Accentuate your nail art with the best gel nail polishes

·Contributing Writer
·11 min read

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Different colors of gel nail polish
Different colors of gel nail polish

Are you tired of applying the same nail color over and over again because it keeps chipping and peeling off? It's about time you see what all the hype is about and give gel nail polish a shot! Gel nail polish is a special kind of nail polish that is quick-drying and cures under ultraviolet light for additional strength. Because it dries quickly, it has become essential for long-lasting DIY manicures. The creation of this type of nail polish required numerous trials and errors before becoming the highly-rated product that it is today. It may cost a little more than regular nail polish, but it lasts longer and looks more professional than the traditional formula.

Before gel's debut, nail polish typically lasted for a day or two before chipping, but today's gel products claim to last for about a week, sometimes even longer. The popularity of gel nail polish has grown because of its durability, quick-drying formula, and the variety of colors available. However, not all brands are meant for DIY manicures and require additional equipment like a UV light. If you are a professional do-it-yourselfer or a first-timer, we've got you covered and reviewed some of the leading gel nail polishes of 2022 just for you!

Top Picks

Best overall: Beetle's gel nail polish

No more struggle to decide which colors to select
No more struggle to decide which colors to select

With 20 beautiful colors in this mini gel polish Modern Muse Collection, you'll have no problem finding your favorite one to show off, no matter the season! Not only are there so many trendy colors to choose from, but the collection also includes the essentials of a long-lasting home manicure as well: a base coat and two top coats, one glossy and matte. The colors are modern, and the gel glides on smoothly, creating a clean and polished look. You can also use the polish to create a funky french manicure if you have more experience than the rest of us! Finally, this premium gel nail polish comes in a gorgeous gift box, being perfect for a present for the special person in your life. We have chosen this product as the best overall because of its vibrant and high-quality shades.

Key Features:

  • Includes glossy and matt top coats

  • Long-lasting wear

  • 9-toxin free ingredients

  • Low odor and skin-safe

Certified cruelty-free and vegan: Modelones gel nail polish

Its user-friendly design flaunts the original gel nail polish color, and can help you easy to find the one that suits your style when you manicure
Its user-friendly design flaunts the original gel nail polish color, and can help you easy to find the one that suits your style when you manicure

Modelones gel nail polish is a premium choice for salon-quality gel manicures at home. It provides high-quality, long-lasting colors with impressive resistance to chipping, peeling, and fading – up to 28 days! After all, you can't go wrong with these classic and trendy nude color options, perfect for any occasion and season. The best feature about his brand is that it is certified cruelty-free and vegan, so you'll look your best and feel good about it! In addition, with its 11-toxin-free ingredients, it is low odor and skin-friendly, creating a healthier manicure experience and keeping a healthy you!

Key Features:

  • Long-lasting manicures

  • Certified cruelty-free and vegan

  • Classic and trendy nude shades

Best for UV/LED nail lamps: Lavender Violets gel nail polish

With our gel nail polish set, you can get double nail effects - glossy and matte, meeting your different needs
With our gel nail polish set, you can get double nail effects - glossy and matte, meeting your different needs

Lavender violets gel polish is a unique formula that dries quickly under ultraviolet light and is made to bond directly to the natural nail, providing a durable and long-lasting nail color. With that being said, you do need direct access to a UV or LED nail lamp to cure the nail polish fully and for long-lasting results. Additionally, this product is cruelty-free and does not have damaging effects on your nails. Overall, this pick has a wide range of color options and is a premium choice if you own or have access to a UV or LED nail lamp.

Key Features:

  • Glossy and matte results

  • Long-lasting wear

  • Paraben-free ingredients

  • 18 color options

Best long-lasting: Jyotti gel nail polish

This gel nail polish set needs to be cured under the UV/LED nail lamp to completely dry before applying a color layer, a thicker layer with a longer curing time and a thinner with a short time
This gel nail polish set needs to be cured under the UV/LED nail lamp to completely dry before applying a color layer, a thicker layer with a longer curing time and a thinner with a short time

For a long-lasting and premium UV/LED lamp manicure, you need to get your hands on the Joytii gel nail polish set. With 20 various colors to choose from, a base coat, and matte and glossy top coat options, you'll be getting professional quality manicures that last up to 21 days in the comfort of your home. Applying this gel nail polish can take a little getting used to, but it is worth the practice to reap its benefits. It might be easy for some people to apply: apply two coats of your favorite color and then put your toes or fingers under a UV/LED lamp for about 45 seconds per layer.

Key Features:

  • Glossy and matte finish options

  • Chip-free manicure

  • It consists of cruelty-free ingredients

  • 20 trendy colors

Best packaging: MEFA gel nail polish

You can DIY your nail art style
You can DIY your nail art style

MEFA gel nail polish is another great product to add to your collection if you have your own UV/LED nail lamp. With 20 long-lasting colors to choose from and including its own base and top coats, you will be able to let your personality and mood shine through your nail art. You'll also be glad to know that the high-quality nail polish is non-toxic and low-odor, so you can safely and confidently paint your nails at home. Lastly, its beautiful box makes it easy to give as a gift and simple to store when not in use to prevent disorganization and clutter.

Key Features:

  • Offers both matte and glossy top coats

  • No-chip manicure for up to 4 weeks

  • Non-toxic natural resin

  • 20 fashionable color options

Buying guide: Gel nail polish

Below is our buying guide to gel nail polish to help you understand the essential features in a much more detailed, comprehensive manner. So let's get started!

Things you should consider when buying a gel nail polish

Before purchasing gel nail polish, there are a few things that you should keep in mind, such as ingredients, texture, and longevity, but we got you covered by going into full detail to help you to make a confident decision.

Safe formula

It would be best to look at the gel nail polish’s formula and opt for one that is non-toxic and preferably cruelty-free for a safe DIY manicure. For example, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) are two harmful but common ingredients in gel nail polish that can cause allergic reactions and irritation, so we recommend paying close attention to all active components.

No need to worry, though! Many brands claim to be completely vegan and take pride in being certified cruelty-free and non-toxic for a wholesome and high-quality manicure.

The three C's - Color, coverage, and consistency

If you are looking for gorgeous color and are ready to pay a bit extra, go for a "professional grade" brand. These are typically more expensive than the traditional drugstore brands but are made with salons in mind and are the best you can get for your money. Plus, the coverage of these nail polishes should be such that they don't even leave a corner of your nails untouched.

Another feature to consider is the consistency of the polish. How smooth or creamy it is will determine how easy it will be to apply and how long it will need to dry. A premium professional grade polish will also cure a smooth, hard finish that resists chipping and peeling.

Smudge-Proof

Although most gel nail polishes come with this feature, some brands have a habit of cheating on their customers, so be careful of such frauds and ensure that the nail polish you are buying is completely smudge-proof. This way, you don't have to restrict yourself from being productive and raise your chances of disturbing your nail color.

What are the benefits of using gel nail polishes?

Using gel nail polish offers a wide range of benefits that make it deserving of your investment and valuable time, so let's find out why!

Dries quickly and long-lasting

Gel polishes yield the best results when using a UV or LED nail lamp to dry your nails. Yes, that's right. You don't have to worry about smudging or smearing because the UV lamp will do the hard work for you by drying and hardening your nails to create a long-lasting and durable manicure.

No more chipped or broken nails

Gel nail polish formulas prevent nails from chipping and breaking with potent strengthening and long-lasting properties. When the nail polish is applied and dries, it will bind the layers to the nail, giving it a glossy and finished look.

Smooth texture

The texture of gel nail polish should be super smooth and should not get sticky in humid weather. It should glide on your nails effortlessly and dry evenly into a hard and durable substance without forming bubbles. Overall, high-quality gel nail polish should have a clean and smooth texture that dries quickly and efficiently and also should be long-lasting to avoid weekly trips to the salon or wasting time doing it yourself every week. Unlike regular nail polish, you don't need a base or top coat to keep the gel nail polish from smearing or chipping. Since gel nail polish lasts much longer than regular polish, you don't need to often sit through an uncomfortable salon treatment.

How to apply gel nail polish?

Nail polish is not the easiest thing to put on, and most of us are all too familiar with its tendency to smudge instead of glide smoothly and dry to the precise shape of our nails. So do your nails a favor by preparing them for a long-lasting and professional-looking manicure.

Step 1: Wash hands and nails thoroughly to remove any excess grease or grime

Step 2: Apply base coat

Step 3: Cure base coat under UV light for at least 30 seconds, if not more, before continuing

Step 4: Shake your nail polish well before applying

Step 5: Apply one thin layer at a time close to the skin, running from the cuticle toward the tip, allowing it to dry under a nail lamp for at least 30 seconds

Step 6: Apply a top coat to finish to make it strong and long-lasting

Step 7: Cure under a nail lamp for a minute or two so your nails are set so they are hard and not sticky

How to maintain gel nail polish?

Gel Nail polish is a simple and optimal way to add glamour to your hands and give yourself a clean and presentable look. The hardest part is getting it to last as long as it should! To get the most out of a manicure, use high-quality nail polish and always apply a base and top coat. If you don't use high-quality gel nail polish and protective finishes, you'll find that your polish will start smudging and chipping before the day is over.

Finally, don't pick or bite your nails! Refraining from this habit protects your polish and helps strengthen your nails as well.

People also asked

Q: How long does a gel nail polish last?

A: Gel nail polish can last up to 12 weeks, depending on the brand, application, and removal process. Most prefer gel nail polish for its durability and long-lasting shine, and perfect for those who don't have the time for weekly nail salon visits. Overall, gel polish lasts longer, is chip-resistant, and is available in more colors than traditional nail polishes.

Q: What is the difference between matte and glossy gel nail polish?

A: A matte gel nail polish has a flat finish, so the color of your nails will not reflect light or have a brilliant luster. Matte gel nail polish is perfect for people who want to wear a bold color but don't want a glossy shine. On the other hand, glossy gel nail polish has a shiny and polished finish and has a more traditional look.

Q: What are the main ingredients used in making gel nail polish?

A: The precise recipe for gel nail polish is every brand’s secret, but the standard components consist of resins, plasticizers, and coloring agents. The ingredients have been getting less harsh and toxic over the years so that people can enjoy a safe manicure. Today, many brands take pride in their reputation in being certified cruelty-free and vegan formulas while still being durable and available in trendy colors.

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