The Best Gel Nail Polish for Long-Lasting Nails

If you love painting your nails or creating nail art, consider investing in the best gel nail polish. Gel nail polish has grown in popularity within the last decade, and as more people rave about it, it will surely stay.

There are a few reasons many prefer gel nail polish to regular nail polish. The main reason is longevity. Regular nail polish can start chipping away within less than a week, sometimes after you immerse your hands in water, such as when showering or doing the dishes. You constantly have to reapply, which sometimes results in an uneven surface. Gel nail polish can last for approximately two weeks with no chipping or peeling. You can focus on your life without worrying if your nails are presentable.

Another reason people prefer gel is for the time it saves; gel nail polish saves you the time it takes for regular nail polish to dry. Regular nail polish can take half an hour or more to dry completely. Most people don’t want to wait that long, especially when they can’t use their hands during the waiting period. Even when someone does have half an hour to spare, they don’t want to spend it literally watching paint dry! With gel nail polish, you can have your nails dry within two minutes under a UV lamp, and in a matter of seconds with an LED lamp.

Last, gel nail polish has more gloss and vibrancy than regular nail polish. Its color generally matches what’s seen on the bottle, and it’s more eye-catching than regular nail polish, which sometimes dulls when it dries.

​table of comparison

[amazon box=”B00BIAPEV6, B00KTTLN8A, B01E7UKUJE, B005X2F7JY, B0158V4QDW, B079VWYFQ6, B00KMTMKD4, B00859C67S, B00IEVCGNQ, B00DX66GZG” template=”table”]

Should I Throw Out All My Regular Nail Polish?

red best gel nail polish in a small bottle

Image Via Pixabay

There’s still a place for regular nail polish in the world of beauty and nail art. If you’re looking for long-lasting color that doesn’t require reapplying, then you’ll want to use a gel nail polish. But if you want to wear a certain color for the day, such as for an event or costume party, then regular nail polish will do.

Some may choose regular nail polish over gel nail polish because of concerns with UV lamps, which are associated with health risks. However, gel nail polishes work effectively with LED lamps, which are safer. There are also gel nail polishes that dry using a special topcoat and don’t require any lamps at all. So, gel nail polish is accessible to everyone.

Qualities of the Best Gel Nail Polishes

person using the LED light for the best gel nail polish

Image Via Pixabay

​Not all gel nail polishes are the same; some will deliver the lasting quality you’re looking for, while others will be short-lived. However, the best gel nail polishes will be the former. As you consider your next buy, look for these qualities in a gel nail polish.

First, the polish should be chip-free for weeks (at least two). You should be able to wash your hands, build a desk, and shower, without the polish chipping away or peeling off.

Second, the polish should dry fast, meaning within two minutes, depending on the lamp you use. If it’s LED, it should be within seconds, if it’s a UV, it should be within two minutes. But for gel nail polishes that require only a topcoat, the drying times are similar to those of regular nail polish, taking anywhere from fifteen minutes to three hours.

About Our Article

​The search for the best gel nail polish doesn’t have to take long, just read our review. Below, we’ll present ten brands popular in the market, and look at their unique features, color selection, and relative price. We’ll end with our recommendation for the best gel nail polish to achieve a long-lasting, no-fuss manicure.

Gel Nail Polish FAQ

​1. What Is a Gel Nail Polish?

​A gel nail polish is a nail paint that applies color to the nails and can last for several weeks, averaging around two or three. It’s applied with a brush, then cured under a UV or LED lamp for up to a few minutes, but usually no more than two.

​2. How Do You Remove a Gel Nail Polish?

​To remove a gel nail polish, soak it in nail polish remover, preferably one with acetone. To do this, soak a cotton ball with nail polish remover, then place it over the nail and wrap it with foil for a few minutes. This will soften the polish, allowing it to peel off with ease.

​​​​​​3. What Colors and Effects Does the Best Gel Nail Polish Come in?

​The best gel nail polish will come in a large variety of colors, just like that of regular nail polish. These colors and effects will range from light and dark solids to iridescent shimmers, glitters, and metallics.

​4. What Else Is Needed to Apply Gel Nail Polish?

​Some of the best gel nail polish will not require additional equipment for the application. However, traditional gel nail polish is cured using a UV or LED lamp. So you may need a curing lamp or special topcoat to seal in the polish.

​5. How Long Can a Bottle of Gel Nail Polish Last?

​The best gel nail polish will last anywhere from 18 to 24 months if stored properly in a cool, dark place. You know that the polish is expired when it doesn’t apply smoothly on the nails, and when it’s clumpy on the brush.

How We Reviewed

We began our search for the best gel nail polish by going to beauty influencers, which includes vloggers and bloggers. We specifically scouted for those who specialized in nail art, reviewing their recommendations in gel nail polish. We didn’t end there; after we gathered our list from the influencers, we went to beauty supply stores to see which gel polish brands took center stage on their websites and ad campaigns. Once we determined which brands received high customer reviews and attention, we put our list of ten together.

With our list of ten, we gave each brand of the best gel nail polish ample attention, looking at their special features, color selection, and relative price.

Overall Price Range

The general price range for our selection of the best gel nail polish went anywhere from between $7 to $45 on average. Prices fluctuated a bit depending on if sales and promotions were present.

Higher-priced models tended to come from designer brands. But even among these, they contained special ingredients that promoted nail health and less damage, including an easy removal process. For lower-priced brands, the wear was shorter (up to two weeks versus two weeks or more), and they lacked special ingredients that promoted nail health.

What We Reviewed

  1. 1​Gelish
  2. 2​Creative Nail Design Shellac UV Color Coat
  3. 3​Essie Gel Couture 2-Step Longwear Nail Polish
  4. 4SHANY Cosmetics The Cosmopolitan Nail Polish Set
  5. 5Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish
  6. 6Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish
  7. 7Dior Vernis Couture Colour Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer
  8. 8Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish
  9. 9China Glaze Gelaze 100% Gel-n-Base Polish
  10. 10Nails Inc Porchester Square Gel Polish

10 best gel nail polish

​Gelish

[amazon box=”B00BIAPEV6″]

Features

This is a soak-off gel polish that’s chip-resistant and doesn’t peel for three weeks. Apply it as you would regular polish with its twist cap and brush applicator. Then cure the polish with an LED lamp for thirty seconds or use a UV lamp for two minutes. To remove, soak for fifteen minutes and peel off. Gelish has over 180 colors that include solids, shimmers, glitters, and satins.

Price

​$$

​Where to Buy

​​​Creative Nail Design Shellac UV Color Coat

[amazon box=”B00KTTLN8A”]

Features

​This gel polish lasts for fourteen days when used as a system, which includes, base coat, gel polish, topcoat, and a CND Shellac Lamp. Apply polish as you would regular nail polish. With two coats, you get full color. When ready to remove, soak for a few minutes, then peel off with no damage. CND has over 100 colors that include solids, shimmers, glitters, iridescent, and satins.

Price

​$$

​Where to Buy

​​Essie Gel Couture 2-Step Longwear Nail Polish

[amazon box=”B01E7UKUJE”]

Features

​This gel polish only requires two steps for coverage that lasts for up to fourteen days. Apply two coats like regular polish, then complete with one coat of the gel couture topcoat to seal in color, add shine, and protect the nails. No base coat is needed. Remove with acetone nail polish remover, a cotton ball, and foil. Essie has over 100 colors that include solids, shimmers, satins, and iridescent.

Price

​$

​Where to Buy

​​​SHANY Cosmetics The Cosmopolitan Nail Polish Set

[amazon box=”B005X2F7JY”]

Features

​This is a nail polish set of 24 full-size bottles. Colors include solids in bright and vivid colors, glitters, and metallics. They package all of this in a plastic container that can be reused for holding polishes. Polishes resist cracking and dry quickly. They are also cruelty-free and of high quality.

Price

​$$

​Where to Buy

​​​Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish

[amazon box=”B0158V4QDW”]

Features

​This gel polish requires no lamps and only takes two steps to complete. Apply it like regular polish, then allow it to dry, for up to five minutes. Last, apply the Miracle Gel Top Coat in matte or shiny. It’s chip-resistant for up to fourteen days, and can easily be removed with regular polish remover. Sally Hansen has over 70 colors that include solids, shimmers, satins, iridescent, and metallics.

Price

​$

​Where to Buy

​​​Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish

[amazon box=”B079VWYFQ6″]

Features

​This gel polish has nail health in mind. It’s a dual-patented formula that has ten active ingredients (biotin, keratin, aucoumea, rice protein, evening primrose, green tea extract, bamboo, nonychosinef, nylon, and carnuba wax) to deliver health, wear, and shine. It requires no lamps or tools, and removal is easy — remove with any nail polish, which results in damage free nails. Deborah Lippmann has over 120 colors that include solids, shimmers, satins, iridescent, glitters, and metallics.

Price

​$$

​Where to Buy

​​​Dior Vernis Couture Colour Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer

[amazon box=”B00KMTMKD4″]

Features

​This gel polish has a formula that contains a Techno-Polymer to bond seamless color to the nails. One coat provides a film that’s smooth and shiny. It’s also enriched with organic silicon, which strengthens the nail surface and provides long wear. Best of all, it’s free of toluene, formaldehyde, phthalates, and camphor. This brand has over 120 colors that include solids, shimmers, satins, and iridescent.

Price

​$$$

​Where to Buy

​​​Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish

[amazon box=”B00859C67S”]

Features

​This gel polish goes on like regular polish and cures with an LED light in less than one minute (three minutes with a traditional UV lamp). The result is many weeks of lasting color that doesn’t chip or peel. To remove, soak for around fifteen minutes, then peel off. Red Carpet has over 116 colors that include solids, shimmers, glitters, and satins.

Price

​$$

​Where to Buy

​​​China Glaze Gelaze 100% Gel-n-Base Polish

[amazon box=”B00IEVCGNQ”]

Features

​This gel polish delivers long-lasting color in a few steps. Apply one coat of the Gelaze polish and cure for thirty seconds using an LED lamp, or two minutes using a UV lamp. Then apply a topcoat and use the Gelaze gel cleanser to remove residue. To remove, file down the polish surface and soak with Gelaze Professional Gel and Nail Polish Remover, then peel off. China Glaze has over 94 colors that include solids, shimmers, glitters, and satins.

Price

​$$

​Where to Buy

​Nails Inc Porchester Square Gel Polish

[amazon box=”B00DX66GZG”]

Features

​This gel polish is easy to apply, requiring no UV or LED lamp. It has a plumping effect with salon-quality technology. Having revolutionary plasticizer technology, it creates a high gloss and rich pigment with no streaks, drags, or clumps. Removal is easy, and it has a wide brush for quick application. This polish is vegan and cruelty-free. This brand has over 24 colors that include an array of solid shades.

Price

​$$

​Where to Buy

​​​​The Verdict

woman looking at her nails with the best gel nail polish

Image Via Pixabay

There’s a place for our selection of gel nail polishes in everyone’s life. Different ones will suit different situations and individuals. For those who wear a signature color, they may be okay investing in an expensive polish that they know they’ll wear often. People who like to dabble with different colors here and there might be better off investing in a cheaper brand to save money.

Our Recommendation

But perhaps costs don’t matter—you want the best of the best. We think we found it in our group. That is Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish, specifically the Gel Lab Pro Color Polish.

First, we’re impressed with the formula. Having ten vital ingredients that promote health, long wear, and shine, it has all you want in a nail polish. This is one polish you can feel good about wearing.

Second, the selection is large, which ensures that there’s a color for any mood, style, or occasion. We don’t doubt you’ll find something similar to the regular polishes you currently own.

Third, removal is easy. This is one complaint about gel nail polish and luckily this one doesn’t have it. You can use your favorite nail polish remover to soak the nail and peel off the gel, leaving no damage behind.

At a mid range price of around $20.00, it’s worth the investment for those who love to paint their nails and admire them for a long while.

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