ahead and apply gel to keep a consistent and glossy look.
If you want to change up the color frequently, you’ll want to use regular polish. This can be changed much more easily than gel.
What can I do to keep my polygel nails from popping off?
If you have an issue keeping your polygel nails on, try using a nail primer first.
You also should be sure you clean and buff your nails out appropriately before you apply your nails. Proper application is the best way to keep them adhered to your natural nails!
How do you soak off polygel nails?
Soaking your nails in acetone is one way to remove polygel nails but it can dry out your natural nails leaving them damaged and brittle.
Follow these steps to safely remove your polygel nails without soaking them in acetone:
- Using an electric nail drill, carefully file down the top layers of your polygel nails from cuticle to tip
- Use a 180 grit file, and carefully remove the remainder of the polygel nails
- Choose a 240 grit buffer to remove any deep scratches left in your natural nails
- Use a soft polisher to finish your nails
- Finish off with hydrating cuticle oil
Polygel manicure takeaways
These three nail kits are the best you’ll find if you are looking for something affordable and beginner-friendly. These kits contain everything you could need for your nail journey and more.
Anyone can create beautiful nails with the right tools, so what are you waiting for?
If you enjoyed this article and love doing your nails, then check out some of the kits listed above. These at-home nail kits are perfect for any experience level or occasion.
In her free time, Kim Caddel travels the world every chance she gets, which can be quite often given her fun-loving spirit. Kim specializes in knowing all there is to know about beauty, nails, and makeup. She has been a writer for over six years and is a passionate member of our team at Beauty Stack.