This LED Gel-Polish Kit Is Basically an At-Home Nail Salon in a Box

POPSUGAR Photography | Chanel Vargas
POPSUGAR Photography | Chanel Vargas
As POPSUGAR editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. If you buy a product we have recommended, we may receive affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.
  • Manucurist Paris is a green beauty brand based in France.
  • The long-lasting nail polishes are all vegan, plant based, nontoxic, and cruelty free.
  • The eco-friendly beauty brand's starter kit offers a salon-quality manicure at home.

For me, confidence often comes in the form of a salon-fresh blowout and a glossy gel manicure. Between nail trends like metallic french tips, multichromatic designs, milk-bath nails, and abstract brushstroke nails, keeping up with different styles can get pricey and time-consuming. Plus, high-quality gel manicures, while long-lasting, can be a huge pain to remove.

But the joy of sipping my morning tea with fresh nail art and coordinating designs with my outfit for a night out invokes a main-character energy in me that can't be beat. Cue: Manucurist Paris's eco-friendly LED polishes, which are meant to stay on like gel polish and come off like regular lacquer.

The green beauty brand — worn by celebrity clients like Christina Applegate — creates products that are cruelty free, vegan, and completely plant based. For Gaëlle Lebrat-Personnaz, the founder of Manucurist Paris, her mission is to create eco-friendly, responsible beauty products that are as clean and as healthy as possible. Intrigued by the green packaging, I tested out the Green Flash Large Starter Kit, which is essentially an at-home nail salon in a box.

POPSUGAR Photography | Chanel Vargas

When I first opened the box, I noticed that the kit came with everything I needed to get started: a base coat, a top coat, remover, nail clips, a 36-watt LED lamp, and an organic cotton kit bag. I also grabbed some basic cotton rounds, a few shades of polish — including Victoria Plum and Dark Pansy — and got to work.

As someone who'd never tried applying gel polish at home, I was skeptical, but I decided to follow the three-step application process and hope for the best. I began by cleaning my nails with the remover, applying the base coat, and letting my nails sit under the LED lamp for one minute as instructed. So far so good.

Next, I applied two layers of the polish, curing my hands under the lamp between coats. Finally, I applied a top coat and let my hands dry under the heat of the LED lamp for two minutes. Between painting, drying, and touching up the edges with the Polly dissolving corrector pen, the entire process took me 15 to 20 minutes and probably would have gone faster if I'd used thinner coats of polish.

Luckily, the process was flawless, and the paint peeled off of each nail like a sticker.

The quality of the color was impressive, and I loved that the polish held up throughout the week with minimal damage — even as I washed piles of dishes and deep-cleaned every inch of my apartment. At originally $245, the entire kit is costly for someone like me who gravitates toward shades in the $5-$8 range, but depending on the standard going rate of a nail appointment in your area, the kit easily pays for itself in under 10 manicures.

When it came time to remove my manicure, all I had to do was apply cotton rounds soaked in nail-polish remover — which noticeably smelled much less strong than any others I've used — to each nail, hold them on with the nail clips, and wait one minute. This was the part I was most worried about, because if the remover didn't work as intended, I'd be stuck chipping away at polish and ruining my nail beds. Luckily, the process was flawless, and the paint peeled off of each nail like a sticker.

If you're looking for a long-lasting, at-home manicure that makes you feel like you just left the salon, I highly recommend giving the Manucurist Paris starter kit — and some of the 60 Green Flash LED Nail Polish shades — a try.

Rating: ★★★★★

Ahead, see a step-by-step guide with gifs to give yourself a stunning at-home gel manicure.

Step 1: Clean Your Nails With the Green Flash Nail Polish Remover

Step 2: Apply a Thin Layer of Base Coat, and Dry Under the LED Lamp For 1 Minute

Step 3: Pick Your Shade

Step 4: Apply a Thin Layer of Polish to Each Nail

Step 5: Dry Your Nails Under the LED Lamp For 1 Minute

Step 6: Apply a Second Coat, Dry, Finish With Top Coat, and Cure Nails For 2 Minutes

Step 8: Finish With Crème Mains For a Full Nail-Salon Experience

To Remove the Polish, Apply a Cotton Pad Soaked in Nail-Polish Remover to Each Nail

Hold the Cotton Pads in Place With Nail Clips, Let Sit For 1 Minute, and Wipe Away Excess Polish