Best gel nail polish

Nail Color & Care

When you buy a gel nail polish set, you save money in the long run, since you are paying much less than what it costs for regular trips to the nail salon.

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Which gel nail polish is best?

Gel nail polish lasts much longer than traditional nail polishes, without chipping or fading, often as long as about three weeks. When you buy a gel nail polish set, you save money in the long run, since you are paying much less than what it costs for regular trips to the nail salon. The Gellen 16-Color Gel Collection Kit is a first-rate gel nail polish set.

What to know before you buy a gel nail polish

Gel vs. traditional 

Gel nail polishes tend to wear much longer than traditional nail polishes, usually about two or three weeks. They also come with professional salon-style shine and are thicker.

Curing lamp

Curing lamps offer either LED or UV light to cure gel nail polish and keep the polish from smearing.

How to apply

Apply gel nail polish by first removing your old nail polish. Wash your hands to get rid of any polish remover, dry your nails thoroughly and shape them with clippers and/or an emery board. Rinse off your hands to remove any nail shavings. Apply a thin base coat. After that dries, apply the gel nail polish, then a top coat, curing each coat.

What to look for in a quality gel nail polish

Colors

Gel nail polishes come in a variety of colors, including neutral and bold tones. Look for brands that have hues in varying shades, in case you are on the fence about a specific color.

Sizes

Gel nail polishes come in bottles of different sizes, including standard sizes and miniature sizes. Miniature sizes are great if you want to experiment with different colors.

Brush

The brush should be small and be securely attached to the nail polish bottle’s cap.

How much you can expect to spend on a gel nail polish

Gel nail polishes cost about $15-$30 for sets of eight to 20 nail polish bottles. You can also purchase some smaller gel nail polish sets with a base coat, a top coat and one to three colors for $10-$23. You can buy high-end gel nail polishes individually for about $13-$25 per bottle. A decent complete gel manicure kit with all the materials you need for a manicure at home runs about $100.

Gel nail polish FAQ

What happens if you use gel nail polish without a curing lamp?

A. It can be tempting to try out gel nail polish without using a curing lamp to set the nails. However, if you use the polish without using the lamp, you will most likely be disappointed in the results. The gel nail polish won’t effectively harden without the heat from the LED or UV light. The gel nail polish will lack the high-gloss shine, will smear and smudge, and it probably won’t last very long.

Do some gel nail polish colors take more time to cure than other colors?

A. You probably won’t notice a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to cure gel nail polish of various colors. But you might need to add a few extra seconds of curing time if you choose very dark gel nail polishes, since it’s harder for light to penetrate through dark nail polish colors.

You might also notice that glitter gel nail polishes need some extra curing time. These glitter nail polishes might be a little more stubborn to remove, too.

Can gel nail polish damage your nails?

A. Most beauticians and nail experts say that gel nail polish isn’t any more damaging to your nails than traditional nail polish. The gel nail polish removal process requires some harsh acetone scraping and soaking that can damage and dry out your nails, but using cuticle creams and hand moisturizers between your manicures prevent this issue.

It can also help to take a break from gel nail polish manicures to allow your nails to recover, especially if your nails are starting to feel thin or breaking more than normal. You can use a treatment polish to repair and strengthen weak nails, if needed. You can also take a pure biotin supplement or another supplement for hair and nails to help strengthen your nails.

What’s the best gel nail polish to buy?

Top gel nail polish

Gellen 16-Color Gel Collection Kit

Gellen 16-Color Gel Collection Kit

What you need to know: This foundational gel nail polish set from Gellen is a well-rounded assortment with bolder options as well as subdued neutral shades.

What you’ll love: This kit features environmentally friendly, nontoxic and low-odor ingredients, as well as full-size base coat and top coat bottles. The shades that come in this set are high pigment and won’t fade or chip for up to 21 days.

What you should consider: Some gel nail polishes, as well as the top coats and base coats, were very streaky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top gel nail polish for the money

Beetles Boujee Glitter Gel Polish Six-Piece Set

Beetles Boujee Glitter Gel Polish Six-Piece Set

What you need to know: These sparkly gel nail polishes from Beetles are excellent options if you want vibrant and glittery colors.

What you’ll love: This inexpensive kit comes with bold, pretty colors, as well as six gel polishes infused with glitter for manicures that are excellent for special occasions or evening wear.

What you should consider: You need to buy the top and base coats and the LED lamp separately from this gel nail polish set.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Azure Beauty Gel Nail Polish Set of Summer Rainbow Colors

Azure Beauty Gel Nail Polish Set of Summer Rainbow Colors

What you need to know: These bold gel nail polishes from Azure Beauty provide a youthful, fun look.

What you’ll love: These gel nail polishes provide professional salon-style results with opaque and bold colors that last for weeks at a time with the right application. These gel nail polishes make your nails strong, thick and resistant to breakage.

What you should consider: These gel nail polish bottles are fairly small and might smell odd.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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