Did you know you can buy the best professional gel nail polish for home use?
Today, we’ll review the top brands of gel polish to help you find your new favorite.
First, let’s talk about what you need to use gel nail polish instead of shellac or dip powder nails.
Table of Contents
- What’s needed for gel polish?
- How to do a DIY gel manicure
- Best Professional Gel Nail Polish & Top Brands in 2021
- Gelish Fantastic Four Essentials Collection Gel Nail Polish Kit
- Gellen Gel Nail Polish Kit 16 Colors
- DND Duo 447 Black Licorice
- Makartt Gel Nail Polish Kit
- LECHAT Perfect Match Nail Polish
- Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Chip Resistant Diamond Top Coat
- Essie Gel Couture Full Collection (Pick Your Color)
- AIMEILI Temperature Color-Changing Chameleon Gel Nail Polish Set
- Modelones Gel Nail Polish Kit 6 PCS
- Beetles Gel Nail Polish Kit, Manhattan Collection
- Lagunamoon Gel Nail Polish Set with Base Coat and Top Coat, 4 Colors
- OPI Nail Polish Base Coat Primer & Gloss Top Coat, Infinite Shine Duo Pack
- IBD Just Gel – DIAMONDS + DREAMS Collection
- Kiara Sky Gel Polish
- deborah lippmann gel polish
- Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit
- Saviland Chrome Nail Powder – Holographic Nail Powder 6 Colors
What’s needed for gel polish?
A single coat of regular nail polish dries when it’s exposed to air. Of course, you can speed up the dry time with a fan.
But gel polish won’t dry unless it’s treated with UV light.
This is advantageous as it provides plenty of time to do nail art. Moreover, the gel finish typically lasts two or three times as long as a regular nail lacquer.
Therefore, to cure gel polish, you must have a nail lamp. It doesn’t matter if it’s LED or regular UV.
The UV light triggers a reaction that converts the polish into a polymer. It becomes like plastic or silicone, durable and colorfast.
(Here’s a hint: this is why gel polish should be stored in opaque bottles as sunlight may cause it to harden).
Finally, you’ll need a base coat and a top coat for a long-lasting finish.
How to do a DIY gel manicure
If you do a gel manicure at home, it’ll probably last a couple of weeks. That might not be as long as a salon manicure lasts, but it will definitely save you money.
The more you practice doing your own manicures, the more skilled you’ll become.
Besides, gel polish is gentler on the nails than acrylics.
Check the brand’s directions, and be sure to follow all the steps.
Usually, all you need to do is buff the nail’s surface and then put on the base coat. It’s always a good idea to push back the cuticles to prevent the polish from lifting up later.
After you cure the polish under the nail lamp, apply a second layer.
Set the second layer under the lamp, then apply the top coat.
When it’s time to remove gel polish, you’ll need acetone or gel polish remover. File the surface and soak the nails for up to 20 minutes.
When you’re done removing the polish, it’s an excellent idea to put on cuticle oil to keep the skin and nails healthy.
Whenever your manicure has started to lift or chip, it’s better to remove the polish and reapply to prevent fungal infections.
Best Professional Gel Nail Polish & Top Brands in 2021
Gelish Fantastic Four Essentials Collection Gel Nail Polish Kit
Gelish is a brand of gel nail polish that salons use. It was the world’s first brush-on, soak-off gel. They also innovated by using LED nail lamps instead of UV bulbs.
Happily, this polish is available for home use, too. That’s fantastic as they have over 200 shades available.
When properly applied, it can last up to 3 weeks. Furthermore, it cures in only 45 seconds under an LED lamp! (An old-school UV lamp takes about 2 minutes).
My sources tell me that Gelish is compatible with other brands’ top coats.
The kit comes with all the basics except for the color. It includes pH Nail Bond Prep, Foundation Base Gel, Top It Off Sealer Gel, and Nourish Cuticle Oil.
Gellen Gel Nail Polish Kit 16 Colors
Gellen is one of the best gel nail polish brands of 2020. However, it’s not made for professionals.
It caters specifically to home users. Yet, it offers 300 colors in generous-sized kits like this one. They contain everything from traditional shades to far out options like holographic and magnetic. It’s perfect for nail art.
Although the bottles of colored polish are small, the top and base coats are full-size. Each bottle lasts about 3 years after opening before it expires. But, I imagine it will be long gone before then.
When applied properly, a Gellen manicure lasts for about two weeks. It doesn’t have much odor and cures quickly under an LED light. A base coat takes about 30 seconds, and each remaining coat takes about 60 seconds.
On the downside, it will take a few layers to achieve an opaque finish. The polish is thin and a bit runny.
DND Duo 447 Black Licorice
What is the best professional gel nail polish?
Some might argue that it’s the American-made DND brand.
It’s never runny or stinky, and it’s straightforward to apply and remove. The finish lasts about three weeks.
It feels lightweight on the nails so that they can breathe. And the formula contains vitamins to strengthen them, too.
Each color is sold in a box set with a top coat.
Makartt Gel Nail Polish Kit
It’s affordable, richly pigmented, and available in fashionable colors. This is Makartt gel polish in a set with 22 shades, plus base and top coat.
A manicure with this brand should last about two weeks. The mirror-gloss finish is resistant to chipping, peeling, and fading.
There are a few cons, however. This isn’t a high-end polish, and it will take a little more time to cure.
Worse, it’s difficult to find in single bottles. You may end up purchasing an entire kit for just one or two colors. Plus, they are small bottles. But that means that you can experiment more often.
LECHAT Perfect Match Nail Polish
If you love glitter, frost, and cream colors, take a look at this brand of gel polish. There are more than 200 gorgeous shades.
The texture is thick, so be sure to apply thin layers to prevent chipping. But the finish should last about two weeks without fading.
Each color has a matching Dare to Wear Nail Lacquer for quick touchups. This is like a traditional nail polish that doesn’t require a lamp to cure it.
Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Chip Resistant Diamond Top Coat
Revlon’s ColorStay polish is another economical option. But unlike some less expensive brands, it’s practically salon quality.
Take this Diamond Top Coat, for example. It works with any color of Gel Envy polish.
It features DiamondFlex technology that makes it ultra-resistant to chipping. When you apply it with the wide angled brush, it goes on smooth without bubbles. Two passes with the brush, and you’re done.
The only con is that there are just 46 colors.
Essie Gel Couture Full Collection (Pick Your Color)
Skip the base coat with Essie Gel Couture. It’s a two-step system: color and top coat only.
There are over a hundred shades that last up to two weeks.
This long-wearing gel is salon-quality. You’ll see what I mean once it sets. The finish has a glass-like top coat that’s surprisingly strong.
AIMEILI Temperature Color-Changing Chameleon Gel Nail Polish Set
AIMEILI has been in the business of vibrant nail polish since 2012. They promise up to twenty-one days of mirror-shine finish. It shouldn’t smudge or chip with everyday wear in under two weeks, at least
Out of the different sets they offer, I couldn’t resist the color-changing polish. The appearance varies depending on how warm or cold your hands get.
You might also like the glow in the dark shades.
The polish works best if you warm up the bottle and shake it before applying it. Plan on layering at least two coats.
Modelones Gel Nail Polish Kit 6 PCS
Here’s a set with matte pastels and nudes. Be sure to use the matte top coat with them.
Then, each shade is good for up to two weeks of wear.
You might also enjoy their glitter and magnetic color sets. Just be sure to store all colors in a dark place as the viewing window can expose them to UV light.
The polish cures quickly and removes easily after a few minutes of soaking. It’s compliant with European Union regulations for safety and made from natural resin.
The main downside is that you’ll need to buy the polish in sets since individual colors don’t seem to exist.
Beetles Gel Nail Polish Kit, Manhattan Collection
The thick Beetles nail polish won’t run while you’re working. It doesn’t have a strong odor, but it’s highly pigmented.
It lasts up to two weeks, but you might be tempted to change shades before then. After all, who can resist these glittery, bold colors?
The kit comes with twenty mini bottles of colored polish, basecoat, and both glossy and matte top coats.
Each one is “nine-free,” meaning it lacks all sorts of harsh chemicals found in other types of nail polish. But without those nasty toxins, it’ll take one to two minutes to set under a nail lamp.
Lagunamoon Gel Nail Polish Set with Base Coat and Top Coat, 4 Colors
Here’s another gel brand that lasts up to two weeks. It works well on natural nails as well as falsies and acrylic tips.
I’ve heard it said that Lagunamoon is a good brand for beginners. After all, they have fun kits with glitter, temperature-changing, and magnetic shades.
The consistency is thick, which prevents runs and eliminates extra coats. It helps if you stir it in the bottle.
OPI Nail Polish Base Coat Primer & Gloss Top Coat, Infinite Shine Duo Pack
OPI is a professional nail polish brand known for beautiful, long-lasting shades. Their honest assessment of eleven-day wear is right on the mark.
For a salon-quality finish, use the base coat, two coats of color, and one of gloss top coat. The skinny brushes are great for precision nail art.
As this kit only contains the base and top coats, you’ll need to choose one of the 150+ colors to go with it.
IBD Just Gel – DIAMONDS + DREAMS Collection
Get this large bottle of ibd gel nail polish, and it will last you for months, possibly years. That’s even with the recommended two coats.
There are more than two hundred shades to choose from, and each one only takes thirty seconds to cure under an LED lamp.
Be sure to get the base and top coats as they are sold separately.
Kiara Sky Gel Polish
This is a soak-off gel polish, which means you don’t have to sand or drill your nails and damage them every time you remove it.
It comes in ombre shades that change color with your body temperature. There are 44 mood-changing shades in total.
deborah lippmann gel polish
Here’s a brand that refuses to include harmful ingredients in their gel nail polish. It’s a patented “seven-free” formula worth the money if you’re pregnant or sensitive to chemicals.
It includes exotic ingredients that improve the health of your nails. For example, it has evening primrose, rice protein, keratin, and green tea. But there’s also bamboo and carnauba wax to enhance shine and wear time.
The contoured brush features 320 soft bristles for a perfect application every time.
Sally Hansen Salon Pro Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit
If you’d like to stick to a tried-and-true gel polish brand, go with Sally Hansen. This starter kit should last for ten manicures. Each one should last up to two weeks.
What’s nifty about the set is that it comes with everything you need, including an LED nail lamp, cuticle pusher, and nail file. The included color is perfect for a French manicure.
Saviland Chrome Nail Powder – Holographic Nail Powder 6 Colors
Enjoy gorgeous nail art with these holographic powders. No, this is not gel polish, but rather an accessory.
You’ll still need base and top coat – specifically, the no-wipe top coat if you want a mirror effect.
Each layer will need to cure for thirty seconds under an LED lamp, or two minutes under regular UV.
I hope that you found a new brand of gel nail polish to try today.
If you’re a pro manicurist, I’m happy that you’re open to trying new things. And if you love to do your nails at home, I’m glad you put your trust in us here.
Let us know how your new polish worked out. Your comments help us improve our recommendations of the best beauty products.