The gratifyingly new set of clean and beautifully colored nails is one of the most satisfying things women love doing. From the clear nail polish to french tips, now, a manicure is an artform glorified by many women. With a mix of amazing colors and design, getting our nails done is something many women just can’t NOT do. It’s only a matter of choosing the best ones to put on our nails.
One of the most popularly bought nail polish now is the gel-type nail polish. Made thicker and smoother and definitely tougher than typical nail polish, this has gained quite an affection in the beauty industry. Furthermore, many are now in the hunt to look for gel polish that doesn’t require any LED or UV light.
Table of Contents
- Why does a gel nail polish need UV Light?
- Gel polish vs traditional nail polish
- Method of removal
- Pros of gel polish
- Cons of gel polish
- Pros of nail polish
- Cons of Nail Polish
- Why is gel nail polish gaining more attention?
- How to apply gel nail polish for beginners
- Common mistakes in applying nail gel polish
- Best No Light Gel Polish
- Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat
- Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish
- Eternal Gel Collection – Nail Polish Set of 3
- Seche Premier Color Lacquer
- Makartt Blooming Nail Polish 6 Color Set
- LA Colors Extreme Shine Gel Nail Polish
- COVERGIRL XL Nail Gel Ample Apple
- L.A. Colors Extreme Shine Gel Nail Polish
- L’Oreal Paris Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque Nail Color
- Maybelline Forever Strong Gel Hot Salsa Nail Polish
- Butter LONDON Patient Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
- Revlon Color Stay Gel Envy Stay Lingerie Nail Polish
- Our Pick
- Solid color or well-designed nail polish: Which is better?
Why does a gel nail polish need UV Light?
Gel polish requires UV light to harden. Gel polish takes a longer time to cure and harden and putting them under the sun or under a UV light will speed up the process. However, many are concerned about the potential dangers of using UV light since they are known to be carcinogens, hence many are now looking for no light gel nail polish which dries up significantly faster.
Gel polish vs traditional nail polish
There are different bases on the comparison and contrast between the regular nail polish and gel polish, here are the following:
Gel polish appears a lot more glossy and thick compared to regular polish. As stated earlier, this is because gel polish contains specific ingredients which harden when placed under UV light.
Usually, the traditional nail polish consists of pigment and nitrocellulose which allows it to shine when solvents like acetate and alcohol are added to it making it dry faster. However, aside from those stated above, gel polish requires the presence of photoinitiators like oligomers which tighten the molecules to harden the top coat when exposed under UV light.
Gel polish application is more expensive because they contain many chemicals to create a harder and thicker surface. The nails still need to undergo a process of curing to ensure that the coats are hardened and can’t be chipped off easily.
Gel polish is definitely much more durable than nail polish. Over time, traditional nail polish eventually shed off. Nail polish lasts only for a week while gel polish stays looking pristine on your nails for over 2 to three weeks or depending on how much you take care of them.
Method of removal
Unlike traditional nail polish, gel-based polish requires professional assistance. Regular polish may be removed only using acetone and cotton if the person wishes to change the color, but gel polish needs to be soaked and needs removal strips. Hard chipping may cause damage to your nails so this is important to be done by professional manicurists.
Pros of gel polish
It lasts longer
Compared to the regular lacquer, gel polish doesn’t wear off easily unless removed by a manicurist. As we’ve mentioned, the lifespan of gel nail polish is 2 weeks up to a month and would require soaking and removal strips to take them off.
It doesn’t chip easily
No matter what you do, these types of polish do not easily chip off. They don’t shed either making them look as they did on day one. The only thing that may require you to change your polish is when it gets dented or accidentally chipped off due to high pressure.
It protects the nail bed
Some women’s nails are prone to nail breakage and thinning. Once the Gel polish hardens, this coat protects the nail from outside elements which may cause frail nails.
As said earlier, gel-based polish already hardens and does not fade or cause any smudges right after it is under UV light. It does not produce any discoloration or deformity. It’s somewhat a nail extension since it provides thick protection and even causes nails to grow at a faster rate.
Cons of gel polish
Harmful removal method
The polish does not just wear off using acetone, so soaking it in pure acetone along with removal strips may cause damage and dryness to the skin. This may risk nail infection if not done professionally.
May develop cancer cells
As much as the exposure to UV light allows faster drying and better appearance, too much exposure to UV rays may cause not just skin dryness but the development of skin cancer cells.
Too much gel polish may induce harm
Gel polish protects the nail from breakage, however, just like everything else, too much of this may cause harm.
Pricier than traditional polish
Gel Polish costs twice or even thrice the price or regular lacquer in some salons. This is because of the long process it takes.
Pros of nail polish
Paves way for creativity
It is much easier to make simple, anyone-can-do designs on their own nails. Making mistakes is much easier to cover up than using gel polish.
Safer and more affordable
You don’t need UV light to dry your nail polish. You also don’t need to spend a lot of time and money to have your nails cleaned and your gel polish to be removed.
In using regular polish, there is no need for professional assistance since this can be done at home as well. Changing colors can be done whenever they choose to.
Cons of Nail Polish
Not for heavy work
If a person has work that requires the heavy usage of their hands, it is not advisable to use nail polish since it chips off easily.
Longer drying time
Sometimes, even manicurists in a salon aren’t able to tell if the polish has dried yet. That’s why they ask clients to be careful for hours since it may have deformities, it does not have a constant time of drying, unlike gel polish.
Discoloration during removal
When using heavy and dark colors, there is a high tendency that it will cause discoloration on the nails once removed using acetone. It may leave a hard-to-remove stain that needs an all-new manicure.
Why is gel nail polish gaining more attention?
Gel polish is basically thrice as great as the regular ones, it makes an impression to users that it is worth it even though it may cost expensive since it lasts longer than the traditional lacquer. Designs may also be applied which appears marble-like. It doesn’t have bumps and it appears glossy. This is why manicurists recommend this very often during nail appointments.
How to apply gel nail polish for beginners
If anyone wants to apply gel-based polish on their own, here is a step-by-step tutorial which is very easy to follow:
Clean your nails
This is the first and foremost step, make sure that the nails are clean, this may be done through removing the cuticles and shaping your nails in whatever appearance you desire as long as it does not damage it, do whatever is usually done during a manicure.
Apply Nail Bonder
After making sure that your nails are clean and wiped, apply a coat of Nail bonder, this is found in shops and stores, Nail bonders are meant to increase the ‘bond’ between the gel polish and the natural nails, ensuring it to last longer.
Apply Gel polish base coat
After the bonder, apply a very thin layer of the gel base coat. Proceeding immediately to apply a thick layer may damage your nails if mistakes occur, in this manner, it will serve as an ‘initial’ coat.
The thin layer will now be exposed to UltraViolet light for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Apply Gel polish color
Once the base coat has been cured and dried, apply a thin layer of the gel-based polish as it goes on. Make sure to get it from the cuticle to the free edge.
Succeeding curing process
The layers of gel polish will be exposed in UV light. Time varies depending on the color of the polish. For dark colors., the hand should be placed for not less than 3 minutes, while for light colors, it should be exposed for 2 minutes. The step of application and curing may occur until the colors of each nail have been balanced.
Apply Gel polish Top Coat
If the coverage of the polish in each nail is now even, put a thin layer of top coat, this will be necessary so that when it hardens, it does not damage or deform the polish.
For the final curing, it will be placed under UV light for two minutes.
Removal of unwanted dirt
After all the processes, there may be unwanted cuticles surrounding the nail, wipe the nails using a lint-free wipe, and massage some cuticle oil on the skin surrounding the nails.
Common mistakes in applying nail gel polish
For starters, there are a few common mistakes in applying gel polish.
Immediately starting with a thick layer
Some are used to using regular nail polish, sometimes they think it has the same application as gel polish which is the most common mistake. Never start with a thick layer immediately.
Not minding excess gel polish on the skin
Beginners usually end up having a bit of gel polish on the skin surrounding their nails, the common mistake is that they don’t mind it and end up curing the nail anyway, this may cause damage to the skin cells.
Not using base and top coats
This is not just about the design and appearance of the nail. The base coat, as well as the nail bonders, protect the nail from damage, the top coat shields it from outside unwanted dirt as well, this leaves a glossy appearance which does not only improve presentation but avoids deformities.
Consistent back-to-back gel polish
If one wants to change the color of the gel polish, as much as possible leave a few days or weeks after removing the previous gel polish. Excessive gel polish applications may result in more UV exposures damaging and suffocating the nails.
Extending gel polish
Even if it hasn’t shown signs of wearing off, it is important to remove gel polish after not more than 3 weeks in order to prevent the damage it may cause to nail beds. Tempting to increase it’s time there, but harmful.
Using long strokes in applying
It is better to use short strokes in applying layers, these are easier to control and even better on the edges.
Best No Light Gel Polish
Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat
Made by a company that has more than 35 years of experience, this Essie Gel Top Coat might just be the quality product you’re looking for. This product works with any gel couture nail color that gives the perfect finish without any base coat. It is also quick-drying, chip, and fade resistant and comes with a swirling and curve-hugging brush that makes for a convenient application.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish
Liven up your nails with the help of this nail polish. When done with its two-step (color+top coat) routine, this product locks color and shine that can last for up to 8 days and, of course, is chip-resistant. Despite this, the nail polish is very easy to clean and comes off like regular nail polish.
Eternal Gel Collection – Nail Polish Set of 3
This product comes in a set of 3 fun colors and a top coat, a combination that will never get you bored of decorating. In addition, it is also very easy to use as it leaves no sticky residue, dries very fast, and comes off very easily with a nail polish remover. It is also a vegan product that does not contain harmful chemicals, animal-based ingredients, and gluten.
Seche Premier Color Lacquer
Match your fierce and fiery mood with the use of this Seche Premier Color Lacquer. Made by a company that makes an outstanding line of nail products that satisfied many customers. When paired with the Seche Premier Color base and sealant, it gives a maximum quality of nail polish that can last for up to a week.
Makartt Blooming Nail Polish 6 Color Set
Ignite the creativity inside you with the help of this Makartt product set. Whether it’s for professional use or an amateur DIY, these fun and colorful blooming gels will keep you open for new styles. More than just the 6 base colors, they can be combined to make new and interesting colors, perfect for experimenting with your own unique original designs.
LA Colors Extreme Shine Gel Nail Polish
With a deep color and a quality shine, the LA Colors nail polish will be a good addition to your beauty kit. Other than its color and shine, it also gives a smooth finish and comes with a professionally developed flat brush. On top of all of this, it can also be removed easily with a nail polish remover.
COVERGIRL XL Nail Gel Ample Apple
If you want to have a quality nail polish that can fit in your budget, then this might just be the product that you’re looking for. This COVERGIRL Nail Gel not only gives it an edge in its affordability, it also has an edge regarding convenience. This product is very easy to use and can be easily removed.
L.A. Colors Extreme Shine Gel Nail Polish
With over 16 amazing colors, this nail polish set will give your nails a fresh and shiny style. This easy-to-use and one coat product gives a smooth finish with an intense shine. It is also very easy to remove and comes with a professionally designed brush that gives you a very convenient application.
L’Oreal Paris Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque Nail Color
Made by an internationally renowned brand, this L’Oreal Paris product will surely hold quality and strength. When combined with its 3-step method, this nail color gives you the perfect rich color and shine with a smooth and flawless finish. It also has a resilient shine that can withstand dents and scratches.
Maybelline Forever Strong Gel Hot Salsa Nail Polish
Another product made by a renowned brand, this Maybelline nail polish will give you a quality shine while keeping your nails healthy. It is Enriched with iron, vitamin B5, calcium, and silicon that protect your nails from external damage. This ensures a beautiful color that can last for very long.
Butter LONDON Patient Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
Made with quality ingredients for your nails, this product will not only make them look fantastic, it will also keep them healthy. Its carefully designed formula, brighten and smoothen your nails while keeping it strong and protected. In addition to giving a gel-like finish and shine, it is also chip-resistant, fade-resistant, and can last up to 10 days.
Revlon Color Stay Gel Envy Stay Lingerie Nail Polish
Made with a breakthrough formula, this Revlon product gives a high-quality color along with a gel-like shine. It is also very resistant to and external damage and can last for up to 7 days. It comes with a wide-angled brush that makes a very smooth coat without any bubbles.
We highly recommend you try the Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat. This product is really effective at giving that final polish for your color product, plus it dries fast too. The Seche Premier Color Lacquer is also a highly recommended product since it has a really vibrant color that is very much worth it.
Solid color or well-designed nail polish: Which is better?
While both products can bring out the beauty in their own way, each of these will give you a certain aesthetic and can tell something about you or your mood. So which should you use?
Solid colors offer a more classy look that can fit if you’re in a professional or formal setting. But of course, they can be used in other circumstances too. Using the right color can greatly compliment whatever you’re wearing and enhance your overall appearance, which in turn can give you more confidence when interacting with others.
On the other hand, well-designed polish offers a fun look that can be enjoyable when you’re just looking to express creativity. This also makes it more enjoyed by the younger generations. The different designs can also give you a unique identity and can tell people something about your personality.
It all boils down to why you are wearing it and your own personal preference. Remember that what you put tells people something about you, so choosing the right one is vital to let people know who you are.