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Kristen Bryant / Her Campus

If you are obsessed with getting your nails done like I am, you will understand the frustration that came with the pandemic. The COVID-19 lockdown forced many businesses and companies to close. This includes hair and nail salons. Many women had just gotten their nails done and were stuck with an acrylic or gel set on their nails and were left to remove them when it was needed. 

During the pandemic lockdown last year, there were major sparks in Arts and Crafts and DIY activities throughout the world. One of the biggest DIY trends was when women took their nails into their own hands and nailed it! I ended up purchasing my own polygel and acrylic nail set from Amazon as soon as I could! Here are my reviews and tips of DIY nail sets.  

Acrylic 

Acrylic solution is just an extension to your original nails for the purpose of length and strength. There are multiple affordable acrylic sets to purchase on Amazon that I used when I could not go to the nail salon. I know what you’re thinking, “it probably takes months of practice to create a perfect shaped nail.” Well, I have the perfect solution for you! Here are nail tools to purchase on Amazon that can aid you while creating the desired nail shape you are trying to achieve. The tool kit is called Finishing Touch Flawless Salon Nails Kit, Electronic Nail File and Full Manicure and Pedicure Tool.

Tips: File down your natural nail bed to create a rough surface to ensure the glue will hold the nail extension. Mix together the nail kit liquid and powder to create the acrylic solution. There is an applicator brush in most nail kits, use the given brush tool to apply this solution little-by-little to your nails. Once the desired thickness and shape is achieved, the nail should be shaped and buffed with a nail file. Once buffed, you can paint your nails with either regular nail polish or gel polish!

Gel 

This solution is completely different from acrylic because it is not an extension of your natural nails but rather a strong polish that lasts up to two weeks. It is applied similar to regular polish except that gel polish is cured under a UV light. UV lights from Amazon like the UV Nail Lamp 36W LED Portable Nail Light is a perfect light to purchase!

Gel does not damage your nails as much as acrylic does however gel is quite difficult to remove. I recommend keeping your hands and nails moisturized to combat the effects of soaking off gel through acetone.  

Polygel 
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Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

This solution is a newcomer to the beauty and nail industry. Polygel is thicker, stronger and more flexible compared to other nail solutions. Many question what is the actual difference between polygel, acrylic and gel, but polygel is essentially the lovechild of the two. Polygel can be applied as a strengthening overlay for your natural nails as well as a nail enhancement. The smell of polygel is also a lot lighter compared to acrylic which in effect is healthier than the stronger fragrance from acrylic.

In my personal experience, this solution takes some practice! It takes some practice to apply the polygel in the right order, the right amount as well as the right slip solution.

Another advantage is that polygel is available in a variety of different colors, so you do not have to paint them! I would not recommend this solution for beginners since it takes a while to master the process. However if you are up for a challenge, go ahead and give it a shot!  

Overall, I found some amazing DIY nail kits and tools off Amazon that helped me through the lockdown! Sometimes getting your nails done too often can become costly, especially with nail art and the addition of rhinestones. So why not order your own kits and your own rhinestones at a more affordable cost in the long run? Major kudos to nail technicians and nail artists within the industry, I am constantly blown away and inspired by the interesting designs that are flooding social media. Since salons are slowly opening up again and following social distancing rules and regulations, it’s important to still support your local salon!  

Kelly Webb is the Vice President and Content Creator Director of Her Campus at Lynn. Kelly is an international student from South Africa studying Fashion and Retail Management at Lynn University. She holds other leadership positions such as the Recruitment and Social Media Chair of Theta Phi Alpha sorority. Kelly is extremely creative and she loves sharing her passion and interests with others.
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