Perfect Your Next At-Home Manicure With The Best Gel Nail Lamps

Plus, top tips from the experts on how to achieve the best manicure

The best gel nail lamps - Grazia

by Caitlin Casey |

There's nothing better than a salon fresh manicure, few have the time or the energy to book in for regular appointments. It's no surprise then, that gel manicure kits and lamps have become increasingly popular over the last few years, particularly after the pandemic and its series of lockdowns forced the masses to take a DIY approach to beauty. Keen to try your hand at an at-home manicure? Get a nail lamp.

Most nail lamps use LED and UV light to cure your gel polish, making it harden. Unlike a regular manicure, there's no downtime once you're done - you gan go about your business without any fear of smudging your new nail look.

Gel nail lamps can range from budget-friendly to over £50 for more pro-level iterations. The trick is hitting on a buy that offers salon-quality results without costing you the earth.

Whether nail art is your thing, you love a classic french manicure or you're all about a wash of statement red polish, gel nail lamps offer you a means of applying a glossy gel nail polish at home, what better way to elevate your pamper sessions?

How do I get the best gel nail manicure?

Grazia spoke to Ellie Simmons, in-house nail guru and Assistant Brand Manager at Mylee, who revealed how to make the most of your at-home manicure:

Prep is key, says Ellie. 'If you take the time to properly prepare your nails by pushing back and trimming your cuticles, buffing the nail plate, and cleaning and dehydrating the nail before application, the polish will adhere a lot better. I’d also recommend applying multiple thin layers to build up the opacity and always cap the free edge of the nail to seal the mani in and prevent lifting and chipping.'

'To keep your nails in mint condition I’d recommend applying cuticle oil to your nails once you’ve finished painting them and then daily afterwards. Keeping your nails and cuticles moisturised will keep your nails healthy and looking fab!'

Will gel nail varnish ruin my nails?

Many assume that nail polish can deplete the condition of their nails. Here, Ellie weighs in:

'Gel polish cures under an LED or UV lamp, so unlike regular polish it is quick to dry and is less likely to chip, dent or smudge. As long as you remove your gel polish correctly and gently, there will be no damage to your natural nails.' She says.

Just make sure you're removing your gel varnish with a high-quality gel polish remover and your nails retain their natural condition.

SHOP: The Best Home Gel Nail Lamps


The Best Gel Nail Lamps and Kits 2022

Mylee Pro Salon Series Convex LED Lamp
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Writer's PickIf you're a fan of gel nails, you've probably heard of Mylee which has a wide range of lamps, gel kits and nail varnishes to keep your mani in mint condition. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a Mylee The Full Works Set including lamp, nail varnishes and it's everything you could want for an at-home nail salon. It's a perfect LED lamp for both beginners and nail fanatics, with automatic curing timers for 15, 30 and 60 seconds. Mylee give a 50,000-hour lifespan and 24-month warranty, so you're totally covered. There's a variety of colours from this gel brand too, so there's something for every nail out there. Gorgeous.

Bluesky LED and UV Light Nail Lamp for Gel Polish Curing
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CREDIT: Amazon

Best trusted gel nail lampBluesky is another popular gel nail brand out there, and you can grab this lamp straight from Amazon, meaning if you have Prime you could get it pretty sharpish. Both LED and UV means it will work for all gel polish consistencies, and it also has a 30-second and 60-second automatic timer.

Easkep UV Light for Nails Lamp, £36.17
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CREDIT: Amazon

Best mid-range gel nail lamp With motion detection and four settings to choose from, this Easkep is a great choice for those wanting to invest in a good quality gel nail lamp. The countdown LED screen on the top lets you know how much time is left and you can select 99, 60, 30 or ten seconds. It also comes in a cute purple or white sturdy case.

Rio Salon Pro Rechargeable UV and LED Lamp,  £49.99
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Best rechargeable gel nail lampIf you want to paint your nails in the comfort of anywhere in your house, this rechargeable and cordless lamp could be the one for you. It has up to seven hours of UV and LED curing, as well as three auto-timing settings and a high or low setting. One to invest in if relaxing is your priority.

LKE LED UV Nail Lamp for Gel
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CREDIT: Amazon

Best budget gel nail lampIf you're looking for a cheap nail lamp to get started with your gel nail journey, this one by LKE is available for less than £15. With the same strength as other options and a USB charging lead, you can get home manicures for less.

Green Flash Manucurist Led Lamp 18W UK
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CREDIT: Cult Beauty

Best ethical gel nail lamp If you're looking for a more eco-friendly gel nail lamp, The Manucurist is definitely a choice you'll want to consider. Both vegan and cruelty-free, the brand prides itself on natural, eco alternatives. This lamp pairs up with the brand's vegan gel polishes and is made for the eco warriors out there.

Aokitec Mini Nail Lamp
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CREDIT: Amazon

Best compact gel nail lampSometimes, you don't want a huge lamp to take up space at home. When you're on the go, a compact gel nail lamp can come in handy to tidy up any chips or quickly paint your nails. This Aokitec mini lamp folds away for easy storage and also has automatic settings.

Le Mini Macaron Gel Manicure Kit - Fairy Floss
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Best mini gel nail lamp setIt can be hard to switch up your traditions, especially with nails and make-up. If you're not totally sold on the gel nail life yet, you can test out gel manicures with this mini set from Le Mini Macaron. In a cute pink colour that's a perfect everyday wear, the set comes with a mini LED lamp that fits onto one finger at a time. Slightly more time consuming but it also comes in handy for portable touch-ups.

Mylee The Full Works Complete Gel Polish Kit (Black), £129
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Best gel nail lamp full kitMylee also offers a Full Works kit, which has everything you could need to become a gel nail professional. Including a set of polishes, top and base coat, nail polish remover, lint-free wipes and a lamp (of course), you'll be stocked up for good and can even have a go at doing your mate's manicures. We've tried it and it's worth the investment if you're looking for real salon quality.

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