Discover my thoughts on three nail starter kits for beginners and what you need to make your own.
Recently I have been looking into doing my own acrylics, I have tried other types of manicures, but I wanted to try acrylics next. I have spent some time looking for the best acrylic nail starter kits and products I would need, but there never seems to be the right one. There’s always something that just isn’t perfect for me, whether it’s the quality of products, the price, or the kits not containing the products I want; I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for.
Because of this, I have watched many videos, read many reviews on the different beginner kits, and decided to share what I have found. In this post, I will be sharing the three acrylic beginner’s kits that I have considered buying myself and my thoughts on each kit. I’ll also be giving you a list of items you need to make your own acrylic kit that is perfect for you if a beginner kit isn’t for you.
Three Acrylic Nail Starter Kit Reviews
Naio Nail Start Kit
Naio Nails have a good range of starter kits; they have a starter kit that is smaller quantities, so you can try it out and see if you like it, and then they have the intermediate starter kit with the same products as the starter kit just bigger versions.
Both kits contain three acrylic powders, liquid monomer, brush cleaner, nail polish remover, nail primer, nail dehydrator, cuticle oil and two nail files. The only things it is missing are an acrylic brush, a dappen dish, nail tips and glue. The prices range between £24 and £40, which for a starter kit that contains the majority of items needed is, in my opinion, a reasonable price.
From the reviews and videos I have watched, the products seem to be of good quality; what I like about this starter kit is that a reputable brand makes it, so there are no worries about the standards of the products. When looking for a starter kit, one thing that always worried me was whether the products were legit and made of good quality products, especially the liquid monomer.
With there being illegal monomers available (MMA monomers), making sure they were of good quality was really important for me, so finding a reputable brand was a good sign. From reviews, the acrylic seems to last a long time which is what you want; especially if you are buying the products and spending your time doing them, you want to know that they will last a decent amount of time.
The only common negatives I found were that the products have a strong smell and that the kit didn’t have everything needed to do a set of acrylics. The majority of reviews I read spoke about the acrylic monomer having a strong smell, and although this isn’t the best thing that people want, it is common for monomers to have a strong smell due to the chemicals in it.
As we mentioned earlier, Naio Nails starter kits do miss a few products, and acrylic brush, a dappen brush, nail tips and glue. However, other than the acrylic brush, the items they are missing aren’t essential. Nail tips are down to the individual and whether they want to apply some, and a dappen dish is useful but not essential; you can use any pot or lid you have available to use instead.
An acrylic brush is essential to apply the acrylic to the nail, and it would make the stater kit much better if it were included; however, it means that you can choose which brush you want. You can pick the right shape and size for what suits your preference the most.
Although this starter kit hasn’t got everything needed to complete a set of acrylic nails, I would definitely buy this one because the products seem to be of good quality, and they also have many options to choose from. Each kit contains different coloured acrylics and different speed acrylic monomers, which is great for making it more personal to yourself. I think this is great for beginners and helps people understand the different options available and help them pick products that are more suited to their needs.
Kiss French Acrylic Sculpture Kit
Kiss Nails Sculpture Kit is a great precise starter kit, it’s easily accessible and made from a reputable brand. This kit has the majority of essential items needed for a set of acrylic nails, which for the price, is very good. Depending on where you buy it from, it ranges between £8 to £12, which, if you want to do your nails as a one-off or want to trial acrylic nails first before buying loads of products, this is a perfect place to start.
That being said, the kit is relatively small if you are looking to take this on as a hobby. From the reviews, it says that this kit could probably do about three sets of acrylics, so if you are a complete beginner and are looking for small quantities, this is great, but if you’re like me and are looking to do this on more a frequent basis this may not be the best for you.
As I touched on earlier, this kit has most products you need to do a complete basic set of acrylics. It contains an acrylic powder, liquid monomer, an acrylic brush, nail glue, cuticle pusher, nail file and two types of nail tips (white and natural). The only thing it doesn’t contain is a primer.
Although a primer is an essential stage for helping the acrylic adhere and last longer, you can apply acrylics without a primer, so if you are looking for a quick fix, this set is still really good for you. However, if you want to do this properly and get the best results, you will need to purchase a primer alongside this kit, although it’s not that bad compared to the Naio Nails kit.
One thing I liked about this kit is that it comes with easy instructions. This is a good addition, especially if you are new to acrylic, as they help keep you on track with the application. The instructions are very straightforward, so that they would be great for anyone no matter your experience.
This set is great for beginners; it’s small and precise, and easy for people who want to start acrylic but don’t know much about them. I personally wouldn’t choose to buy this kit as it isn’t exactly what I’m looking for; I would prefer to have larger quantities to get more applications out of it. However, if I were looking for a cheaper, more accessible option, this would be the one to choose.
Mia Secret Professional Acrylic Kit
Mia Secret Professional Acrylic Kit is a great kit if you are looking to learn the skill and take it more seriously, as it is a professional kit. It contains all the products you would need to start to do acrylic nails at home. This kit is a professional kit for beginners and students, so it is slightly different to the others but can still be used for your own nails.
This kit contains all the essential products needed for a beginner and has many additional products that aren’t necessary but can be helpful. If you are starting completely from scratch, you don’t have any of the products, and you don’t mind how much it costs you, then this is a great kit for you. However, if you’re not looking to do this on a long-term basis and just want to try acrylic nails out, this kit will be too much for you.
Mia Secret kit includes; primer, topcoat, nail prep, cuticle oil, three coloured acrylic powder, a clear acrylic powder, three nail glitters, liquid monomer. It also includes; hand sanitiser, nail tips, nail glue, three nail files, buffer, nail forms, acrylic brush, nail tip cutter, cuticle pusher, pipette, nail wipes, dust brush and a dappen dish.
The products are all decent sizes, so you’ll be able to get a lot of use out of this kit and compared to the Kiss Nails starter kit, this is much more of a long term kit. There’s a lot of variety in this pack as it comes with different coloured acrylic powders and glitters, which if you are looking to experiment with different styles and try out nail art, this is a great addition for you.
The only negative I would say with this is that if you are just starting and are looking for a bare necessity kit that only contains the necessary items to create a set of acrylic nails, this kit may include too much for you.
Mia Secret professional acrylic kit is around £88, which is the most expensive out of all three kits. Although it is on the pricier side than the other two kits I’ve mentioned, this kit is worth the price. The reviews show that the products are very good quality and that they last you a long time, so you would definitely get your money worth out of this kit.
With the kit being a professional kit, the nails it produces seem to be very durable. The majority of people say that a set lasts between 10-14 days, which is the same length of time you would have a set of acrylics before getting infills, so it gives you the same durability a salon would.
I personally would buy this kit purely because it has everything you need and because the products are decent sizes. If I were looking to invest more into starting acrylic nails, I would choose this kit out of the three because it does look the best quality out of them all.
All three kits are of good quality that are made from very reputable brands; even though each of them have minor drawbacks, they would all make a great starter kit. I think out of all of them the best, in my opinion, would be the Mia Secret Professional kit, because of the products you get in it and the fact that it would last you quite a while, which I think is ideal for practising.
However, because I am just looking to do this for myself, and I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy it as much as other manicure types, I would try out the Naio Nails Starter kit before spending the money on the Mia Secret kit. If I wanted to turn this into a more long term option, I would choose the Mia Secret kit because the quality seems to be much better, but as a first starter kit, I would choose the Naio Nails starter kit.
What you need to make your own starter kit
When it comes to starting out with acrylic nails, starter kits are a great way of learning about the products and what you need; however, they aren’t what everyone wants. As we’ve seen, not every starter kit include all the items you might need to do a set of acrylic nails, but they also aren’t tailored to what you want or need.
Some people may find it easier to buy each product separately to know what they have and what they haven’t got. If you are like that, this may help you more; I have put together a list of all the items you’d need to make your own starter kit and what is good for a beginner. I’ve added some of the items you won’t find in a starter kit, but I think those are items I think would help a beginner do their own acrylic nails.
Acrylic brush #10 & #12 – A acrylic brush is used to apply the acrylic to the nail and form the nail. There are many different sized brushes available, but the most recommended sizes for beginners are #10 and #12 as they are bigger sized brushes and are easier to control the acrylic with. However, this is a very personal preference so that you may find another more comfortable size for you.
Acrylic powder – Acrylic powder is the powder used to form the acrylic nail; it is activated with the monomer to mould and form an acrylic nail.
You can also get a coloured acrylic powder that is the same as a clear acrylic powder; however, it is used on top of a clear acrylic layer instead of nail polish. It is recommended to try using both plain acrylic and coloured acrylic when you are a beginner because they have different consistencies. It helps you get used to them both; however, this is unnecessary, and you can use nail polish instead.
Buffing block – A buffing block smoothes out ridges and can even help your polish adhere if you choose to wear polish as it provides a rougher surface.
Cuticle oil – Cuticle oils are used to add moisture back into your cuticles and skin around your nails once you have done as applying acrylic can be very drying.
Dappen dish – An dappen dish is used to put the liquid monomer in to make it easier to access whilst applying the acrylic; however, if you have a dish or a lid you can use instead, you don’t need to get one.
EMA liquid monomer – Monomer is the liquid mixed with acrylic powder to activate it and create an acrylic nail. Make sure that you are buying an EMA monomer as there are illegal monomers available, and these are dangerous to use on your skin, so it is crucial to get the correct type of monomer.
Lint-free Wipes – These wipes help prep the nail, they remove all moisture and oils from the nail and ensure the nail is completely dry. They are used alongside the nail dehydrator as an extra way to make sure everything has been removed.
Nail Dehydrator – A dehydrator is used to remove all the moisture from the nail to allow the acrylic to adhere better and prevent any fungal infections.
Nail File – Having a nail file is good for shaping your nails and making the sides more even. Some people choose to use an electric file; however, this is unnecessary if you are a beginner. It is quicker; however, the same results are possible with a regular nail file. Some people prefer to use a regular nail file as they find they have more control over it, and it easier to use on yourself.
Nail Glue – The nail glue is used to stick on the nail tips to your natural nail.
Nail Primer – A primer works alongside a dehydrator and helps with removing oils and moisture from the nail bed; it also removes any air bubbles, which helps enhance adhesion. Without a primer, your acrylic won’t adhere as well to your nail, meaning they may not last as long.
Nail tips – Artificial nail tips are used if you want to add length, you struggle to grow your own nails or prefer to have longer nails; then these would be great for you to use. However, they are not necessary you can apply acrylic to your natural nail.
Nail tips cutter or nail scissors – There are specific nail clippers that you can get to cut down nail tips to the desired length; however, you can use regular nail clippers if you prefer, or you don’t want to get specific ones.
Paper towels – Paper towels are essential for cleaning the nail brush during the application of acrylic, it is also handy for any spillages or mistakes.
Topcoat – A topcoat protects the nail as it seals the acrylic nail and nail polish, which prevents chipping and helps nails last longer. It’ll also give your finished manicure a nice shine.
I hope this has been helpful and has made it easier for you to find out where to start with acrylic nails. It can be confusing and daunting when starting something for the first time, and something I found was that there aren’t clear indications on what you should buy.
These reviews and the list of products I’ve put together are all from research I’ve done myself as someone who wants to get into doing my own acrylic nails, so I hope that sharing this has helped someone else find what they are looking for.
One thing I would say is that, don’t just buy a kit because you think it has everything you need in it. Do some research into the kit you want to buy because you may find that it doesn’t have a vital product, or you’re paying more for a kit with products that aren’t necessary. Take your time before you buy anything to make sure it exactly what you’re looking for and need.