Before you go out and spend (a lot), I'd definitely scan the products that you have at your local drugstore.
And by the way, you haven't mentioned much about how your hair feels...? Is it perhaps dry, However unfortunately, "3c" is one of the most useless information about the curls on our head. I would look more at porosity, thickness of the strand, and density of the hair on how to treat it.
As for the actual topic... I, unlike most, don't really use gel. It's a bit of a hassle, and I get pretty good definition without it. I used to scrunch my hair, but now I cup (my spin on the SuperSoaker method), or just let the product sink in over the hour (I have low porosity hair, that barely picks up water, let alone conditioner).