DIY gel nail kitsCredit : Pexels/PabloKlik

Leaving the salon with a new manicure is like walking on cloud nine. With each step, you can't help but look down and admire your perfectly polished nails. A DIY session can give you a similar feeling as your natural nails. In comparison, replicating the look of extensions at home isn't as easy. Recreating a full set used to require a kit of powders, chemicals, glue, and a skillful hand to apply and smooth the product into place. However, in the era of gel nails, things are a lot less complicated. Applying, polishing, and even removing a full set of extensions is effortless. 

Gel extensions have become the gold standard for long nails. Between their longevity, versatility, and the extra glossy finish they offer, it's easy to see why they've become favored by nail technicians. But you don't have to be a professional to get the look. Many brands have released simple-to-use kits that allow you to get salon-quality gel nails at home. Unlike the acrylic sets from the 2000s, there are tons of options to choose from, each with their own unique twist. Below, we've gathered the top kits that take your nails from scraggly to chic with just a few steps.

Aprés Gel-X Nail Extension Kit

Gel nails and Aprés go hand-in-hand. Not only is the brand the go-to for DIY extensions, but it's also the industry standard for professionals. Since its debut, Aprés has collaborated with several celebrity nail technicians to diversify its selection of polishes and extension styles. While clear nails remain the top choice for designs and solid manicures, the neutral-toned tips are a nice option for creating a unique look.

KISS Salon X-tend

It's hard to think about DIY beauty without KISS. The iconic brand is known for its high-quality beauty products with affordable prices. With a diverse selection of glue-on and press-on nails, it only makes sense that KISS enters the gel nail space. However, instead of simply offering a kit of extensions, the brand serves up nails equipped with cool designs and trendy polish colors. 

Dashing Diva GelXtend Starter Kit

The latest release from Dashing Diva includes several nail shapes and lengths, giving you the freedom to customize your manicure. Whether you're in the mood for extra-long stiletto nails or a trendy ballet shape for a more minimalist look, it has covered all the bases.

These kits also offer a range of pre-polished nail designs in addition to clear tips. But what's most impressive about this setup is the light that doubles as a stand when you're applying the extensions. Instead of placing your fingernail under a hooded lamp, this one has an elevated platform for you to rest your finger as the lamp does its thing. There's even a groove to make the curing time comfortable.