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7 Best French Manicure Kits to DIY at Home

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French manicure kits are having a revival, thanks to the resurgence of early-2000s fashion. We don’t mind at all since we believe that when French nails are done correctly, they’re entirely timeless.

If your personal nail polish collection is missing the perfect nude pink and white shades, you may want to pick up a French nail kit, so you can join the fun! We’ve selected the best French manicure kits for every type of lacquerista. Our selection includes simple two-polish sets just to fill a small gap to massive gel nail sets for anyone starting out from scratch. So, no matter which type of manicure you like, we’ve got some amazing suggestions.

In this article:

Our Picks for the Best French Manicure Kits

Gel, dip, or traditional… which will it be? These are the best French manicure kits in every type of format.

1
Best Overall
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails French Manicure
Sally Hansen Amazon.com
$14

This French manicure kit from Sally Hansen has been around for a long time. Even after many years, it’s still one of the best sets out there for creating a simple, classic French mani.

The affordable kit comes with the basic colors you’ll need to create French tips, as well as a top coat and stickers to help guide you when painting the tips. The tips are super convenient for those new to French manis, but they have to be applied very tightly or else the white polish can seep beneath them. 

It’s not the ‘cleanest’ or most natural formula, but the ingredients in this polish set come together to create a long-lasting, heavy-duty manicure that is extremely chip-resistant. It comes with three shade options for the base, but nude is our favorite by far. Order it from Amazon!   

Key Features:

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly tip guides
  • Incredible longevity
  • Affordable
  • Nice color options

Cons

  • Not a clean formula

2
Best Gel
Beetles French White Glitter Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit
Beetles Amazon.com
$36.99

This massive kit comes with everything you could possibly want to create a French gel manicure (aside from some alcohol and disposable cotton pads). If you’re not familiar, gel manicures use a special polish that has to be cured under a light to set completely. They last for up to 3 or 4 weeks, as opposed to regular polish that only lasts a week.

It comes with a great LED lamp as well as a few gorgeous nail polish shades that can create a classic French mani, a sparkly French mani, or a dramatic one with a vibrant pink base.

Since it’s a complete gel nail set, it even includes the LED lamp, so it really sets you on the path to doing your own gel manicures in any colors you like. The polish quality doesn’t quite compare to that of getting a gel manicure done at the salon, not to mention that achieving a flawless gel manicure requires some practice, but it’s a fantastic option for beginners at a very low price point. You can buy it on Amazon.

Key Features:

  • What’s Included: LED lamp, 6 gel polishes, base coat, top coat, matte top coat, cuticle oil, nail files, and more
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • 3-Free: Yes (although the brand does not disclose full ingredient lists)

Pros

  • Massive kit with everything needed
  • Nice range of French mani colors
  • Very affordable
  • Good quality lamp

Cons

  • Not as good as professional-grade gel polishes 

3
Best Clean Formula
ella+mila French Mani Set 2 Pack
ella+mila Ulta.com
$18

Ella+mila is one of our favorite clean nail polish brands, and it has the best French manicure kit for those avoiding certain chemicals. Their formulas are totally free of all of the controversial ingredients you can find in other polishes.

This little set only comes with the bare essentials for a French manicure, which means one nude pink polish and one creamy white polish. The final result is very natural-looking, flattering French nails. The nude pink polish will flatter almost all skin tones!

Since the formula relies on alternatives to some of the common solvents in nail polishes, its consistency is a little thinner and streakier, although you can normally fix that with an additional coat of polish. Some users may need a bit of practice working with this clean formula. Pick it up at Ulta!

Key Features:

  • What’s Included: Nude pink polish and white polish
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • 3-Free: Yes (and more)

Pros

  • Clean formula
  • Very natural colors
  • Flattering to most skin tones

Cons

  • Slightly streaky after one coat

4
Best Dip Powder
AZUREBEAUTY Dip Powder Starter Nail Kit
AZUREBEAUTY Amazon.com
$25.99

If you don’t have the steadiest hands, you may find that this dip powder French manicure kit is the perfect solution. Instead of having to carefully paint your nails with a white polish, you simply paint them with a special glue and then dip them into some white powder to achieve flawless tips. This set is awesome for beginners because it includes everything you might need to get started with dip nails!

The main benefit of dip powder nails, other than ease of use, is that they last longer than regular nail polishes, with a 2-3-week wear time. However, this amazing longevity also comes with a drawback – dip nails are notoriously difficult to remove.

The kit includes one bright white powder for slightly more dramatic tips, but for the base, you have a few color options, from very subtle nudes to more vibrant pinks. There’s also a glitter that we like for sparkly French tips. Get it from Amazon

Key Features:

  • What’s Included: 6 colored dip powders, activator/glue, base and top coat, nail buffer, clean-up brush
  • Cruelty-Free: Unclear
  • 3-Free: Unclear

Pros

  • Easy method for achieving French tips
  • Long-wear time
  • Wide range of colors
  • Comes with everything you’ll need

Cons

  • Difficult to remove

5
Best Press-Ons
KISS Everlasting French
KISS Amazon.com
$4.74

Are your nails not long enough for you to effectively draw on those French tips? In that case, press-on fake nails might prove a simple solution. This lovely set comes with 28 press-on nails to effectively fit all nail sizes. It’s super affordable and easy to use, so it’s a great option for beginners. A single application usually lasts for a week, so it’s a nice temporary alternative to visiting an expensive salon for extensions.

These press-ons are fairly short, so they’re great if you like a more natural look, although keep in mind that the tips themselves are a slightly more vibrant white (especially against darker skin). Some users find that the glue that comes with these nails is a little weak and choose to apply them with a stronger glue instead. It’s available on Amazon

Key Features:

  • What’s Included: 28 nails, glue, mini file
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • 3-Free: Yes

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Very affordable
  • Great for those with short nails
  • Natural length

Cons

  • The included glue is a little weak

6
Best Mini Gel Kit
Le Mini Macaron Le Frenchie French Manicure Set
Le Mini Macaron Ulta.com
$22

If you already have a UV or LED nail lamp at home, this is the best French manicure kit to buy. It comes with two gorgeous gel nail polishes, as well as some stickers to make that tip application easy-peasy.

The polishes from Le Mini Macaron have a wonderful, easy-to-use consistency, and while the pink shade is intentionally very sheer, the white builds up quickly and easily. While the white shade is quite bright, it’s possible to tone it down by adding a second layer of pink over it.

This simple little set is fairly affordable, although you might prefer a full kit like the one from Beetles if you don’t have the other accessories needed for creating a gel manicure at home. Shop for it at Ulta!

Key Features:

  • What’s Included: White gel polish, sheer pink gel polish, French tip stickers
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • 3-Free: Yes

Pros

  • Lovely, natural colors
  • Well-made gel polishes
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Needs additional equipment

7
Best Pen
Sally Hansen French Manicure Pen
Sally Hansen Amazon.com
$7.84

So admittedly, this isn’t a full kit, but just a nail polish pen. However, if you have a hard time getting a precise tip when painting on your French manicure, this might be the perfect solution – especially if you already have a pink shade for the base.

This pen allows you to practice drawing your French tips on with a free hand, thanks to its ultra-precise tip. It still requires some finesse, but it’s easier to use than a bulky nail polish brush. Because of the pen format, it’s not bulky at all, and it’s unlikely to make a mess! Find it on Amazon!

Key Features:

  • What’s Included: White polish pen
  • Cruelty-Free: Unclear
  • 3-Free: Yes

Pros

  • Effortless French tips
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Portable and clean

Cons

  • Not a full kit


What to Look for in the Best DIY French Manicure Kit?

With so many different types of nail-enhancing formulas out there, choosing the best French manicure kit for you might be a little tough. Here are the things you need to consider when deciding on the best option for you.

Format

The biggest consideration is the nail polish format. Sure, a classic kit with normal nail polish seems like the obvious choice, but these days, there are so many other types of manicure kits out there that also deserve some attention.

  • Regular nail polish is quick and easy to apply, although it takes a long time to dry and doesn’t last for very long. On the bright side, it’s very easy to change colors!
  • A gel French manicure kit is ideal if you want a very long-lasting manicure. It does take longer to create a French manicure with gel since you’ll have to let each layer of polish cure under an LED light.
  • Dip powder nail polish is a fairly new innovation! You apply bonding glue to your fingers and then dip them in a colored powder. Dip nails can last almost as long as gel polish, but they don’t require curing or a steady hand.
  • Finally, press-on nails are the easiest option, especially if you have brittle, short nails. You just glue them on, and unlike the press-ons of years past, they last for a good week and can look quite elegant.

Color

When deciding on the best kit for your French manicure, color is a top consideration. Do you want a subtle, natural manicure with a peachy pink base and cream tip, or are you a fan of a dramatic manicure with a cool pink base and stark white tips? Before purchasing a kit, have a good look at the colors, and also consider our descriptions of them in the reviews.

Another thing worth considering is your own skin tone, especially if you’re aiming for a natural look. A deeper pink with a warm undertone will probably look very natural against darker skin, while someone with fair skin and cool undertones will look best with a very light, neutral baby pink.

If you want to really experiment with different colors and styles, opt for a larger kit that comes with multiple color options.

What to Look for in the Best DIY French Manicure Kit?
@overglowedit

3-Free

Nail polishes are notorious for containing solvents and other ingredients that may have some harmful effects, especially if you’re constantly exposed to them. The term “3-free” refers specifically to formaldehyde, toluene, and butyl phthalates.

These ingredients are said to cause the most harm, either as irritants, endocrine disruptors, or toxicants. Being exposed to them a few times a year in nail polish likely isn’t going to cause harm. However, if you’re pregnant or you’re constantly doing your and other people’s nails, they’re best avoided since inhaling their fumes can be an issue.

Other terms, like 5-free and 7-free refer to other chemicals, like parabens or camphor, which are controversial, but their potential harm hasn’t been well-researched or proven.

Longevity

No one wants to work hard on a French manicure, only to have it chip a few days later! That’s why we selected a nice range of French nail kits that offer excellent longevity. We focused on regular nail polishes that last on the nails for 5-7 days, as well as alternative formats, like gel and dip powder that can last for more than 2 weeks.

Other Accessories

Creating a flawless French manicure requires more than just nail polish. You will also need a top coat, base coat, nail buffer, and potentially some nail stickers to help you perfect those French tips. When it comes to non-traditional nail polish formats, you might also need added equipment or an LED lamp.

Our list of the best French manicure kits includes both complete sets that contain everything a beginner may need and smaller sets for those who already own all of the basics. 

Photos via @overglowedit, Ulta, Amazon, Instagram