Gone are days and the dollars spent at nail salons with your delicate hands under harsh UV lights. Thanks to innovative companies like Essie, Revlon, Butter and the like, you can now do an at-home manicure that delivers gel-like effects. What's more? Most of these gel polishes do not require professional removal and easily come off with a few swipes of your standard nail polish remover! Consider gel-effect polish an upgrade to your standard paw paint—one that lasts twice as long and stands out due to its ultra-glossy luxe look. The damage is less, the cost is a fraction, and time invested is so minimal it'll make you sing. With a variety of different formulas, pick the one that speaks to you (we've even sourced a few "8-free" picks!) and let chipped nails and unnecessary salon appointments be a thing of the past! Opening image: @nailsincLondon
Love our 10 Best Gel Nail Polishes? Then we think you’ll really enjoy our 10 Best Cuticle Oils and Creams!
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Nails Inc. Gel Effect Nail Polish
LOVED FOR: The high-shine, superglossy finish will look like you put your nails beneath a UV lamp—but you'll have done it at home!
USERS SAID: "I wanted a soft pink that would last a while and be opaque. This is definitely it. It needs 3 coats or so to be fully opaque but it lasts about a week and a half on my nails."
Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Enamel
LOVED FOR: The dependable Revlon doesn't let us down with a wallet-friendly formula that stands up against luxury products.
USERS SAID: "This is the ONLY nail polish I've ever used that actually stays on my nails without chipping within hours. Doesn't require a base coat. And, even though they recommend a top coat, I don't use it... and still it lasts and lasts."
Essence The Gel Nail Polish
USERS SAID: "I. AM. SHOOK. I have tried so many polishes in my lifetime, from super cheap to super expensive. I had no expectations for this polish and assumed it would take forever to dry, be thin or streaky, or chip off in hours. Nope. This stuff dries quickly, covers fully in two coats, and STAYS ON."
LOVED FOR: This polish costs less than two dollars. You read that right.
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish
ABOUT THE BRAND: Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Color features a dual-patented formula infused with 10 active ingredients from evening primrose to green tea extract that help deliver health, wear, and shine.
FUN FACT: Silk fibers produced by silkworms are used to even out the nail plate for a smooth finish.
Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer
LOVED FOR: People are fanatics over the nail brushes installed in all of Dior's polishes. It's as close to a professional tool (maybe even better) that you'll get.
WHY YOU NEED IT: It comes off with regular nail polish remover, just like your other polishes.
OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish
ABOUT THE BRAND: Ever the popular polish nowadays, OPI was founded in 1981 and launched its first 30 groundbreaking shades in 1989.
HELPFUL TIP: Prep your nails! Remove existing nail lacquer then trim and shape nails by filing in one direction only to prevent breakage! Apply cuticle oil, push back cuticles and remove hangnails. Finally, cleanse to remove oil.
Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish
LOVED FOR: This two-step gel system achieves the salon look without the harsh UV light.
USERS SAID: "I have never had nail polish that stayed on as well as this stuff. I purchased Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish color and top coat and they are amazing. As a crafter and quilter I have never had much luck with color on my nails but I now have a favorite polish! I have worn the same application for a couple of weeks already and my nails still look great!"
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
FUN FACT: Both the Miracle Gel nail color and top coat activator contain patented Tube Technology, allowing higher loading of actives and a continuous care release into the gel lacquer film, resulting in beautifully durable, high-shine gel finish nails.
USERS SAID: "The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is a quick, easy, and long lasting polish. I was shocked how easy it was to apply the 2 coats of color and how quickly they dried. I'm a teacher so I wash my hands and use hand sanitizer a lot. This polish seems to last about a week before it starts to really chip."