Beauty

I tried this at-home gel nail lamp—and I'll never pay for a pedicure again

People are obsessed with this light from Amazon. Here's why.

SunUV LED/UV nail lamp on white background Credit: SunUV

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I've always found it hard to achieve salon-quality pedicures at home. People see my feet often, so it's important to me that they look good. I'll get my feet clean and prepped; shape my nails just right; apply thin layers of base coat, polish, and topcoat; and let them dry for as long as I could stand. Then five minutes later I'll stub my big toe on the coffee table, or my dog will step on my foot, or some other mundane but tragic event will occur and result in a gash in my previously smooth polish. Every. Single. Time.

Some mundane but tragic event will occur and result in a gash in my previously smooth polish. Every. Single. Time.

To avoid that end result, I started doing gel pedicures at home. Gel pedicures require special base and top coats, special polish, and a lamp that uses ultraviolet light to cure the polish. Thirty to 60 seconds under the light for each layer, and it's set. It won't budge, no matter what abuse my toes endure.

Lately, I've been using Amazon's wildly popular Sun2C LED lamp by SunUV. It's garnered 4.4 stars across over 1,500 reviews, and I've become a fan as well. Here are a few reasons why.

It works with any gel polish

SunUV nail lamp timer buttons
Credit: SunUV

SunUV's Sun2C nail lamp features four different timer options, so it can work with any gel polish.

While LED-only lamps can only be used with specific gel polish types, the Sun2C can cure any gel polish on the market. It won't work at all with regular polish, but I love that I can bring home any gel color and know it will set beautifully with this lamp. I've been having fun with these temperature-changing nail colors. It's like mood jewelry on my nails!

The removable base plate is easy to clean

The base plate on this lamp attaches magnetically to the top, which makes it very easy to clean and switch back and forth between manicures and pedicures. Once my toenail polish is in place, I can just pull off the base plate and set the light over the top of my foot.

A wide opening reduces the risk of smudging

The mouth of the Sun2C lamp is wide enough that I don't worry much about accidentally hitting my nails on the top or sides on the way in. I have no trouble curing all five toes at once, and even with my high arches, I never bump the top of my foot against the top edge of the lamp.

The touch-free sensor speeds up the process

SunUV auto-on sensor
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

The SunUV's sensor means you can put your fingers or toes inside the opening and the light will automatically turn on.

Maybe the best thing about this UV lamp is its sensor. Just stick your nails inside, and the light turns on. If you want to set the light to turn off after a set amount of time, press the corresponding button on the back. You can choose 10, 30, 60, or 90 seconds (your polish should come with instructions, so you know what amount of curing time to use). I wish these buttons weren't so hidden, but once you see where they are, they're a snap to use.

Should you buy it?

If you are interested in doing gel manis and pedis at home, you need a lamp like this. There are a multitude that could get the job done, but the versatility of this particular model opens up a lot of options. You can use any gel polish, cure a whole hand or foot at a time, and it even has three different colored top panels that allow you to change the lamp's appearance to match your décor or mood. We think the Sun2C is a safe bet if you're done with smudged nail polish.

Get the Sun2C LED UV nail lamp from Amazon for $39

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.