Manucurist Review: At-Home Gel Nails

I think it’s safe to say that most of us know gel manicures aren’t great for our nails. Anyone who has received a gel manicure at the salon knows the damage it can wreak. Either you’re soaking your hands in harsh acetone, the technician uses a drill to get off the gel, or you pick at your nails to remove the gel on your own. And all three methods end the same way: with dry, brittle nails that break easily.

I’m only human, and I love the instant drying time along with a long-wear, chip-free appearance gel provides. But after years of gel manicures and several “gel breaks” to rehab my nails, I’ve simultaneously found myself going to the salon significantly less while also still craving a long-lasting, low maintenance manicure you just can’t get with regular polish.

Enter the Manucurist Green Flash system. It’s an at-home gel kit with a new kind of nail polish that acts just like gel, removes like regular polish, and most importantly, won’t kill your nails. When I heard about this, I had to try it out. Here’s my full review on Manucurist’s Green Flash at-home gel manicure kit.

at home gel nails for Manucurist Review

Manucurist Review: Green Flash Gel Polish

What is Manucurist Green Flash?

Manucurist is a French beauty brand that makes vegan and cruelty free nail products. The brand prides itself on natural ingredients such as sugarcane, potato, yucca, and wheat to replace toxic ingredients and chemicals with plant based ones whenever they can. Even the glitter they make for nail art is biodegradable!

Check out my list of best French beauty products here.

The company’s Green Flash gel manicure system provides a clean beauty solution for gel nails at home. Manucurist’s Green Flash polishes are formulated without 12 of the most common chemicals found in traditional gel polishes. However, the big selling point for the Green Flash system (in my opinion, at least) is the removal of the polish. You’re able to easily remove the polish in about a minute with polish remover, and that’s it.

Anyone who has received a gel manicure at the salon knows what happens with removal. Either you’re soaking your hands in harsh acetone, the technician is using a drill to get off the gel, or you pick at your nails to remove the gel on your own. And all three methods end the same way: with dry, brittle nails that break easily.

As someone who in a past life was addicted to regular gel nails and would take a yearly “gel detox” to give my nails a break to try and get them feeling back to normal.

The Review

Color Selection

Manucurist provides a great color selection with their Green Flash polish. They offer a ton of shades, from oranges, purples, and blues to nudes and reds, as well as several shimmery and glitter options. I was pleasantly surprised to see this, and I think lots of people can find at least a few shades that they like.


I’m pretty good at painting my nails, so application of this polish wasn’t an issue for me, as it applies just like normal nail polish. 

If you’re newer at painting your nails or have trouble with even consistency, then I recommend staying away from the lighter, white-based colors like crème or light blue. I felt like those were a bit streakier when applying than other, darker colors.

The first time I used my Manucurist set I think I tried to make the polish layers too thin, so it didn’t go on super smooth, but the second time I painted my nails as I normally would and did not have any issues.

Between each layer, you put your hand under the lamp for 60 seconds. Start with the base coat, then 2 rounds of color, then end with the top coat.

Using the LED lamp at home is easy, and overall, pretty quick. It takes me less than 30 minutes to paint both hands, and just like with regular gel, you’re ready to go once the top coat has cured. The LED lamp has clearly marked buttons, so it’s nearly impossible to mess up any timing.

After your nails are done, the brand recommends using a serum or cuticle oil on your hands. The Complete Serum is just okay for me. It does hydrate your cuticles, but I personally think the hydration feels short-lived. I think I generally prefer the feel of nail oil, which they do make, so I’ll likely try that next once I’m done the serum.

Green Flash polish isn’t as thick as regular gel nail polish, which I prefer. 

Camille Carter showing her nails for Manucurist Review
My nails immediately after giving myself a manicure

Nail Polish Wear

Manucurist Green Flash polish is long wear and meant to last up to 10 days.

I think the brand is pretty spot on with this claim, but it’s really also how hard you are on your nails day in and out.

I’m pretty hard on my nails. For reference, I type a lot, bang my nails around on weights, put my hands in boxing gloves and hit things, open a lot boxes, and do a decent amount of dishwashing.

My Manucurist manicure usually holds up for 9 days but does show some wear over time. Usually, my nails look perfect for the first several days. Right around day 6, I tend to notice some fading on the nail tips my pointer, middle, and ring fingers. They’re the fingers that encounter stuff the most, so this makes sense to me. The glossy finish is still visible, although a little less pronounced than previous days.

By day 9, the wear around the edges of my nails is a bit more pronounced, although still subtle. But I’m happy to report there’s generally never any chipping like traditional regular nail polish. (And yes, I have tried Essie and CND gel-like polishes, only to have chipped nails just the same.)

Do my nails look as good and perfectly manicured on the final day of my manicure as if I had gotten them done at the salon? No. However, with zero chipping and just a bit of fading on the tips, they look pretty darn good considering this is a home gel system.

Green Flash Gel Polish Removal

The removal of this polish is its selling point. It’s quite cool. It literally takes minutes to remove this polish, and your nails don’t feel like they took a beating. The video above shows how quick the polish comes off your nails.

I hate the way regular gel polish leaves my nails, and when you’re busy it can be hard to make time for an appointment in that *exact* window when your nails have grown out, but the gel isn’t lifting yet.

To remove, soak some cotton with the Green Flash nail polish remover, then let it sit on your nails for one minute. I break off a cotton ball so it’s not so much cotton and use these genius polish remover nail clips that hold the cotton in place. It’s much easier using these clips than trying to wrap your fingers in foil like they do at the salon. Just trust me on this.

The polish lifts almost like peel-off polish, and you can easily wipe away any excess. I’ve found that the polish can flake a little bit, but removal isn’t nearly as messy as the salon, and your nails don’t feel terrible after it.

Below, a step-by-step guide on how to give yourself an at-home gel manicure with the Manucurist kit.

Gel Mani at Home: How To Apply The Manucurist Nail Polish

Step 1: Prep Your Nails

Start with clean, plain nails. I wanted my at-home manicure to be as close as possible to a salon one, so I clipped my nails, then shaped them with a file. My go-to nail gal for when I do get manicures recommended this cuticle remover while we were all at home in 2020 and it works great. Just apply, soak for a little bit, then use a cuticle pusher to pick up all the yucky stuff. 

Right before you’re ready to paint your nails, quickly swipe each nail with polish remover to remove any moisture or oils.

Step 2: Apply the Base Coat

Paint on your base coat, then put your hand under the LED lamp, press the button, and wait for it to finish. Easy peasy.

Step 3: Apply the Color

Repeat the same process when you apply your color. You’re going to want to do this step twice so that you have two coats of color. Apply the first layer, then lamp, and repeat.

If your polish looks a little streaky and not quite perfect, don’t worry. The second coat usually fixes this issue.

PRO TIP: I like to do my thumbs last, separately from my other four fingers, so that I can properly place them facing directly toward the lamp.

Camille Carter applying gel nail polish on her fingernails
Step 4: Apply the Top Coat

Repeat the same paint and lamp step with your top coat. Apply any cuticle serum or oil, and you’re good to go!

The Verdict

How Long Does Green Flash Nail Polish Last?

For me, Green Flash nail polish lasts about 9 days. It does not chip, but I usually encounter fading along the edges of my nails around day 6.

Is Manucurist Green Flash Worth It?

Yes, Manucurist Green Flash is worth it if you’re looking for a long-lasting, at-home gel manicure that doesn’t damage your nails like traditional, salon gel manicures.

This at-home gel manicure definitely isn’t as perfect or long-lasting as salon versions. Hoerver, my nails don’t feel brittle anymore and I’m wasting less time driving to and sitting through several appointments. My Manucurist Green Flash manicures typically last 9 days. It hold up for the most part with the exception of some fading on the tips of my nails.

Don’t get my wrong, I’ll still opt for a nail salon manicure because I love having someone else do my nails as a treat or if I want some fun nail art. Or, if I have and important event, I’ll let a professional do my nails. However, between these moments, the Manucurist Green Flash system is a great way to get a long-lasting manicure at home. Overall, the polish stays on a lot longer than traditional nail polish. It provides a great happy medium. 

I like this kit for several reasons:
  • I don’t always have time to make it to the salon to remove my gel manicure, and found myself continually picking the gel polish off, taking bits of my actual nail with it. With this kit, I can get a long-lasting manicure on my time, and can remove the polish whenever I want.
  • Even when I could make it to the salon, I got sick of having dry, brittle nails that constantly broke when I didn’t have gel polish.
  • Regular nail polish, even gel-like options, always chip on my nails. Green Flash polish stays on my nails almost a full 10 days. It didn’t chip and only subtle fading on my nail tips.
  • Removal is gentle and easy; just use nail polish remover and the polish comes off right away. No drilling, picking, or filing needed.
  • My nails don’t feel weak or damaged after removal, even after using the kit back-to-back on manicures.
  • The polish isn’t super thick like gel, it’s the same as regular nail polish.
  • A big selection of colors, including nude, shimmer, and glitter options.
Things to consider:
  • Although the brand’s website says you can use any non-acetone nail polish remover, I personally found that only their Green Flash nail polish remover works with removal.
  • The lighter, white-based colors can be a little difficult to apply evenly. So, if you’re new at painting your own nails start with a darker color.
  • Only the Green Flash polishes work with this system.

How Much Does Manucurist Green Flash Cost?

The Green Flash at-home gel kit starts at $99. It comes with a 24-watt LED lamp, nail polish remover, nail polish removal clips, base coat, top coat, and 2 colors of your choosing. (The Super Starter Kit, seen in these photos, is $160 and comes with a 36-watt premium lamp and 5 colors of your choosing, along with everything else)

Although not cheap, these kits consists of everything you need for your manicure. Considering the cost of salon gel manicures, these kits pretty much pay for themselves in 4-5 uses. (And if you’re counting a salon mani with nail art, make that 2 uses.)

Where to Buy Manucurist Green Flash

For the full assortment of Manucurist Green Flash polishes, kits, and nail care, shop directly on the Manucurist website. The brand offers free shipping to the US on orders over $49.

You can also find a limited number of polish colors and pre-determined kit sets on Amazon.

Nice to Meet You

Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC and sharing elevated, yet relatable ideas so that you can achieve your most stylish life.

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