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The Best Gel Nail Polish Brands – An Experts Choice

So, you haven’t found “the one”. At least not yet. And it’s not like you haven’t tried! You’ve put yourself out there and tried new things, you’ve searched and searched. But still, you haven’t found your perfect match. Your friends are saying that you’re just being too picky, but you know better. “The one” really is out there, that one perfect gel polish….The best gel nail polish.

You’re totally right—for every girl there’s that one special gel polish match. If you’re on the search for your gel polish soulmate, don’t settle for anything less—you only deserve the creme de la creme! So, allow me to introduce you to the best gel nail polish known to womankind.

What Does the Best Gel Nail Polish Look Like?

Everyone has their own personal manicure preferences and a unique idea of what the best gel nail polish would look like, but we can all agree that there are key features to look for in any gel nail polish.

It turns out, you don’t always need to pay more for higher quality lacquer—if you know what to look for, you may even find the best gel nail polish in the discount bin! Maximize your gel manicure by choosing the right setting method, using formulas gentle on your nails and skin, and investing in the appropriate accessories.

LED vs. UV Gel Nail Polish?

best gel nail polishThere’s no clear winner when it comes to the best gel nail polish setting method.  While some formulas require the use of a UV light, other polishes harden upon exposure to LED light. These two methods share many similarities, but there are also subtle differences separating UV and LED set gel nail polish.

Both UV- and LED-set lacquers come in an astonishingly wide variety of gel nail polish colors and both are effective in hardening polish rapidly. However, both setting methods have their drawbacks, as well. Setting compatible gel nail polish with a UV gel nail lamp may inflict minimal damage to your health. UV and LED lights are known to damage skin (and even nails!). But don’t worry—according to experts, this acute exposure to UV or LED light is unlikely to affect your health.

Another drawback to UV lamps is that they may cause your gel nail polish to dry a shade or two darker than it appears when you first paint it on. In contrast, LED gel nail lamps generally preserve the vibrance of your nail polish—what you paint on is what you get. Depending on the gel nail polish brands you’re using, curing gel nail polish with an LED lamp may also be more efficient than using a UV light.

Finding A Gentle Formula

If you want to keep your natural nails healthy and strong, you’ll need to find the best gel nail polish with an easy removal process. Many gel nail polish brands offer formulas that soak right off. This is the most gentle way to remove gel nail polish because it does not chip away at the layers of your nail.

how to remove gel nails correctlySoaking off gel nail polish is quick and painless as long as you know what you’re doing.

The common mistake women make when removing gel nail polish is soaking their entire fingers directly in a bowl of acetone. This can damage your skin and nails, causing them to dry out and become brittle.

Instead, soak cotton balls in acetone and place these onto your nails. You can wrap them in foil to hold them into place. Learn more about how to remove gel nails here.

The Best Gel Nail Polish Accessories

If you want salon-quality results with a do-it-yourself manicure, you’ll need to equip yourself with the best gel nail polish accessories. This includes things such as nail bonder, nail primer, gel base coat, and gel top coat. these can be purchased separately or in a kit. Using quality accessories can really boost your manicure. With nail bonder and nail primer, your polish will appear more vibrant and rich. Using gel base- and top coats maximizes the lifespan of your manicure.

Our Recommended Gel Nail Kit - Gelish Pro Kit
  • Light cures all 5 fingers in 45 seconds
  • Pedicure friendly
  • Stays on for 3 weeks with no chipping
  • Uses Gelish patented technology for easy soak off
  • Soaks off in 10 to 15 minutes

Don’t forget you will need a large, clear space to do your own gel nails. Consider investing in a manicure table if you are going to be doing your own gel manicure regularly.

The Best Gel Nail Polish Brands

There are literally thousands of gel polishes out there, so finding your match can take some time and experimenting. Lucky for you, we’ve narrowed down the search by selecting only the best gel nail polish available. Here are our favorites:

Gelish

If you’re looking for salon-quality lacquer, check out Gelish. This line of gel nail polish is one of the best because their polishes provide up to 21 days of shiny, chip-free wear! And when you’re ready to change up your look, simply soak Gelish polish right off!

Don’t worry, removing Gelish polish won’t damage your nails due to their Gelish patented formula. Gelish polishes set with both UV and LED nail lamps, so either way you’re already prepared!

It should also be noted that Gelish stacks up very well against other brands of gel nail polish. See our Gelish vs Shellac Guide here.

Gelish’s Best Gel Nail Polish Colors

Gelish Dynamic Duo Soak Off Gel Polish Foundation Base and Top Sealer

Gelish Dynamic Duo Best Gel Nail Polish

Everyone needs a quality top and base coat! Gelish offers a package of both their base and top coats that is sure to boost any manicure!

Using these lacquers, you can prolong the lifetime of your manicure and add some extra glossy shine! You can keep your polish chip-free and vibrant for about three weeks using Gelish top and base coat!

Check 'Dynamic Duo' Price

 Gelish Rio Collection Neon “Tiki Tiki Laranga”

best gel nail polish

Feeling confident? Brighten up your look with a bright neon coral color! As of recently, Gelish offers a new take on trendy coral. The intensity of this color can be preserved if you use and LED lamp to cure your nails, though a UV light would also be compatible.

Check 'Tiki Tiki Laranga' Price

Gelish “Radiance Is My Middle Name”

best gel nail polish colors

Another one of the best gel nail polish colors is this daring shade of aqua! Your manicure will turn heads with this joyful color! This color is extremely versatile and can match with nearly any outfit, so don’t be shy—give Radiance Is MY Middle Name a go!

Check 'Radiance Is My Middle Name' Price

Learn More about Gelish

Gelish Website: https://gelish.com/

Aimeli

Introducing Aimeli gel polish. We consider Aimeli to be one of the best nail polish brands because its glossy finish is second to none! In fact, Aimeli may have some of the best gel nail polish around, with a breadth of available colors and finishes! You won’t get bored with the unique colors of this gel nail polish brand!

Your manicure will last for up to two weeks without chipping away. Aimeli gel nail polish is advantageous because it can be set with both UV and LED light—you can essentially use any gel nail lamp around!

Salon tip: When using Aimeli products keep in mind that polishes with sparkles in them tend to be thicker than the average gel nail polish. But don’t worry, these lacquers dry just as evenly and beautifully as any other color.

Aimeli’s Best Gel Nail Polish Colors:

Diamond Glitter Teal Blue Green

best gel nail polish brands

Bring fantasy to life with a deep, shimmery teal! Aimeli’s Diamond Glitter Teal Blue Green is reminiscent of mermaids and mythical worlds. A manicure with this color never goes unnoticed—this gel nail polish contains chunky silver sparkles varying in sizes and shapes that catch and reflect the light beautifully.

Check 'Diamond Glitter Teal Blue Green' Price

Chameleon Gel Nail Polish Red Horizon

Best nail polish

Can’t decide on just one shade? One of the best gel nail polish formulas by Aimeli changes color according to the temperature your nails are exposed to. Red Horizon combines two classics—a fire engine red and soft baby pink. The cool thing about this color-changing polish that in mixed temperatures your manicure may appear to be an ombre transition from red to pink (and who doesn’t love ombre?)!

Check 'Red Horizon' Price

Silver Glitter Explosion

Aimeli nail polish

Whether you’re searching for the perfect accent color or love dramatic nails, Silver Glitter Explosion is simply a must-have. This silver is bright and light and, with the classic Aimeli gloss finish, it never goes dull. When the sparkles catch the light, they appear silver and opalescent.

Check 'Silver Glitter Explosion' Price

Learn More About Aimeli

Aimeli website: https://www.facebook.com/AIMEILIPOLISH/

IBD Just Gel Nail Polish

If you’re concerned about maintaining the health of your natural nails, you may be interested in IBD Just Gel Nail Polish. IBD has some of the best gel nail polish around—it lasts about two weeks on your fingers and nearly 4 weeks on your toes!

You don’t need to be a professional manicurist to achieve salon-quality results with this polish because it paints on smoothly, dries evenly, and never chips! This is one of the best gel nail polish brands because it can be cured with either UV or LED gel nail lamps and all their colors are extremely rich.

Best IBD Gel Nail Polish Colors

Heedless to Say

IBD Gel Nail Polish

Purple gel nail polish works no matter what season it is! IBD’s Heedless to Say is a vivid lavender guaranteed to get noticed! This bright take on lavender looks cool and refreshing but also a little bit edgy. This purple shade is versatile and complements most skin tones.

Check 'Heedless to Say' Price

Ooh La Lace

gel nail polish reviews

Keep it light and cheery with the Ooh La Lace gel nail polish color from IBD. This light baby pink makes your nails look clean and well-manicured without drawing too much attention to your hands. Though this shade is subtle, the polish is not sheer. Ooh La Lace goes on richly and evenly with every coat.

Check 'Ooh La Lace' Price

Meteorite

gel nail polish IBD

Take your nails out of this world with IBD’s Meteorite polish. This deep blue appears to swirl with tiny, star-like crystals. The sparkles in the polish are delicate, evenly distributed, and subtle, creating the illusion of a beautiful night sky.

Check 'Meteorite' Price

Learn More About IBD

IBD website: http://www.ibdbeauty.com/

FairyGlo

You can’t talk about the best gel nail polish brands and not mention FairGlo. This line of polish is special because it is not-toxic. With fewer harmful chemicals in it, these formulas won’t damage your nails or skin or release dangerous fumes. Most polishes from FairyGlo can be cured with both UV and LED nail lamps, so you have plenty of flexibility.

Some of the best gel nail polish colors by FairyGlo even change color depending on heat exposure! No matter what color you choose, FairyGlo polish lasts for up to three weeks without chipping or denting!

FairGlo’s Best Gel Nail Polish Colors

Platinum Coral (58011)

gel nail polish fairyglo

Coral looks good on all skin tones! Don’t believe me? Try it out yourself with #58011 from FairGlo’s Platinum Gel Nail Polish collection. Oh, but there’s one twist—this coral is platinum. That’s right, this non-toxic gel nail polish looks metallic and shines boldly in the light. The polish itself does not have sparkles or glitter, so the metallic finish is not overdone. Even so, the bling of your nails are sure to be seen with this nail polish. This shade spices up any look you put together!

Check 'Coral' Price

Glitter Purple Heather

fairyglo nail polish

Wear your hear near your sleeve by painting your nails with this purple  color changing gel nail polish from FairyGlo. When your temperature rises, this nail polish appears a plumb purple, but once you’re cold this color deepens into eggplant purple. In the polish are large sparkles reminiscent of bokeh. No matter the temperature of your nails, this gel nail polish always looks stylish!

Check 'Purple Heather' Price

Pearl Sachet Pink

best gel nail polish

Classic red or funky pink, classic red or funky pink? For the times you can’t decide there’s Pearl Sachet Pink from FairyGlo, another color-changing gel nail polish. At normal temperatures your nails may appear classy fire engine red, but, once you heat up, your funky side will show as your nails transition into a glittery bright pink shade.

Check 'Pearl Sachet Pink' Price

 

Gellen

Have you heard of Gellen yet? This brand offers some of the best gel nail polish with a high-gloss finish. Their products tend to last for around three or even four weeks without ever dulling, chipping, or denting. Not to mention, this gel nail polish brand also cures using either LED or UV gel nail lamps.

Gellen’s Best Gel Nail Polish Colors

Crystal Baller

gellen gel nail polish colors

You’ll definitely stand out with a manicure using Crystal Baller! This gel nail polish has a base of silver, but has a deep, holographic effect in the light. When light catches your nails, your polish will shine in every color imaginable—greens, blues, and reds. This polish goes with every outfit imaginable, so don’t be shy—try it out!

Check 'Crystal Baller' Price

Chameleon Gradient Color #60

best gellen colors

Step up your glam with this outgoing color! Shade 60 from the Chameleon Gradient Color collection mixes blue-green and purple to create a peacock-like color scheme on your nail. The colors are set in a gradient transitioning from one color to the next seamlessly. This one sure is an attention-grabber so be ready to get some compliments!

Check 'Gradient Color #60' Price

So, did it happen? Did you finally find your perfect match?

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About AmyChristine

Writing from Vienna, Austria, AmyChristine loves to talk beauty! Whenever her nails aren’t wet with polish she can be found playing with her two Bengal kittens or typing away on her laptop in a local cafe. Aside from being a beauty enthusiast, AmyChristine is an international student currently working towards her Masters in International Relations and currently works as a freelance writer.

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