DIY Nail Kits for 2020 - So Many Choices!

At-home beauty care options have exploded in 2020 as we all find ways to do our part and reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.  People have been doing their own nails, hair, and skincare at home for a long time, but never before have so many options been available to us.  

Feeling good in your skin is important, whether you're working or momming from home or back out in the world doing your thing.  So read on to find out more about the at-home manicure options available in 2020!

DIY manicure kit - Just the basics here.  No matter how you choose to adorn your nails, you're going to want some tools to clean up your cuticles, shape your nail beds, and make sure you're starting with a squeaky clean canvas.  



Nail   Polish - No introduction needed! This old-school standby is available in every grocery, drug, and beauty supply store. 

Cost: $3 - $15 per color

Duration: 3-7 days

Pros: Ultimate in easy, low cost nail protection. 

Cons: You know that smell, so does everyone else.  Traditional polish also requires 24 hours to fully cure, so even if your nails feel dry to the touch, you still need to be careful to not do anything that might permanently dent the finish of your polish, like accidentally sleep on your hand. (Ask me how I know!). Not for extending nails. Chips easily.

Gel Polish - Gel polish is becoming more and more available for at-home users.  You can find starter kits including the base & top coats, curing lights, and a variety of colors available on Amazon. Gel polish is relatively easy to apply, but users must be careful to fully cure the product, otherwise allergies have been known to develop. 

Cost:~ $50 for a good starter kit

Duration: 7-10 days

Pros: Low-Smell, longer lasting than regular polish, easy access. Chip-resistant.

Cons: Requires a curing light, limited variety unless you want to buy and store hundreds of colors, not for extending nails.  

Handmade Press On Nails - Like dropping your hands off at the salon and spending two hours doing something fun, then picking up your dream nails!  Handmade press ons offer endless variety and are delivered right to your door.  Literally salon-quality results without ever leaving the house. 

Cost: $20+

Duration: Weeks, or reusable for months

Pros: No drying time, no smell, no appointments, and no need to find a way to organize 27,543 polishes to keep up with your appetite for variety.  Check out how easy they are to apply!

Cons: A bit of a learning curve to apply so that they stay secure for weeks, but we can teach you how!

Gel/Polish Strips - These high tech babies are relative newcomers to the DIY manicure scene.  They come in a variety of colors and may be made of traditional nail polish, or partially-cured gel polish.  They are a quick, easy way to get designs that would otherwise take time and talent to accomplish if done with regular polish.  Polish strips are great if you like your nails exactly the length they currently are, but they won't help you extend them and they don't offer the same look and feel of a salon gel manicure.

Cost:$7 - $30

Duration: 7-10 days

Pros - Relatively easy application, no smell, cute designs. Chip-resistant.

Cons - Not for extending nails, limited variety. 


Acrylic/Dip - Some people have started trying their hands (heh) at DIY acrylic and dip manicures.  While this option offers strength and maximum durability, the learning curve can be steep and it can take a lot of practice (and supplies) to achieve the look and shape you have in mind.

Cost: $25 - $75

Duration: Weeks

Pros: Longest lasting nail treatments if applied correctly; low entry cost. Chip-resistant.

Cons: More learning involved than other methods.  Some people get "dip flu," or an allergic reaction to the chemicals involved in a dip manicure.  Monomer used for acrylic has an extremely strong smell and discourages most from using it indoors.  


Factory-Made Press on Nails - Similar convenience to handmade, but a set variety of designs that are produced by the thousands and less durable.  They're basically just pieces of colored plastic you glue onto your nails.  

Cost: $5 - $25

Duration: 7-10 days

Pros: Low-cost, convenient

Cons: The weakest and least durable of all nail extension options.  


Did this blog help you decide which at-home nail treatment to try next?  Tell us in the comments!