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Whether you’re looking for a particularly long length or just something to help conceal and protect your bitten-to-the-quick short stubbies, acrylic nails could be the answer. Acrylics are a liquid-powder combo that you use to form a shape on top of your natural nail—meaning they can be longer than your naturals and take a different shape than you’re used to, like coffin or stiletto. When the acrylics dry, they’re hard and strong. The secret to keeping your nails underneath healthy and cared for is making sure to fill any raised edges every two-and-a-half weeks (at the most) and to take major care when removing them.

  • Avoid MMA: When shopping for an acrylic nail kit, make sure you avoid formulas with methyl methacrylate (MMA). MMA was a common ingredient in old-timey acrylic nail formulas that’s still used in some salons today, but it can cause serious damage to your natural nails. Instead, look for products with ethyl methacrylate (EMA), which does the same job as MMA without harming your nail beds.
  • All-in-One: Finding an all-in-one kit is especially important for beginners. Your acrylic nail kit should come with everything you need: prep solution, primer, acrylic nail tips, nail tip glue, acrylic clippers and files, top coat, application brush, acrylic liquid, and acrylic powder.
  • Practice: One of the best things about acrylic nails is their durability—but that’s also what can make them intimidating if you’ve never attempted a DIY job yourself. If this is your first time applying acrylics at home, look for a set that comes with dummy fingers and fake nails. That way you can practice until you feel confident enough to give yourself a manicure.

Our Picks for the Best Acrylic Nail Kits on Amazon

Top Pick Overall: Morovan Acrylic Nail Kit

Everything You Need

Perks of this set include a slow-drying formula (awesome if you make a mistake) that’s lift-resistant and won’t yellow. It’s also free of MMA (methyl methacrylate), a potentially harmful ingredient. Morovan

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Runner Up: WuBeFine 42-in-1 Acrylic Nail Set

Comes With 40+ Colors

Add a little bling, sparkle, or razzmatazz to your fingers with this option. Super adhesion means you won’t worry about them falling off. WuBeFine

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Great for Beginners : Cooserry 115-in-1 Acrylic Nail Kit

Comes With Practice Fingers

You get five fake digits and 200 faux tips on which to hone your craft before committing to your own hands. The highly moldable formula can be used for 3D designs, like flowers. Cooserry

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Premium Pick: Karlash Professional Acrylic Nail Kit System

This set contains professional-level tools and a formula that can be used in warm or cold climates. Karlash

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Better You is a shopping-advice and product-review site brought to you by the publishers of Popular Science and Outdoor Life magazines. We’re here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.

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